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Old 02-15-2015, 06:52 PM   #1
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Glacier N.P. Advice

Making plans for a July trip to Glacier. Our first stop will be Butte Montana for the Folk Festival then about 5 -6 days in Glacier.
Any recommendations for campgrounds? We like to fish and hike. Also need to know if we can do Going to the Sun road with our 19?
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Barry
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Old 02-15-2015, 07:17 PM   #2
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From the Glacier NP website
Are there vehicle size restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun Road?
Yes. To help reduce congestion, vehicle size restrictions are in effect. Vehicles, and vehicle combinations, longer than 21 feet (including bumpers) or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors), are prohibited between Avalanche Campground and the Rising Sun picnic area parking. Vehicle and vehicle combinations over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass to the Loop, due to rock overhangs. Stock trucks and trailers are able to access Packers Roost on the west, and Siyeh Bend on the east.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:32 PM   #3
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I guess I should have looked at the website before listening to my redneck brother in law "sure no problem - just go slow" !!
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:34 PM   #4
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Last year we camped on the East side, at the St. Mary Campground. The campground was decent, but I can tell you that there isn't much in the area by way of stores, fuel, restaurants, etc. Many Glacier, (also on the East side), is nice, with beautiful scenery and a historic hotel, but the road was terrible getting in to the area and again, no services - maybe the road has been repaired by now? If we were going to do it again, we would stay on the West side.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:45 PM   #5
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Last fall we stayed at Apgar on the west side of Glacier. Many Glacier was closed. A nice place, and there are a couple of small stores near by. But at least in the loops that were open, there weren't any hookups. I know the road to Many Glacier is rough, but if I were to go back to Glacier, that is where I would stay. It is a beautiful place.
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Old 02-15-2015, 10:42 PM   #6
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We made reservations at the Fish Creek campground (west side) for late July, in our case immediately following the Hard Times Bluegrass Festival in Hamilton. It and St Mary's on the east side are the only reservable ones, other than group sites at Apgar. Having tent camped in the park some years ago, Fish Creek is the nicer campground of the two. Unless we want to tow around the south border of the park, we pretty much have to choose a side and day trip from there. Avalanche, Rising Sun, and Many Glacier campgrounds are all nice - but first come, first serve.
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Old 02-16-2015, 09:25 AM   #7
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We have been to Glacier National Park 4 times over the years. Our most recent visit was July 2009 when we stayed 3 weeks. We stayed 1 week at West Glacier and 2 weeks at St. Mary's.

As mentioned by Leon "Apgar on the west side of Glacier. A nice place, and there are a couple of small stores near by. "
Along Highway 2 in the West Glacier area there are several commercial RV Parks, restaurants, grocery stores , and tourist activities (rafting, horse back riding,etc). At its worst the west side of Glacier in July can be like Yosemite Valley in summer, traffic jams and no parking. Fortunately, Glacier has a wonderful shuttle system.

Ray said "Last year we camped on the East side, at the St. Mary Campground. The campground was decent, but I can tell you that there isn't much in the area by way of stores, fuel, restaurants, etc. Many Glacier, (also on the East side), is nice, with beautiful scenery and a historic hotel,"

The east side of Glacier National Park is the quite side. It is a little harder to get to and there are less places to stay.

If you are going to Glacier to go hiking then the east side is paradise. There are only a few trails off of Going to the Sun Road out of Apgar. On the east side there are several trails along Going to the Sun Road between St. Mary's and Logan Pass. There are trails for even more hikes at Many Glacier and Two Medicine.

Ray wrote " but the road was terrible getting in to the area and again, no services - maybe the road has been repaired by now?"

I doubt that the roads have improved, Highways 49 and 89 seem to have been bad forever. We found that Highway 464 from Browning to St. Mary's although longer was a much better choice. Highway 464 had a much better surface and way fewer curves.

Soultrek wrote: "Unless we want to tow around the south border of the park, we pretty much have to choose a side and day trip from there."

Unless things have changed a lot since 2009, Highway 2 around the south border is the best road in the area. We pulled our then 35 foot 5th wheel from West Glacier to St. Mary's and found the road very well maintained and it had several passing lanes.

If you are interested, the blog entries with a lot of pictures from our last trip begin at: BirdingRVers: Glacier National Park – Part 1


The Mountain Goats at Logan Pass are very friendly.

PS Glacier National Park has both Black Bears and Grizzly Bears.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:23 AM   #8
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Wow, great blog Grant & Kathy, I think we'll just follow your route - done!
Not sure about that "very fresh looking" bear poop tho!
Barry
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:25 AM   #9
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Glacier is my favorite National Park; I've been there 8 times, including drive throughs on the Going to the Sun road (with a van, not the trailer) to a week stay.

While July is usually OK, it is worth checking that the Going to the Sun road is open - in 2011 I drove the road on opening day - July 13th!

My favorite campground is Two Medicine, although Many Glacier is also beautiful. Both are very popular, so plan on getting there early, and have an alternative. I've also stayed at St Mary (the only campground in the park with showers) and Apgar. If you require hookups, there are commercial campgrounds on both sides of the park. You can check the fill times for the various campgrounds here by clicking on the campground. That will take you to a page that can be searched by date.

While there are many hiking opportunities, be sure to also take the time to drive out to the Polebridge Mercantile on the West side of the park. The best cinnamon rolls & sticky buns I've had, an a interesting place.
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Old 02-16-2015, 10:33 AM   #10
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We second Fish Creek Campground - make your reservations now! They also have showers there. Beautiful campground, close to Apgar and all the action on the west side. You cannot take your rig across Going to the Sun. We took one of the red 'jammers' over and back, had lunch at Many Glaciers so we got to see both sides of the park. WOW! It's not to be missed. You can make reservations for those trips In-Park Transportation: Red Bus Tours | Glacier National Park Lodges. If you are passing through Deer Lodge, the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic site is worth a stop. Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service)

Have fun, happy trails,
Kathie
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