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kzener40 07-25-2002 07:45 AM

Glacier National Park
I want to take my family to Glacier National Park in Westerm Montana. Anyone out there who has made this trip? If so any great places to stay? I read that some stretches of the "Going to the Sun Road" are closed to RV's. Anyone have any good information on traveling that road?

Any information one might have one making that visit a memorable one (in a good way), would be appreciated.


alan 07-25-2002 01:17 PM

Glacier Natl Park
Vehicle size is restricted on the Going to the Sun Hwy:

Vehicles longer than 21 feet or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors) are prohibited on the steepest sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

There are vintage tour buses that will take you over the highway if you aren't bringing a smaller vehicle with you.

The national park website has lots of information on the park and activities (

Assuming you are arriving from the west side of the park, there are numerous commercial campgrounds as you approach the park. First come/first serve sites are available at the Apgar CG (which has sites large enough for your vehicle). I have stayed at the Glacier CG (outside the park) and Apgar CG and both were quite acceptable. The Trailer Life directory has a complete listing of campgrounds outside the park.

As far as activities go, there are lots of hiking opportunities in the park, ranging from easy to difficult. I would pick up a guide to the park at your local camping store so you can do a little planning for the trip.

steve 07-25-2002 01:36 PM

You won't be able to take your trailer over Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun road. But you can take it on the road that goes around the southern end of the park.
St. Mary's campground will accommodate your trailer but there are no hook-ups there. Just outside the entrance though, there are two RV parks with full hook-ups.
Park your trailer and use your tow vehicle to drive the Going to the Sun road.


JaceBeck 07-29-2002 04:47 PM

I was there last year. Great trip. The St. Mary's KOA on the east side was really good because it is so close to the park. You're in a big open field, on a hill and it is generally quite windy, but the facilities are good and the space between RV's is good. It was the best we saw on the east side.

We went up to Waterton, banff and Lake Louise. The Lake Louise campground was great. Electric only.

FYI-If you like to hike, get a few hundred yards off the road and there is nobody in sight. Check out the free ranger-led hikes, they are terrific, and very few people know about them.

kzener40 07-30-2002 12:43 AM

Sounds like you took the same trip we're planning. We're going to stay on the east side of glacier, then head up to Waterton and stay at that old hotel on the bay (forgot the name). Then we're heading up to Lake Louise. Was the trip from Glacier (in Montana) up to Lake Louise a long haul? I here the scenery is great!!!

We're you climbing a lot of hiles or mountains? Good road to travel?


JaceBeck 07-30-2002 08:42 AM

The scenery is spectacular and the drive North not too bad as you are driving in a lot of relatively flat land with the mountains off on your left. After Calgary, you head West and only then do you get into the mountains. I found the driving around the Smoky Mountains that I just did last week to be much more difficult.

When you get to Lake Louise, consider driving another 25-30 miles for a day trip (or two) to Yoho N.P. It is very small with great scenery, no crowds at all and incredible waterfalls, more severe mountain topography and beautiful, yet manageable, hikes.

We stayed at a small campground a few miles away from Waterton (which was full) that was like an unintentional throwback to campgrounds of the fifties. It was on a small river and our site was right on the water with the sound of a gurgling brook lulling us to sleep. Just in case you can't get into the park campground.

Quite a few Airstreams up there by not many Classic motorhomes.

kzener40 07-30-2002 08:58 AM

How many hours did it take you to get from Waterton to Calgary? I'm just concerned I might be trying to fit too much travel time into the trip....but everyone tells me you have to see the Canadian Rockies and the Banff area.

JaceBeck 07-30-2002 10:36 AM

Waterton to Lake Louise is about 4.5 hours, to Banff about a half hour less. Banff is better for shopping and tourist stuff. Lots of people when we were there, but worth the visit. Depends on what you are looking for, commerce or nature. Banff is far more commercial. The main campground at Banff was not to our liking. They put you end to end on essentially a pull-through type site. Too close for us, but they had electric and water. We left after our first night.

Lake Louise was different. The sites were pull through, but you are back to back with the other RV on the site. We had the end site at Lake Louise, in towering Ponderosa pines, near a river. It was amazing.

Just remembered..there are no laundry services in Lake Louise for RVer's, you must go to Banff for that. We blew a day learning that lesson.

Have a great trip.

ALANSD 07-30-2002 03:54 PM

wow- I followed the link to the Glacier Park sites, awesome. Maybe someday!
That would be quite a trip from the Southeast. Looks like it would be well worth it though.

JaceBeck 07-30-2002 05:00 PM

Alan, It's even more amazing in person. Never seen anything like it outside of Europe.

Dbraw 08-09-2002 07:10 AM

Just got back from Glacier Monday. Outstanding. Sorry we waited so long to go. Also went to Cascades park, Mt. Rainer as drove some of the transCanada hyway. About one out of five vehicles was an RV. The Northwest sure is a lovely part of the world. Be sure to go North out of Lake Louise to the Icefields to see the real glaciers.

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