glacier national park lodging and activities

Old Jul 8th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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glacier national park lodging and activities

We are going to Glacier at the beginning of August from Chicago via Amtrak. I've researched the lodges in and around the east side but without having been, need input from fodorites.. Thank You in advance. Want to stay in East Glacier the first night since we are arriving in the evening. Suggestions on lodging. I was going to stay in the Glacier Park Lodge but read it is very noisy so Im thinking a crash pad for the night and saving $$ for a nice dinner. Has anyone stayed at Sears Motel or Pine Mountain?? The rest of the time Im considering the St. Marys Great Bear Lodge. Yes its $$$ but I would like a little R&R. Have read mixed reviews. Anyone stayed there this season ???? We will be in Glacier for 4 nights. Activities-would like to go horseback riding and take a boat tour-any suggestions on either. We will also do some hiking and drive the Going to the Sun road. Plan on going to Waterton one day and checking it out. Any must see sights in Waterton. Thanks everyone.


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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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I just responded to a similar post about lodging last night and someone else who was also at Glacier already this summer had also responded to it too so you might want to check out this thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34829964

Regarding Sears Motel, I didn't stay there but I met some folks staying there and they said it was ok for the $$ but felt like it hadn't been updated since the 1930's (rumor only - can't confirm myself). I researched Pine Mountain prior to my trip and it sounded ok but I decided on Jacobson's Cottages instead. I saw Pine Mountain from the outside only while I was there and it looked about the same as most others in East Glacier... pretty basic, but it did get decent reviews on trip advisor.

My favorite boat trip area was on the Swiftcurrent and Josephine lakes at Many Glacier.

GTTS road is spectacular. I drove it myself and also took the Red Bus (Jammer Bus) tour. Although we did enjoy the Red Bus drive, DH and I both prefered the drive when we did it ourselves since we like to hike at whatever spot the urge hits and you are limited on when and for how long you can get off the red buses. I recommend the highview trail at Logan Pass.

At Waterton you can do some serious hiking or you can do some "quick hit" hikes. For the quick ones, I thought the hike to Blakiston Falls and Red Rock Canyon were nice. If you want a little longer hike you could take the boat across the lake and hike to Kootenai Lake to look for moose.
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Old Jul 8th, 2006, 09:25 PM
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Oops... made a mistake... I meant "Highline Trail" instead of Highview Trail.
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Some other hikes would suggest are Grinell Glacier, Iceberg Lake, Red Rock Falls and nature trail around Swiftcurrent Lake are all found in the Many Glacier area.

In Logan Pass area (parking lot fills by 10am or sooner most days) the Highline Trail which you can take a moderate 7.5 miles to Granite Chalet and then down another 2.5 miles to The Loop. There is an excellent shuttle service throughout the park and into portions of Waterton Lakes so you can get back to your car without having to retrace your steps. This is an excellent trail for Beargrass when in season as well as other wildflowers. Also leaving from Logan visitor center is trail up the boardwalk to Hidden Lake Overlook and then down to lake itself if you wish. Almost guaranteed a closeup look at mountain goats & their kids. Closer to W Glacier entrance stop at the trailhead to Avalanche Lake and the wonderful boardwalk through the cedar & hemlock forest at the base of it.

There is a separate entrance fee to Waterton Lakes. You will need proof of citizenship ie birth certificate and photo id to enter (soon to need a passport). Take the boat ride to Goat Haunt & then the hike to Kootenai Lakes.

Be sure to take binoculars and insect repellent with you.
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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We just got back, Thursday, from a trip to Glacier, Waterton, and Banff.
We stayed at the St. Marys Great Bear Lodge (which is now called The Resort at Glacier). I believe that the "Great Bear Lodge" refers to the newer building adjacent to the main lodge, which is where we stayed. We were in room 217 which had a pretty nice view of the mountains in the park. We were happy with the room, although it cost about $240.00 a night when you add in all of the taxes. If you want a "newer" type place, I would say this is the place to stay, as everything else we checked out had the word "rustic" in its desciption, which usually means old.
As far as where to eat, we found a little cafe just a few blocks away, to the North, that had good food, and great pie!
One of the best things about the hotel is its location. It is right outside the entrance to the park (at St Mary), and therefore right at the beginning of the Going to the Sun Road.
As far as our favorite sights in Glacier, they would be, in order,
Many Glacier
St. Mary Lake
Road to the Sun - general views.
In Waterton we stayed at the Crandall Moutain Lodge. It was very nice, although the room was small.
In Waterton, our favorite sights were,
Cameron Lake
Waterton Lakes (from the grounds of
Prince of Wales hotel)
We took the boat tour at Many Glacier, and thought it was nice.





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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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Thank you everyone for the info..
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 12:12 AM
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We stayed at St. Mary's last year and had one of their expensive cabins on the hill. It was really pricey but it was nice, and away from the bulk. The lodge is really very nice and it;s basically at town within itself, with restarants, stores, entertainment. otherwise there really is not much there for lodging. I can't remember the name of the one park lodge which is located up the road on the east side at the foot of a glacier fed poind but it was absolutely beautiful.

There is supposed to be more action on the west side, but we loved where we stayed.

We also went to Waterton for a few nights. It's an adorable little town. We went horsback riding, took a boat ride. At sun set we took a ride down some side road outside of town and saw a number of animal. Bears were all over the place even by the roads and elk were all over town. Going to the sun is amazing and not for the faint of heart. Recommend doing it in one of those restored park buses with the canvas top to get the history and storied behind it. Then if you wanted you could drive it yourself. Also mountain goats in that area.
You will love that area of the country-unpopulated and nice. Next time I suggest flying into Calgary and traveling down to Glacier'Waterton for a week, then two or three nights in Calgary during their big cowboy festival and then a week in Canmore outside of Banff or you could do Banff to jasper and fly out of edmonton.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Thank You everyone for your input. The first night we'll stay close to the train station so we can explore Two Medicine area and have a late lunch at The Glacier Lodge. Then we'll spend the next three nights at St. Mary's Great Bear Lodge. I printed out everyone's suggestions for reference and will incorporate them in itinerary. Again thanks for taking the time to post.
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Old Aug 4th, 2006, 05:09 AM
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Hi
We were just there and stayed at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and loved it. Not fancy but it suited us. If it was noisy, we were too tired to notice.

You can see pictures of it, Grinnell Glacier Hike, GTTS road (mountain goats) and the moose near Swiftcurrent on our webwsite. Might help you decide some things.

www.alandsuejohnson.com

You can click on the bison picture on the home page. We also went to Yellowstone on the same trip.
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