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Consolidated "Glacier National Park - Info, Questions, & Recommendations" thread

Consolidated "Glacier National Park - Info, Questions, & Recommendations" thread

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Old Aug 20, 18, 3:33 pm
  #106  
 
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Originally Posted by leylacatherine View Post
Hi everyone,

My name is Leyla and this is my first post on Flyertalk Forum, so please bear with me and excuse any ignorance I may have of Flyertalk norms.

My friend and I are planning a trip to Glacier National Park, Montana. She would be flying in from JFK, and I would be flying in from Tyson-McGhee Airport (Knoxville, TN). Our goal is to fly into Kalispell, rent a car, and camp in as much as GNP as possible from June 30 - July 11.
This may want to consider flying into Calgary. It's about 3.5 hrs to the park (plus the border crossing time) Kalispell can be a very expensive airport to fly in and out of. You can also look into some of the other MT airports.

Originally Posted by leylacatherine View Post
2. Have any of you ever actually done a similar trip - where you fly into a location with all of your camping gear, rent a car, and go? If so, what are some traveling tips and tricks you've learned from experience? Because neither of us have ever done this before. I camped with my father plenty of times, but he always sorted out the logistics, and this will be my first go at planning everything by myself. My friend is like a sister; 12 years younger than I am (I'm 32) - and I want to be a responsible guide/protector.
We've flown to many camping destinations for family camping. Here are our tips:

Instead of flying with some of our gear, we have rented. REI was once very good for this if you were members. We rented tents, cookstoves, and sleeping bag pads for Yosemite, Yellowstone, Rainier, and the Adirondacks. Much easier than flying with them. I'm not sure what they are renting anymore. There are outfitters in the Whitefish area who rent.

Wait to buy a cooler upon landing. No need to pay to fly one.

Do not arrive at your campsite after dark. You really don't want to set up a tent in the dark. Get a room.

If you are camping in the park, make your campsite reservation now. They book really fast. We've been SOL 11 months out.

Certain things can't fly: Cookstove fuel, matches, and bear spray to name a few. (Yes, you should buy bear spray if you are hiking)

Duffel bags (army style) are great for packing camping gear.

Make sure that you are prepared for rain.

Your rental car will be too small. It's a lot of gear plus food. Rethink vehicle size.

Big Box "Pick it up at the Store" is your friend. Order gear, food, etc. in advance, it will be waiting at the store when you arrive. I saves time and you are less likely to forget something.

Some of the NP's have an express line for people with annual passes. It's more expensive, but you might want to get one near you at Smokey Mountain NP to save some time.

I hope this helps. Enjoy!
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Old Feb 7, 19, 7:24 pm
  #107  
 
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Glacier National Park from Calgary

We are hoping to fly to Calgary in late July or early August (2019) and drive through GNP for a week. We plan to drive back to Calgary and return home from there. We live in Canada so it's probably easiest and least expensive to fly to/from Calgary. What would you suggest the itinerary to be ? Is there a loop or should we stay on one side of the park and retrace our itinerary? We would be happy to get some direction as to how much time to spend in each location. We love to hike and we would be looking for lodging as well (not camping). Thanks in advance.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 8:18 pm
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by Safti View Post
We are hoping to fly to Calgary in late July or early August (2019) and drive through GNP for a week. We plan to drive back to Calgary and return home from there. We live in Canada so it's probably easiest and least expensive to fly to/from Calgary. What would you suggest the itinerary to be ? Is there a loop or should we stay on one side of the park and retrace our itinerary? We would be happy to get some direction as to how much time to spend in each location. We love to hike and we would be looking for lodging as well (not camping). Thanks in advance.
could USA flying be cheap..depends on where to where. If you live in Toronto you could price compare flight and car rental costs. At border stays you usually are able to drive into Canada.

Usually if flying into Calgary nany would do banff/ jasper loop with glacier in the USA.

glacier has two sides and you must stay on each side.

finding lodging will be hard now. Lodging for 2019 opened for booking on May 1 2018. Xanterra handles in park lodging. Gkavpcier park inc gas lodging options outside the park

the east side has more spots to see so more time should be spent there. Thus side is rural and there is far less lodging options than the more populous west side.

many glacier ...has many glacier inn and swiftcurrent motel. Just outside the park is Babb with some options. Central part is the start of going to the sun road. Inside the park is rising sun. Outside is st Mary lodge. There are a few other pkaces in st Mary. To the south is two medicine with no lodging but has a campground. Just south of here is east glacier lodge just outside the park. East of here in browning there are some chain hotels on the Indian reservation. Each of the lake nnthe east side have a boat that crosses the lakes to trailheads. These need to be reserved. From st Mary there is a shuttle bus to Loganís pass to use due to limited parking. It easier to do it from this side. From west side you have to do 2 shuttles. One to avalanche lake then one to Logan.

