August 10, 11-18, 2012 Whitefish, Montana
385 miles/8 days(1 rest day)
$1225/$400 Rating: I53-A60
The Glacier Parks tour is a clockwise loop starting and ending in Whitefish Montana. The route travels north to Eureka and into Canada through the towns of Fernie and Blairmore before arriving at Waterton Park, the Canadian extension of Glacier, for a rest day. After the rest day, we return to the US, travelling to Many Glaciers, over the Going to the Sun Highway, and to Lake McDonald, all within Glacier National Park, before returning to our finish back in Whitefish. This 383 mile, 8 day tour provides many opportunities to take in all that the parks have to offer.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
This tour is rated Advanced. Although the tour mileage (383) and total elevation gain (22,000’) are appropriate for a moderate rider, the majority of the tour is above 3000’ with a substantial portion above 5000’, which may be problematic for some riders. Canada and Montana have few roads through this area so riders will required to be alert and exercise caution and competent cycling skills on highway sections where they will share the road with motor homes and trucks and may encounter sections with limited or poor shoulders. One scenic detour has us on hard pack gravel for 2 miles.
Mid-August generally sees high average temperatures in the high 70s and lows in the high 40s on our route. Average monthly rainfall is less than 2”. However, Mother Nature is full of surprises. You should be prepared for warmer or colder weather, as well as rain as this route travels through high elevations and over two mountain passes.
Friday, August 10
We meet the first night in Whitefish and get to know each other during a brief meeting.
Saturday, August 11 - 60 miles/ 2,400’ vertical
As we head north toward the Canadian border, we spend much of our day on back roads, past lakes and through forested vistas before our night’s stop in Eureka. Our short day allows you time to poke through the town’s shops and restaurants.
Sunday, August 12 - 53 miles/ 2,500’ vertical
Today, we follow Montana and Canadian back roads and highways, crossing the border shortly after leaving Eureka. Be sure to have your passport or enhanced driver's license. We follow Hwy 93 for much of the first 30 miles on a wide, clean shoulder with very little traffic. Turning east on Hwy 3,we climb gradually toward our night's stop in Fernie, British Columbia. Highway 3 requires riders to be alert and exercise caution and competent cycling skills as there will be sections where there will be limited or poor shoulders. We will provide a shuttle for one ten-mile stretch having very poor shoulder conditions and an additional limited shuttle option will be available for the remaining highway section.
Monday, August 13 - 52 miles/ 2,900’ vertical
We continue east on Highway 3, climbing an easy grade toward Crowsnest Pass with wonderful mountain scenery to occupy us. After the summit, we continue past the small towns of Coleman and Blairmore toward the Frank Slide interpretive center where we stop to tour and take in the history and impressive vista. After lunch we return a few miles west to our overnight site in Blairmore
Tuesday, August 14 - 67 miles/2,600’ vertical
Lots to see today and our first good look at the Canadian Rockies – breathtaking! The scenery takes our mind off the climbing before we descend to Waterton Park, our stop for the night and the following rest day. Our lodging is within Waterton Park Village.
Wednesday, August 15 - Rest day.
Waterton Park Village has many shops and restaurants. There are a number of options for hiking, biking and sightseeing within the park.
Thursday, August 16 - 50 miles/ 4,600’ vertical
Don’t be deceived by the short mileage. Today is challenging, with two tough climbs and half of the day over 5,000’. Our scenery is spectacular. Halfway through our day we begin our descent, moving west after leaving highway 89 to head for our night’s stop, Many Glaciers, within Glacier National park. We stay in a historic park hotel on the banks of beautiful Swiftcurrent lake.
Friday, August 17 - 60 miles/ 5,000’ vertical
After leaving Many Glaciers, we return to Hwy 89 for a short ride to St. Mary where we turn toward Logan Pass on the scenic Going to the Sun highway. We start with a stop at the Visitors Center to get a preview of what is to come. The climb is challenging, but we have lots of time to enjoy vistas of St. Mary lake and the mountains ahead. We’ll enjoy a long, scenic descent before our night’s stop at Lake McDonald.
Saturday, August 18 - 41 miles/ 1,900’ vertical
Our last day, we continue through the park, exiting at West Glacier. We follow four-lane Hwy2 for 15 miles before taking a scenic detour bypassing the highway into Columbia Falls where we have just a short hop to our finish in Whitefish.
For further information contact Ken Condray at (425)-745-1159 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or Sue Matthews at email@example.com