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GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

California
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GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Will be in GNP from 7/23-7/29. We are taking the train from Seattle to Whitefish. Will rent our car in Whitefish on 7/23. Our hotel reservations are as follows -

1 night at Village Inn

3 nights at Many Glacier

2 nights at Rising Sun Motor Inn

Looking at TripAdvisor Forums, here is what I am thinking in terms of plans-

Day 1-Apgar Lookout, night at Village Inn

Day 2- Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars, GTTS Road, at Logan Pass Hidden Lake hike. Night at Many Glacier

Day 3 - Grinnel Glacier hike, night at MG

Day 4 - Iceberg Lake hike, night at MG

Day 5- either Redrock falls and Apikuni falls, or take bus to Logan Pass and do Highline to Haystack Pass or should we go to Two Medicine. Night at Rising Sun

Day 6 - Virginia Falls, Night at Rising Sun

Day 7 - leave, fly out of Great Falls.

Questions-

1, How does the itinerary look - esp with regard to-

- Day 2 - is all that doable?

- Day 5- which is the best option?

- any other suggestions???

2. Food - will pack sandwiches for lunch, but are there decent dinner options at or near Village Inn, Many Glacier Hotel and Rising Sun? Or should we carry a camp stove and plan to make our own dinners?

3. For Ranger guided trip to Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake - can I make bookings now? Any info on where I should call to make reservations?

Thanks so much!

Louisville, Kentucky
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1. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Your itinerary looks good. Day 2 is doable, but you'll need to get an early start. The trailhead for Avalanche Lake fills up very quickly and your drive across the GTTS road will take several hours exclu\ding your hike to Hidden Lake Overlook.

Day 5 is going to depend on how you feel after 2 days of tough hikes. Redrock Falls is a lovely hike and fairly easy. The Highline Trail is one of my favorites and the views are spectacular and there's only a little climbing to get up to Haystack Pass. I'm also a fan of the Two Medicine area - but it is an hour's drive from Rising Sun. If you decide to go to Two Medicine I would recommend Dawson Pass or Scenic Point.

www.hikinginglacier.com/scenic-point.htm

www.hikinginglacier.com/dawson-pass.htm

As far as food, we always stay in a cabin and cook for ourselves, so I'm not sure about the food at teh lodges.There is a restaurant in St. Mary, the Park Cafe, which is pretty popular.

For the ranger led hikes to Grinnell and Iceberg, you don't have to make reservations to do the hike, as those are free. The only reservations you need are for the boat road across the two lakes to do the Grinnel Glacier hike. Those are made through the Glacier Park Boat Company. I would wait about 2 days in advance to make those to make sure weather is good, etc. But don't wait until the last minute as the boat fills up quickly. You'll also want to check with the ranger station to make sure botho those trails are open as they can close due to bear activity. So, be sure to have a plan B in place!

http://www.glacierparkboats.com/

indiana
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2. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Looks good. As stated, have some other hiking choices in case one of the trails is closed due to bear activity. Along GTTSR, I like Siyeh Pass. It is 10 or so miles and gains 2300 ft. You could do that on day 6. Virginia Falls is a short hike and could be done on day 5 even if you hike the Highline. For dining, at Apgar is Eddie's. It is ok for a sandwich, nothing outstanding but ok. Outside the park is Belton and others if you want to drive. The food at Swiftcurrent tends to be a little better (IMO) than Many Glacier (have not been to Many since they remodeled the dining area, maybe the food improved also). At Rising Sun, Two Dog Flats right at the motel has always been fairly good. Don't expect gourmet but at least you can get a sandwich or salad. . Between St. Mary and Babb is Two Sisters which gets good reviews. Also at St. Mary, Park Cafe and Johnsons. Johnson's is on the hill opposite Park Cafe. Have not been there recently but two years ago they had family style meals that were good and also good pie.

Edited: 14 July 2012, 01:43
California
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3. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Thank you both, you have answered all my questions. Really appreciate it!

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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4. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

I see a problem with day 2. By the time you get to Logan pass, the parking lot will probably be full and you may not be able to stop. If this is the case continue on and hike the waterfall trail. Then on day six get an early start and go up to the pass. If you have time you can visit Two Med on the day you leave.

Whitefish, Montana
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5. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

GNP4me has a good point about Logan Pass parking.

Remember if St Mary Falls is full you can always find a space at Sunpoint and go from Sunoint to Baring Galls, St Mary Fals and Virginia Falls, plus see St mary Lake from that trail.

On Day 5 you could do both Hidden lake & HighLine Haystack

www/glacierhikers.com/hidden-lake.html

Keep Cracker Lake as a backup for your Many Glacier stay if either of your first choices are closed for bear activity.

www.glacierhikers.com/cracker-lake-trail.html

slow hiker

Brownsburg, Indiana
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6. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

I just got back from my first trip to Glacier , agree with above answers . For food near Apgar the Belton Inn was very good and in historic building. Just a little farther was Glacier Grill , good pizza less expensive option. