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Glacier vs. Yosemite

Chicago
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Glacier vs. Yosemite

My husband and I are planning a trip for 20th anniversary next Sept. 2009. We can't decide on whether to go to Glacier or Yosemite. We have not been to either park before. Which is more scenic? Which has easier day hikes? I know we need to book about 1 year in advance, so that is why I am inquiring now.

Thanks.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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1. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

I have not been to Yosemite since I was an infant, so can't help on that.

Glacier is incredible, and really should be seen. The glaciers are melting at an alarming rate and will be gone in a few decades. Mid to late September many visitor services are beginning to close. But still a great experience.

Yosemite is usually more accessable later in the fall. BUT... many more people than in Glacier.

Visit both parks at www.nps.gov . See what looks interesting.

NJ
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2. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

both are really beautiful. it depends on you really. yosemite valley has all those ansel adams picture perfect vistas... Glacier is breath taking too. there are a lot of "little" hikes at yosemite (longer ones too). if you've never seen giant sequoias you'll love walking in the mariposa grove.... IMO the only way to really enjoy yosemite is to stay in yosemite valley.

Hands down Glacier has better hiking. Glacier will have tons more wildlife. Glacier's day hikes are spectacular.

yosemite will be more crowded. they both have a lot to offer. i've been to yosemite twice but only spent 2 or 3 days each time, i've been to glacier a few times, one time i spent 10 days there. and i know i need to go back! yosemite, not so much.

At Glacier, if you want a really special treat (but the beds are horrible) reserve a couple of nights at sperry chalet in glacier. Hike up and then do a couple of wonderful day hikes up there, hang out with the mountain goats....

georgia
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3. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

Both parks are beautiful and well worth the effort to see. My wife and I went to Glacier in August 2006 and to Yosemite in June of 2007, and both trips were mostly spent day hiking in various locales. Overall I think we both liked Glacier the best, if it's possible to make that kind of decision. Glacier is wilder, lots of wildlife, and more hiking than you can ever decide what to do with. We were especially partial to the Two Medicine area of the park. The Rocky Mountains are just hard to beat.

Yosemite was quite amazing in its on way and I really enjoyed our hikes and time there, EXCEPT for Yosemite Valley. I guess it would be quite beautiful if there wasn't a person or ten around every rock and tree. Now, it was partly my fault for going in June, but that was the only time I could go last year. But the crowds in Yosemite Valley were ridiculous----almost like going to an amusement park. Apparently many folks make Yosemite Valley their only stop in the whole park and then say they have "done" Yosemite. MY favorite area of Yosemite was toward the eastern side, near the little town of Lee Vining.

AKJ
Bruceton Mills...
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4. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

Here's a link to our pictures and trip report from Glacier. They may let you at least get a sense of the park. We stayed in the Swiftcurrent area and loved it.

www.alandsuejohnson.com

Glacier link on the left.

We looked at Yosemite for a while and I wound up going back to Yellowstone instead.

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

I anwsered your question on the Yosemite forum but want to add that I agree with all the previous posters have said. We only return Yosemite off season.

Charlotte, North...
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6. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

All of these replies are filled with great information! I spent 6 days in Glacier in 2006 & will be returning for another 6 days in just a of couple weeks. I spent 3 days in Yosemite last summer as well. I did quite a bit of hiking in both parks when I visited them & plan to do much more in Glacier this summer.

Both parks are wonderul! My favorite parts of Glacier are on the East side of the park, especially the Many Glacier, Two Medicine, and Logan Pass areas. My favorite parts of Yosemite are the areas on the perimeter of Yosemite Valley (the waterfalls and valley rims) and the alpine sections around Tioga Road.

Both have a fair deal of wildlife, although wildlife is more readily visible in Glacier. We saw about 5 bear in Yosemite and none the first time we visited Glacier. We saw little wildlife other than the bears in Yosemite. In Glacier, we saw dozens of mountain goats and several bighorn sheep. Moose and grizzlies are often seen in Glacier as well. Obviously, there are plenty of deer in both parks.

Glaicer is much less crowded than Yosemite. Yosemite Valley is one of the most serene places I've been in my opinion, yet at the same time one of the most disgusting. The natural setting of the place is just wonderful, but it is hard to look past the crowds, which can become quite ridiculous. I would, too, suggest staying in the Valley, but just know crowds can become ridiculous. Glacier, on the other hand, can be a bit crowded but never a huge issue. I find the visitors to Glacier much more considerate, on a whole, than the visitors to Yosemite.

Having said all of this, you can probably tell I prefer Glacier, which I do. Glacier is my favorite place I've ever visited, and I've visited every western state besides Washington & Oregon and most of the national parks in the states I've visited. Hiking is much better in Glacier than Yosemite, in my opinion, although it is not bad at all in Yosemite either.

When you say which one has easier day hikes, I'm not really sure what you're asking. What kind of hikes are you looking for? How long/difficult? I agree with whoever suggested staying at Sperry or Granite Park Chalet. This is a great way to celebrate an anniversary in the great outdoors!!!

If you want suggestions for hiking in either park, I can definitely do that. You can't go wrong with either park, but I just feel that Glacier is a much more enjoyable place, both visually and socially.

If you have quesitons at all about what I've said, please let me know!

Sean

Chicago
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7. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

Thanks everyone for your input. Lots to think about. We want to avoid crowds, which would mean avoid Yosemite, but cost of travel to Glacier and the potential for snow in mid Sept. is another consideration. I'm sure which ever place we choose will be better than Chicago. :)

Uden, The...
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8. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

We liked your city though on a stopover to the west.

NJ
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9. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

i wouldn't let threat of snow stop you from considering glacier, it can still be in the 70's during the day. Once i was there in october and it was snay (rain and snow in my book) but mostly rain.

i spent the first two weeks of sept there a few years ago and didn't need my winter coat once. a sweat shirt and a gortex shell was all i needed.

I had a couple of days of rain. they start getting the snow poles out labor day weekend but that doesn't mean they expect a snow storm the next day that's just getting the job done early...

10. Re: Glacier vs. Yosemite

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