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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Trip Report Glacier National Park

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Just returned from GNP and wanted to post some comments. This was my second trip to Glacier and I loved it even more than the first visit!
Here are some basic details:
Travel - Flew into Missoula. Rented a car with National but used the off-airport site. It was 10 minutes away and we saved about $200! (You can return it directly to the airport, too!) Just use the airport shuttle service to take you to the off-site location. I think it was $16 for two of us. We stopped at a Subway and a Walmart to load up groceries, and we were off. The drive to West Glacier was about 3 hours, and then another 1.5 to Rising Sun. A better suggestion would be to stay in West Glacier that first night, but we booked too late and could not get a room in West Glacier.
Lodging - stayed one week at Rising Sun cabin. We left by 7am each day and did not return to lodging until after 10pm. Therefore, the no-frills cabin was perfect. Cabin was 2 beds, sink, toilet, and tiny shower, but it was clean and quiet. The Rising Sun staff members were mostly friendly and accommodating. Had a dinner and a breakfast at the Two Dog Flats restaurant, and both meals were pretty good. My only complaint would be that the cabin was a bit over-priced, but you are paying for location, I suppose.
Since we flew into Missoula, we stayed there our last night in order to be closer to the airport. We stayed at Ruby's and loved everything about it. It was almost half the price of the Rising Sun cabin, but had many more "frills" (pool, free hot breakfast, free Wi-Fi, tv, etc.). Ruby has a great place and it was only ten minutes from the Missoula airport!

Hiking - We spent most of our days hiking. Our hikes were between 3 - 9 miles round trip. We spent most of the time on this trip in the Many Glacier area, where most of the wildlife could be found. Here are some of our fav hikes: Logan Pass (layered clothing a must!), St. Mary's Falls/Virginia Falls (go before 9am - no crowds, great pictures), Josephine Lake/Grinnell Lake (take the North shore trail b/c it's much prettier), Fisher Cap Lake, Red Rock Falls, Swiftcurrent Lake. We didn't hike in the Lake McDonald area this time, but Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake were awesome hikes, and I wished we could have fit them in this trip. We also did some hiking up in Waterton: Bertha Falls, Red Rock Canyon, and Blackiston Falls.

Wildlife - We went to Banff last year and were spoiled by seeing 12 bears, so I was worried we would not match that. We didn't, but we did see 5 bears (4 griz, 1 black), so I was happy. Several bears were spotted on the road near Many Glacier hotel, 1 was spotted on the Grinnell Lake hike, and 1 spotted on way into Waterton. We also saw the moose at Fisher Cap Lake, where he made a daily appearance!

Eats - We are not big eaters, in fact we split most meals. That is not to imply we don't love food, however! Every meal we had was great, so no complaints. My tips would be to definitely go to the Park Café in St. Mary's. We split a dinner, but each had our own slice of pie! Did that twice, too! Grab a wrap from the Curly Bear Café in St. Mary's. It's big enough to split and is better than the park's picnic lunches. We had dinner twice at the Swiftcurrent restaurant and loved their food. If you want a quick snack or drink after a hike, visit Heidi's in the Many Glacier hotel. As previously mentioned, we enjoyed Two Dog Flats at the Rising Sun, too. We also ate at Pearl's Café and Zum's in Waterton, and both were excellent!

So that's our trip report. You all have helped me so much in the past, so I wanted to offer something in return. If you are thinking of going to GNP, think no more, just plan it! Next year, I may be back in Banff, or may finally visit Yosemite! Keep hiking everyone!

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