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Old 05-28-2012, 08:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
Sounds as if the rebuilding of the Going .... Sun Rd. is a yearly undertaking. So if I wish to sum up what's been presented :::: Rt. 2 is passable with a trailer in tow. Going ...Sun they are not permitted. That answers my inquiry, Thanks.

Regarding RMNP, looks like 2 roads. I took one on my trip that went over a high pass ( maybe 13000' or so ) with snow in early July. Google maps shows 2 but I don't know which I had taken. Going up from the Estes Park side didn't seem too bad but over the top going down the western slope was much more interesting and I might not recommend towing. Not sure if the other choice is any better.

Further comments / suggestions / experiences will still be appreciated.

Thanks all.

It was probably Trail Ridge road that you took. High elevation and closed most of the year due to snow..

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Old 05-28-2012, 08:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by mojo View Post
We did that route last August. If you stay at Many Glacier (more remote and more wildlife) or St. Marys, best route is 89 over to Browning and down to East Glacier and Hwy 2. Although 49 is shorter, they caution against long trailers, 89 is curvy enough. From E. Glacier, Hwy 2 is no problem. We also found that the shuttle was a lot less hassle on the GTS road due to construction if you want to get off and hike. Parking can be a problem at many popular stops along the GTS.
DI'd you camP at many glacier with your rig? We have a 23 foot AS and I would love to camp there. Didn't know they had sites that would accommodate this size rig... What a BEAUTIFUL place!


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Old 05-28-2012, 08:46 PM   #17
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Avalanche Creek

I spent several days at Glacier with my 2002 ASCL 31' with no problems.

It hasn't been mentioned yet so I'll suggest that while you are there walk up "Avalanche Creek", which is a narrow, cut through the rocks, relatively high volume "creek", to the lake which feeds it, which in turn is fed by snow melt waterfalls which can be seen in the distant mountains across the lake.

The only down side was the vast number of mosquitoes in the woods and around the lake, so a long sleeve shirt and repellant are recommended.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:01 PM   #18
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We camped at Many Glacier with our 25' Safari. My recall seems to be that a majority of sites there will take an Airstream that large. Many sites at Apgar, Two Medicine and Many Glacier are semicircular drive-throughs. But watch out - they have trees between the semicircle drive and campground lane.

Many Glacier feels like a tighter campground. The semicircle drive-through may be too sharp of an arc to pull through. I found one I liked, knowing all the while that I would have to back out. Some sites will work well, some won't, and halfway in between are sites that may serve if you can figure out a plan. There's certainly enough to keep your plans intact.

I followed a ranger's advice down at Apgar and arrived at Many Glacier before noon. It was full shortly after. This was the Thursday before Labor Day. A lot of RVs drove all the way up there, arriving mid afternoon or later, and it was full up. Watching people leave in the morning, getting there by 10:00 wouldn't be too soon. Are RVs in line waiting to get in before that? (ie, I haven't seen it in full summer) Anybody have other strategies to get into this no-reservation campground?

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Old 05-28-2012, 09:38 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Anybody have other strategies to get into this no-reservation campground?
We found ourselves on the tail-end of choices when arriving at CG's on both sides of the park. At the first "suitable" site I would drop off the wife with a hand-held radio and drive around to see if there was anything better and radio her if I found a bigger site or return to the first choice. As CanoeStream said, the sites are long enough but lined with trees that can make turning into the sites very tight for 25'+. I found that backing in and leaving it on an angle and parking behind was much easier. And the East side of the park didn't seem as busy/crowded.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:51 AM   #20
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Thanks for all the advise and suggestions. We are both retired so our travel plans have lots of flexibility. Yes the 5-7 days is for getting there. Once there, oh we'll see how that works out. The only time restriction we have is on the way out I have a re-union of my Army unit from Vietnam to attend in Rockford, Illinois. After that pretty much no limitations. I try to arrive at popular places early to mid-week with the rationale that the weekenders have already left or haven't arrived yet. Not sure that always works but so far it's been pretty good to us. We usually travel without rigid agendas so we most often do not have reservations or make them mid-day when we can predict our daily destinations. With a few exceptions that usually works for us. So we plan on being out west for most of August and will try to keep to higher elevations where the AC is not required as much. That gives us the flexibility of dry camping but if its HOT we will try to go where the hookups are.

