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We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

Cayucos, California
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We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

My wife and I have always wanted to visit GNP. We have already booked our flights for late June of 2012, and we plan to stay for 10 days. We are California avocado farmers, who finally had a good year, and are treating ourselves to a nice trip. This area has everything that we enjoy: fishing, hiking, golf, horseback riding, etc. The only problem is that we don't have a plan...yet. We think 10 days will allow us to enjoy the park at our leisure. We haven't booked hotels yet. We haven't even done more than go online for information. If you were planning a trip of a lifetime to Glacier National Park, where would you stay, and where would you go? Any advice will be appreciated. Avocado Bill

indiana
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1. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

Plan at least four or five of your nights in the Many Glacier area, I would try to get a lakefront room at Many Glacier. There is hiking and horseback riding in that area. Then you could stay in East Glacier for a night or two, hiking in the Two Medicine area and using the golf course there. There is also a golf course near West Glacier. Plan a few nights on that side, playing golf, traveling for the day to the North Fork and a possible horseback ride to Sperry. I have not done it, but think the trip to Sperry would be great if you stay a night or two. Be aware that late June many trails are still covered with snow. You probably won't be able to get all the way to Grinnell Glacier and now that I think about it, Sperry Chalet will probably not be open for the season. The road across the park may or may not be open either. This year is was very late, July 13, but many years it opens the last of June. I realize you probably chose this time due to your business. Even with snow covering some trails, you can still have a great trip if you plan accordingly and realize there may be limitations due to snow. I would start trying to book the rooms now. Five or so nights Many Glacier, then East Glacier and West Glacier before you departure, due to being closer to the airport. I assume you are flying to Kalispell?

Cayucos, California
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2. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

Thank you for responding so quickly. You are correct. We chose that time because of our business. We will make the most of it. We noticed that in the other postings that weather might be a problem, but everyone seemed to recommend Many Glaciers. That will be at the top of our list. We are flying in to Kalispell in the evening. Do you have a recommendation for the first couple of nights? Again, thank you for your response. We have never blogged or posted before. This is kind of cool. Bill C.

Rancho Cucamonga
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3. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

Hey Bill,

I don't have any lodging recommendations for Kalispell because when we fly into Kalispell (also from CA) we drive directly to Glacier and stay at Apgar or the Lake McDonald Lodge for our first night.

I second the idea of Sperry Chalet; as the horses leave from the Lake McDonald area. We rode the horses and stayed 2 nights, plus we hiked to the top of Sperry Glacier. It was truly amazing! Also, we have stayed at Granite Chalet. You hike-in via the beautiful Highline Trail. We have stayed at Granite Chalet on 2 previous trips and are leaving in about a week to make it our 3rd stay. I'm not sure when the Chalets open but the room lotteries begin in late October. Check their websites - I would consider either one or both a must do. We stayed at both Chalets on our first trip to Glacier.

I would definitely secure your Glacier trip rooms ASAP as they fill-up rather quickly. I booked our rooms for next summer about a month ago. I second the Many Glacier Hotel because the setting is stunning, but we always stay at the Swift current cabins which are in the same area. They are VERY rustic & popular due to the price. Happy planning!

indiana
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4. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

If you have an evening arrival in Kalispell, I would opt to stay there or Whitefish (my preference). You can enjoy dinner and make a trip to the grocery to get snacks or sandwich makings for hiking. The next day bright and early I would head for Many Glacier. If GTTSR is not open you will have to travel on 2 south of the park. You will pass the Isaac Walton Hotel (if you leave real early a good breakfast stop). Also the Goat Lick is a popular stop. I would spend the next several days at Many Glacier. You could stay at East Glacier first, it just depends on what activities you want to do first. I am always anxious to get to Many as it is a favorite of mine and others.

Palatine, Illinois
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5. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

How fortunate to have ten days to explore this lovely park! We spent six nights in August in the park at five different properties. One that fulfilled the "trip of a lifetime" for me was our stay in Waterton at the Prince Of Wales Hotel. We had a room on the 6th floor with a balcony overlooking Waterton Lake. Well worth the price. Golf and horseback riding nearby and a variety of hikes. Fun boating is available on nearby Cameron Lake, where we saw bears along the side of the road. The Many Glacier Hotel exceeded our expectations as well.

NJ
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6. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

June is early. most of the best trails only opened end of july and early august in many glacier. a trip of a lifetime to glacier would be better in august, early sept. it might be worth the change fee on airline tix. check out the trail reports on the glacier nps site, it will give you an idea when things open up. granted this year was a huge snow pack but there is no reason to think it won't be the same next year. it's unlikely, unfortunately that either back country chalet will be open in june. if they are and if you can, Sperry is really special. glacier is a wonderful park.

Marco Island...
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7. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

Most of the time Sperry doesn't open until early July. So you may not be able to do Sperry with a late June trip.

Going to the Sun road didn't open this year until mid-July. So if this winter is another snowy one, you won't be able to cross the park either.

montana
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8. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

If you are arriving into Kalispell on a late night flight, I recommend you stay in Whitefish instead of trying to make the drive into Glacier NP or West Glacier. The Lodge at Whitefish Lake is the classiest place to start your trip, but there are other options that are not as pricey, like the Holiday Inn Express.

Whitefish is a charming town that will give you a good start for heading into Glacier NP. You might consider spending a night or two at the end of your trip in the town of Bigfork, at the north end of Flathead Lake. The Bridge Street Cottages would be outstanding, since they are right on the Swan River. A less expensive alternative would be the Bigfork Hotel.

BTW, we LOVE Cayucos! We head to Morro Bay each winter for a few weeks respite from the long MT winters.

Cayucos, California
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9. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

Thank you, everyone, for your advice. If we were to do it over again, we would make our reservations after July 4th. We didn't realize that the weather could be such a problem. It sounds like most of you are hikers. We used to hike everywhere, but we are somewhat limited now. We can do horseback, since we've had horses all of our fifty-two years of marriage. We will spend 3 nights at Apgar. If Going-to-the-sun road is open during that time, then we will give it a try. If not, we will try it later. Our next stop will be East Glacier for two nights, and then Many Glacier for two nights. If the Going-to-the-sun road isn't open during that stretch, then we will just miss it. Our last two nights will be in Whitefish. Our accomodations are all the best...except for probably Many Glacier Lodge. My wife any I have decided to make the most of our trip...no matter the weather! Thank you all.

Edited: 29 August 2011, 22:58
buffalo
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10. Re: We need advice on a 10 day stay at Glacier National Park

You won't regret MG Hotel....the location is so much better than any of your other accomodations....serious, it has to be one of the best views from a hotel balcony or from the main porch anywhere in the World....