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Trip Report Re: Glacier & Waterton National Parks

We visited both parks last month, and I thought I'd post a few random thoughts and recommendations.

We flew in and out of Kalispell. Our first and last nights were spent at the Hampton Inn in Kalispell. It's a very nice place, and the decor, especially in the public areas, is wonderful. The staff is great. The breakfasts were good. It was nice to be there the last night for repacking and getting ready for our flight the next day. Highly recommended.

We rented a car from Hertz at the airport, and on our way to the park the next day, we had a flat. They sent someone with a new car for us at our location, and we were soon on our way.

There's a very nice Wal-mart in Kalispell with a Target nearby. Great places for stocking up on food or other provisions. We found a foam cooler at Wal-mart. it was a very hard to find item. Most of the stores were out of them. We like to take lunch food with us when we are on the road. Restaurant stops can take a huge chunk of time, and when in such a beautiful place as Glacier and Waterton, the picnic spots are great stops.

We spent two nights at Many Glacier Hotel. I wouldn't do it again unless we had a lake-view room. We were in the annex and had a balcony, but our view was of the front drive of the hotel and a gravel drive going down to some building. On both evenings we enjoyed music in the lobby -- a piano player and a violinist. On vacations I try to purchase CDs if the musician sells them, and violinist did. It's the best souvenir available. I'm still playing CDs from other trips and remembering where we were.

We didn't use the free shuttle buses in Glacier, but they looked to be a good way to see the park.

The trail behind the visitor center at Logan Pass was snow-covered. Wear appropriate shoes. I didn't.

The Prince of Wales has a gorgeous setting. Staying there is pricey, but if you're on a budget, have lunch there. I checked the menu, and the prices were comparable with those in the town of Waterton.

The Kalispell Airport is very small compared to what I'm used to. However, it was a nice place to wait for our delayed flight. We found a table on the second floor along the windows by the snack bar. There was a plug there for my computer and free wireless.

We loved Glacier and Waterton and hope to return some day. The wildflowers were incredible when we were there. I have never seen so many different varieties.

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