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Old 03-24-2015, 08:37 PM   #15
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speaking of Glacier National Park, is a car required, or, like Yellowstone, can you still see a large part of the park with a 40' motorhome? We might have a chance to pass through the area later this year...but now towed vehicle.

Steve
Glacier is not a drive in park for RVs. If you don't have a towed vehicle then you'll need to take a tour. Also, if you stay IN the park (Apgar campground has some sites for a 40' MH), then you can take the park shuttles and get on and off.
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Old 03-24-2015, 11:49 PM   #16
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My TV is a Ram 2500 Crew cab short bed, total length is 20 feet. Will it be OK on the into the sun hwy?
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Old 03-25-2015, 04:00 AM   #17
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My TV is a Ram 2500 Crew cab short bed, total length is 20 feet. Will it be OK on the into the sun hwy?

Yes you will be fine with your Crew Cab. Road is a two lane narrow (in places) black top road.

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Old 03-26-2015, 12:45 AM   #18
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Then Glacier it is!! If you see my avatar on the back of my TT wave as you go by.
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:35 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
speaking of Glacier National Park, is a car required, or, like Yellowstone, can you still see a large part of the park with a 40' motorhome? We might have a chance to pass through the area later this year...but now towed vehicle.
You can see almost all of the park with a 40' motorhome, you just cannot drive over the GTTS road with a 40' motorhome.

West Glacier/Apgar/Lake McDonald
East Glacier, Babb, Many Glaciers, Two Medicine. US89/Looking Glass road is a gorgeous, but narrow 2-lane road as well. It is open to MH's, but narrow (my Dad has driven a gravel truck on it! )
ALL accessible by MH. You'd just need to take US2 between West and East instead of the GTTS.

The North Fork and Polebridge are fully accessible, just gravel and dusty. You might elect to leave your RV in C Falls and take your toad/TV up the North Fork. It's worth the drive. Stop in Polebridge in the morning at the Polebridge Merc and eat a pastry. Head for Bowman or Kintla Lake. Go canoeing/kayaking/hiking, then go to the Northern Lights Saloon for dinner before heading back to CFalls.


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Originally Posted by mricet1005 View Post
You cannot drive through park on the Going To The Sun road with a 40' motorhome. But you can take a Red Bus Tour from either the east our west entrance to see the main part of the park.
The GNP Conservancy and GNP have partnered to put transit stations at both ends of the GTTS road. You can park at either West or Rising Sun, get on a free shuttle bus, ride over, stop at any of multiple stops to eat lunch or go hiking, and catch another white shuttle bus back.

The red bus tours are guided and are an additional cost.

The GTTS is a neat road, but only for the passenger. The driver has to pay attention. If you want to see the sights, take a shuttle, even if your vehicle is legal. You also don't have to fight for a parking spot at Logan pass when the shuttle bus drops you at the curb of the visitor's center.

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Originally Posted by Fred and Bonnie View Post
We stayed in Kalispell, while the town is nice, we got real tired of the back and forth drive to the park.
I live in Kalispell. I love the town and love that I'm semi-close to everything, but it's 35min to West Glacier, which is only the west entrance to the park. I completely agree that one of the campgrounds in Columbia Falls, Coram, Hungry Horse, or West Glacier would make a better central terminus.

Honestly, if you want to see most of the park, consider 3-4 days on the West side, and 2-3 days on the east side. Driving from Columbia Falls to Rising Sun and Many Glacier each day would get just as old as driving from Kalispell to Apgar.

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We stayed at Glacier Meadows campground. About 1/2 way between east & west gates on south side. Nice park friendly people away from traffic. We found more activity near the West entrance. Staying on that side will probably save you some miles on your tow vehicle.
There are FAR more tourist traps (er, sorry, "amenities") on the West side. I just heard my grandfather's voice coming out of me. ha ha.

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On the West side we went around to a little town (Polebridge I think). Neat town that is off the grid. Lots of solar & generators. Small store there had awesome baked goods. We went on past the town to another entrance to Glacier Park--then on real small gravel road (one lane at times) to a lake. Saw two black bear in that area. We did this trip in small car without any problem. Great scenery in this area. More woods than mountains.
Polebridge Mercantile...and you probably went to either Bowman or Kintla. The farther you are willing to drive up the North Fork, the better views of mountains you will find.

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Originally Posted by twogypsies View Post
Glacier is not a drive in park for RVs. If you don't have a towed vehicle then you'll need to take a tour. Also, if you stay IN the park (Apgar campground has some sites for a 40' MH), then you can take the park shuttles and get on and off.
I respectfully disagree, and reiterate that the GTTS road is the only non-drive-in road for RV's. The rest of the park is 100% open to RV's.

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Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
My TV is a Ram 2500 Crew cab short bed, total length is 20 feet. Will it be OK on the into the sun hwy?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highway 4x4 View Post
Then Glacier it is!! If you see my avatar on the back of my TT wave as you go by.
Enjoy your visits, everyone!
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:41 AM   #20
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Food

I forgot to mention there are a few decent restaurants in Kalispell, and a couple in Columbia Falls--specifically the BBQ at the Back Room.

Whitefish (15min from CFalls) has the best selection of eateries in the valley, followed closely by Bigfork (30min from CFalls).

If you're a foodie, there really isn't any "fine dining" between CFalls and anywhere east of the Park. The Stonefly grill in Coram is supposed to be decent, but I haven't eaten there myself.


Groceries:
-Best selection and prices will be at Smith's in Columbia Falls.
-Best higher-end ingredients at Safeway in Whitefish
-Most convenient would be Smith's in CFalls or the small grocery store in Hungry Horse.

There are no grocery stores to speak of in West Glacier, East Glacier, or anywhere in the park--they're all convenience stores and you will pay "I am a tourist and I forgot something" prices at all of them.

Montana has the highest per-capita number of micro breweries in the state, with two breweries in Whitefish, one in Kalispell, one in Lakeside, and one in Bigfork. There is a microdistillery in Hungry Horse and one in Bigfork.
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Old 03-26-2015, 10:51 PM   #21
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Thanks for the info MT4Runner,
I'll be in the Columbia Falls RV for a week. I've never been up that far so I'll stay a few days. what will the bugs and weather be like in the middle of August? Anyone thinking of planning a trip, do it now. This is going to be a big year for RV travel.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:12 AM   #22
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I hate to be a spoilsport, but keep an eye on our weather.
We haven't had a lot of moisture since January, we're getting rain now (usually get snow). Rain melts snow. A lack of snowpack in the mountains contributes to an earlier growing season, which then means all the green stuff in the hills dries out sooner..which means it dies sooner...which means wildfires. It will be pretty obvious by late July if we're getting a lot of small fires if it looks like a smoky August is in the forecast. Our last big wildfire summer was 2007, so we're due for another. :(


It is rare that the entire state burns up. If we're on fire, chances are that Yellowstone NP won't be...so it would be a good backup plan if Glacier is smoky and hard to see.


Bugs are either mosquitos or yellow jacket wasps. If it's been wet, we'll have mosquitos. If it's been dry, we'll have yellow jackets. They were awful in 2013. Since we had good freezes the winter of 2013-2014, we had fewer last year. We had a couple of good deep freezes this past winter, so hopefully not many this year.


If anyone needs beta and I miss a question in this thread, feel free to PM me. Enjoy your summers! We're getting ready to make a trip to S. Utah.
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