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GNP starting to plan--Many or Swiftcurrent? and easy hike suggestions

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Feb 28th, 2013, 06:16 AM
  #1
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GNP starting to plan--Many or Swiftcurrent? and easy hike suggestions

We are spending 3 nights and 4 days in the Many Glacier area and 4 outside park at Meadow Lark where we will drive into the park a couple of more days. I was ready to make reservations at MG hotel---but have read a few positive posts on Swiftcurrent--the prices areonly $40 apart for what is available--any opinions? In planning day to day, i really liked spirodog's posts in 12/12--booked marked it---thank you--but we have hiking "issues". My husband has two new (not that new) knees. He can hike--but his limit is probably around 3-4 miles/hike and not too steep. Which hikes would be best? and which should we skip? we LOVE great scenery and wildlife. I've written down a few, but value opinions. Also, If we were to choose one or two boat trips, which would you say were best?
Other than this great forum, is there a book I should buy which explains all of the hikes and boat trips, etc? or do most of you get your ideas from reading others' posts?
cathee is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #2
 
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Swiftcurrent is one of our preferred motel in a park.
You have to reserve the motel unit(not te pinetop unit but the others...).It's quiet, rooms are large and you are at the beginning of some nice trails.
Many Glacier hotel is always an option but some rooms are very small and sometimes in hallway, very busy.
Rooms with lakeview are better than "backview" which are looking a...parking lot...
For hikes :
- iceberg lake is 4.8 miles but out/back it's 9.6 miles, not difficult(only the first 1/2 miles are steepy and afterthat it's moderate) : scenery, wildlife;
- swiftcurrent valley, very easy till Bullhead lake and there is a lot to see(fishcap lake, redrock lake and falls,...) and often wildlife...No denivellation.To Bullhead lake it's 3-3.5 miles out and same back.
- Grinnel lake, from "heliport", no denivellation, longing swiftcurrent lake, then Josephine lake and hike till Grinnel lake-the whole lopp is 5-6 miles.
You can hike southshore to go and north shore to come back.There are a detour to hidden falls near Grinnel lake.
- Grinnel glacier taking boat till head of Josephine lake.
The first 1/2 hour is steepy and then it's more easy but it stays more difficult than the others.
Wildlife is commun thru Swiftcurrenta nd Josephine Lake(bears, moose) but less on Grinnel glacier trail(some bighorn sheeps and mountain goats).
- Cracker lake, 6.1 miles tgo go and 6.1 back...but moderate, no real slope,very gradual and certainly the nicest lake...But the first mile is to share with horsetrails and some years it's not so nice...
Erik
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Feb 28th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Having stayed at Many Glacier, I would NOT recommend it. We (party of 4) had two rooms and they were both small and sparsely furnished. There was also little-to-no soundproofing, so we heard everything that went on in the halls all day/night long. I have stayed in Motel 6's that were better than Many Glacier. (Note: We tried to stay in Swiftcurrent, but they were booked out for our dates.)

I overheard one of the park rangers tell some visitors that Many Glacier is a nice place to hang out (and it is), and he would recommend going there to enjoy the fireplace in the lobby and the lake deck, but not stay there.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 10:09 AM
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Have never stayed at Swiftcurrent, but would echo longhorn55 that the Many Glacier rooms tend on the small side and noisy. I enjoyed the Grinnel Glacier trail on my last visit.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 01:49 PM
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Erik you sound like you've stayed at Swifftcurrent Motor Inn several times. We have eight nights booked for this summer. I know you can't cook in the rooms, but what about using a toaster and coffee maker? From posts I've read some say they have coffee makers in the rooms and others say you are given tokens for the store. Have you stayed there recently?
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Feb 28th, 2013, 08:05 PM
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I stayed at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and was satisfied. Nothing luxurious but rooms are fairly large and clean. It's a motel.

Mangy Glacier Hotel looks like one of those historic type building and each day I heard people complaining about something. Then again, people only complain.

I'm going back this summer and staying at Swiftcurrent and Rising Sun. I think I'm overlapping with Erik and hope to meet up with him.

I would skip Grinnell Glacier hike due to your husbands newish knees. It's pretty steep and unless he feels nothing it will strain.

Iceberg Lake is longer and only a bit steep at the start but a much easier walk the rest of the way.

I was in Many Glacier for two days and went to Fishercap Lake at least 3 times. Each time we saw wildlife.

The Iceberg Lake trailhead is right next to the motel units at Swiftcurrent.

For Fishercap Lake you go to the far end of the main parking lot (lower) for Swiftcurrent and take the Swiftcurrent Pass trail. We went as far as Redrock Falls. It's about 2 miles each way with very little change in elevation.

