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Engie 07-29-2013 10:40 PM

Glacier National Park
 
Hey gang anyone made the trek recently to Glacier National Park? We are starting to plan a trip for 2014 and would appreciate hearing about sites near glacier that were great for AS trailers (we have a 2007 bambi) and what facilities were available (water, sewer, electric etc.). Time of season recommendations for a visit to perhaps miss some of the summer rush you know the typical questions. We will have about 5-6 days at Glacier and planning on some great hikes and drives. Looking forward to hearing from the experts. We are not opposed to using our generator if need be.

Thanks
Jeff and Barb in Arizona.

idroba 07-29-2013 11:32 PM

I go to Glacier several times a year. I am a dedicated boondocker so never stay in any commercial parks.

I like the campgrounds that are park provided. Some are a bit better than others but most any of them are good. Warning: they are old and many of the sites are not level and often have hard to negotiate entry and exits, but with a 19' Bambi, you will have no big problems other than leveling it up. No reservations are allowed, so you should plan (only in the busy season) to get there by about noon or so. All have water supply, restrooms, and a dump station. None have any hookups for power, or water or sewer. Generator run time is limited in most of the campgrounds. No AC is ever needed in Glacier, so your need for power is limited anyway. Cell phone towers are few, and many of the campgrounds have no cell service. Apgar does, but not Two Medicine or Many Glacier. Basically cell service is very limited in much of the park.

The park is (in my opinion) not so huge that you can't get a camp spot in any campground and use it as a base, not moving your trailer for the entire time you are there, and using your tow vehicle or park provided transportation to get around. Then there are the famous "red busses" for extra fun transport. If I were going for a one time experience I would probably do just that, camp in one spot, and travel to all other parts of the park in your TV or park transport.

I often stay at Apgar CG in the park. Other favorites are Two Medicine and Many Glacier. I am not real fond of St. Mary CG. It is kind of barren and just a place to park. There are some smaller CG's, getting into them is luck of the draw in the busy season.

Go after the Going to the Sun road is open, usually at the end of June, depending on the winter snow. Arrive on a weekday about noon, easier to get a camping spot. September can remain busy, with all the people who have no school or are retired, but it is never super busy in the park except weekends in July and early August. And once you have a spot you like, you don't really need to move the trailer. Maybe arrive on Monday and stay through the week and into the weekend if you like it.

Hope that helps.

AlaskaSafari 07-30-2013 03:16 AM

Thanks IDROBA. I'm getting ready to head south from Alaska and GNP is one of the places I plan to see. I appreciate the info!

65CV 07-30-2013 05:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by idroba (Post 1333412)
....I am not real fond of St. Mary CG. It is kind of barren and just a place to park. ....

Great of idroba to take so much time to give such good advice.

Perfect example of how everything is relative. Scroll to the bottom of this link to see a picture of our Caravel in a campsite at St. Mary CG. The lowest rated CG at Glacier would be considered spectacular almost anywhere else.

I hope we make it back to Glacier. If so, Many Glacier CG would be our goal.

mojo 07-30-2013 07:13 AM

I would only suggest that if you are planning to spend more than four days, you may want to split your camp spots between the east and west sides of the park. The Sun Road can be slow and time consuming going back and forth, especially if they are doing road work. And I think they are always doing road work. The shuttles are a great way to get to many of the trailheads and avoid congested parking.

Lily&Me 07-30-2013 08:18 AM

We spent several weeks last year in Glacier and Waterton Glacier. Spectacularly beautiful and worth the trip.

We also found St. Mary's cg expensive for dirt sites and not even pretty.

We moved every couple of days and had no problems finding first-come, first-serve sites......but then, we are little. :huh: but, so are you. These sites were just a few $ with the Golden Age Passport.

If you have the time, go into Waterton, which is a bit touristy at the Townsite but incredibly beautiful.


Maggie

Len n Jeanne 07-30-2013 02:30 PM

We love Glacier, and try to get out there once a year-- just heading out again next week!

We've mostly stayed at the Fish Creek (West Glacier) campground. This one and St. Mary are the two that take reservations, which I would recommend. When we've been there in the past, we did note empty sites each night but these moved around; and suspect that these were either no-shows, or that a few sites end up vacant on a one-night basis between the folks with typical longer stays. These sites are boondocking, with a shower house and dump station, but if you have a NPS seniors pass, you can't beat the price.

Camping - Glacier National Park

For hook-ups, we've stayed just outside the park at the Glacier Campground (RV park). We enjoyed the woodsy feel of this place, although at that time wi-fi was sketchy.

The Going-To-The-Sun road is a fabulous experience, but you can't take your AS on it. A good option would be to hop on the NPS shuttle buses or the concession's red touring car. The road at Logan Pass is snowed-in until mid/late June, so July 1 might be the earliest you'd want to plan on driving it.. By the end of August the crowds seem to taper off.

