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Glacier National Park - Is this a reasonable, doable plan?

Glacier National Park - Is this a reasonable, doable plan?

Old May 4th, 2009, 12:16 PM
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Glacier National Park - Is this a reasonable, doable plan?

Hi All,

Planning a first ever trip to GNP. Arriving at Missoula on Aug 5, 2009 in the afternoon by 2 PM. Driving to McDonald Lodge and staying 2 nights (Aug 5 and 6) - next 2 nights at Many Glacier (Aug 7 and 8) - next 2 nights at rising sun motor inn (Aug 9 and 10) - next night at glacier park lodge (Aug 11). Aug 12 drive back to Missoula and catch a flight at 5 PM.

Questions:
1. Is this plan too hectic (too many changes in hotels)?
2. Driving from missoula to McDonald lodge- How much time?
3. Is driving from one hotel to the other easy?
4. Will we be able to drive from Glacier Park Lodge to Missoula to catch the flight at 5 PM? What is the driving time if we drive outside the park? When should we start?
5. Any hikes or activities we should not miss?

Any suggstion is much appreciated
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Old May 4th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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I do advocate staying on both sides of the park to sample the scenic wonders of each, so you basic plan is good.

Personally, I would skip the move to Rising Sun and add the time to Many Glacier---it is so beautiful there, and there are lots of hikes on offer. At a minimum, add one night to Many Glacier (Aug. 9) and then spend one at Rising Sun. (I just checked and there are rooms available at MG both nights if you want).

Between LMD and Many Glacier, you will drive the Going to the Sun road, with time to stop and hike on the way. Get an early start so you will be able to park at Logan pass---the parking lot fills up by noon, I've heard. Then you can hike either a bit on the Highline trail (spectacular views) or to Hidden lake Overlook.

Hikes not to miss at Many Glacier would be Iceberg Lake and Grinnell Glacier. Rangers lead these hikes if you are interested. The hike schedule is published in a guide you will receive upon entering the park. You'll need to buy your boat ticket the night before if you want to hike to Grinnell Glacier with the ranger---the boat sells out.

It's a beautiful park---we'll be there ourselves later in the month.

Sorry, I cannt help with the driving times to or from Missoula.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:09 PM
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I love Glacier NationalPark so I can understand your desire to see and do it all. We decided to just base at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and drive around for the day when we weren't hiking. The moving from hotel to hotel does eat up precious time. Why not stay closer to the west side of the park if driving and flying out the same day from Missoula ? Or spend the night before flight in Missoula- its a cute little town. Maybe the state fair will be on.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 05:20 PM
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Driving time from the west side of the park via Kalispell and highway 93 should be approx. 3 hours. Be aware though that there is major construction on hiway 93 which could cause delays. Also, traffic that time of year will be heavy and should you get "stuck" behind a slow moving motor home or semi you could add another half hour to that.
To avoid parking problems at Logan pass, use the park's FREE shuttle.
Hikes not to miss on the west side are the Highline Trail and Avalanche Lake.
For more info on the shuttles,
nps.gov/glac
click on Plan your visit
click on Things to know before you come
click on Getting around
click on Glacier shuttle system

Have a great trip
Have a great trip
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:54 PM
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It is always good to encourage people to use the shuttle, but in this case it won't help. Rajag will be driving the GTTS road to move from the westside hotel to Many Glacier. If they want to stop at Logan Pass on the way, they will need a parking place.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:57 PM
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The Western Montana State Fair is Aug 11-16. It was a fun fair for my then young children- they don't get much more authentic !
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Old May 5th, 2009, 07:57 AM
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I'm assuming the first day is spent on the west side. They could take the shuttle to Logan, do the highline and return to their lodging. The next day they then could leisurely do GTSR and not worry about parking at Logan.
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Old May 5th, 2009, 09:41 AM
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Thanks for all the inputs!!
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