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Old 10-09-2016, 01:49 PM   #43
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Correction- Apgar is in West Glacier; Many Glacier and Saint Marys is East Glacier....sorry if I confused...
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:13 PM   #44
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We took our dog, Sophie, a Shih Tzu, with us on this trip. She is happy to sleep on the bed all day but then she is 13 years old. The longest we left her was on the Grinnell Glacier hike. My wife doesn't hike as fast as me and with the addition 1 1/2 miles round trip around the south shore of Josephine Lake we didn't get back until 7:30pm so we left her 10 hours. It is funny how she stakes out a route to do her jobs at a campground after the first day. On subsequent potty breaks she walks to the same areas, does her jobs and even if I want to walk more she plants her brakes and we go back to the camper. I just let her lead me back to the Airstream. She's a good girl.

Here is Sophie after getting to St Mary, looking kinda sleepy.

Kelvin
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Old 10-09-2016, 02:41 PM   #45
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Crowds getting bigger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbj216 View Post
We happened to visit several National Parks this summer. They are great destinations and absolutely beautiful. As a friend and fellow Airstreamer told me: "Thanks Teddy". Designated parks and wilderness areas are a national crown jewel. KJRitchie is doing us a favor by allowing us to travel with him to his favorite national park.

Like gypsydad, we found the parks CROWDED both in May and September. There are more visitors than there is space to accommodate them. KJ's photo of the crowded parking lot is an example. I'm not a crowd person and feel uncomfortable in crowds. Our Airstream is too big for most National Park campsites, and I don't like waiting in line at 8am in hopes of getting a site for a night or two. I like the plan security of a reservation. So we basecamp outside the park boundaries and make day trips into the park. Even then, visitor centers and points of interest can be impossibly crowded, see photo of the line to the "well used" restroom. I most enjoy finding a remote trail head and getting out to explore. Maybe some day popular National Parks will all have a big parking lot at the park entrances and then everyone jumps on the shuttle bus. Maybe there is enough of them to handle the volume of people. Similar to a Tokyo subway? So crowded you literally can't turn around.

Our National Parks are not pet friendly, and rightly so. No one wants a dog mess on the picnic ground or walking trail. No one wants a barking dog chasing wildlife away. Our beagle limits what we can do in a national park.

I am finding it takes good planning to find Airstream adventures beyond a visit to a national park. The Airstream caravans are a pre-planned example. Rich Luhr of Airstream Life and his blog "man in the maze" finds many Airstream adventures. Airstream rallies is another example of great fun and adventures. I like reading Moosetags travel threads here on AirForums, and there are many others.

David
I have mixed emotions about the reservation systems; I wish they had a way to make sure the "reservation" is going to show up by a certain time, so they could release it for a night, if they do not show. Maybe that is just me but its a shame to tie up sites when so many get turned away and the reservation does not show. Maybe that's just me....

This was the first year, I have noticed this much attention/traffic in the park systems. The "day use" in Glacier both East and West areas, was overflowing all year, with "cars" filling up day use parking (hikes and picnic) by 8:30am in Glacier areas...many more tents also taking up large RV sites. Even going back thru Yellowstone, Tetons, and CO parks, the visitor traffic was extreme, compared with recent years. We did look/stay at "other" nice, scenic campgrounds outside Glacier (Hungry Horse) and also in Western MT/Idaho areas where there was no where near the traffic. Perhaps this was a fluke...hope so anyway. I would hate to see Glacier, Yellowstone, Tetons, get like Yosemite and Zion, where it is accessed by park bus traffic only due to number of people visiting...
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:20 PM   #46
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On our last two trips to Glacier, 2011 and 2012, Many Glacier didn't have reservations. We had a Casita back then so we could practically get into any campsite. We had reserved the previous night at St Mary to we could get up early and make a dash to Many Glacier to get there by 7:30am. Then we left the trailer/tow vehicle in the parking lot and hiked around the loops trying to find someone packing up to leave. It was stressful thinking we wouldn't get in then having to go out side the park to find a private campground then try to repeat the next morning. Luckily in 2011/2012 we got a site, in fact the same site both trips.

