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Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

Chicago
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Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

Any suggestions on which place to stay? Since we are arriving by Amtrak and staying only 1 night (7/3/10) it needs to be convenient to the train stations. I'm thinking the Glacier Park Lodge or the Issak Walton Inn. Any suggestions on what we can do for the 1 day? (This trip is just to give us a taste for a longer stay.) Thanks!

indiana
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1. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

Personally I would get off the train in west Glacier and stay at Belton or inside the park at Apgar. I think if you only have one day this will give you easier access to the park. Glacier Park Lodge and Isaac Walton are both a good drive to the main area of the park. I think if you stay on the west side you will have better access to the shuttle system, which I assume you will need or are you renting a car for the day?

Chicago
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2. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

Thanks, hikes, for the quick feedback! We are trying to avoid renting a car so will need to do things near the Amtrak station and hotel. If the train is on time, we will have 24 hours....but I understand the best views of the Park are from the train.

Bemidji, Minnesota
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3. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

"but I understand the best views of the Park are from the train"

I'm sorry to say it, but you've been lied to. The best views are from the Going to the Sun road. I'd recommend that you rent a car for the one day so you can explore at least a little.

indiana
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4. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

As RM-MN stated, the GTTSR is the only way to see the heart of the park. I believe the train skirts the border of the park. If you are not renting a car, the shuttle or Red Bus Tour are good options. I suggested the east side of the park because you can access the shuttle. If you are staying at Glacier Park Lodge on the east (the train does stop there) I would book a Red Bus Tour. I checked and it seems the Big Sky Circle tour would take you across the entire Sun road, with stops at Isaac Walton and Lake Mc Donald lodges. This would give you a great taste of the park and you would not have to worry with renting a car and driving. You can spend all your time relaxing and enjoying the scenery.

Minnesota
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5. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

You may already have reservations, but I would look at taking Amtrak to West Glacier, and staying at Lake McDonald Lodge, which has a shuttle for confirmed guests, at a cost of $10. each for each way. You'll wake up near Lake McDonald. The day in Glacier you could take a Red Bus tour, or take the free shuttle, yet be in a beautiful setting for the evening when you return. Then, take the shuttle to the train station the next morning.

buffalo
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6. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

I think it's a train company spread myth that the best views are from Amtrak. It is not even remotely close to the views that you get from GTTS road. I have driven route 2 along where the train tracks follow (along the soutnern border of the Park) and it ain't even close.

Rent a car in West (or East) Glacier and do the GTTS, it would be about a 5-6 drive that you will remember forever.....and do the road, you will NOT regret it..........

Minnesota
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7. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

If you stay at Lake McDonald Lodge, there is a shuttle from West Glacier to the lodge and back to the train - $10 each way per person. But, that way you would have a whole day to explore the park - you could take the red bus tour the day that you're there, or take the boat ride on Lake McDonald, and take the GTTS shuttle a ways down. Lots of possibilties!

Ohio, USA
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8. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

Welcome to the forum, SunnyCHI.

Here's a link do the transprotation options on the park:

nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gettingaround.htm

I agree with the general jist of the previous posts; use the shuttle and/or the Red Bus to view the sights and explore along the GTTSR. We took the Mountain Majesty tour that works the length of the GTTSR (we were picked-up at Lake McDonald Lodge). There is also a longer tour that includes both the GTTSR and Many Glacier. Again, check the website for details of each tour.

You mentioned that you will have 24 hours, if the train is on time. What are your planned arrival and departure times, as that could make a difference as to how you plan your stay? Good news is that you will have a lot of daylight in July.

East side of...
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9. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

I agree that you should stay inside the park and use the free shuttle system or do one of the bus tours (Red Bus Tour or Sun Tour) If you stay at East Glacier Lodge (which is not in the Park, per se), you walk across the road from the train depot to the Lodge. However, you are an hour or more from the east entrance to the Park and the GTTS Road. If you stay at Lake McDonald Lodge, a few miles from the train depot, you are already inside the Park and will allow more time for exploring the Park. Depending on traffic, I would say you would be 20-30 minutes from the train depot.

White Bear Lake...
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10. Re: Arriving by Amtrak staying 1 night in GNP

If the train schedule is the same as it has been, you'll be arriving in the evening, and yes, the trains are often late. If there is a $10 shuttle from the station to Lake McDonald Lodge (I haven't heard of that before) then yes, that would be a good option. You would have access to the free shuttle to go up to Logan Pass via Going To The Sun Road and you should have plenty of time to take the shuttle down to the other side of the park, the St. Mary Visitor Center. If you get up early enough you would have time to hike to Hidden Lake up at Logan Pass and still take the shuttle ride down to St. Mary and back over to Lake McDonald Lodge. The East and West sides of the park are very different so this way you'll get a chance to see a little of both, although you won't have time to see what I think is the prettiest, the Many Glacier Valley (you'd really need to rent a car to do that, with your short time). Good luck with your planning...you'll be back for sure! Oh, and yes, I agree with Toddnick (hi Todd...Tara from the "other page" here :) ) that it's a myth about the best views being from the train. It's a pretty route, but nothing like GTTS Road.

Tara

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