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Old 02-02-2010, 05:33 PM   #1
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Glacier NP

Already thinking ahead to 2011 and heading up to Glacier NP. What would be the best place to set up a base camp to see the park. I was up there several years ago on a motorcycle and I think we stayed in Kalispel. Any advise would be appreciated.
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Old 02-02-2010, 06:16 PM   #2
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We stayed at Glacier Meadows RV Park. The Red open top motorcars will pick you up at the RV Park and take you to the West entrance and across the park to the east entrance and then back to the RV Park . Those red motorcars are the best way to see Glacier. It is an eight or nine hour tour and well worth it. The RV Park is on highway 2 between east and west glacier. After seeing Galcier we went to Banff and Lake Louise and then did the Canadian portion of the Selkirk Loop.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:14 PM   #3
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We parked at St. Mary's, MT for a base. The Blackfoot tour bus picked us up at the RV park, and the native guide regaled us with stories about the area the entire trip across the park. Since it rained and got cold higher up we were glad we were in a heated enclosed bus. The red tour bus' are not heated, the folks from the RV park that took them got wet and cold by the time they stopped at the top. The driver would not stop and unroll the canvas top for them. From St. Mary's it is a comfortable day trip to Baniff PP, and easy access to the entire East side of Glacier NP; which is not as commercialized as the West side.
I would suggest not driving yourself, you would spend most of the drive watching the road and oncoming traffic.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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We parked at St. Mary's, MT for a base.
Yes! we stayed at Johnson's of St. Mary's CG - what a scenic view of the mountains!!
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:34 AM   #5
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From St. Mary's it is a comfortable day trip to Baniff PP.....
Umm ....... Could you possibly mean Waterton Lakes Provincial Park, the Canadian side of Glacier NP? Worth every bit of the hour's drive!

Banff is way up west of Calgary.

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Old 02-03-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
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The benifit of the open top bus is that you can SEE the mountains. Look up the web site and see for yourslf what they offer. On a regular bus, if you don't have a widow seat your going to miss seeing what you are there for. Our driver had the top closed in the early hours when there was nothing to see up high. You have to be stupid to sit in the rain because some lazy jackass wouldn't slide the top up. Thats one of the dumbest things I've heard. The drivers are knowledable, courtious and I highly recommend them.
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Old 02-03-2010, 08:16 PM   #7
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Have to back up Chuck 100%. Stayed at the same campground and if you are a train fan, it's a pleasure to watch 6-8-10 engine trains pulling the mountain.
The big red bus is the only way to see the park and the driver is fully capable of explaining what you are seeing. Besides, when you get to the switchback on the mountain you want to be able to look around. It's only 4400 ft straight down at one point and the berm is only 2 ft wide!
It's really a place to enjoy!
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:04 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your replies. Looks like it is and red bus. The only thing is we have two dogs with us and that is a long time to leave them alone. So driving it might still be an option.
We have gone to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons the last three years, we love that park. This year we are going to the Sequoias in late May.
What time of year would be best for Glacier? We like to see animals. I know that Memorial time frame can mean the roads can be closed. Would Labor Day time frame be a little better and the best chance or the roads being open.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:25 PM   #9
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You are right ding a ling it is Waterton. My bad. We've been to so many wonderful places my mind(what's left) can't keep them straight.

Chuck, that's what I thought also. That bus pulled in behind ours at the lodge, those poor folks were wet and shivering. This was the beginning of Sep, 05.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:31 PM   #10
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We live here and do Glacier from mid July to mid August. Then it only rains or snows part of the time . I love driving the Going to the Sun hiway but it's sometimes foggy at the top but still a very scenic trip.
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #11
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There's been a number of times when Going To The Sun doesn't open until 7/1 or even 7/4. I'd definitely do that trip in July or August.

We've stayed on both sides of the park. If you have lots of time you can split it and stay at West Glacier and also St Mary. We found that there's more to see on the east side so last summer we strictly stayed at the St. Mary KOA.

If you drive up from Browning, do not take US-89 to St Mary. It's a twisty up and down road that'll twist and turn your RV and help you to discover all those new squeeks you never knew you had. If you take 464 north from Browning it will take you up and over past Duck Lake to Babb and then south. It's a much nicer drive - nice and straight and you get there faster and much more refreshed.

If you want to see some of the sites you'll see when you're in Glacier - check out Glacier National Park

Be sure to try the Huckleberry Pie at Two Sisters in Babb. It's the best anywhere. Trust me, I know from experience. Lots of huckleberries have crossed these lips.
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Old 02-10-2010, 12:39 PM   #12
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We parked at St. Mary's, MT for a base. The Blackfoot tour bus picked us up at the RV park, and the native guide regaled us with stories about the area the entire trip across the park. Since it rained and got cold higher up we were glad we were in a heated enclosed bus. The red tour bus' are not heated, the folks from the RV park that took them got wet and cold by the time they stopped at the top. The driver would not stop and unroll the canvas top for them. From St. Mary's it is a comfortable day trip to Baniff PP, and easy access to the entire East side of Glacier NP; which is not as commercialized as the West side.
I would suggest not driving yourself, you would spend most of the drive watching the road and oncoming traffic.
Shirlee & I stayed at St. Mary's KOA, which was OK. From there we did the 'Going To The Sun Road' (fantastic!). Be sure to go to Many Glaciers, which is on the east side of the park, just north of St. Mary. The panorama is heaven!
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:09 AM   #13
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I just checked the official site Glacier National Park Camping Page and there are 13 campgrounds within the park. We stayed at several of these back in 1995. Took an open bus tour up Logan Pass, then drove to the Canadian side where there is also a campground right at the Waterton town site. Also, dining at the lodges was a great treat. Glacier is a must see destination and we plan to return soon.
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Old 02-24-2010, 08:06 PM   #14
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We were at Glacier about Sept 15-20, 2009. Stayed at St Mary (KOA I think) was only one with 50 amp, was very nice. Great time to be there. Saw lots of animals. Only negative was most of park,area and Waterton were closing for the year, so had to hurry to see things before they closed. Enjoyed limited crowds. Lots of construction on Going to Sun road.
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