Very close to the start (about 10 minutes) there's a sign indicating Fishercap Lake to the left. There always seems to be people hanging around the lake. We saw male and female moose in the lake eating and a few deer on the side of the lake and a few in the woods between the main trail and the lake.

On the way back from Redrock Falls we saw a deer come jogging by and a grizzly was watching us through the trees. We were alone and it was starting to get dim. My daughter took one quick photo as I started to pull out my bear spray hanging from my belt. We slithered away and the bear just kept watching us.
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Feb 28th, 2013, 08:07 PM
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FL1127,
I'm trying to remember if there was a counter somewhere in the room with a toaster and/or coffee maker but just can't envision it.

I'm pretty sure our room in Rising Sun didn't have any.
Myer is offline  
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Feb 28th, 2013, 11:08 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Some rooms have coffeemakers but not all...
But you have possibilities to use one if you have one...
Coffee at the garden restaurant didn't match our european standard, by far....
In the shop there is an expresso machine and you can arrange your own mixture...
Erik
PS if you are in Swiftcurrent for 7 nights, I suppose it's your base exploring GNP
So there are some others easy hikes:
- from Cutbank, Medecine Grizzly lake is an easy and very scenic hike
- from St Mary, beaver pond and old ranger station
- From GTTS road there are a lot of small easy hikes, arriving to some very beuatiful falls. But there are some people there...
- In Two medecine areas, upper two medecine lake, twin falls, and the shore's trails are easy , no denivellation.
You have only to adjust the schedule while you have miles to drive from Many Glacier.
-
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Mar 1st, 2013, 05:28 AM
  #9
 
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After speaking with Anny, my wife, she confirms that last year we had a coffemaker in our room at Swiftcurrent.
As Myer said no in Rising sun, but as rooms are renovated along yeras, it will happen...
Erik
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Mar 1st, 2013, 05:46 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Thanks for all the great answers. We will pickup a cheap coffee pot at Walmart before leaving Kalispell. I had read where others said the token coffee wasn't very good. I just wanted to make sure we would have outlets to use in the older building. Plus don't want to burn the place down!
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Mar 1st, 2013, 03:10 PM
  #11
 
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There are some excellent shorter hikes with great scenery and wildlife. The hike around Swiftcurrent Lake at the Many Glacier hotel is completely flat and you can usually see moose in the lake:

http://www.hikinginglacier.com/swift...ture-trail.htm

The Highline Trail is a must! You can decide how far out you go and just turn around and come back whenever you're ready. There's beautiful scenery along the entire trail. We've been lucky enough to see big horn sheep on this trail.
The trail begins across the street from teh Logan Pass visitor's center and the parking lot there can fill up by 10AM, so get there early!

http://www.hikinginglacier.com/haystack-pass.htm

Hidden Lake Overlook is considered an easy hike, but the beginning of the trail is on a raised boardwalk with LOTS of steps - so it may not be good for your husband's knees - especially coming down. But even if you walk out a little bit on the trail you'll see spectacular scenery. We've always seen mountain goats at the overlook.

http://www.hikinginglacier.com/hidden-lake-overlook.htm
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Mar 1st, 2013, 06:07 PM
  #12
 
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Keurig makes a small one cup coffee portable maker now.
You can always just do one of those small french presses.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:02 AM
  #13
 
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wave725 perfectly described 3 additional hikes.

I found the earlier part of Hidden Lake Overlook to be an issue due to those stairs.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 02:47 PM
  #14
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Thanks for all of your suggestions. I have an ongoing list with the hikes and your comments. This will keep us very busy for the 4 days we're in Many Glacier. I was thinking about taking a red bus ride---the 8 hr ride (if GTTS is open---but now, with all of these great easy hikes, i'm not sure we'll have time. Have any of you taken one? I could wait til we're on west side of park---sort of torn on the bus---we usually do all of the driving ourselves---but my husband doesn't love driving and trying to see everything. Oh, and--coffee pot info good too---i can't start my day without one!
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 04:27 PM
  #15
 
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I don't do well on those type of bus rides so I wouldn't try it.

I like to come and go as I please.

Another easy one. Doesn't appear in too many places.

A little bit east of Logan's Pass there's a pullout with parking for Lunch Creek. You can hike up along side the creek as far a you'd like. Excellent photo opps.

Also, St Mary and Virginia Falls are not difficult or too long.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 02:15 PM
  #16
 
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Some of the rooms at Many Glacier Hotel have been updated. I stayed in an updated room last summer. The rooms are small, but everything in the room and bathroom was new. It's a beautiful hotel, but it is an old hotel.
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