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Old 02-29-2024, 09:01 AM   #1
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Glacier National Park around the 4th

Hello,

My wife and I just ordered our new Escape 19 and our current completion date is 6/20. Due to an appointment here, we won't be able to get out there to pick it up until 7/1. Then a couple nights stay in Sumas to test things out before we head back.

My wife has never been to Glacier NP and has always wanted to go. So, we are planning to stop there for 2 or 3 nights on our way back home. However, looking at all the national park campgrounds, they are all booked around when we'd get there(weekend of 7/5). Does anyone have recommendations of other places to stay in this area? Boondocking is an option too.

Or, I do know that the NPS does keep some sites blocked until some days before for "last minute" reservations. Maybe we just try to be early on when sites are released? But I hate to wait until the last minute like that on our first trip.

Thanks.
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Old 02-29-2024, 11:02 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by FedFan31 View Post
My wife has never been to Glacier NP and has always wanted to go. So, we are planning to stop there for 2 or 3 nights on our way back home. However, looking at all the national park campgrounds, they are all booked around when we'd get there(weekend of 7/5). Does anyone have recommendations of other places to stay in this area? Boondocking is an option too.
Hi, FedFan31. Glacier is on our “To Go List” so I don’t have a direct answer to your question about campgrounds in that area, but barring any firsthand knowledge you could try a program such as RV Trip Wizard offered by RV Life (the same folks who run this forum).

It requires a subscription, but for us the money is well spent. We use it for every trip we take. It’s a bit wonky at first, so it takes a little practice to get acclimated. Once you get it down it’s a valuable resource. Along with showing things like gas stops along your route, it also shows an amazing number of campgrounds. For most campgrounds, ratings and reviews are posted by campers who have stayed there - along with other helpful details like cell service, amenities, and cost (shown on a scale of one to four dollar signs). A link to the campground’s website is also provided if they have one.

This forum offered a free two-year subscription to RV Trip Wizard a couple years ago as a “thank you” to members. Our freebie just ran out and we paid to renew this year. The annual subscription is $65, but luckily for us a fellow forum member provided a discount promo code about six weeks ago that saved us 25% - thank you, Mucram! Hopefully it still works if you’re interested. They do offer a free 7-day trial also.

(Edit: Duh, I forgot to include the 25% discount promo code Mucram so graciously posted. It was “rvgeeks”)

To get to the point - finally, right? - I checked the Glacier area on RV Trip Wizard and found 10+ private campgrounds outside the NP, depending on how far outside the park you’re willing to go. Hope that helps!
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Old 02-29-2024, 11:03 AM   #3
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Or, I do know that the NPS does keep some sites blocked until some days before for "last minute" reservations. Maybe we just try to be early on when sites are released? But I hate to wait until the last minute like that on our first trip.
Hi, again, FedFan31. I tend to get a little wordy (), so I split out my response to your question about last minute campground reservations inside Glacier NP.

There are websites out there for getting a jump on popular sold out campgrounds. Some send you text alerts when there’s a cancellation so you can scramble to grab it for yourself, others actually make the reservation for you. We’ve used Campnab to great success before (text alert only). It’s a “per scan” service (something like $10 or so for each active scan). We’ve also trial tested a subscription based site called Arvie (reservation making service). We weren’t as happy with that service on the first go around, but I can’t remember why. We might try it again. Other providers are out there too like Campflare, The Dyrt, Hipcamp, and more. We don’t have experience with any of those sites. Hope that helps!
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Old 02-29-2024, 11:34 AM   #4
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Hi, FedFan31. Glacier is on our “To Go List” so I don’t have a direct answer to your question about campgrounds in that area, but barring any firsthand knowledge you could try a program such as RV Trip Wizard offered by RV Life (the same folks who run this forum).

It requires a subscription, but for us the money is well spent. We use it for every trip we take. It’s a bit wonky at first, so it takes a little practice to get acclimated. Once you get it down it’s a valuable resource. Along with showing things like gas stops along your route, it also shows an amazing number of campgrounds. For most campgrounds, ratings and reviews are posted by campers who have stayed there - along with other helpful details like cell service, amenities, and cost (shown on a scale of one to four dollar signs). A link to the campground’s website is also provided if they have one.

This forum offered a free two-year subscription to RV Trip Wizard a couple years ago as a “thank you” to members. Our freebie just ran out and we paid to renew this year. The annual subscription is $65, but luckily for us a fellow forum member provided a discount promo code about six weeks ago that saved us 25% - thank you, Mucram! Hopefully it still works if you’re interested. They do offer a free 7-day trial also.

