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gobymyself Nov 1st, 2019 08:24 PM

"Base Camp" (or two) in Glacier NP
About 6-7 days in GNP. Need a couple of base camps for seeing the entire park. Coming from the west and going threw Sandpoint/Kalispell and West Glacier to start. Then to St. Mary and head south to I-90. Trying to see all I can.

cmstraf Nov 1st, 2019 08:43 PM

We spent a week in Glacier National Park in 2017 (see my trip report) dividing our time between Many Glacier Lodge in the east and Glacier Guides Lodge in the West. We were able to get a Lakeview room after months of seeking cancellations (my mode with national parks)--the views were stunning, but both service and quality disappointing. In contrast, we loved the Glacier Guides Lodge -- good value, attractive rooms, knowledgable staff and if we were to go back (which we hope to), we would spend the extra time driving and stay only there. Hope this helps.

werth Nov 2nd, 2019 07:09 AM

I just booked 4 nights at The Cottages at Glacier to use as our base for the east side of the park. It seems like a good location and I am hoping that the extra space and amenities justify the higher price.

tomfuller Nov 2nd, 2019 07:50 AM

It's been a few years since DW and I spent our anniversary in the west Glacier area. We really liked our condo with a hot tub at the Meadow Lake Resort near Columbia Falls. We came to Whitefish MT on the Amtrak Empire Builder. The resort van picked us up and the next day Enterprise picked us up from the resort. The rental agency was at the Kalispell airport.
What month do you have your trip planned for? the Going to the Sun road does not open all the way through until sometime in June.
On the south side of the park, the Isaak Walton Lodge in Essex is a historic lodging that has a flag stop on the route of the Empire Builder.
While in the area, you might want to visit the museum of the Plains Indians on the west side of Browning.

Patty Nov 2nd, 2019 10:42 AM

What month? For the east side, I'd base at Many Glacier or around St Mary/Babb but it depends on what's open.

gobymyself Nov 2nd, 2019 08:57 PM


Patty Nov 3rd, 2019 05:49 AM

Everything is open in July but availability may be an issue. You'll likely need to look at accommodations outside of the park. I would do a 3 night/4 night split between the west and east sides. Accommodations are scarcer on the east side but it looks like St Mary Village has availability (I haven't stayed there) and is right outside the entrance to the GTTS Rd and not far of a drive to Many Glacier. You can also keep checking for cancellations.

tomfuller Nov 3rd, 2019 07:03 AM

Do you live in the PNW? Is this a solo trip (gobymyself)? If you don't live in the PNW, are you flying in to Spokane? If you are flying in to Spokane, taking the Empire Builder overnight to Whitefish is a good option IMO.
If you can make a reservation at the Lake McDonald Lodge, stay there at least one night. Otherwise, the Meadow Lake Resort should work well for you.
The second time we were in the Glacier area, we got off the westbound Empire Builder at Cut Bank MT. We had a rental car waiting for us at the Amtrak station with the key in the gas flap.
On that trip we saw horses licking salt off US 89 south of St. Mary. The date was June 1 and we could not make it to the top of Logan Pass because the rotary plows were still working toward the top.

HappyTrvlr Nov 5th, 2019 02:47 PM

We stayed in Whitefish but wished we had two bases in the different sides of Glacier NP , in the park lodges.

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