It was nice just to roll in after 11am to have our site waiting especially since we were traveling with our family in their trailer. They got a spot a few sites away from us vs on the other side of the campground. I guess there are pros and cons of both systems.

Kelvin
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:34 PM   #47
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Thumbs up Hikers paradise

Been to Glacier 3 times
Back-packed the Highline trail (80 + miles ).
saw 18 grizzlies at various distance from 75 yds to 1 mile with a spotting scope during one of our 1 week trips .your pics are wonderful.
Hope to have my AS bought by spring so I can go back in style this coming year. Can't wait.
I have been to glacier twice in July and once in August
Beautiful both times in July.
Middle of August it never got above 40 degree. below frezing at nite.
They even had to close down going to the sun road at logan pass
due to severe icing. Rained most of the trip. tent camped in a three person back packing tent,
The mrs. was not a happy camper.
Good thread !
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Old 10-09-2016, 03:40 PM   #48
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Not sure how this will work. I've uploaded a short video I took with my iPhone of Ptarmigan Tunnel.

Kelvin
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Old 10-09-2016, 04:44 PM   #49
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Cracker Lake short video
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Old 10-10-2016, 07:03 AM   #50
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Sorry, looks like uploading videos doesn't work on this forum. I'll have to move to youTube.

Kelvin
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:11 AM   #51
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Thanks for documenting your trip to Glacier National Park.
I see you store your Equal-i-zer weight bars the same way I do.
There is a Bambi in another photo that stores the weight bars kinda sorta like that, but instead of balancing the weight bars in the L-brackets with the end of the bar under the trailer, the the end of the weight bar is on the ground.
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Old 10-10-2016, 08:41 AM   #52
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Thank you for sharing your trip. My wife and I are Newbies. We have had are 25FB Sport for exactly a year. We are making small camping runs close by to practice. I can say it has helped. We are planning on a long trip next year and your trip looks like what we want to do. Thanks again.
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:51 AM   #53
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reservations vs 1st come

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
On our last two trips to Glacier, 2011 and 2012, Many Glacier didn't have reservations. We had a Casita back then so we could practically get into any campsite. We had reserved the previous night at St Mary to we could get up early and make a dash to Many Glacier to get there by 7:30am. Then we left the trailer/tow vehicle in the parking lot and hiked around the loops trying to find someone packing up to leave. It was stressful thinking we wouldn't get in then having to go out side the park to find a private campground then try to repeat the next morning. Luckily in 2011/2012 we got a site, in fact the same site both trips.

It was nice just to roll in after 11am to have our site waiting especially since we were traveling with our family in their trailer. They got a spot a few sites away from us vs on the other side of the campground. I guess there are pros and cons of both systems.

Kelvin
Well, that pretty much describes the "routine" we have always used to get a spot at Swift Currant. Just this year, was crazy crowded. I can appreciate the advanced reservation you mention this year; June visit I had no problems at 8am getting a site when I drove over from St. Mary's early. But in our recent September visit, I had a run in with one of the camp hosts when I had just got my site secured from the people vacating that day when they were done packing up. I knew the ranger and the other camp hosts from years past but they had left already, and did not know this host team. I was advised about the line up procedure they had adopted at the gate, and I was told he did not appreciate I had parked in the parking lot by the store and was walking around at 7:30-8am talking with campers. I told him I am always polite and not intrusive; that if I see someone obviously leaving, I simply ask if I can reserve their site when they are gone. That has been the procedure for as long as I can remember and is still used at the other camp grounds in the park, except Fish Creek, I believe. Anyway, he told the other camp host, and before I knew it, a Park Ranger (a friend I happen to know) surprised me and said she was told I had knocked on someone's door at 7am to ask about their camp site! Totally untrue and I was offended, for sure! I had a strong talk with both the hosts about their accusations....it was their last night, and they were gone the next day...and from that day on, they reverted back to first come first served system used at most all the other campgrounds in the park. I wonder how things will change going forward...hope the crowds this year were a fluke....and some sort of normalcy will return...I can always hope.
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Old 10-10-2016, 12:25 PM   #54
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When we were at Fish Creek I noticed in the adjacent campsite campers just stayed one night and were gone the next day. When we toured Apgar campground to see if we would like to try it in the future, we noticed one of our neighbors there. Seems St Mary and Fish Creek are used as staging sites for getting into first come first served campgrounds in the park.

