GNP in early June?? should we wait?

Old Feb 13th, 2013, 06:36 AM
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GNP in early June?? should we wait?

My husband I want to go to GNP but lodging is so booked up in July---wondering what we would miss if went in early June? I know the GTTS rd will be closed. Will we still be able to take a Red Bus ride? Would this be a big mistake? Should we just wait and plan the trip in 2014?
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 08:30 AM
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http://www.glacierparkinc.com/tour_detail.php?id=1

Here is a link to the Red Bus Tour info

I am going my first time this year at the end of July. For me, I wouldn't go unless I could do the GTSR. It would just depend on what is important to you. The higher elevation hikes would likely be closed, but the lower elevation hikes would likely be open. I think you would be missing on a large part of what makes it special.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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Short answer, WAIT till mid July or August. Yes, lodging is getting booked and it will be crowded. Reason, because what you want to see is only available approx. mid June to labor day weekend, hence the crowds. So far , we are having a mild winter so hopefully the road will open mid to late June. Should be lots of rooms still available outside the park in Kalispell or Whitefish which are both approx. 30 leisurely miles from the west entrance.
IMHO if you can wait, by all means come out in late July or August.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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I just looked and there is a lot of available lodging still for the last week of July
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 01:26 PM
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If you can manage, do wait until GTSR is open. Did a visit over Memorial Day weekend once on the St. Mary's side and didn't feel the experience was what I wanted it to be without being able to travel on GTSR.
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 05:07 PM
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thank you----i think we might visit yosemite instead this summer, then make GNP reservations early for 2014. If you could stay at the best lodging, would it be Many Glacier lodge?
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 05:19 PM
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Yosemite and Yellowstone will be tough to reservations too.
Yosemite waterfalls would be really good around the first of June, if you happen to get lucky and get a res.

I don't know if you are driving or flying. Flights are pretty difficult and expensive to get into Kalispel for Glacier. We are actually flying into Calgary as I had frequent flier points on AA. We are staying at Many Glacier the entire time. At Yellowstone, I like to stay at more than one location.
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Old Feb 14th, 2013, 05:56 AM
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You definitely want to stay in the Many Glacier area - either the Many Glacier Lodge or Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Personally, we prefer to go late August or early September when they crowds have died down.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 06:29 AM
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Call, call, call for reservations.

I'm going back this August after spending 3 1/2 days in
Glacier with my daughter last August.

I booked rooms early and then the friend I'm going with booked his planes tickets and move the trip a day earlier due to air miles.

I immediately called and was able to add an early day to Rising Sun but Swiftcurrent in Many Glacier was a problem. I got the earlier one day but in a different type of room that required changing rooms after 1 night.

I called once a week but nothing. Then a week ago I was ready to start calling twice a week and got the room types we needed.

There are cancellations all the time. People book a year ahead and then plans change.

Just keep calling.

Glacier (especially Many Glacier) is beautiful.

Also, Glacier has a short season. If you go too early GTTS road may not be open and some beatiful hikes won't be open. If you go late you'll hit snow at the end.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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IMHO, Many Glacier Lodge is definitely NOT the best lodging for GNP. My spouse really wanted to spend at least one night in this historic lodge, so I booked it. Our rooms (we had to get 2 for our family of four) were worse than a budget motel (i.e. only a few pieces of cheap furniture and a bare-bones bathroom) and there was NO soundproofing, so you heard everything. And we paid more for these two rooms than for the nice vacation homes we rented on either side of the park for the rest of our stay.

If you do want to stay in the Many Glacier area, which is gorgeous, try to find accommodations in Swiftcurrent Inn. Everything I've read about it makes it sound like you get much better value-for-money than at Many Glacier Lodge.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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Funny that I've heard the same as longhorn's story several time. I've come to expect that inpark lodging is always overpriced.

Last summer I stayed at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn just down the road from the Inn.

They're both convenient as the hikes to Fishercap Lake and Iceberg Lake start in the Swiftcurrent parking lots.

And, the boat for the first part of the Grinnell Glacier hike leaves from the dock at Many Glacier Inn.

I'm going back this summer and booked Dwiftcurrent again.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 05:38 PM
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That should read Swiftcurrent.
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 05:47 PM
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If you have to stay outside the park stay on the east side. That's where all of the scenery is and Many Glacier.

Also, if you have to stay outside the park you are much better outside Glacier NP than Yosemite and Yellowstone.

Driving from outside lodging at Yosemite is a long drive and Californians like their cars so you'll have traffic issues.

Yellowstone is such a large park that most people who want to see the park will stay in two places in Yellowstone (I stayed in Old Faithful and Canyon areas) and one place in Grand Tetons (I stayed at Signal Mtn).

For Glacier call, call and call. Call twice a day.

Those in the know book a year ahead and then cancel to get their deposits back when the plans don't work out. Some people will make multiple reservation just guessing and then cancel.

CALL!!!!!!
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Old Feb 16th, 2013, 07:18 PM
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What would be good options outside the park on the East side? I've found all kinds of lodging West of the entrance--columbia falls, whitefish, etc. but haven't seen anything interesting West.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Erik from France who'se been to Glacier a few times probably knows the east side lodging.

I remember when we drove from Many Glacier to Rising Sun on GTTS we passed a fair number of places either near Babb or in/around St Mary.

I think if you do a search or go to Tripadvisor you should see them.

But as I wrote. Also CALL!!! There are cancellations. You just have to call often.
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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For a list of motels both chain and Mom and Pop;
www.eastglacierparkmontana.com
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Old Feb 17th, 2013, 11:53 AM
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On May 31 2012 my wife and I were the only people who got off the westbound Empire Builder in Cut Bank. We had a rental car waiting for us at the Amtrak lot. We spent the night at the Glacier Gateway. http://www.glaciergateway.com/New_Site/gg.html
We had breakfast in town and then went through Browning to get to St. Mary. We went up 17 miles on the GTTS road until we got to the closed gate. We were told that the Logan Pass would open about June 15. We came back through Two Medicine to get to East Glacier and then west on US 2 over the Marias Pass to the Isaac Walton. We then went back to Browning and saw the Museum of the Plains Indian before going back to Cut Bank to turn in the rental car and getting on the Empire Builder back to Spokane where our car was parked. That night June1-2 the Empire Builder arrived 30 minutes early in Spokane.
The nicest place we stayed on the west side was at the Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls in November 2005.
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Old Feb 18th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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thanks for list, John---very complete----i think we're going to stay 1/2 time on East side and the other half at Meadow Lake Resort for golf. Glad you liked it, tomfuller.
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