trip report Glacier National Park

Old Jun 29th, 2013, 08:42 AM
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trip report Glacier National Park

We flew into Kalispell then drove to Many Glacier around the park using route 2. I think if I did it again, I would drive GTTS, but it was 6/22 and the road opened 6/21--rental car agent told us it still wasn't safe to drive it yet---not sure if that was true.

We checked into Many Glacier HOtel---a beautiful property----absolutely breathtaking views right out our window/balcony--violinist serenading in the lobby, sitting around huge fireplace--who could ask for more? --happy to discover that there was one lonely (and small) TV in the bar so we were able to watch the Blackhawks win the title. We took a short hike to Fishercap lake but saw no wildlife.

Day 2---Took ranger guided boat trip Swiftcurrent lake, Lake Josephine, then hiked to Grinnell Lake which we enjoyed. Then took evening glacier Red Bus Tour of GTTS up to Logan Pass. We were torn on whether to take a guided tour---but were very happy with our decision as my husband was able to concentrate on the views and not worry about the road. We also decided on the 3-4 hr. trip instead of the whole day. Spotted 2 brown bears at side of road on way back

Day 3-- Hiked to fishercap and Redrock falls. We saw a few bucks on path up very close, then on way back saw a moose at fishercap. On way to dinner down the road that leads away from the hotel we saw 2 grizzlies in an open field. They got pretty close to our cars, then a ranger came and shooed them back. Then on way back, we saw them again up really close--so cool.
I would not recommend the CAttle Baron for dinner. We ordered the huge Ribeye steak to split--and it was more than 1/2 fat. Really not good at all--maybe just having a bad day--as others have recommended it.

Day 4 ----Took GTTS back to west side. On the way, we hiked St. Mary Falls and one other. A beautiful hike along the shore of St. Mary Lake. Thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of the GTTS--to think we might have missed it, as we arrived here one day after the road opened. We have been to many beautiful places, but I have to say that this topped them all! Where to go next? (i think yosemite) Checked in to Meadow Lake Golf Resort--rented a condo through VRBO on golf course---husband is avid golfer--have to include this on every trip.
I highly recommend ThreeForks Grill in columbia falls---excellent food--went there 2x.

Day 5 --Drove back into GNP and hiked Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake. Saw 2 more large deer right on path--and of course, loved the lake. What a lovely hike through all of the old cedars and hemlocks. Stopped to take a look at Lake McDonald Lodge and had lunch there. It IS totally different from Many Glacier----lovely too, but we were really glad we chose to stay at MG.

Day 6--golf all day----had lunch at Whitefish golf club on patio over looking course---good food----Whitefish later---cute little town to walk around

Day 7 more golf --met some friends from home in Whitefish to do a little bit of bar hopping with those who knew the area.

Overall a great trip----just loved it. Thank you to all who gave advice. It makes such a difference
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 09:05 AM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip. Glacier is on my bucket list. Thanks for reporting.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 09:52 AM
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Thanks for the report. I am going for my first time in about 3 weeks. I follow GNP on twitter and they posted a pic of Aurora(Northern Lights) over Lake Mcdonald from last night. I would have liked to have seen that.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 04:33 PM
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Glad that you only missed wildlife at Fishercap Lake once.

I took my daughter there last summer and we saw wildlife each time we went to Fishercap. Had a grizzly looking at us thru the trees.

We were only there for 3 1/2 days so going back early August with a friend for a week.

That ranger-led hike to Grinnell Lake probably would have been to Grinnell Glacier if it was 3-4 weeks later.

Isn't many Glacier the place!!!!

Great trip!!!

Any photos you could post?

Thanks for the report.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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OH, I forgot to post something else we just loved. Went white water rafting on the middle fork of the river when we traveled to the West side of the park---we went to Mountain Glacier Company--there are two and you catch them right outside the West end of park---it was a lot of fun and really beautiful----#2 ad 3 rapids---just right for us. GNP is just awesome. I loved every minute of it--have to admit I would definitely have enjoyed more time IN the park---but had to do the golf thing---actually golf courses are mostly beautiful, too----designed to show the natural beauty of the land as well.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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I passed through Glacier National Park by train for the second time about 10 days ago. What a beauty! I must give the park a proper visit one of these days and your trip report has given me ideas, so thank you!
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Old Jul 11th, 2013, 05:17 PM
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In my travels around the United States , the only place that i put above Glacier is the Grand Canyon.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:27 PM
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Yes, the Grand Canyon is right up there----We saw Crater Lake in Oregon on two very clear days---that is also literally breathtaking---infact, it has been my desktop picture ever since---but it IS difficult to go from here. I'm looking at Yosemite for next spring, but i can't get excited about it after Glacier. Where should we go next? Husband has never been overseas.
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Old Jul 12th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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Yosemite is awesome too. You could add San Francisco and the Coast to that trip. I think 1st 2 weeks in June is probably the best time for Yosemite.

You could do Pacific Northwest-Seattle, Mount Rainier, San Juan Islands, Olympics, Portland, Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Crater Lake, Oregon Coast. I think this is probably best late July or in August. Not sure what all you did on previous trip.

Utah-Bryce, Zion, Arches, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Moab.
Probably best in April or early May. Perhaps even include Mesa Verde and Durango.

For me, Alaska is probably the most beautiful place I've been(going to Glacier in 2 weeks though). Alaska is just raw unspoiled greatness.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Grand Canyon above Glacier!!!!!!!

I would put almost anything above the Grand Canyon.

My daughter went to GC with her husband a year or two back. They schedules two days. After a day she called me and asked for any other ideas.

I suggested Page - Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend. Those very easily eclipsed GC for her. It salvaged the trip.

I hesitate to say Glacier is the most beautiful of the parks I've been too mostly because it's the last one I've been to and that tends to bias you.

Also, I haven't seen Two Medicine or the West side of the park. Going back in early August for a more thorough look-see.
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Old Jul 13th, 2013, 05:50 PM
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Your report brings back good memories, viewgirl. I love the backdrop of Avalanche Lake, the shoreline of St. Mary's and the view of Lake Grinnell from the trail. Going to the Sun Road is one of the best scenic drives EVER.

Glacier is my favorite NP.

As to where to go next, have you been to the Canadian Rockies (Banff/Jasper)? (Maybe not best in spring...)

As for a spring time frame, the Utah National Parks are amazing and spring is a great time to visit.
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Old Jul 14th, 2013, 04:54 PM
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PhillyFan, We have been to Banff and Lake Louise, but I have thought about going up the Icefield Parkway to Jasper-----We would not have to go in spring, either. I really loved that area the last time we visited. I'm sure in the next couple of years we will do that and yosemite. I also have Alaska on my to do list---not really a cruise fan---but if I ever go on one, it would be Alaska.

Myer and Spirobulldog--i hope you have a wonderful time in Glacier --- and want you both to know that we used many of your suggestions for our trip.
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Old Jul 14th, 2013, 05:48 PM
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Like you, I am not a cruise fan. We flew to Anchorage last year, rented a car, and had a wonderful trip. Unfortunately, we only had 8 days. We are planning to go again next year.
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Old Jul 14th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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viewgirl,
You mentioned you've been to Banff (Lake Louise) and might try Jasper, etc.

If you haven't been to Moraine Lake near Lake Louise, make sure to get over there. It makes Lake Louise look like a second rate attraction. The view from the Rock Pile is the scene on the back of the old Canadian 20 dollar bill. Spectacular.

Also, the short hike to Peyto Lake. Spectacular as well.
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