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Old 05-14-2014, 12:08 AM   #29
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Swan,
Why do you want to try to do a marathon trip through three magnificent national parks in six days? Do you want to simply say that you've been there? There's a fair amount to see in each of the parks, but especially in Yellowstone and next in Glacier/Waterton (Canadian companion park).

The days that we camped in Glacier, there was a great deal of fog and we hardly got to see anything scenic on the "Going to the Sun Highway". However we did have some wonderful hikes. Note, you must have your passport to enter Glacier because you will have free access into Alberta, Canada from Waterton. The British influence at Waterton is extremely interesting, especially the Prince of Wales Hotel. Waterton Lake is visually magnificent.

Yellowstone is my favorite because is so unique geologically. We last were there in 1992, just four years after the big fire and the flora was already recovering very nicely. You have wonderful other-worldly scenery, an opportunity to learn a lot about volcanoes and lots of wildlife (esp. bison, elk, and grizzlies were abundant).

If I only had six days, I'd spend four days in Yellowstone and two days in Grand Teton. I'd save Waterton/Glacier for another trip altogether. There's too much to see and do and too much distance involved to do any of it justice if you try to do the whole thing in six days.

So ask yourself what you want out of this segment of your six month trip. Then try to make an informed choice.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:16 AM   #30
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Swan?? Passport??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bryant View Post
Swan,
Why do you want to try to do a marathon trip through three magnificent national parks in six days? Do you want to simply say that you've been there? There's a fair amount to see in each of the parks, but especially in Yellowstone and next in Glacier/Waterton (Canadian companion park).

The days that we camped in Glacier, there was a great deal of fog and we hardly got to see anything scenic on the "Going to the Sun Highway". However we did have some wonderful hikes. Note, you must have your passport to enter Glacier because you will have free access into Alberta, Canada from Waterton. The British influence at Waterton is extremely interesting, especially the Prince of Wales Hotel. Waterton Lake is visually magnificent.

Yellowstone is my favorite because is so unique geologically. We last were there in 1992, just four years after the big fire and the flora was already recovering very nicely. You have wonderful other-worldly scenery, an opportunity to learn a lot about volcanoes and lots of wildlife (esp. bison, elk, and grizzlies were abundant).

If I only had six days, I'd spend four days in Yellowstone and two days in Grand Teton. I'd save Waterton/Glacier for another trip altogether. There's too much to see and do and too much distance involved to do any of it justice if you try to do the whole thing in six days.

So ask yourself what you want out of this segment of your six month trip. Then try to make an informed choice.
That is not a bad suggestion if time is an issue to do one park one year and another year the others....however, not sure where you came up with the need for a "passport"t in Glacier?? Waterton Lakes, Canada, yes..for Glacier in US, no passport needed of course. To us, Waterton is not that interesting; been there a few times...Banff is far more scenic and offers way more to visit and explore...Bryant- sorry you had fog and did not see the glory of the park; you need to go back and spend a few days for sure. I have been going to Glacier since 1956, and I have never had fog...weird...Yellowstone is nice too, but; Glacier is much more splendid in beauty and far less crowded; likely because of the distance between East/West Glacier, Going to Sun Highway driving/towing restrictions, etc... I must say, after visiting Glacier for past 50+ years...around every corner is a "painting" beyond description...I tell folks who visit us at our cabin 2.5 hours from Glacier, "Glacier will require you spend at least 2 nights"...once you see it, you will understand...around every corner is a new "painting" which can not be described...the sun changes all throughout the day...like the Grand Canyon...it changes... it draws you into spending time to enjoy...I have never had anyone disagree...but, of course, we have not seen it in fog either! LoL
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Old 05-15-2014, 08:37 AM   #31
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Yellowstone needs more time ! We stayed with our famiy at west entrance koa yellowstone . Nice campground beautiful view
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:22 PM   #32
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We were in Glacier last year and it was pretty crowded. There was no parking at mid-day at the Visitor Center at Logan Pass, or at the Avalanche Lake trailhead (a popular short hike). Fortunately, the park service runs shuttle buses all day long with stops at popular spots. I would sure recommend them. For anyone with a high clearance vehicle willing to take it on a day's outing sans Airstream, Kintla and Bowman Lakes on the west side are spectacular and much less visited.
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Old 05-16-2014, 08:33 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Len n Jeanne View Post
We were in Glacier last year and it was pretty crowded. There was no parking at mid-day at the Visitor Center at Logan Pass, or at the Avalanche Lake trailhead (a popular short hike). Fortunately, the park service runs shuttle buses all day long with stops at popular spots. I would sure recommend them. For anyone with a high clearance vehicle willing to take it on a day's outing sans Airstream, Kintla and Bowman Lakes on the west side are spectacular and much less visited.
Going to the Sun highway is certainly one of the most popular roads in the world, and the visitor center the main stop, half way through the trip; of course it will be crowded mid day, and it is complicated by folks taking pictures or sometimes, road construction...my advice is prepare for the trip night before, and leave very early before the throngs of people get going, 8am...if that is your goal for the day....but there are plenty of places on either side of the park to spend a day also...study the maps so you are more familiar with the trails and lakes.
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Old 05-17-2014, 07:20 AM   #34
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Going to the Sun highway is certainly one of the most popular roads in the world, and the visitor center the main stop, half way through the trip; of course it will be crowded mid day, and it is complicated by folks taking pictures or sometimes, road construction...my advice is prepare for the trip night before, and leave very early before the throngs of people get going, 8am...if that is your goal for the day....but there are plenty of places on either side of the park to spend a day also...study the maps so you are more familiar with the trails and lakes.
If you get a spot at Logan visitor center, there is a wonderful walk/hike behind it that takes you to a lake overlook. Usually beautiful windflowers and good chances of seeing mountain goats.
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Old 05-17-2014, 02:58 PM   #35
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Actually, we visit Glacier NP once or twice a year, and I'd never seen anything like the parking problem at Logan Pass in 2013, in years past. Sadly we were taking family members up there to show them the sights and their experience of Glacier wasn't the wild park we'd grown to love. If we want to go up there again, unless we do leave extra-early, we will take the NPS shuttle-- which I think should be mandatory in the summer on the
Going-to-the Sun Road, as it is in Zion NP for the road up Zion Canyon. Or maybe we'll do Logan Pass in style, with one of the concession's red touring cars.

