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Old 09-28-2019, 06:19 PM   #1
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What to do at Glacier NP if Road to the Sun is Not Open?

The title says it all. I don't want to push my Huge trip back further just to go on the Road to the Sun. If I decide to go I would go to the West side and then to the East side. I would be there in mid June. Also how many nights would I need at each stop? Could we do some short hiking?

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Old 09-28-2019, 06:48 PM   #2
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Been on both sides, you don't side which side you are coming from. I think there is more to do on the east side. More trails and more places. But driving around the bottom of the park on Hwy 2 is not difficult if you want to see both sides.

On the west side you can go to the rarely visited Polebridge area. And if you have your passport you can, on the east side, day trip up to the Canadian Peace Park.

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Old 09-28-2019, 07:07 PM   #3
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If you stay on the East side (in St Mary) you can go north to the Many Glacier part of GNP. It's really pretty. Or go to the south to Lower Two Medicine Lake. But the great attraction is really the Going To The Sun road.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:17 AM   #4
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Both sides are good to explore but outside of the park there are more things to do on the west side.

You could cut your days and add them somewhere else.

Each national park has a great website with maps, things to do, camping, road information, opening info of Going to the Sun Rd., special alerts, etc. Check it out


First thing - go to Visitor Center and talk to a ranger about easy 'walks' not really hikes. They usually have a movie for an overview of the park. Get a list of Ranger activities - usually very informative with minimal walking

A couple of easy walks:
- from Logan Pass when you take the shuttle - Hidden Lake Overlook
- St. Mary Falls .8 mi
- Trail of the Cedars 1 mi. loop

- rafting trip down the river
- drive to Canadian Glacier from the east side (need a Passport)
- Lake McDonald - rent a motor boat or kayak
- dinner at Belton Chalet - 1 mi. from W. Entrance
- drive around Flathead Lake - it's a loop
- Tour Conrad Mansion in Kalispell
- Glacier Sun Winery in Kalispell
- Great Northern Brewing in Whitefish
- used to be a great pizza place in Whitefish - can't recall the name
- museums in the small towns
- hot air balloon ride
- helicopter tour
- drive Hwy 2 to the Goat Lick Overlook and look for goats

Google the nearby towns for things to do
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:27 AM   #5
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Hi reubenray,
Been to Glacier many times. In mid-June I'd stay on the East side first. Stop at the ranger station and determine what short hikes you want to do. You will also want to see the lobby at Many Glacier Lodge (make reservations for lunch you will not be sorry), the lobby is something to see. There is the boat tour from Many Glacier Lodge to the lakes (lower and upper lake). There are several very good local restaurants near St. Mary and Many Glacier.

If approaching St Mary from the south do not take Rt 89 from Browning to St. Mary. in Browning get on Rt 464 north. At the end of the road take a left to St. Mary (about 7 miles). This is a very easy drive. Rt 89 North of Browning to St Mary is a difficult up down and around road with poor quality.

Lastly, ask at the ranger station gift shop when the Native American presentation is. Usually on Wednesday and the tickets can be purchased only at the gift shop and only on the day of the performance.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:44 AM   #6
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Just enjoy the views

We were there just before July 4 a few years back and the Road was still closed. We drove it as far as we were allowed. Drove both sides of the Park. Enjoyed our time. Gives us a reason to go back.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:04 PM   #7
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I will be coming from Grizzly RV in West Yellowstone, so I will be getting to the West side first.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:33 PM   #8
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X2 for Polebridge. A pretty drive over reasonable roads (dirt) but at the end of the drive ARE THE BEST sticky buns in the country.

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Old 10-01-2019, 07:54 PM   #9
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Mid June is usually too early to expect Going to the Sun Hwy to be open. Plan on route 2 to get from West to East Glacier. If it does happen to be open, consider it the cherry on your sundae. As a matter of fact, mid June can still be rather snowy in parts of Yellowstone.

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