To get to the point - finally, right? - I checked the Glacier area on RV Trip Wizard and found 10+ private campgrounds outside the NP, depending on how far outside the park you’re willing to go. Hope that helps!
Thank you! I was already looking at RV Trip Wizard and thinking about getting it. I have also heard about and looked at Roadtrippers. But my latest leaning had me already pointing to RV Trip Wizard.

Do you happen to have a link to or the actual promo code mentioned by Mucram?
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Old 02-29-2024, 11:35 AM   #5
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Hi, again, FedFan31. I tend to get a little wordy (), so I split out my response to your question about last minute campground reservations inside Glacier NP.

There are websites out there for getting a jump on popular sold out campgrounds. Some send you text alerts when there’s a cancellation so you can scramble to grab it for yourself, others actually make the reservation for you. We’ve used Campnab to great success before (text alert only). It’s a “per scan” service (something like $10 or so for each active scan). We’ve also trial tested a subscription based site called Arvie (reservation making service). We weren’t as happy with that service on the first go around, but I can’t remember why. We might try it again. Other providers are out there too like Campflare, The Dyrt, Hipcamp, and more. We don’t have experience with any of those sites. Hope that helps!
Thanks for mentioning this too. I was not aware of these services yet. I will have to check them out as it sounds like it may be valuable for situations like this.
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Old 02-29-2024, 11:46 AM   #6
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Take a look at St Mary/East Glacier KOA: https://koa.com/campgrounds/st-mary/...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
Looks like there's one site still available for 3 nights, starting on 7/5/24, that might fit your needs.
Good luck!
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Old 02-29-2024, 12:01 PM   #7
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We've been to Glacier twice, both in June before the Going To The Sun road was open and it was a Zoo then for any parking near Lake McDonald.

If you're determined to go I would consider staging beforehand and Blue Bay Campground on the east side of Flathead Lake is a beautiful spot and owned by the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes.

We found it after having an encounter with a redneck camp host at Finley Point SP about 20 minutes south of Blue Bay. When we found this place it was like night & day- both culturally and aesthetically.

It is an hour drive to GNP and you could leave the trailer and go up the 486 out of Columbia Falls towards Polebridge, however there is a road that swings around back into the park. Beautiful drive; dirt road, however a very well maintained one and we had our trailer. There are a few dispersed spots right on the river, however no chance that time of year.


https://www.csktnrd.org/blue-bay

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Blue...!3e0?entry=ttu
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Old 02-29-2024, 12:01 PM   #8
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It has been about 5 years since we last visited Glacier NP so things may have changed. We stayed in a commercial campground on the West side of GNP then explored the park by car. The roads, due to road construction, were a horrible mess, the traffic was terrible, and overall it was a less than saticfactory visit. We vowed if we ever were to visit GNP again, we would stay on the East side of the park and visit the park driving through from East to West instead of the way we did it 5 years ago. Here is a link I found to East Glacier: https://www.glacierparkcollection.co.../east-glacier/
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Old 02-29-2024, 01:08 PM   #9
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Do you happen to have a link to or the actual promo code mentioned by Mucram?
Sorry for leaving that out in my original post (oops ). You might not have noticed that i edited the post later to include the promo code. The RV Trip Wizard promo code we used is “rvgeeks” - and I hope it still works.

As mentioned, they offer a free seven day trial if you want to give it a whirl before subscribing. I would recommend you play with it for a while to figure out all its capabilities before deciding whether to signup or not. We found there was a bit of a learning process to nail it down. We’re very glad we stuck with it.

Another note - they have a browser version and a newer App. We use the browser version because that’s what we’re comfortable working with. We’ve never tried the App.
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Old 02-29-2024, 03:15 PM   #10
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Sorry for leaving that out in my original post (oops ). You might not have noticed that i edited the post later to include the promo code. The RV Trip Wizard promo code we used is “rvgeeks” - and I hope it still works.

As mentioned, they offer a free seven day trial if you want to give it a whirl before subscribing. I would recommend you play with it for a while to figure out all its capabilities before deciding whether to signup or not. We found there was a bit of a learning process to nail it down. We’re very glad we stuck with it.