If you want to move your trailer between East and West Glacier, HY 2 along the south end is an easy route.

Glacier has many beautiful lakes. If you kayak or canoe, the experience is unforgettable. Even if not, there are easy trails to or along the shore of many of these lakes.

If you bring your passports, Waterton Lakes NP just over the border is also beautiful, with one of the grand old hotels that Canadian parks seem to specialize in. We've stayed at the Waterton townsite cg. It was a bit urban for our tastes but close to the water as well as shops and restaurants.

We boondock a lot, which simply means using the generator as need-be, and just keeping an eye on our electrical and water consumption.

Engie 07-30-2013 09:43 PM

Great information and why I love being an airstream owner and member of this forum along with being a member of our local four corners unit in Arizona. Thank you all for this expert advice it will make our trip even more grand. Any additional comments and responses are of course welcome.

All the best and safe travels to all.
Jeff and Barb

KJRitchie 07-31-2013 03:31 AM

We went to Glacier Natl Park in 2011 and 2012 in late July and early August in our 17' Casita travel trailer. We only had two weeks to make the trip from Dallas, TX. For both trips we decided to split our stay between the East and West side of Glacier. In 2011 we spent the first week on the east side then traveled to the west side for the 2nd week and in 2012 we did the reverse.

Many Glacier campground on the east side is the place to stay for some of the best hikes. Some of the best trails originate from near this campground. Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Glacier, Swiftcurrent Pass and Ptarmigan are the trails I've hiked. You have to get to the Many Glacier Campground early in the morning to get a spot. If you go to the Glacier Park campground site you can see the daily fill times of previous years.

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/camping.htm

In August, Many Glacier fills up early in the day so we planned to get there by 8am. To do this we reserved a campsite in Saint Mary for one night then got up early then next day to make the 30 mile trip to Many Glacier. You wont have much problem finding a site for your 19' Bambi. We kept our RV battery charged using a solar panel and with three of us we were able to stay 4 days without having to dump the holding tanks.

You can book a Red Bus tour from the nearby Many Glacier Hotel. We took the Going to the Sun tour in 2011 which takes you from the hotel to Logan Pass then down to Lake McDonald lodge for lunch then returns back to Many Glacier. Our guide, Evelyn, has been doing it for over 15 years and was a wealth of information for all things Glacier so try to get her. Its also fun to have breakfast one morning and dinner one evening at Many Glacier lodge.

On the west side we reserved a campsite at Fish Creek campground. Some of the sites in Fish Creek are not very suitable for RVs so you need to be careful what site you reserve. Loop A is pretty safe because it is fairly level. The other loops can be tricky for RVs. Loop C is generator free and the site we chose was almost not suitable for even our 17' Casita. Check this youTube video, it shows each campsite at Fish Creek campground.
Fish Creek Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana Campsite Photos - YouTube

Apgar campground is more level and is first come first serve so you have to get there early in the day in July and August

From Fish Creek and Apgar you can make the short drive to the transit center and take the shuttle bus to Logan Pass. The Highline trial at Logan Pass is one of the most popular hikes. Its 11 miles from Logan Pass to The Loop where you can pick up the shuttle to take you back to the transit center at Apgar. A beautiful hike that also takes you to the Granite Park Chalet. Granite Park Chalet - Location

For some great videos of Glacier Park hikes check out Hike 734

In 2011 we took a 1 day float trip down the Middle Fork of the Flathead river that runs along the western border of the park. The company we chose was Great Northern Resort. I chose them because the offered a better lunch menu on the river compared to the three other companies. The first half was very mellow and relaxing and after lunch is when you hit the rapids. Way fun. You can also book 1/2 day trips that just run the rapids.

On our 2012 trip my daughter and I went on a guided 3 day/2 night back packing trip out of Two Medicine on the east side with Glacier Guides. We had never backpacked before and felt this was a great way to experience our first backpacking trip.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Co in Glacier National Park - Glacier Guides

Unfortunately, for 2013 we are unable to return with our newly acquired Airstream.

Here is my photo gallery of our 2012 trip.

http://kjritchie.smugmug.com/photos/...lbumKey=7Dp5kN

Have fun planning your trip. Maybe we can make it back in 2014.

Kelvin

JackDog 07-31-2013 04:38 PM

Glacier
 
Engie;

We stayed at the KOA in West Yellowstone back in 2010 when we still had our Casita. It's a bit pricy but it was an amazing place to stay. The owners and staff are top notch, the pull throughs sites are large and have park like grass step out areas, wonderfull aminities and its only a few miles to the west entrance of the park.