I can see in the future the park service might have to restrict traffic over the GTTS during peak months if the crowds get worse but they will have to beef up the shuttle bus fleet to take up the slack. Too many vehicles in the turnouts, too many hiker's cars parked for hours, Logan Pass parking lot is terrible. The current shuttle system, even in 2011/12, seemed strained. It has easy to have to wait an hour or more to get on a shuttle bus. They are small, low capacity Sprinter vans due to the narrow GTTS road. In the three trips to Glacier I have never driven the GTTS. Either a Red Bus or the shuttle.

One item I missed that was plentiful in 2011/2012 was Beargrass. Apparently, this plant has a multi year cycle. Hopefully, 2017/2018 should see the return of the massive blooms along the Grinnell Glacier trail. Didn't see any this year.

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Old 10-10-2016, 03:14 PM   #55
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bear grass

Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
When we were at Fish Creek I noticed in the adjacent campsite campers just stayed one night and were gone the next day. When we toured Apgar campground to see if we would like to try it in the future, we noticed one of our neighbors there. Seems St Mary and Fish Creek are used as staging sites for getting into first come first served campgrounds in the park.

I can see in the future the park service might have to restrict traffic over the GTTS during peak months if the crowds get worse but they will have to beef up the shuttle bus fleet to take up the slack. Too many vehicles in the turnouts, too many hiker's cars parked for hours, Logan Pass parking lot is terrible. The current shuttle system, even in 2011/12, seemed strained. It has easy to have to wait an hour or more to get on a shuttle bus. They are small, low capacity Sprinter vans due to the narrow GTTS road. In the three trips to Glacier I have never driven the GTTS. Either a Red Bus or the shuttle.

One item I missed that was plentiful in 2011/2012 was Beargrass. Apparently, this plant has a multi year cycle. Hopefully, 2017/2018 should see the return of the massive blooms along the Grinnell Glacier trail. Didn't see any this year.

Kelvin
I like Apgar area for longer stays, since there is more to do outside hiking and camping, plus the sites are a bit more accessible for RVs. We visited Fish Creek a few times and could have stayed thru a cancelation a couple times, I was told by the rangers. Still, in both locations, a lot of tent campers and hikers this year which is weird since there are 4 more campground sites which are tent only, not far from Apgar, above Fish Creek. I saw traffic starting at 7am on Going to the Sun road each day while staying in Apgar, likely heading to Logan Pass to hike. The parking lots along the way were overflowing by 9am... crazy this year for sure.
We saw bear grass earlier in the year, in June on our hike to Iceberg Lake...I see it in several locations during the summer in MT, around our place in Lincoln, then it goes away for a year or so...here is what it says about this amazing plant...

Xerophyllum tenax is a North American species of plants in the corn lily family.[1][2] It is known by several common names, including bear grass, squaw grass, soap grass, quip-quip, and Indian basket grass.[3]
Xerophyllum tenax has flowers with six sepals and six stamens borne in a terminal raceme. The plant can grow to 15150 cm in height. It grows in bunches with the leaves wrapped around and extending from a small stem at ground level.
Xerophyllum tenax is an important part of the fire ecology of regions where it is native. It has rhizomes which survive fire that clears dead and dying plant matter from the surface of the ground. The plant thrives with periodic burns and is often the first plant to sprout in a scorched area.
Its fibrous leaves, which turn from green to white as they dry, are tough, durable, and easily dyed and manipulated into tight waterproof weaves.[6]


Mount Rainier National Park
Washington State


Plant colonies typically only bloom every five to seven years.[7]
The Hupa people use this plant to create a border pattern in baskets.[8][6]
This species has long been used by Native Americans who weave it in baskets. They also braid dried leaves and adorn them on traditional buckskin dresses and jewelry
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Old 10-10-2016, 03:55 PM   #56
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Forgot pictures from June Many Glacier, Swift Currant visit..in June...that was our site by the creek...I think site 70?
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