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when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

North, South...
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when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

We want to tent camp for a week from mid to late August and wonder if the campgrounds will still be full. Would it be better to go late August to early September?

Hopefully families will be thinking of getting ready for school...

buffalo
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1. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

Baed on past history...mid-late August is when things start slowing down some....but campgrounds (especially Many Glacier, my favorite) will fill up into early September....

Use this link...click on whatever campground and then you can check on past history the time when the campground filled...

…nps.gov/applications/…cgstatus.cfm

Edited: 17 December 2011, 02:36
Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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2. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

I will disagree with the above. August is the "prime time" for Glacier and campgrounds are slammed as a general rule. If there are fires in/around the park, the traffice gets less.

montana
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3. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

The key to camping during the crowded summer months is to arrive at the campground early. The more popular the campground, the earlier you should arrive. You will need to cruise around looking for someone who is packing up and ask if you can have their spot. This is also true for camping on Fri and Sat nights. For mid-week camping, it's not as hectic and crowded, so you could arrive by noon and most likely find a spot. There are many campgrounds outside of GNP and you might have some interest in those, on State and Federal lands.

North, South...
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4. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

we will be flying into Calgary midweek in Mid August and heading to Glacier National Park. Our flight arrives at 1:30. Do you think we will be able to get a camping spot at Many Glaciers that evening. We hope to arrive at the campground by 5:30 pm.

Or should we have a plan B ? for our first night...

thanks

montana
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5. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

You will need Plan B.

First off, don't ever assume that flights will arrive as scheduled, and consider yourselves lucky when they do. You will also need to allow time for the border crossing.

Secondly, Many Glaciers Campground is one of the busiest. I believe it was Toddnick who posted this past summer a strategy for getting a spot at Many Glacier: first stay in a nearby cabin with a reservation, plan to arrive at the campground the next morning no later than 8 am to cruise for a spot. Simply start asking campers who look like they are packing up if you can have their spot. This should work!

buffalo
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6. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

You have almost no chance of getting a campsite at MG in mid-August at 5:30 PM....grab lodging at MG Hotel or Swiftcurrent Inn/Cabins...the night you arrive look for campers that are leaving the next morning (their date of departure is clipped on the marker for each campsite)...pick the best sites with people leaving and arrange with them to take the site the next morning...I generally swap my registration stub for theirs even if they haven't left early in the morning...

This has worked very well for me 3 times....better than fighting with others trolling for sites in the morning...

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

Well that's just outstanding Toddnick!

And... you might wanna book that room/cabin at MG or Swiftcurrent ASAP...

I bet he came up with that one after pie! :)

North, South...
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8. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

Is there a town just outside of Glacier that might have a inexpensive decent hotel or cabin for just one night? Any suggestions?

Then we could continue into the park and get a campsite that next morning.

buffalo
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9. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

If you are looking at MG Campground.....

The nearest towns are Babb and St. Mary...

Babb is hardly a town, just a store, restaurant, and a few other buildings but it is just outside the Park entrance and is about 20 minutes to Many Glacier campground....Thronson's is a no-frills option in Babb, I know people who stayed there and said it was perfectly adequate and cheap.

St. Mary is a bit larger and has more activity but it is about 30 minutes from the Many Glacier area....there are several places to stay in St. Mary including St. Mary Lodge (another glacierparkinc property) and Johnson's....

10. Re: when does the campgrounds get less crowded?

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