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Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

Nashville,Tn
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53 posts
60 reviews
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Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

I need some help from someone who has visited both parks. Our family recently spent a wonderful week in Glacier Park. The only disappointment was that the Going-to-the-sun Road was still closed.

Now we are thinking ahead to next summer.Should we go back to Glacier,or should we visit somewhere we've never been before? We love hiking,canoeing,and horseback riding. We've already visited Yellowstone & the Tetons.What is Rocky Mountain National Park like,and how does it compare to Glacier?

I'd appreciate any suggestions! 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 or Rocky Mountain National Park?

Both parks are beautiful and hard to compare. Rocky Mtn Nat Park has plenty of trails to lakes, small glaciers and waterfalls. There are no grizzly bears in RMNP, which for me makes hiking less stressful, I just don't like bears! I find the scenery in Glacier to be more spectacular, but I grew up in Colorado. Visit the Colorado forums here on TA, many trip reports etc on visits to RMNP.

Visit www.nps.gov/romo for more information.

Plus if you visit RMNP, you can also visit many of the other mountain areas in Colorado.

NJ
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1,567 posts
52 reviews
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2. Re: Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

i really like both parks but they are different. IMO glacier is much more spectacular and pretty. will probably have more varied wildlife.

rocky mountain might be better for horseback riding. Trail Ridge Road is one of the highest roads (if not the highest road) in the continental united states. up above tree line you will have a very different look than glacier.

I like the hiking better at glacier. i think the destinations are more unique.

as far as towns go, i think that grand lake and estes park (yes i know it's commercial) are more interesting than the towns immediately outside of glacier.

not sure about canoeing opportunities at RMNP. don't recall rental facilities.

also except for camping, there is no lodging in RMNP.

Indiana
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171 posts
139 reviews
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3. Re: Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

I have been to both within the last year, and I love both. In some ways, the two parks seem very similar (Going to the Sun Rd and Trail Ridge Rd seem very similar to me). Both parks have spectacular views and I enjoyed hiking in both. I think I saw more wildlife in Glacier, however I actually saw more moose in Rocky Mountain. AS someone else mentioned, I think the town of Estes Park has alot more to offer than the towns at the entrance of Glacier. If you are looking for something to do outside of the park in the evenings, there's probably more to do around Rocky Mountain. If you've never been there, I'd recommend you try Rocky Mountain. It's definitely worth a visit!

California
11 posts
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4. Re: Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

I am from Alberta and I can tell you that the Canadian Rockies are fasinating however over the years Banff/Jasper/Columbia Icefields have become very popular and crowded. If you want to avoid the crowds go early June or late August/September. The Going-to-the-sun road is beautiful and scenic, I would definitely make this a priority for your next trip but be sure to take in a rafting trip down the middle fork river and go for a hike at Many Glaciers. You won't be disappointed.

Montana
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39 posts
8 reviews
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5. Re: Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

I think you need to give Glacier another shot. I love Glacier the end of June because the waterfalls are gushing and there is still plenty of snow in the mountains which makes for beautiful photo opportunities. This year the GTTS opened much later than normal because of a large avalanche on the west side. Generally the road opens around the third of fourth week in June. So....give Glacier another shot. The Going to the Sun highway will show you why they call Glacier the Crown of the Continent.

buffalo
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1,618 posts
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6. Re: Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

I visited both RMNP (3 nights - 2 hikes) and GNP (10 nights - 8 hikes) last September; I liked RMNP but fell in love with Glacier.

Glacier has (in my opinion) more dramatic 4-5,000 foot sheer cliffs and well-defined/scenic peaks; it also has a slightly better variety of hikes, and a much more "park-like" feel because at the lower elevations the diversity of vegetation is much greater. RMNP has a more barren, dusty, rocky, feel while Glacier is much greener.

Also, hiking at RMNP is much more taxing due to the increased elevation; the hikes I did at RMNP were at 11-13,000 feet while at Glacier most are in the 5-8,000 foot elevation range.

There are less things to do on the fringes of the Park at Glacier (although Whitefish and Kalispell are great little towns not too far away) but I really don't care about that on my vacations.

7. Re: Glacier or Rocky Mountain National Park?

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