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Aug Trip- Can't Decide...Glacier Nat'l Park or Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole?

Aug Trip- Can't Decide...Glacier Nat'l Park or Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole?

Old Jun 30th, 2000, 07:08 AM
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Aug Trip- Can't Decide...Glacier Nat'l Park or Grand Tetons/Jackson Hole?

I'm planning a trip for about a week long in August and can't decide between Montana - Glacier National Park or Wyoming- Jackson Hole/Grand Teton area? I would like to hike, camp, relax and enjoy beautiful scenery!!! Any ideas- ideally I would like to fly into Kalispel or Jackson Hole, rent a car and go from there- I realize too flights are expensive (I'm in DC) but I'm curious about what folks think in regard to where I should go- already done Utah, Arizona national parks- never been in upper mid-US before? Thanks!! -
Also, if none of these options appeal to you, please suggest other places I should visit.
Old Jun 30th, 2000, 09:18 AM
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Lorraine-We just got back from a two week trip last night visiting Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. Our family visited Glacier two summers ago. Your question is interesting! My first thought is-where can you get airline reservations to? Kallispell in Montana has bigger equipment servicing it(i.e.,Delta airlines) as opposed to Jackson Hole who only has smaller airlines at this time of the year like Skywest and commuter airlines.I would think that you would have a hard time getting campground reservations for both areas in August as most of these places are booked months in advance.
We loved Glacier(stayed in the Whitefish area for lodging) because we hiked,whitewater rafted,did the horseback riding thing,etc. The beauty of Glacier is unbelievable! The crowds seemed less because of the area being harder to get to?(Tour buses still found the place........)I was under the impression that the "Going to the Sun" road is crumbling in spots and will be closed periodically this summer for repairs.
Grand Tetons were fabulous! We enjoyed the park more than Yellowstone because of less crowds and the beauty. We were able to get a last minute cancellation to the Signal Mountain Lodge on Jackson Lake and would recommend it to everyone. The three larger Tetons were right off our deck reflecting in the water-it was like being in a postcard!!!!We hiked,flyfished,kids swam in lake and whitewaterafted in Jackson Hole area. I personally think that you can't go wrong with either. I think that you might luck out at this last minute going to Glacier for campground than the Tetons. Jackson Hole and the area are quite busy starting now until the first week of September.My personal opinion would be to get the airfare first to either Kalispell or Jackson Hole and then go from there.I think that if you can find a seat to either place-maybe you can find a campground still open. I would be happy to give you some ideas for either area if you are interested.Enjoy-I wish I could go back already!!!!!!Debbie Email me at [email protected]
Old Jun 30th, 2000, 09:38 AM
Bob Brown
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You pose an interesting question. It is like having to select which of two very attractive people with whom you would like to socialize. (In my case some 44 years ago it would be like choosing between two attractive girls. But for the past 43 years I still have my final choice -- and she has been with me to both places.)
First, I don't think you can go wrong.
Second, I don't know which I would take if I had to select only one.
Glacier is a hikers park. The most attractive trails are on the east side, and from Logan Pass, unless you are a strong hiker.

On the west side of Glacier, north along an access road, there are campgrounds to be found. On the east side, the campground at Many Glacier was restricted to "hard sided" camping when I was last there because of bears.
(Hard sided of course means a trailer or an RV, but no tents.)
We camped in the area close to the west side visitor center near Lake McDonald, but that was years ago.
The Tetons on the other hand are good because they are close to Yellowstone so you could see both. There are several good hikes along the valleys of the Tetons, but anything uphill gets steep in a hurry. Amphitheater Lake is a stiff climb, but I have seen people in top shape make it rather quickly.