Our favourite activity in Glacier is canoeing, and (wind conditions permitting) this is a fantastic way to see the park. Last year we took a second trip to Glacier sans Bambi and relatives, and did a short canoe trip, paddling to the end of Kintla Lake where we tent-camped for two nights, with an intermediate day hike to the Upper Kintla Lake. Highly recommended for paddlers.

One nice thing about Glacier are its lake shore hiking trails. Lots of beautiful scenery with no elevation gain (for us seniors) unless you have to hike up to the lake for starters.
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Old 05-17-2014, 03:09 PM   #36
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Don't short the Tetons, buy really good stabilized binoculars for the trip, and I would consider staying at Hebgen lake near West Yellowstone for both nights that you are there.
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:12 PM   #37
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Everyone that has been to Yellowstone will tell you to stay at least a week
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Old 05-17-2014, 08:29 PM   #38
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Live in Montana........970,000 population, in the summer 6,000,000 visitors......if you enjoy solitude, visit in October-March.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:47 PM   #39
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I agree with Mcwey - 6 months on the road and you are basically planning "drive throughs"? Our first trip west from New England was what we called a sampler of all the major western parks, but we only had 8 weeks. After that we reflected on our favorites, and have now returned to those many times for extended stays. You have selected 3 gems. Try to get reservations ahead of time. KOA in St. Mary, East Glacier is expensive but beautiful if the park is filled. Be sure to carry bear spray on your hikes. Hike Logan Pass area and feel like you're in heaven. In YS Fishing Bridge has the only hook-ups - tight and crowded, but you should be hiking and exploring during every waking hour. Go 100 yds. away from the roads on any trail and you will see no crowds. (We are serious day-hikers.) Hike Mt. Washburn - see the wildlife in Lamar Valley - hike the geyser basin by Old Faithful - hike the the Grand Canyon of YS - so much to do and see. In the Tetons - Colter Bay RV Park has full hook-ups and located next to Jackson Lake = awesome. There are too many awesome hikes to mention all, but Hidden Falls, Inspiration Pointed, Cascade Canyon, Death Canyon, Amphitheater Lake are beyond comparison. Enjoy every day. Carpe Diem.
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Old 05-17-2014, 09:49 PM   #40
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PS - go to the ranger stations for suggestions, and go to nightly campfire talks by the rangers - a wealth of information.
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Old 05-18-2014, 08:08 AM   #41
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I agree with Mcwey - 6 months on the road and you are basically planning "drive throughs"? Our first trip west from New England was what we called a sampler of all the major western parks, but we only had 8 weeks. After that we reflected on our favorites, and have now returned to those many times for extended stays. You have selected 3 gems. Try to get reservations ahead of time. KOA in St. Mary, East Glacier is expensive but beautiful if the park is filled. Be sure to carry bear spray on your hikes. Hike Logan Pass area and feel like you're in heaven. In YS Fishing Bridge has the only hook-ups - tight and crowded, but you should be hiking and exploring during every waking hour. Go 100 yds. away from the roads on any trail and you will see no crowds. (We are serious day-hikers.) Hike Mt. Washburn - see the wildlife in Lamar Valley - hike the geyser basin by Old Faithful - hike the the Grand Canyon of YS - so much to do and see. In the Tetons - Colter Bay RV Park has full hook-ups and located next to Jackson Lake = awesome. There are too many awesome hikes to mention all, but Hidden Falls, Inspiration Pointed, Cascade Canyon, Death Canyon, Amphitheater Lake are beyond comparison. Enjoy every day. Carpe Diem.
I'd add Avalanche Lake to your hiking list. It's a relatively easy hike to a beautiful lake surrounded by towering hills. There is a river that runs along the trail for part of the way that has carved itself into the rock. It's between the east and west side on going to the sun road so a great stop if you are changing side of the park.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:46 PM   #42
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