Glacier Park Lodging and Roads early October

Old Mar 29th, 2012, 11:05 PM
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Glacier Park Lodging and Roads early October

We are planning to drive from Yellowstone, through Montana to Glacier National Park and then on to Seattle.

I notice that the lodgings in GNP take bookings until mid September and the only one that seems to be open in early October, when we will be there, is Grouse Mountain Lodge in Whitefish.

Can anyone tell me if it is worth trying to drive through GNP at the very beginning of October? Can we do it in a day to Whitefish coming from the Great Falls area? I checked the website for the road conditions today and it seems several roads are already closed but whether that is due to weather or roadworks I don't know - I realise it is early Spring over there and maybe there is still snow around.

Does the snow come early there? We live in the North Australian tropics and have no idea about these weather conditions!

It looks like a big park but if there is nowhere to stay within after mid September, what does one do?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 03:17 AM
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There is one road that goes through the middle of the park and it is the Going to the Sun road. It is open for just a few weeks a year because of snow - because you are driving through glacier country. The road connects the points (and towns) of West Glacier and East Glacier. People visiting the park stay IN the park at lodges on the western and eastern ends of the park or in towns outside those park. When the GTTS road is closed, one drives Hwy 2 to get to one side of the park or the other. Hwy 2 is a gorgeous drive, mostly wooded, with a few places to stay along the way. We stayed in a private home just south of the park near Essex and enjoyed the location. As it happened, we were on a jammer tour (the restored tour buses) and the road to Logan Pass opened up early for the year unexpectedly. We were so early, the gift shop at the visitor center had not opened. There were plenty of porta-potties in the parking lot and the snow was over one's head as one walked on the cleared sidewalks. Back to Hwy 2 = the Issac Walton Inn is open as is a small hotel at Glacier Haven. There are other options in the town of East Glacier and then some people stay outside West Glacier in Kalispell and Whitefish.
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 06:14 AM
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That sounds like a really fun trip, i have thought about doing it also, but was weary of the snow conditions in October
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 06:45 AM
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In early November my DW and I spent our anniversary at Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls.
We drove as far as the Lake McDonald lodge which was closed for the season. The gate to the Going to the Sun road was closed and there was some snow behind it.
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Old Mar 30th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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GTTS road will DEFINETLY be closed in October if not for weather than for construction.
It can and has snowed every month of the year though the road is normally opened early June and closes mid September weather permitting. After a really tough winter last year the road did not open in it's entirety till mid July and closed early Sept.
We have been having a relatively mild winter so hopefully the GTTS road will open earlier this year. Check the web site for further details
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 06:51 AM
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I agree that Highway 2 is a beautiful drive and often overlooked but will be your only option in October. There will still be some good hiking available, although no ranger led hikes at that time of year. For some great fall hikes go to:
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Old Mar 31st, 2012, 09:30 PM
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Thank you for your replies - very helpful and have confirmed my earlier thoughts. We will check the website nearer the time and then readjust our itinerary if necessary. It looks as though Highway 2 will be it! I know this is a beautiful part of the country, so whatever we do will be just amazing, I am sure.

Thank you all again - I am getting really excited about this trip!
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