Thanks again, appreciate all the good input especially about the camping options in and around GNP. Will take a closer look at those.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:45 AM   #21
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... not sure if you understood that you will not be able to pull your AS across the park via Going-to -the Sun Road / Logan Pass. CG are available part way into the park as well as just outside, but -even with an allowable length - the drive pulling a camper would not be enjoyable or safe.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:54 AM   #22
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Just a note of warning about camping along HWY 2 around Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. The oil patch activity is at a frenzy right now, with almost any thing resembling a campground is filled with workers. In planning your trip, you may want to arrange it so you will not be camping in that neck of the prairie if possible.

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Old 06-05-2012, 11:26 AM   #23
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Wherever you stay, be sure to stop at the Park Inn (if it is still there) for a burger - they are the best around! I think it is outside the East entrance to the park at St. Mary Lake.
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:50 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by LFM View Post
Just a note of warning about camping along HWY 2 around Western North Dakota and Eastern Montana. The oil patch activity is at a frenzy right now, with almost any thing resembling a campground is filled with workers. In planning your trip, you may want to arrange it so you will not be camping in that neck of the prairie if possible.

Some campgrounds do not want oil field workers because of their bad reputations. If you want to stay in that area, call the campground first and see if they are accepting tourists and whether any oil field workers are there. Also watch for oil field trucks being driven very fast and recklessly as these guys are often pushed hard, get little sleep and may be using meth. If you see drilling or fracking, the fumes can be quite harmful to children, elderly, asthmatics and anybody else too, so close the truck vents and drive on. I'm sure there are people working there who act responsibly, but enough do not for tourists to be careful.

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Old 06-05-2012, 10:30 PM   #25
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We have visited Glacier NP several times. The official Park Service web site is valuable for learning which roads and campgrounds are open during the shoulder season. The glaciers may be melting, but the snow can persist late into June. As of today (June 5) the central portion of Going-to-the-Sun Road is still closed.

Anyone afraid of heights would be advised to ride in of the retro red touring cars on Going-to-the-Sun road, rather than sitting in your own passenger seat and screaming at your spouse to hug the center line (which is how I do it.) Vehicles of any description are restricted to 21 feet, total length. Apparently construction on the road will limit travel to one-way, starting on Sept. 16 this year.

We enjoy canoeing, and if you can drop your Airstream in one of the campgrounds and have a high-clearance vehicle with your canoe/kayak rack on top, there are some less-visited, breath-taking lakes for kayaking or canoeing on the west side of the park: Bowman and Kintla Lakes. Even the small lakes can kick up quite a fuss if a storm hits, however, so we stay close to shore. In doing so, we once surprised a bear on Lower Waterton Lake, though!

Also for dog owners, dogs are not allowed on the trails in Glacier NP, but they are OK on trails over the line in Waterton Lakes.

We have camped in the park in the Apgar campground, and in the Clacier Campground (RV park) in West Glacier. Both were nice places to stay. Ditto for the Townsite Campground in Waterton Lakes-- a more "citified" place where you can walk to restaurants and shopping.

Have a great trip!
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:37 PM   #26
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Let me add to a couple of these suggestions. Don't miss Waterton Lakes - especially if your wife likes 'high tea' and the English atmosphere of the Prince of Wales Hotel at Waterton. The city campground is cheek-by-jowl, but pretty spectacular in its views, and has been mentioned, you can walk just about everywhere in this wonderful little "townsite." The other campground - Crandall Mountain - is a really nice spot - but away from town. It's easy to find. They do have a reservation system but I think you can drop in - but check ahead to be sure. (Point of info: in the US, national parks developed with strictly regulated concession contracts for limited hotels, restaurants and general/camp stores. In Canada, many of the large parks have "townsites" where all development is concentrated with leases for commercial use that may change - the "pizza place" last visit may be an Italian restaurant on the next visit.)

