Tips for Visiting Glacier NP? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-20-2018, 10:28 PM   #1
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Tips for Visiting Glacier NP?

Hi everyone,
We want to visit Glacier National Park from San Francisco in the fall. I've looked up "Glacier National Park" in the FGRV forum, but got tired of reading through the many postings that came up as they were often off-topic.

I just want to know what your experiences were in GNP and what you would recommend to a friend.

Many thanks.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:09 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
Hi everyone,
We want to visit Glacier National Park from San Francisco in the fall. I've looked up "Glacier National Park" in the FGRV forum, but got tired of reading through the many postings that came up as they were often off-topic.

I just want to know what your experiences were in GNP and what you would recommend to a friend.

Many thanks.
As with many NPs I would wait until after labor day to go.. Also go to their web site for information.
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Old 08-21-2018, 02:54 AM   #3
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Much like Yellowstone, the campgrounds fill. Most are fcfs. We stayed at Two Medicine which seemed to fill later than others.

Campground
Status


Even in early September the place was busy. Travelling the Going to the Sun highway east to west puts you away from the edge if heights bother you. I was told the road has closed as early as mid September because of snow. Safe travels.

Edit: I noticed closed campgrounds on the status page so I checked the main page. Unfortunately some of the park is closed due to wild fires.
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Old 08-21-2018, 06:50 AM   #4
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Various years we've stayed at Many Glacier, Rising Sun and Apgar. All were nice, giving access to different areas of the park (it's big.) As mentioned, there are fires around the lake on the West side.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:05 AM   #5
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If you like cinnamon rolls or sticky buns, make the drive to the Polebridge Mercantile on the West side of the park. Parts of the road are a bit rough so you might want to leave the trailer in the campground. Be sure to drive the Going to the Sun road in both directions. The views are different.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:19 AM   #6
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Many thanks for the early replies! Keep the tips coming. Many thanks for the early replies! Sadly, forest, and other major, fires are "the new norm" here in California as well as elsewhere in our country and the world. We'll keep an eye on GNP. We, previously had cancelled a trip there as there were fires. We, typically, take 1/2 or all-day hikes everyday when we camp. Do you have any favorites? Keep the tips coming.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:38 AM   #7
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Some photos from previous trips.
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Old 08-21-2018, 08:52 AM   #8
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It's tough there right now with the wildfires...
We live in northern Minnesota but if I were visiting Glacier for the first time here’s what I’d do…
1) Make a reservation and stay the first night at West Glacier KOA and enjoy it’s amenities
2) Leave early for the park and find a campsite
3) Don’t bother to drive in the park, use the free “hop-on hop-off” type shuttle buses so everyone can enjoy the breathtaking views and not waste their vacation time searching for a parking spot. https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/shuttlestops.htm. (It runs until Sept. 3 but check the website for updates on modified service for a few weeks after.)
4) Bring a backpack with snacks and water bottles.
5) Do the Trail of the Cedars hike at the Avalanche Creek stop. It’s a lovely, easy boardwalk.
6) Ride up to Logan Pass; look for mountain goats, shop in the visitor center and hike up the Hidden Lake Nature trail.
7) Plan a full day to take the shuttle over to the St. Mary Visitor Center at the East entrance and back; large education exhibits, great gift shop and different scenery
8) Depending on interests and fitness, select other hikes or go fishing.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:39 AM   #9
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We were there last year. We stayed at St. Marys on the east side. Trailers are not allowed over the "Going to The Sun" road. Nor would you want to. Last year the smoke got pretty bad. I suspect it is this year as well as they have had bad fires. Going To The Sun was closed recently because of the fires. We go to National parks in September. it is still warm then but the crowds are thinner and the kids are back in school.



Wonderful park. You will enjoy it.
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Old 08-21-2018, 09:59 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon Vermilye View Post

Hi Jon. I checked out your blog but cannot find GNP. Could you help me?
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:02 AM   #11
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I didn't camp there, just a visit on a fishing trip (left the rods packed up and my buddy agreed that was a good choice- not a big fishing destination}.
If you hike much away from the roads, keep bear spray with you, preferably one canister per person. Something like the Lost Lake walk from Logan Pass is more of a tourist group experience, and we didn't take it then, but when exercising your judgment on walks/hikes, I'd say default to preparedness.
As to the weather when you go, September might be great, might be not; later is more potential for snow of course, but over the years, in Yellowstone, I've seen September in 90+ with brutal sun, and snow/sleet in August. I'd expect at least the same variability at Glacier.
Have fun. A friend who lives near Yellowstone calls Glacier the best Nat Park, but no rank needed, it's simply wonderful.
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:44 AM   #12
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Coming from California, be sure the roads you want to drive are not being blocked due to the many forest fires.
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Old 08-21-2018, 10:36 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
Hi everyone,
We want to visit Glacier National Park from San Francisco in the fall. I've looked up "Glacier National Park" in the FGRV forum, but got tired of reading through the many postings that came up as they were often off-topic.

