help me plan trip to GNP/Yellowstone!

Old Apr 7th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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help me plan trip to GNP/Yellowstone!

I'm travelling to East Glacier by train and will arrive the second week in June. I'll be with my 3 year old daughter, my 12 year old son, a friend and her 6 year old son, and my friend's parents. We plan to rent cars and drive to Yellowstone, where we have hotel reservations for three nights. We plan to hike a little (>2 miles at a time), sight-see, maybe catch a ghost town--we're pretty open. I'd appreciate suggestions about what to do on our trip, and what things I should pack--I'm an inexperienced traveller and have never been to Montana. Thanks!!
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Old Apr 9th, 2009, 07:35 AM
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I'm not sure how many days your trip is - it's quite a ways to YS from GNP, I think about 450-500 miles depending on your route. Here's a few suggestions:
- You're getting off in East Glacier so you'll be on the east side of the Continental Divide. You'll travel to the west side through the park over the going to the sun road and it may or may not be open. Opening dates range from May to end of June.
- On the east side, I like the Many Glacier Lodge area, there are easy hikes with youngsters you can take around Swiftcurrent Lake and beyond.
- The west side popular area is Lake McDonald, the lodge is wonderful there as well.
- These lodges are likely full already...The Isaak Walton Inn in Essex is pretty neat and is a train stop as well.
- Once you leave GNP, I'd travel south to Bigfork on Flathead Laker - wonderful little community, then proceed down the east shore of the lake.
- There are many choices of ghost towns you can visit from there, my favorites are Elkhorn (South of Helena off I-15 - http://ghosttown.montana.com/elkhorn.html) and Bannack (west of Dillon). They are not commercialized, and just "as they are". Bannack is a State Park, so cleaned up a little. Others are Garnet, Granite etc.

I'm not as familiar with Yellowstone so..hope this helps.
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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Very unlikely the "Sun" road will be open by then. Historical opening is mid June depending on the weather. Last year it was July.
You can get to the west side of GNP by using hiway 2.
Some trails will be open that early for hiking but many will still be snow packed. An easy trail on the west side which most likely will be open is Avalanche.
West Glacier to West Yellowstone is 390 miles or about 7 hours driving. Also can't speak for Yellowstone but I would imagine motels would be hard to find if you don't already have a room.
Have a great trip
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Old Apr 10th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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You stated you had hotel reservations in Yellowstone, I do so hope they are in the park, if not, you can always call to see if they had cancellations cause they always do and to stay in Old Faithful Inn or the Snow Lodge is so worth it! Anyway, I recommend viewing Old Faithful geyser, she goes off every 30 min, and then walking to some of the other geysers, there are many. I love the geyser area. Do a search here on Yellowstone and you will get lots of information.

An activity I recommend for you and your family is the Chuck Wagon Dinner. It takes off from Roosevelt Lodge and you can either go by wagon or horse. The ride was fun and your kids would get a kick out of it. Once there, you are serenaded with cowboy songs until the steaks are done. The meal was pretty good and then you pile back into your wagon or mount your horse and it's back to the Lodge. You can make reservations at Yellowstone. Driving in the Park can take a long time because you run into herds of buffalo! So fun!
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 03:22 AM
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Jenny, first things first! You are going to be in East Glacier, which is an awesome, tiny town. If you have not been to this area before, let me tell you, it's AMAZING, with scenery that beats Yellowstone and on par with Grand Teton. The first thing I would do is head up to Two Medicine in Glacier National Park, which is about 10 miles northwest of East Glacier via good roads:

http://www.parkcamper.com/Glacier-Na...Campground.htm


If you only have one week in the area(not sure about your time), I would advise just to stay in Glacier. It has more "wow" scenery per acre than anywhere else in the lower 48.
Glacier has swimming, fishing, rafting, hiking, horseback rides, Wild Gose Island, North Fork of the Flathead, Many Glacier, Goat Lick, Going to the Sun Road, Avalanche Lake, Logan Pass, St. Mary, Apgar, wild drives through the North Fork and other great activies that would easily take up a week in world class scenery.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 07:53 AM
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Thank you, guys--that's really helpful!
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Old May 1st, 2009, 09:05 AM
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FYI, St. Mary's on the east side of the park just recv'd 65 inches of snow the last 2 days. Hopefully this will melt quickly. Of course then we have to be concerned with flooding.
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Old May 1st, 2009, 10:40 AM
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I am not sure where you are arriving from but I would say with one week, stay in either Glacier or Yellowstone- both would be a lot of travelling. Yellowstone I think would offer more activites for your young family, and because it is quite large, a week could easily be spent there, breaking it up into two lodgings.
Glacier is beautiful- we were there when our children were young also -but its more challenging terrain all around- would wait until they are older. Yellowstone, with the geysers, waterfalls, and wildlife would be fun.
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