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Old 09-26-2021, 07:34 AM   #1
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Duluth to Glacier NP

Planning summer 2022 trip. Highway 2 or I-94 ? Thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:49 AM   #2
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Depends on how long you want to take traveling there, and if you plan on stopping at places to see while on the way. I-94 is non stop, but is also not a direct route there. Route 2 is more direct but you have many little towns throughout the route, so you’ll be stopping way more times, and going at a slower speed. (Which isn’t a bad thing if you’re not wanting to do 70-80mph on the interstate) And you have to think about it being summer season… Construction zones galore up and down Route 2, plus more traffic in front or behind you on 2 lane roads compared to the interstate.

From Duluth to GNP on Route 2 is little over 1100 miles, while I-94 is closer to 1300-1400 miles depending on your route.

I actually drove Route 2 from the Fort Peck, MT area all the way to Mackinaw City before in a SUV while road tripping and tent camping, and while it was a nice drive….. I probably wouldn’t do the whole route again. Just too many stops/slow downs, towns, construction, and other drivers for me. Plus Route 2 is wildlife central at night, really have to pay attention especially in the really rural areas.
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Old 09-26-2021, 09:53 AM   #3
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Thanks BC1....the construction zones and "wildlife" are something I hadnt considered.....good feedback....much appreciated....bob
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Old 09-26-2021, 10:00 AM   #4
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In 2019 we did a trip to Glacier from Cincinnati. While itinerary enroute required us to use I-94 for travels West through North Dakota (primarily to visit Theodore Roosevelt NP), afterward we jogged due north to Williston and Fort Union Trading Post, and from there traveled Rt. 2 through Montana to East Glacier. Other than a bit of construction just after entering Montana, Rt. 2 was fine. Traffic was not bad at all, services were available all along the route, the road conditions were good, at views were enjoyable. I'd do Rt. 2 again, and would probably route myself up through Northern Minnesota to start Rt. 2there for the trip West.
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Old 09-26-2021, 10:35 AM   #5
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We've done both routes, several times. We live in Virginia and have spent the summers in Montana (about 90 miles south of Glacier National Park) for the last 10 years.

No doubt, I94 would be quicker, if that's your goal. On the other hand, we've found that dawdling along has been much more fun. Lots to see and do along US-2. There will, likely, be construction either way. We didn't do any night driving (in the summer, that far north, it isn't dark until 9ish), so didn't find wildlife to be a significant hazard.

The route selection, it seems to me, is pretty much individual preference driven unless you're in a hurry.

I do have one strong suggestion. Make your reservations in and around Glacier Park EARLY. Things get booked up early. For much of this past summer, admittance to the park was by reservation for entrance between 6AM and 6PM. After 6AM, unless you had reservations for in park lodging or one of the boat tours or Red Bus Tours, you were not allowed entry into the park. Even then, it was crazy crowded. Here's a link that describes the crowds: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/crowds.htm

We grew up near Glacier and have been visiting regularly for more than 60 years. For the last 5 years, it's just gotten to be very, very crowded.

I don't, in any way, want to discourage you from visiting Glacier, but, just be prepared to make necessary accommodations for the crowds. Make reservations early. I'd very strongly recommend that you consider one of the Red Bus Tours: https://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/red-bus- The 2022 tours have not been finalized and reservations are not currently being accepted. When they do become available, they will book up very, very quickly. If you scroll to the bottom of the web page for the red Bus Tours, there's a link that will allow you to "SIGN UP FOR GLACIER NATIONAL PARK LODGES' EMAIL AND KEEP UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST NEWS." That may get you email notification when the 2022 tours are available for booking.

Take care,
Stu

P.S. Even from southwest Michigan, my choice would be across the Mackinac Bridge and thru the UP to US-2. Yoopers are, for the most part, pretty friendly.
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Old 09-26-2021, 12:40 PM   #6
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Will be traveling along Lake Michigan to the Mackinac Bridge, Pictured rocks and then toward Duluth. Will be traveling with 2 other coaches so if I can convince them I prefer "dawdling" much better. We have reservations in Hungry Horse for the first week of July. Good advice about the "Red Bus".
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:39 PM   #7
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It diesn't have to be all one way or the other. I'd get through the flatlands on the interstate and the backroad it through Montana.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:32 PM   #8
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We love Hwy 2.
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