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Old 03-28-2016, 04:21 PM   #1
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Chicagoland to Glacier National Park

Starting to work on a schedule for a mid-June two-week (vacation-time) to Glacier National Park. Taking the I94 Route West and coming home on I90 (if there sites to be seen). What are some of the experiences folks "must sees" for us novices.
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Old 03-28-2016, 05:10 PM   #2
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there is another thread about travel to Glacier NP ... the poster is from Madison, WI

from Madison
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:33 PM   #3
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I prefer to drive US 2 all the way from the Chicago area to Glacer NP. It is all 4-lane, straight, and very lightly-traveled after you get away from the big cities East of the Mississippi.
There are many things to see and do along US 2. Lots of historic sites, national monuments, recreation areas, POI's, etc. Perhaps the most interesting place to spend a few days touring and investigating is Havre, MT. This very old town has an underground town beneath it's above-ground buildings, it's Havre Underground. This was constructed when most of the town burned, and was also used during severe winters.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:17 PM   #4
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It is all 4-lane, straight, and very lightly-traveled after you get away from the big cities East of the Mississippi.
This is not true. US 2 is 2 lane across montana. It also goes right through the heart of the Bakken oil field between Minot and the MT border. I believe that stretch is now all 4 lane though. I have not been on it since the oil boom hit. It shouldnt be busy near as busy now that oil is so low. But I have avoided that region like the plague the last 5 years since the boom because of the huge amounts of oil traffic and not enough infrastructure to support it.

I94 across ND you can take a small detour south at Mandan and go to FT Lincoln sate park. It is where Custer was stationed before he rode out to his last stand. Medora ND is a tourist trap with an excellent musical every night of the summer, chateau de mores, and an incredible golf course, Bully Pulpit. Travelling west you get to Pompey's Pillar where Lewis or Clark scratched his name in the rock and it's still visible.

Tons of stuff out here to looky-loo at. Maskosika State Park is beautiful in may/ early June. The grass is usually green then and it really contrasts the reds and earth tones of the badlands.

I live on i94. When I go to Glacier I take Hwy200s at Glendive to either circle and go north on 13 to wolf point, or go to flowing wells and turn north o 24 and go across Ft. Peck dam to glascow. Both routes intersect US 2, and I take 2 the rest of the way. You can also take 200 all the way to Great Falls, but that road from Brockway to Jordan is narrow. You can also take 94 until it intersects 90 and take 90 all the way to around butte and hit 15 north, or take 287 north put of three forks and hit 15 at helena.
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:32 PM   #5
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Have you picked a CG at Glacier? East side or west side?

One thing that is really worth while is the Red Bus tours. They have comfy buses and the guides show you stuff that you would miss, if you were driving yourself.

The "Going to the Sun Road" is a must do and the bus is the way to do it.

RED BUS JAMMERS OF Glacier National Park

Good luck and Happy Trails!!
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Old 03-29-2016, 01:20 PM   #6
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there is another thread about travel to Glacier NP ... the poster is from Madison, WI

from Madison
Thank you.....
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:46 PM   #7
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drittal pointed out I was wrong, and I was. US 2 is 2-lane through Cut Bank area. Sorry for the misinformation.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:14 PM   #8
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We've driven Hwy 2 from Michigan to Washington. It's an easy, beautiful drive. Definitely plan to stop at Ft. Peck COE campground. It's a beauty...huge sites with lawns. When you're driving across Montana you see how it got it's motto "Big Sky Country". As you approach Glacier the mountains are glorious to see.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:15 PM   #9
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drittal pointed out I was wrong, and I was. US 2 is 2-lane through Cut Bank area. Sorry for the misinformation.
2 lane from North Dakota to Idaho. MT has not widened it yet. There have been proposals and a lot of want by the public, yet no 4 lane to date outside of urban areas. We went to Glacier last May and took HWY 2 from Glascow to Kalispell.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:18 PM   #10
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US 2 is 2-lane through Cut Bank area.
Yeah, but it's a pretty good 2 lane road. We've enjoyed US 2 westbound across Montana several times. The view of the Rocky Mountains growing out of the prairie is pretty cool. June should be before the fire season with the likelihood of reduced visibility from smoke.

IF you decide to follow US 2, and only want to do it one direction, I'd suggest that you choose westbound.

If you choose to follow I-90, you'll pass just a few miles from the Little Bighorn Battlefield (https://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm). The docents give an excellent presentation of Custer's Last Stand. The Black Hills in SD are just off I-90, too. Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Custer State Park (think bison roaming free), Deadwood and, for the biker in your gang, Sturgis. A little farther east and you'll pass right by the Badlands National Park (https://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm). You should probably stop for a glass of ice water at Wall Drug (South Dakota Road Trip Stop). You can take a tour of a Minuteman missile Launch Control Facility here: https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm

Lots to see and do, either way you choose to go.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:31 PM   #11
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Also, if you do take 200 from glendive to great falls finding fuel between Jordan and Lewistown is very limited. I THINK there is a station in Winnett, which is a mile or two off 200, and I THINK there is one at Grass Range which is 3 or 4 miles off 200.

Jordan to Lewistown is 130 miles.
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Old 04-01-2016, 09:47 PM   #12
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2 lane from North Dakota to Idaho. MT has not widened it yet. There have been proposals and a lot of want by the public, yet no 4 lane to date outside of urban areas. We went to Glacier last May and took HWY 2 from Glascow to Kalispell.
Right again. The reason Cut Bank stuck in my memory is because when we drove US 2, East of Cut Bank the state was totally rebuilding the highway. The mile-long detour alongside the construction was mud. If I hadn't had 4WD in my dually I would've gotten stuck once, guess the 15,500# 5er was too much of a drag.
The Blackfeet reservation is an interesting place to visit.
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Old 05-10-2016, 11:41 PM   #13
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I'd like to put a plug in for Madora, ND. We came East on Hwy 2 out of Glacier and then in Eastern, MT angled SE to Madora. Nice camp ground on the East side of town. The Southern entrance to the Southern section of the Theodore Roosevelt NP is right in town. There is a 30+ mile loop through the park. We saw a lot of wildlife there. Also in town there is an outdoor amphitheater with a great musical play. Before the show you can get a pitchfork steak fondue where they could 6-8 steaks on a pitchfork in boiling oil. Maybe not the best steak in the world but a unique experience.
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Old 05-11-2016, 12:50 PM   #14
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I also recommend Medora ... a great experience ... meal was surprisingly good ... and the show afterwards is phenomenal ...
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