on the west side you have Lake Macdonald lake with a lodge. The boat here is just a looo tour boat no trailhead exit. At the west end is apparently lodges. Just outside is west glacier along us 2. Farther out you have options in Columbia falls, kalispell, and whitefish. Whitefish is big mountain ski resort town,kalispell has an airport thatís closest to glacier.

on the west side there is a dirt/gravel road up to nw corner in polebridge. From here there are a bunch of lakes you can explore.

orher airports to look at us great falls, Helena, and missoula . Farther airports are spokane(5 hrs and time change) Bozeman ( about 5 hrs from either side of ostk, billings about 7 hrs and Salt Lake City and Seattle each about 9 hrs iormore.

day 1 fly into Calgary
day 2 to east side of glacier ( many glacier) night there
day 3 day in nany glacier, night there or st Mary.
day 4 am two medicine boat and hike, pm drive up to Logan pass or bus it. Parking is easier in afternoon because people gi in early and leave around 2 and bus ends at 7 so you coukd stay longer when sun sets after %9pm in early July.
day 5 gttsr to west sude
dat 6 explore west side
day 7 explore whitefish, flathead lake area
day 8 head into Canada and return to Calgary.

Days can be added to do banff and jasper.

another common thing is you can do glacier and do Yellowstone and Tetons.

Montaba usually has one way rentals without one wat drop fees. You coukd fly into kalispell, di west side then east side then diwn ti yelliwstone then do Yellowstone and Tetons and fly out from billings

coukd akso fly into Seattle and do north cascades np and mt rainier np on the way to and from glacier.



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Old Feb 10, 19, 3:32 pm
  #109  
 
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Originally Posted by djp98374 View Post


could USA flying be cheap..depends on where to where. If you live in Toronto you could price compare flight and car rental costs. At border stays you usually are able to drive into Canada.

Usually if flying into Calgary nany would do banff/ jasper loop with glacier in the USA.

glacier has two sides and you must stay on each side.

finding lodging will be hard now. Lodging for 2019 opened for booking on May 1 2018. Xanterra handles in park lodging. Gkavpcier park inc gas lodging options outside the park

the east side has more spots to see so more time should be spent there. Thus side is rural and there is far less lodging options than the more populous west side.

many glacier ...has many glacier inn and swiftcurrent motel. Just outside the park is Babb with some options. Central part is the start of going to the sun road. Inside the park is rising sun. Outside is st Mary lodge. There are a few other pkaces in st Mary. To the south is two medicine with no lodging but has a campground. Just south of here is east glacier lodge just outside the park. East of here in browning there are some chain hotels on the Indian reservation. Each of the lake nnthe east side have a boat that crosses the lakes to trailheads. These need to be reserved. From st Mary there is a shuttle bus to Loganís pass to use due to limited parking. It easier to do it from this side. From west side you have to do 2 shuttles. One to avalanche lake then one to Logan.

on the west side you have Lake Macdonald lake with a lodge. The boat here is just a looo tour boat no trailhead exit. At the west end is apparently lodges. Just outside is west glacier along us 2. Farther out you have options in Columbia falls, kalispell, and whitefish. Whitefish is big mountain ski resort town,kalispell has an airport thatís closest to glacier.

on the west side there is a dirt/gravel road up to nw corner in polebridge. From here there are a bunch of lakes you can explore.

orher airports to look at us great falls, Helena, and missoula . Farther airports are spokane(5 hrs and time change) Bozeman ( about 5 hrs from either side of ostk, billings about 7 hrs and Salt Lake City and Seattle each about 9 hrs iormore.

day 1 fly into Calgary
day 2 to east side of glacier ( many glacier) night there
day 3 day in nany glacier, night there or st Mary.
day 4 am two medicine boat and hike, pm drive up to Logan pass or bus it. Parking is easier in afternoon because people gi in early and leave around 2 and bus ends at 7 so you coukd stay longer when sun sets after %9pm in early July.
day 5 gttsr to west sude
dat 6 explore west side
day 7 explore whitefish, flathead lake area
day 8 head into Canada and return to Calgary.

Days can be added to do banff and jasper.

another common thing is you can do glacier and do Yellowstone and Tetons.

Montaba usually has one way rentals without one wat drop fees. You coukd fly into kalispell, di west side then east side then diwn ti yelliwstone then do Yellowstone and Tetons and fly out from billings

coukd akso fly into Seattle and do north cascades np and mt rainier np on the way to and from glacier.