Take the boat"MV International" as suggested above down the lake to Goat Haunt - you'll cross the border back into the US and see how 9/ll has changed the easy border crossings that used to be - why? Because Waterton Lakes and Glacier are, together, the world's first "International Peace Park" from 1932 created by legislation from both Canada's Parliament and the U.S. Congress.

Avoid Hwy 49 between East Glacier north toward Two Medicene with your trailer. It can be done, but it is tight, the road has slumps that are often pot-holed and some even gravel stretches, and the radius' tight. You can get to Two Med by doubling back and it is a nice spot, but limited facilities (a campstore and little else - but some like "little else.") The boats at Many are a great treat too, and if you are hikers, the Ranger-led walk to Grinnell Glacier - but it's steep.

Which brings up bears. If you hike, stop in Billings or Bozeman or Helena - one of the towns on your way - at a sporting goods store and for $40 you can get a can of bear spray. One will do; two will make you both feel better. Make sure you ask, and they sell you, bear spray that has a Canadian registration so it can be taken across the border into Waterton. The bear spray price gets higher the closer you get to the park. And, if you think $40 is too much? Well, insure you "hike with a twenty dollar bill in each hand to throw at the bear" if you need it... is a local joke. Think of it as insurance. Oh - if you have a carry permit, or even if you don't, do not try to take any handgun across the border into Canada - and declare the bear spray!

On the west-side, Avalanche fills last but is an old, 50's era campground and is doable but can be tight. It really is a pleasant campground, though. And the "Trail of the Cedars" is super - it goes through the eastern-most "Pacific NW rain forest" in North America and is suitable for almost any age, even HC accessible. The two-mile up/two back trip to Avalanche Lake as described above is some of the most super scenery you will see, and the lip of ice on the right as you look at the lake is actually Sperry Glacier. Years ago, when global warming first started from cave-man fires I suspect, Sperry used to fill the Avalanche lake area and helped carve that valley.

Closer to West Glacier, Fish Creek is okay, brushy in places, and Apgar better and nearer the Apgar village area. By all means, in Apgar find the ice cream shop and have a Huckleberry cone - one scoop is gigantic - and will be a treat you'll talk about for the rest of your trip.

At the Park Cafe in St. Mary's the treat is pie - all kinds of pie! If the camping is tight, you might check Rising Sun campground up the lake too. Small sites, but some will work. Oh, and when you cross "Divide Mtn." just south of St. Mary's coming from (or going to) Browning, you are crossing the Continental Divide between the Atlantic (Missouri drainage) and the Arctic (Hudson Bay drainage). Just south of St. Mary's Lake is "Triple Divide Peak" which is hydrologic apex of North America - where the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic ocean divides all come together. You won't see it at Logan Pass but the continental divide there is really the Pacific/Arctic divide. And, St. Mary's and Fish Creek are reservation CGs.

All of the info in the posts above is pretty accurate - I've just given you a little more of the insider's view!

There - now aren't you glad you're going to visit???
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Old 06-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #27
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On the west side of glacier....the trip to polebridge is a great ride...and the sandwich shop at polebridge is not to be missed...From Fish Camp there
is a road on the outside of the park that takes you to polebridge...about 30 a great sandwich...homemade bread and the works....and then the adventure begins with a less than well traveled road that is inside the park that takes you back south to Fish Camp. in a bout an hour and a half..just spectacular.....

the road to the sun is not to be missed as well....
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:26 AM   #28
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We appreciate all the great suggestions. It will help a great deal with our planning. I'm hoping to spend 4-5 days in and around the park. Most likely one of those days will be a day trip to the Canadian side also. We may be able to stretch another day or two if we find it's appropriate also. I'm planning to enter from the east side and cross through and exit the west side and take a few days to explore that part of Montana to the west and southwest of GNP. May not make it out there again for awhile. Will probably come south through Wyoming and hopefully into Colorado and do some visiting before beginning our homeward journey. Time is flexible so I think we can manage this with some allowances for seeing some special things along the way.

Thanks again all. I do welcome and appreciate all the great input.
Keep them coming

Roger in NJ

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