I just want to know what your experiences were in GNP and what you would recommend to a friend.

Many thanks.
Checked last night and the Going to the Sun road is closed on the west side of the park. East side is open and you can go to Logan Pass but not sure how much farther they are allowing it. We were there with another couple in July for a few days. Didn't have any reservations since Apgar CG is first come first serve. We got there about 11:00AM and there were plenty of sites but by 1-2PM it was pretty full. Drove over the road and back. It was freezing cold on Logan Pass. Take a good coat. We had doors open and wearing short sleeve t-shirts in the Apgar area but heavy coats at the top of the pass. If the campground you want is first come first serve then don't get there to early since people don't leave until around 10:30-11:30. The Apgar Village is closed due to the fires. Apgar campground my close also depending on what the fire does. It would be so smoky in that area it would be unhealthy and vision limited. The McDonald Lodge is closed also due to the fire and won't reopen this year. If your TV has wide mirrors then push them in if possible. The road is very narrow and 2 vehicles with wide mirrors may not pass easily. The views are awesome though. Lots of trails around St Mary's so get a map of the park from them and go all you can.
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Old 08-22-2018, 05:59 AM   #14
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The boat trips are fun. http://glacierparkboats.com/ We did the two lake trip with Ranger hike at Many Glacier. Not much glacier to be seen anymore but still a nice outing.
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Old 08-22-2018, 09:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
Hi Jon. I checked out your blog but cannot find GNP. Could you help me?
Scroll down on the page in the link for photos of the park & road. The links above are to some of the other parks I've visited.
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Old 08-22-2018, 02:04 PM   #16
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bear spray

We went to Glacier in 2017. I would recommend bear spray if you plan any hiking. I notice posts about wild fires in the west. The east has the best parts of the park IMHO. This is the most beautiful place I've ever been, enjoy!





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Old 08-22-2018, 04:32 PM   #17
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Speaking of bear spray, last time we were out there it was close to $50. We got some (ouch.) Later in the campground a guy came by selling his can for $20. He was leaving and not planning to go anywhere else that he might need it. So then we had two.... Anyway, if you have a campground neighbor packing up to leave, it might be worth asking.
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Old 08-23-2018, 11:50 AM   #18
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You already have lots of good advice but here's my perspective. As others have mentioned, there's a fire that has currently closed campgrounds near West Glacier along with going-to-the-sun highway. I don't know what the air is like in Glacier but there is haze throughout the west, mostly from big fires in CA, ID, WA and British Columbia. I would skip West Glacier and go to the east side, which I like better anyway (trees are more open, a bit less busy). Two Medicine and Many Glacier are among the most scenic campgrounds in the park, with excellent hiking right from the campground. You could still visit Logan Pass on going to the sun highway from the east side, which is a must do (I believe the road is only closed on the west side). There are a couple of nice park campgrounds (Rising Sun and St. Mary's) near St. Mary's and decent private camping just outside the park nearby. You can get to East Glacier by taking Hwy 2 over Marias Pass on the southern boundary of the park, which is a nice drive. If you do that, stop at the goat lick, which is a near guaranteed opportunity to see mountain goats on the lick above the Middle Fork Flathead river.
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:26 PM   #19
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A year ago we went in mid-June before Going to the Sun Road opens to autos. We ride trikes and found, until they clear the road at the top, it is open only to bi/tricyclists. We were in heaven. The day reached 70 at the pass and no cars for the ride up or down.

Oh yeah, we had no problem getting a campsite anywhere on the west side and the hikes were fantastic.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:22 PM   #20
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Camping at Apgar Campground

We camped in this park in mid summer. This is first come first served. We did as recommended in that we made reservations at a private campground for one night and then the next morning, early, we cruised through the campground looking for a site. We found one but before 10 am the campground was full. Every morning, starting before 8 am, a steady stream of vehicles cruised through the park looking for sites. Something we learned, as we stayed there, is that you can scan the reservation tags on the site post looking for ones that are leaving that day. Possibly work out a way to park you car there to hold the site, even prior to the current folks leaving. Beautiful park as all have said.
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