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Road Trip from Michigan to Glacier NP - Other Nearby Places of Interest?

Road Trip from Michigan to Glacier NP - Other Nearby Places of Interest?

Old Mar 31st, 2017, 06:40 PM
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Road Trip from Michigan to Glacier NP - Other Nearby Places of Interest?

Hi all,
Our family has the rare opportunity to go on a road trip with our pop-up camper for all of August and thinking of heading to Glacier NP from Michigan, stopping at Teddy Roosevelt NP on the way. We were going to go see Yellowstone and Grand Tetons until I called those areas and was twice asked "You realize that the time you want to come is during the Great Eclipse right?" meaning crowds over and above the normal August crowds -- and my spouse hates mobs of people... The NP staff there actually suggested we come to those two parks another time... Oh well..

So... If we stay north and do some other fun stuff en-route, are there other cool nature-inspired places to see in Montana? Is Bighorn Canyon National Rec Area cool? Lewis and Clark National Forest?

Thinking of driving US-2 back and then maybe doing northern route around Lake Superior to get back home... Or should we go up to Banff and Jasper in Canada since we are at Glacier and forego the other Montana things and Lake Superior tour to see what there is in Canada? I was just thinking that after Glacier, Banff and Jasper may feel too similar to what we already saw. We are traveling with our 9 year old so wanting some change of scenery to keep it interesting...

Thanks for any comments!
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 06:30 PM
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Would you consider dropping South on your "Northern" trip?An alternative trip could be after visiting Glacier Park, you could backtrack as far as Billings, drop down on I-90 & see Custer Battlefield/Little Bighorn, continue on to visit SD Black Hills/Mt Rushmore (lots to do for entire family/good camping), possibly Devil's Tower on a day trip from there. Continue on I-90 on the return home, seeing SD Badlands along the way.
As far as Theodore Roosevelt National Park in ND - Medora is the small cowboy tourist town at the entrance to the Park with shops, restaurants, museums, etc. The big attraction is the Medora Musical, held nightly in an outdoor ampitheatre set against the hills. A very popular pitchfork fondue dinner is offered before. If camping, there's a VERY inexpensive primitive campground just South of town - peaceful, quiet, beautiful setting. No hookups, but does have shower house/bathrooms. (Sully Creek State Park). The campgrounds' sites in town are extremely close to each other & book up quickly, as they have hookups. Book ahead if staying in Medora area.
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 08:41 PM
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Hotwheels,
Do you prefer Sully Creek camping to TRNP's Juniper campground? We plan to hit TRNP on our way out west and then stop at Rushmore etc on the way home...

As far as the Medora Musical goes -- is it something a 9 year old boy would like?

Thanks!

Do you have any opinion on Jasper/Banff area?
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Old Apr 1st, 2017, 09:18 PM
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I advise that you stay in the US with your camper.
The US northern Rockies are not much different from the Canadian Rockies IMO.
I would plan on visiting the northern part of Yellowstone coming in through Gardiner and exiting through West Yellowstone.
The day of the eclipse (8/21) plan on being near Idaho Falls.
In the small town of Rigby ID, you can visit the place where television was born.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 09:34 AM
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Tom, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the comparison between the US northern Rockies and the Canadian Rockies. I have spent lots of time in both. Yes, there are many great things to see and do on the US side of the line, but....
I am always amazed at the numbers of travelers that I meet, from all around the world, when visiting the Canadian Rockies. There must be a good reason for them all being there, year after year.
So, when out that way, I suggest that people try and find a way to see both!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 09:36 AM
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US 2: Itasca State park in MN, the lake chosen as the source of the Mississippi, is pretty and good for camping, you can reserve a site. The Keweenaw peninsula is interesting and pretty if you haven't been. There's plenty of camping all around Lake Superior but this is a long haul home.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 05:36 PM
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Theodore Roosevelt National Park has two separate units - North & South - which are a considerable distance apart from one another. For your travels to Glacier Park along I-94, you'd need to stay in the South Unit, near the town of Medora. Sully Creek is about 2 miles South of Medora; nice campground with the colored cliffs as a background; quick drive into town on a paved road if you attend the nightly musical. There's also Cottonwood Campground, within the park along the river with tree cover - nice area too; a little farther in from Medora (maybe 5-8 miles?). Juniper is in the North Unit & not on your route. Medora Campground is a large unit right in town with hookups & primitive, but can get crowded & noisy.
As per the Musical - I've seen lots of kids attending; it's a family attraction that along with music, has various acts such as BMX Bike Tricks, Animal acts, magicians, etc. on a rotating basis. Every seat is good, but in the lower middle is the best. Snacks /drinks/souvenirs on site. It's set is always a Western town with horses; it has a different theme each year to keep it fresh. As for questions about Glacier - haven't been yet, so can't help you there - but if you want real history lesson along the way, see Lewis & Clark's actual "graffiti" signature in the cliffs at Pompey's Pillar Park/Museum just East of Billings, MT - quick 1 mile turnoff off of I-94.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2017, 05:47 PM
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If camping in the Black Hills, there are many nice sites - around Hill City & Custer would be most centrally located; also many nice sites within Custer State Park. Most are set among trees; some along pretty lakes. Sylvan Lake area is nice - I don't think you'd have a problem with any sites!
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Old Apr 5th, 2017, 02:04 PM
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Thanks all for the good advice - will take everything into consideration and still working on solidifying our plans - love Fodors!
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