Thanks so much for doing this for me. I was having trouble following the map and everything seems so far apart. I think we will stay 3 nights on the east and 3 nights on the west and then back to Calgary. I think you are right. At this point its difficult to find accommodations but we will keep looking.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 8:39 pm
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by Safti View Post
Thanks so much for doing this for me. I was having trouble following the map and everything seems so far apart. I think we will stay 3 nights on the east and 3 nights on the west and then back to Calgary. I think you are right. At this point its difficult to find accommodations but we will keep looking.

also...glacier is an international park with Watertown lakes. A few years ago Watertown was damages by a wildfire. From there you can take a boat south into glacier at goat haunt.
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Old Jul 9, 19, 1:36 pm
  #111  
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So we're thinking of visiting Glacier NP in late September of this year. We'll fly in/out of Kalispell and rent a car, and probably stay at the Homewood Suites (perhaps an Airbnb, especially if someone has a recommendation). Prices look pretty decent, for that time of year.

Looking at the expected weather, it looks like average highs in September are 62, but in October about 52F, with lows about 15-20 degrees below.
Is that typically the rainy season?

Two things that I'm interested in doing:
* Day rafting trip: how are the short versions? we last rafted about 3 years ago in Nova Scotia, in August. I'm not sure we could take 3+ hours, even with wetsuits (all of the place I'm seeing say they provide wetsuits at no extra cost). Does anyone have a specific company to recommend?
* Horseback riding: again, probably the short version (1-1/2 hours it seems). I haven't been on a horse in recent memory, perhaps as a child, so don't want to commit for longer not knowing how I'll be. Again, any specific recommendations?

This will probably be a short-ish trip, out on a Wednesday or Thursday, return the following Monday. I figure we can arrange those 2 activities in advance, and as time/weather permit, we could do more (either more of those, or something by boat, an organized hike, etc.) Plus we'll have the car so we can just drive around a bit and explore during the days.

Anything else I should know? I do swim, but at that time of they year I think it is out of the question, outside at least. I'm up for nearly anything, without blowing the budget too much.

This will be part of a multi-long weekend series of state visits so I can visit all 50 states before I turn 50.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 8:57 pm
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
So we're thinking of visiting Glacier NP in late September of this year. We'll fly in/out of Kalispell and rent a car, and probably stay at the Homewood Suites (perhaps an Airbnb, especially if someone has a recommendation). Prices look pretty decent, for that time of year.

Looking at the expected weather, it looks like average highs in September are 62, but in October about 52F, with lows about 15-20 degrees below.
Is that typically the rainy season?

Two things that I'm interested in doing:
* Day rafting trip: how are the short versions? we last rafted about 3 years ago in Nova Scotia, in August. I'm not sure we could take 3+ hours, even with wetsuits (all of the place I'm seeing say they provide wetsuits at no extra cost). Does anyone have a specific company to recommend?
* Horseback riding: again, probably the short version (1-1/2 hours it seems). I haven't been on a horse in recent memory, perhaps as a child, so don't want to commit for longer not knowing how I'll be. Again, any specific recommendations?

This will probably be a short-ish trip, out on a Wednesday or Thursday, return the following Monday. I figure we can arrange those 2 activities in advance, and as time/weather permit, we could do more (either more of those, or something by boat, an organized hike, etc.) Plus we'll have the car so we can just drive around a bit and explore during the days.

Anything else I should know? I do swim, but at that time of they year I think it is out of the question, outside at least. I'm up for nearly anything, without blowing the budget too much.

This will be part of a multi-long weekend series of state visits so I can visit all 50 states before I turn 50.
How late in September are you thinking of going? A lot of activities around Glacier National Park start to close for the season in mid September as it starts getting colder. Glacier National Park is huge and there is a lot to see. I'd recommend driving the Going to the Sun Road and taking a boat ride on Two Medicine Lake. At Two Medicine Lake you can do some self guided hikes that are relatively scenic yet fairly easy. The boat trip can be booked through the Glacier National Park Boat Co. it takes about 45 minutes each way, you can take a boat one way and hike back, or do a roundtrip.

For rafting most of them go down the Flathead River and the half day trips are long enough. At that time of year I would recommend a wetsuit as it will be about 60 degrees and the river is glacier runoff.

I'd recommend staying in either East or West Glacier for at least a night or two, it will be a better home base for some of the activities you are looking at doing. Its a trek to have to keep driving back and forth to Kalispell. Most of the activities will be based around those two towns.
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