Another note - they have a browser version and a newer App. We use the browser version because that’s what we’re comfortable working with. We’ve never tried the App.
Thanks! I got it now. Just signed up and playing around with it now. I like it so far.
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Old 02-29-2024, 05:31 PM   #11
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About 10 years ago I stayed at the private "Glacier Campground" about 2 miles from the west entrance to the NP. It was fine, no complaints.

You can always keep checking the NP CGs for vacancies, like a couple times per week. People cancel all the time. Or like some said, use a service that notifies you of vacancies. I wouldn't mind staying in Apgar if I were going again; it's nicely wooded, right along the lake, very pleasant, and there is (or was) an ice cream shop near the docks where they rent canoes.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:52 AM   #12
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Don't forget that one now has to have an entry pass to Glacier for entrance to the park between the hours of 6AM to 3PM. And camping within the park doesn't allow you entrance to the going to the sun road without that pass. We're in the area the end of June for four nights and snagged a pass for one day. They go on sale daily at 9AM mst, 120 days out, and all are gone by 9:02.
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Old 03-01-2024, 07:55 AM   #13
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It appears you are arriving at Glacier on the July 4th weekend, usually the worst time to get a campsite anywhere, in my experience. If you are able to adjust your schedule to arrive sometime during the week you may have a better chance at a campsite but being the height of the summer season, maybe not.

The above suggestions of finding a campground outside the park and touring by car make a lot of sense. We were at Glacier a few years ago and the traffic was insane. I wouldn't want to have been towing a trailer. But then again, we are crowd-averse. YMMV

Last summer, as we were heading west, we passed by the southern end of Glacier but didn't go in. On our way back east through Canada a few weeks later we visited the Canadian side of the park, Waterton Lakes National Park. It was nowhere near as crowded but the campgrounds were full and everyone seemed completely happy to be packed in cheek to jowl, which we couldn't understand. We comfortably toured the park with the trailer on behind then drove 20 or 30 km to a tiny provincial park where we were completely alone in the campground, in mid-summer! Granted, the majority of the ppl preferred to be in or around the park.
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Old 03-04-2024, 10:58 AM   #14
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There are other places to go. Don't go you will hate it. Way to many people. I took my mom there years ago because she wanted to, all I remember is looking at the back of the rig in front of me, couldn't even find a spot to have lunch. If your into backpacking then you will have fun. I visit the park in October. Summer is a ZOO... Maybe Crater lake np or one of my favorites Beaver creek campground on Quake lake in the Galatin nf. Site a10 is the best.
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Old 03-04-2024, 07:08 PM   #15
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Thank you! I was already looking at RV Trip Wizard and thinking about getting it. I have also heard about and looked at Roadtrippers. But my latest leaning had me already pointing to RV Trip Wizard.

Do you happen to have a link to or the actual promo code mentioned by Mucram?
Put in rvgeeks in the promo code.
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Old 03-04-2024, 10:38 PM   #16
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Put in rvgeeks in the promo code.
Hi, Mucram! I goofed on my initial post to FedFan31, but edited it to include the promo code you so graciously provided everyone. FedFan31 is all signed up and good to go.

In case you missed it on my previous posts……… a big thank you for saving us 25% on our subscription renewal! We really appreciate it!
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Old 03-05-2024, 06:26 AM   #17
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Put in rvgeeks in the promo code.
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Hi, Mucram! I goofed on my initial post to FedFan31, but edited it to include the promo code you so graciously provided everyone. FedFan31 is all signed up and good to go.

In case you missed it on my previous posts……… a big thank you for saving us 25% on our subscription renewal! We really appreciate it!
Yes, thank you so much, Mucrum!
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Old 03-05-2024, 05:56 PM   #18
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You are very welcome. It was a nice freebie for 2 years. Glad we could get the discount. Happy planning!
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Old 03-13-2024, 10:16 AM   #19
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We visited Glacier NP last summer and stayed for 4 nights at the Chewing Black Bones campground, about 20 minutes north of the east entrance. It is right on Mary's Lake and swimming was wonderful. Camping was an open field, hot showers/toilets were available as well as a small store. Full services were available but we chose an unserviced site at the lake for $25/night. It met our needs perfectly! We also recommend entering the park before opening hours in order to avoid getting a timed entry permit; that doesn't guarantee parking and it fills up very early.
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Old 03-13-2024, 11:33 AM   #20
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I live 45 minutes from GNP and I have acreage. If you cannot make other arrangements, please contact me. This area is amazing. Val cedartrees4me@montanasky.us
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