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Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

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Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

We are planning a trip this summer .We would like to see Glacier National Park,Yellowstone and Mt Rushmore and whatever we can inbetween.I know it is very late and I need help in determining if we can fit all of this in.

We are a family of 4, a 15 yr old and an 18 yr old Plus mom and dad.

We plan on flying out somewhere (don't know if we should start out in the north and go down or south and go up)and spending two weeks.I'm wondering if I am trying to do too much to try to see all of this.

I will be renting a car and driving .We do not plan to camp. We will plan to hike,see as much as we can and not get burnt out while doing this.I'd like to see that we do not do too much driving in any one day.I planned a trip to California last year and it was perfect,but I'm not knowledgable of this part of the county.Any help would be greatly appreciated.thanks,


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1. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

I am also interested in putting an August trip together for Glacier and Yellowstone. We are planning on using Big Sky as a base. Experienced travelers, give us some ideas!

Whitefish, Montana
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2. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

How much time for the trip(s) would be the first question.

Second that's a lot of driving, Montana is a big state.

Tricky to get lodging this late in the year, but St Mary Lodge is a possibility since it has expanded.

As for skipador with Big Sky as a base stick to Yellowstone as you are just up the road from West Yellowstone.

When I go to Yellowstone in September or October my favorite time of year I camp for two weeks and just scratch the surface.

Neither of you have spoken about hiking skills etc.

slow hiker

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3. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

We took a trip to South Dakota and Devil's Tower in 2006 for 8 nights.

We took a trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 2007 for 9 nights.

We are taking a trip to Glacier and Waterton this summer for 8 nights.

I would not have wanted less time for these places on either the Yellowstone or South Dakota trips, and I think we'll have plenty to keep us busy this summer in Glacier.

So, I would choose two of these areas to visit for a two-week trip since you are interested in hiking. Otherwise, you will spend a lot of time in the car trying to cover all of the attractions.

Bemidji, Minnesota
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

Much of your plans will be dependent on the amount of time you have and the amount of dollars you want to spend. To fit all 3 into one trip would probably mean a one way car rental starting near either Glacier or Mt. Rushmore and fitting Yellowstone and Grand Tetons in between. Try finding the airfare to one of these areas and then car rental, including drop off charges. I suspect those two items will cause you to go into shock as one way rentals in this part of the country usually have very steep drop off charges and the airfare is usually kind of high too.

If you have time enough to justify Glacier and Yellowstone/Grand Teton, consider flying into/out of Bozeman or Missoula and make a (sort of) circle. Make the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore part of another trip.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

We've done trips to all the areas mentioned but a different times-

2007- Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons

2008- Black Hills, Cody and Yellowstone, Grand Tetons

2010- Glacier and Yellowstone

Unless you have 2 weeks or more you cannot do all three areas- and yes airfare and one way car rental is something to consider.

Flying in and out of Bozeman is an idea and just doing Glacier and Yellowstone and Grand Tetons or could fly in and out of Billings or Denver and do Black Hills and Yellowstone and Grand Tetons.

Depends on your interests- hiking= Glacier, wildlife and scenery=Yellowstone, history, monuments, etc=Black Hills.

Good luck!!

Houston, Texas
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6. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

Glacier and Yellowstone are basiclly a full days travel apart. 7hr+ That means you need to plan around two travel days to go between them unless you do a one way rental and fly in and out of different airports.

Big Sky has limitations as a base for visiting Yellowstone. It is a hour away from West Yellowstone. Exploring the park from there means a lot of commuting. You'd be better off staying inside the park or one of the gateway communities (West Yellowstone, Gardner, Cooke City)

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

2 weeks won't be too long for this but it has been done before

1. Flight to Rapid City

2,3: Black Hills/Badlands

4,5: To Glacier

6,7: Glacier

8. Drive to Yellowstone

9,10,11: Yellowstone

12. To Grand Teton NP

13. GTNP

14. Fly from Jackson.

Or in reverse.

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8. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

Thank you, This is what I thought. You have helped.

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9. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

I personally think this is a bit too much to bite off unless you just want to get a sampling of each location, a lot of time spent on the road and long days.

We did Badlands NP, Custer State Park (which is like a mini-national park), Mt. Rushmore and took in some surrounding areas of interest on a ten day vacation about seven years ago.

We did Yellowstone and Grand Tetons a few years back for ten days and that was simply touching the surface. We covered the major attractions, did a little bit of hiking and even squeezed in a horseback ride, but our days were long. You have to realize how large Yellowstone is in itself. It's the size of a small state!

We're doing Glacier this summer and plan on spending two weeks taking in the park and some of the surrounding areas around the park.

My family pride ourselves in being able to make the most of our time while on vacation and being able to cram in a lot in a short period of time, but I have to be honest....there is NO WAY I would ever attempt doing all three of these parks on a two week trip. There is too much to see in each of the locations than to rush to accomplish all three on one trip.

Doing Glacier and Yellowstone is more realistic for a two week vacation. It would give you general overview of both parks, but you would certainly need more time to explore each in more depth.

Alberta, Canada
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10. Re: Glacier National Park,Yellowstone National Park, Mt Rushmore

In 2010 we did Glacier, YNP/GT & The Black Hills. But we also did Drumheller and Waterton. We had 12 days, less 1 full day's drive each way (from/to Manitoba), which left us with 10 days to do all of the above. Not enough time; we were too rushed. For us, non-hikers, we would find 2 full weeks enough time to do Glacier, YNP/GT & The Black Hills. Others would want another week. It all depends on one's style of travel. I think Tet14 gave a good sample itinerary; something which would suit our style of travel just fine.

Edited: 18 May 2012, 04:16
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