I guess if I had to decide, I would get out a coin and flip it.
Old Jun 30th, 2000, 10:27 AM
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At least 2 years ago, all Yellowstone camping was by reservation, and July was too late to get a spot for August. At that time, Teton camping was 1st come. We stayed at Jenny lake, which was great (arrived before 6am to get one of about 30-40 spots). I don't know if Teton has moved to the reservation system or if Glacier is 1st come. Since you can't go wrong with either of your choices, you may try to do a little research and figure out in which park will you be able to camp. I would strongly advise against touring Yellowstone from a base at Jenny Lake. Its a decent drive into Yellowstone (60-90 minutes?) and you will have to double back with the single North/South road linking GTNP and YNP. If you look at a map of Yellowstone, you may agree that the best way to see it (by car) is from a central location where you can travel 1/2 the "loop" one day and 1/2 another day (that's the short tour). We are hikers also, and Teton is a great hiking park (try Cascade canyon). However, if you go so far to Yellowstone, you almost need to see it by car. Yellowstone is so vast, and so incredbile, that you won't get to see most of the natural wonders by foot. The different areas of the park offer tremenous natural diversity (hot springs, mud pots, paint pots, geisers, wildlife and on and on). As a compromise, we did mostly car touring, but picked one or two short hikes to see geisers off the beaten path. I think we had "Lone Star" without any other visitors. enjoy.

Old Jun 30th, 2000, 12:21 PM
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Another vote for "You can't go wrong with either."
Just want to correct a previous posting about flying to Jackson Hole. It IS serviced by major airlines--United, for one!
Old Jun 30th, 2000, 04:39 PM
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Last year we went to both parks--- we drove from Grand Teton/Yellowstone to Glacier--- it was the MOST beautiful drive -- I think it took about 6 hours-7 hours!! But it was spectacular!!! Glacier was less crowded but Yellowstone had the wonderful animals etc. and The Tetons are fabulous-- the hiking in the Tetons is less grueling and the park is smaller--- You can't miss with either one--- I guess it depends on how much time you have to spend!!!
Old Jul 6th, 2000, 06:10 AM
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I agree that you can't go wrong with either. BUT -- I think time should be considered. I think a week should be spent in one OR the other, and not both. I think Glacier is magnificant, but it is almost entirely and "outdoors" trip. Whereas with Teton/Yellowstone you have the town of Jackson nearby where you can go for a nice meal and/or drink and recuperate. IMO Teton Natl Park is a great place because of its (relative) smallness. In a week, you can get to really know the area. Great hiking, great number of animals, great place. Jenny Lake is breathtaking at sunset.
Old Sep 30th, 2021, 07:59 AM
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For me, I went to all three with my 2 kids in tow (6 and 7) during early August this year. My view may be skewed by that. But hands down, Glacier was my favorite. We stayed at the Village Inn in Apgar Village. We were supposed to stay at Many Glacier on the way in, but our reservation was cancelled due to Covid. We stayed in St. Mary Village - it was convenient. It was smoky, but the experience of being there was unlike anything I experienced before. GTTSR was stunning. We saw more bears 90 minutes in Glacier than we did in our entire 5 days in Yellowstone. We did boat rides on St. Mary Lake and took a boats out on the Lake McDonald. We spent 2 weeks doing the trip. 3 nights in Teton, 5 in Yellowstone, 1 in Helena, 1 in St. Mary, 3 in Apgar, 1 in Whitefish.

That said, I far more enjoyed the northern side of Yellowstone. The grand canyon of Yellowstone being one of my top things we saw while there. We did a loop from Old Faithful, Lake Yellowstone, Mammoth and stayed in the park. The second part of the time in Yellowstone up north was so much more pleasant. We loved Teton and opted to stay in Teton Village in a swanky hotel with amenities while we got acclimated.

Like the others said before, you can't go wrong. But if asked my favorite, I always say Glacier.

Last edited by jmilk; Sep 30th, 2021 at 08:01 AM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2021, 08:59 AM
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I wonder where they went, twenty-one years ago . . .
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Old Sep 30th, 2021, 09:28 AM
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I'm sure they went to Glacier
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