Cheaper than a hotel room and best of all you get to sleep in you're AS!

Jack Dog
in So Cal

Engie 07-31-2013 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KJRitchie (Post 1333860)
We went to Glacier Natl Park in 2011 and 2012 in late July and early August in our 17' Casita travel trailer. We only had two weeks to make the trip from Dallas, TX. For both trips we decided to split our stay between the East and West side of Glacier. In 2011 we spent the first week on the east side then traveled to the west side for the 2nd week and in 2012 we did the reverse.

Many Glacier campground on the east side is the place to stay for some of the best hikes. Some of the best trails originate from near this campground. Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Glacier, Swiftcurrent Pass and Ptarmigan are the trails I've hiked. You have to get to the Many Glacier Campground early in the morning to get a spot. If you go to the Glacier Park campground site you can see the daily fill times of previous years.

http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/camping.htm

In August, Many Glacier fills up early in the day so we planned to get there by 8am. To do this we reserved a campsite in Saint Mary for one night then got up early then next day to make the 30 mile trip to Many Glacier. You wont have much problem finding a site for your 19' Bambi. We kept our RV battery charged using a solar panel and with three of us we were able to stay 4 days without having to dump the holding tanks.

You can book a Red Bus tour from the nearby Many Glacier Hotel. We took the Going to the Sun tour in 2011 which takes you from the hotel to Logan Pass then down to Lake McDonald lodge for lunch then returns back to Many Glacier. Our guide, Evelyn, has been doing it for over 15 years and was a wealth of information for all things Glacier so try to get her. Its also fun to have breakfast one morning and dinner one evening at Many Glacier lodge.

On the west side we reserved a campsite at Fish Creek campground. Some of the sites in Fish Creek are not very suitable for RVs so you need to be careful what site you reserve. Loop A is pretty safe because it is fairly level. The other loops can be tricky for RVs. Loop C is generator free and the site we chose was almost not suitable for even our 17' Casita. Check this youTube video, it shows each campsite at Fish Creek campground.
Fish Creek Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana Campsite Photos - YouTube

Apgar campground is more level and is first come first serve so you have to get there early in the day in July and August

From Fish Creek and Apgar you can make the short drive to the transit center and take the shuttle bus to Logan Pass. The Highline trial at Logan Pass is one of the most popular hikes. Its 11 miles from Logan Pass to The Loop where you can pick up the shuttle to take you back to the transit center at Apgar. A beautiful hike that also takes you to the Granite Park Chalet. Granite Park Chalet - Location

For some great videos of Glacier Park hikes check out Hike 734

In 2011 we took a 1 day float trip down the Middle Fork of the Flathead river that runs along the western border of the park. The company we chose was Great Northern Resort. I chose them because the offered a better lunch menu on the river compared to the three other companies. The first half was very mellow and relaxing and after lunch is when you hit the rapids. Way fun. You can also book 1/2 day trips that just run the rapids.

On our 2012 trip my daughter and I went on a guided 3 day/2 night back packing trip out of Two Medicine on the east side with Glacier Guides. We had never backpacked before and felt this was a great way to experience our first backpacking trip.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Co in Glacier National Park - Glacier Guides

Unfortunately, for 2013 we are unable to return with our newly acquired Airstream.

Here is my photo gallery of our 2012 trip.

http://kjritchie.smugmug.com/photos/...lbumKey=7Dp5kN

Have fun planning your trip. Maybe we can make it back in 2014.

Kelvin

Kelvin wow amazing information thank you and the links are a huge help. I know how long this took just to type and compose so again thank you it will be one of our key resources as we plan our trip.

Jeff and Barb

gypsybanker 08-02-2013 12:41 PM

Two medicine Lake had a pleasant campground. I liked that side of the park quite a bit more than the SW main entrance side. the campground we stayed at there was very shady with the thick trees.

Len n Jeanne 08-02-2013 02:30 PM

But the cool thing to do from the southwest side is leave your AS in the Fishing Bridge campground, then drive up to Bowman or Kintla Lakes. It was a rough road the last couple of years, but it is no problem with a high-clearance vehicle, and which deters a lot of the other tourists. There are small primitive, first-come, first-serve CGs at these lakes, but I wouldn't beat up our Bambi to haul it there.

Very canoe- and kayak-friendly lakes with hiking trails, perfect for a day's outing.

Kintla Lake | National Parks Traveler

Bowman Lake Reviews - Glacier National Park, MT Attractions - TripAdvisor

Engie 08-04-2013 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gypsybanker (Post 1334973)
Two medicine Lake had a pleasant campground. I liked that side of the park quite a bit more than the SW main entrance side. the campground we stayed at there was very shady with the thick trees.

Thanks gypsebanker greatly appreciate the notes.

Engie


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