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Glacier NP Loop Drive: Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

Glacier NP Loop Drive: Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

Jul 16th, 2010, 07:33 AM
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Glacier NP Loop Drive: Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

One day while we are staying in Bigfork, we will do the loop drive through Glacier NP. Is the drive one direction more scenic than the other?

Should we drive (1) West Glacier, Essex, East Glacier, St. Mary, West Glacier or (2) West Glacier, St. Mary, East Glacier, Essex, West Glacier?

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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More scenic? You're covering the same ground.

I'd start at West Glacier because 1) it's closer to Big Fork and 2) our favorite spot for pictures was the Goat Lick Overlook on Hwy 2 near Essex. We passed by there several times (we were staying near Essex) and the absolute best time for photos of the goats were late in the day. Lots of goats around 9pm.

Are you driving the entire time? Have you considered taking one of the jammer/Red Bus tours? I've driven Glacier before but LOVED riding (and taking pictures) from the jammer.
starrs is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 09:39 AM
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I'd skip the southern route altogether. As someone who has driven Glacier many times, we like to drive across Going to the Sun road, then turn around and drive back over the same road. You get a different view from different directions. The southern road isn't scenic--especially compared to the GTS road--no comparison at all.

If you want to see the lodge at East Glacier, just drive from St Mary down to East Glacier and then turn around. It is worth seeing.
Connie is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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Agree 100% with Connie!!
John is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 12:06 PM
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Agree with Connie and John. The back to West Glacier from the east Glacier is no where near as interesting as Going to the Sun. I like driving it both directions becasue you get whole different perspective each way. Never taken the Red Bus, but have often thought about it.
boom_boom is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 04:46 PM
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Thank you all for the back-and-forth suggestion, and thank you starrs for turning me on to the Red Bus Tours.

happytrailstoyou is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 06:24 PM
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I have reservations for 2011 in Glacier. Are any of the bus tours better than the another? I was thinking of perhaps doing the one that goes to Waterton and doing the afternoon tea there at Prince of Wales. However, if I do that the bus just goes from Many Glacier and I wouldn't ride the jammer on the GTS. There is another tour, that is short, that leaves from Glacier Park Lodge and goes to Two Medicine. It also includes a boat ride. Anyone with any experience on either of these Red Bus Tours. I did a Yellow Bus Tour at Yellowstone, so I assume this would be similar.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jul 16th, 2010, 06:38 PM
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I would like to do the Waterton/tea tour too. We opted out of the longer tours because of concerns of spending 8 hours on a tour. That just seemed long to us. For that reason, we picked the MacDonald to Logan Pass tour (3 hour). The road was not open - yet...but when we got to the Weeping Wall the rumor was that it would open at noon. So we waited (with a lot of other vehicles) and were one of the first ones past the barricade. It was exciting!

Our driver had driven the Beartooth Highway the previous week and REALLY wanted to ride and not drive the GTTS road. I was neutral on the issue. To be honest, I really didn't see the point of riding the Red Bus if we could drive our own car.

I am now a BIG proponent of taking the Red Bus on part (and probably all) of the GTTS. It gives everyone a chance to relax and enjoy the views and our guide was great.

We did a yellow bus tour in Livington but not in Yellowstone. On flat land, it was novel and interesting. On the GTTS road, the jammer added significantly to the experience of seeing the views. IMO anyway.
starrs is offline  
Aug 12th, 2010, 02:05 PM
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Thanks for these suggestions.

We would not have gone to Many Glaciers without your prodding, and it and the cruise there were highlights of our trip.

The drive on the Beartooth Highway exceeded expectations. We loved Red Lodge, our comfy room at Rocky Fort Inn, and dinner at Bridge Creek--yum.

happytrailstoyou is offline  

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