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Old 03-22-2019, 08:36 AM   #1
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Ohio to Glacier National Park to Yellowstone timing?

Is May a good/bad time to plan a trip to GNP and Yellowstone? Does anyone have a good 2-3 week itinerary of not to be missed places? Is it too late to book campgrounds yet?
Have 36ft Class A not towing car, would rent a car if needed to do must see sights.
Any help / suggestions greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:47 AM   #2
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Hi mikeannetta,
May is way too early for Glacier. Going To The Sun Road will, most likely be closed. Anything at high elevation will, most likely be closed. There will not be snow covered peaks, because the entire mountain(s) will be white with snow).

If you go, consider staying on the east side of Glacier at St. Mary. Go to https://koa.com/campgrounds/st-mary/ for a CG to look at. They do not open until May 15. There are still low elevation trails that might be open. Check with the ranger station about 1 mile from the CG.
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:17 AM   #3
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The Going-to-the-Sun highway opened on June 23 last year. Montana has "enjoyed" a colder and snowier winter than recently past winters.

Here's a link to an article that you may find helpful: https://www.nationalparkstraveler.or...avoid-roadwork

Another natural phenomenon that may impact your experience while visiting Glacier and Yellowstone is the fire season. That can start as early as mid-July and will continue until the first snow falls in the fall.

Take care,
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:16 AM   #4
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One other thought for your consideration.

You might enjoy a Red Bus Tour of the Going-to-the-Sun Highway:

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Here's a link to the website for information: https://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/red-bus-tours

Take care,
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Old 03-22-2019, 11:53 AM   #5
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Here's a photo taken yesterday of the visitor center at Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Highway:

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They've got a "little" snow removal to do before the highway opens.

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Old 03-22-2019, 12:14 PM   #6
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The year we went, Going to the Sun opened the last week of June and we got lucky with our reservations 3 days later. That's a long drive to get there and not see that much of the park!
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:31 PM   #7
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This site has a list of tentative opening dates (Spring 2019) for roads in Yellowstone.
https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeannetta View Post
Is May a good/bad time to plan a trip to GNP and Yellowstone? Does anyone have a good 2-3 week itinerary of not to be missed places? Is it too late to book campgrounds yet?
Have 36ft Class A not towing car, would rent a car if needed to do must see sights.
Any help / suggestions greatly appreciated!
You've already had a lot of input but as a "local" (we live in Whitefish) I'll add one more piece of information. Going to the Sun Road is, arguably, the heart of GNP. We never expect it to be open until Independence Day and rarely is it open for more than about three months or so. The window is fairly small so this should help you to plan accordingly.

As posted earlier, since you will not have a toad, the red bus tour is highly recommended instead of car rental for that drive. It's a narrow and tight road congested with gawking tourists. Enjoy the world class views and the guide/driver's running commentary.
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Old 03-27-2019, 06:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yonder View Post
You've already had a lot of input but as a "local" (we live in Whitefish) I'll add one more piece of information. Going to the Sun Road is, arguably, the heart of GNP. We never expect it to be open until Independence Day and rarely is it open for more than about three months or so. The window is fairly small so this should help you to plan accordingly.

As posted earlier, since you will not have a toad, the red bus tour is highly recommended instead of car rental for that drive. It's a narrow and tight road congested with gawking tourists. Enjoy the world class views and the guide/driver's running commentary.


Great advise and thanks for all advise.
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeannetta View Post
Is May a good/bad time to plan a trip to GNP and Yellowstone?

As has been said it's too early for Glacier NP.

Does anyone have a good 2-3 week itinerary of not to be missed places?

Two or three weeks, if that includes the drive out and Back will barely handle the Black Hills/Custer/Mt Rushmore - Yellowstone - and a few side trips outside of Yellowstone NP. Beartooth/Wind River Canyon/Tetons/Jackson/Flaming Gorge...........

Is it too late to book campgrounds yet?

Never too late - might require some Boondocking and a strong ability to Search but is not a reason not to Go.

Have 36ft Class A not towing car, would rent a car if needed to do must see sights.

This will IMHO, require more adaptability on the driving/scheduling/boondocking aspect of this trip. Not a lot of Ubers out West and the Avis Hertz are generally at the Airports not the NP's. It is my experience that once you get West of the Mississippi the world is a little different and you need to understand and work around those differences. (Code for most people in larger than 28' in a Class A have a Toad)

Any help / suggestions greatly appreciated!
Mike,

Before we all jump in with a plan - think we need to know what is the Plan?

Where are you starting from?

What do you enjoy?

Mission?

Is there any wiggle room with time for trip and time of trip?

Give us a little more and we can see if we can steer you in the right direction.

Best of Luck,
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Old 04-07-2019, 09:15 AM   #11
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Three Months

Snowplowing begins for Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park
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https://krtv.com/news/montana-and-re...national-park/


Going-to-the-Sun Road plowing expected to take three months
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https://krtv.com/news/montana-and-re...-three-months/
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