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Old 06-12-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
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Smile Custer State Park to East Glacier area

Hi all,

At the beginning of September we'll be leaving Custer Sate Park and heading for St. Mary on the east side of Glacier NP. We'd like to do this drive in 2 days and I'd appreciate any advice on route and where to overnight.

There will be 3 motorhomes traveling together, all towing. Longest is 39' plus a Wrangler and shortest is 30' plus an as yet to be determined small SUV (Tracker or Samurai size).

We don't need anything fancy, but would prefer dry camping at a State Park or National Forest Service land to a private CG or boon-docking at Wal-Mart.

Please share your experiences on the best route for the 3 of us and ideas for where to spend the night.

Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:50 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Floridafran View Post
Hi all,

At the beginning of September we'll be leaving Custer Sate Park and heading for St. Mary on the east side of Glacier NP. We'd like to do this drive in 2 days and I'd appreciate any advice on route and where to overnight.

There will be 3 motorhomes traveling together, all towing. Longest is 39' plus a Wrangler and shortest is 30' plus an as yet to be determined small SUV (Tracker or Samurai size).

We don't need anything fancy, but would prefer dry camping at a State Park or National Forest Service land to a private CG or boon-docking at Wal-Mart.

Please share your experiences on the best route for the 3 of us and ideas for where to spend the night.

Thanks.
we use this free website to find walmarts that do or do not allow overnight parking. this site is up to date because the users update it by emailing allstays. we have found 2 walmarts in our travels that were not listed in allstays. after we emailed them, the listings were added. we have also been welcomed at walmarts that are listed as no parking in allstays. those listings were updated too.
allstays includes truck stops, etc. info also. best of all, the site is free. there are pay sites that that do not have as up to date listings as allstays.
we always ask walmart store management or security if we can stay and where to park.

Walmart Store Locations Map - Wal-Mart Guide

http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/

http://www.rv-camping.org/FreeRVCamping.html

http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/finder.shtml

http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index....stay&Itemid=45
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:32 AM   #3
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I-90 to Three Forks and then north on US-287. US-287 cuts the corner off on the way to I-15. Appx. 6 miles north of Townsend is Canyon Ferry Lake, the Silos CG is right down on the lake, lots of big sites and is $5 a night with the Golden Age pass. From here you have appx. 275 miles to St Mary depending on the route you take. We stopped in Conrad for a couple of nights to catch up on laundry.

RV Park Reviews :: Townsend, Montana ( MT ) - RV Parks and Campground Reviews

Only problem with Silos CG is that you just might not want to leave.

Bob
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:30 PM   #4
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Dan,

Thanks for all of those links. I have some of them but there were a couple of new ones.

Bob,

Thanks for the routing advice. And Silos CG is beautiful. Would love to include it on our trip.

Later,
Fran
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Old 06-15-2011, 11:47 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Floridafran View Post
Dan,

Thanks for all of those links. I have some of them but there were a couple of new ones.

Bob,

Thanks for the routing advice. And Silos CG is beautiful. Would love to include it on our trip.

Later,
Fran
you are welcome. please click on the thanks button on the bottom of your post whenever it is appropriate.

i neglected to mention casinos, mainly indian casinos for free overnight parking.

Casino Camper - Free Overnight Parking - Casino RV Parks

http://www.midwestgamingandtravel.com/index.html
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Old 06-17-2011, 07:57 PM   #6
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Dan,

Didn't know about the "thanks" icon. Now I do. So thanks for the additional links, complete with icon.

Fran

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Old 06-18-2011, 08:56 AM   #7
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Sounds like somewhere around Bozeman is your midpoint. We usually stay at Sunrise Campground in Bozeman. Affordable and nice.

For the route we leave Game Lodge Campground at CSP and head west on US-16 to I-90 at Moorcroft. If you take the truck bypass in Newcastle you'll save a bit of time. We leave I-90 at Three Forks and pick up US-287 there. Right at the exit is the Montana Wheat Company. There's truck parking (you could boondock in the lot), diesel fuel, and a great deli with bakery and sandwiches. 287 north takes you into Helena, where you jump onto I-15 for a bit. Then off of I-15 and back onto 287 just north of Wolf Creek. 287 merges with US-89 at Choteau and 89 takes you into Browning.

The secret it that you don't want to take 89 from Browning to St Mary. That road is twisty beyond description and filled with ups and downs all the way. You'll be wore out once you get to St Mary and your coach will have a bunch of new creaks and rattles. Instead, head straight north out of Browning on 464. This road is straight and the grades are few and gradual. It'll turn left at Duck Lake and meet up with US-89 at Babb, just north of St Mary. From there it's a short trip to St Mary on a good road.
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:07 PM   #8
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Cruzer,

Thanks for the great info. I already have your wonderful post about routes into Yellowstone saved in my trip file.

I'm keeping a close watch on travel conditions between here (the Florida Panhandle) and the Badlands. So much flooding along the Missouri River. And the rain in Montana and the Dakotas just keeps falling. I feel so sorry for everyone being flooded. I live on a barrier island and we've been washed over twice in the 17 years I've lived here, but at least what a hurricane leaves behind isn't mud. Mostly white sand, beach vegetation and building materials of one sort or another which is easier to deal with than what the river flooding leaves behind, I'm sure.

We may end up changing some of the routes we had planned depending on damage to roads and campgrounds along the way. Just one more thing I like about getting the RV. We have options! We're really looking forward to this trip. And I'm having a great time researching and planning it.

Fran
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