Recommendations for Glacier NP Camping? - Fiberglass RV
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Old 03-17-2007, 05:52 PM   #1
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My wife and I are planning a week's stay at Glacier National Park for the last week of July or the first week of August (the hottest time of the year, generally, here in southern Oregon).

I've been looking at the Glacier NP website. Does anyone have any recommendations about which campgrounds are the best in the NP, itself?

Also, what recommendations do you have about what to do? I see that there will be a new shuttle service opened over the Going to the Sun Highway. Would it be better to drive ourselves, or take the shuttle and "leave the driving to them?"

What is the best way to see a glacier?

Any and all info will be welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 03-17-2007, 08:03 PM   #2
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From what I've read, the Park Service is trying to encourage more and more people to use the shuttle service with an eye toward barring private vehicles from the route.

Have a great time. That's one park that's on our list, but which I won't be able to do for several more years. See the glaciers before they're all gone!

Also, be very bear aware in Glacier. Lots of griz there.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:27 PM   #3
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You will love it! We tent camped in Glacier NP some 15 years ago. Impossible not to enjoy any of their sites, all wonderful. We drove Going to the sun road from east to west and back several times. There never was a problem stopping along the road, but this was in June when traffic was light. In fact, had to delay our first drive by several days because they hadn't cleared the avalanch. Mt goats crossing will also stop traffic.

Be sure to spend at least one night in one of the great mountain hotels there, built in 30's for housing the rr workers. They are awesome structures, especially the one at Many Glacier, where you can also sign up for superb guided hiking/boat tours. Better reserve early, though.

Hate to say this, but the glaciers are probably gone or close to it, by now.
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Old 03-17-2007, 08:47 PM   #4
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We haven't stayed at West Glacier. It may be more congested. I would like to spend more time there however.

East Glacier (St. Mary) seems more remote and we stayed in C134. I have a note that I would like to stay in the next site on the loop, or the one after that. Not as close to the toilet, but the view of a mountain is so great from those two sites. C134 is on the driver side of the road, so our door opened to the road instead of to the picnic area. The sites were mostly pull through type. For some reason I wasn't fond of the sites in that loop in the passenger side. There is a loop that was closer to the river that had some low sites, rain would not be welcome there.

Back then we took the red jammer bus tour over "Going to the Sun". It was a nice tour, we had guides giving us information, and stops along the way. Whatever tours they have now must be similar. It is awfully nice for the driver to not have to drive so he/she can look around. Also there was heavy traffic. We also took off in our own car and covered part of that road on our own too, just not the whole way.

A side trip for us was to Many Glacier Hotel. We took the historic tour there on a rainy morning and watched grizzly bears from the deck. That historical tour was interesting. I always enjoy eating at the Glacier Lodges, think we hit them all for meals.

The St. Mary campground did not have showers. We went a few miles up the road to another campground (mostly a tenting campground, small sites) where there is a restaurant. You buy tokens and the shower is around the back. Worked fine for us, besides the drive was one where you can see wildlife in the evening.

Be sure to have some warm clothes, sleeping gear. Whatever month you could have cold weather.

Ideally it might be fun to camp at both East and West. We stayed at C134 for 5 nights as we were with people who wanted to do some hiking. Well, they also stayed at the very nice lodge (not park) in St. Mary.

We also took some time to drive up to Waterton and walked around the town a bit. Missed eating in their lodge but walked around it and inside.

Have a great time, and yes, do be aware of the bear situation. They close trails where there is bear activity in certain areas, and recommend that people hike in groups. Hope you have a toilet in your rig, as I did not like going out in the dark.

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Old 03-18-2007, 04:01 PM   #5
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We live just a bit south of the Park (west side)... there are two very nice campgrounds near West Glacier, Apgar and Fish Creek. We've camped in both at various times and its always a treat.

Having driven Logan Pass many, many times, I'll give one piece of advice. It's more pleasant and less scary to drive it "east to west" rather than heading up from West Glacier. Remember, also that you can't tow across it. Once you're on the pass you'll see why!

East and west are very different from each other because of the continental divide, so if you have the time, I'd camp a bit on the west side and then mosey over to the east (via Highway 2) and stay there a bit, then top the trip off with a visit to Waterton. If you haven't been, Waterton is well worth the effort (or even if you HAVE been! We keep going back for more...) Take the 20 minute drive up to Cameron Lake, and take the Waterton boat trip if time allows.
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:39 PM   #6
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Been there many times....and it's ALL nice! I'd recommend a side trip to Waterton as well. If you're coming in to Alberta, let me know and I'll link you to a few sites or send you a few tour books.

- Miriam
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
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We went to West Glacier last summer. We stayed at the KOA which is really nice. They have nightly features, i.e, nature slide show, and they serve breakfast and dinner. They also have a nice hot tub and pool. Regarding Logan Pass, I'd recommend the bus also. Parking is at a premium at the Logan Pass visitor center. We ended up parking at an outlook a few miles down from the visitor center. Recommend you dress in layers--we were up there in August and there was still snow around. I had running shoes with very little tread, so my husband had to pull me along on some treacherous ice patches. I've been to both east and west Glacier, and prefer West--better trees and white water rafting. Have fun and maybe we'll see you on the road!

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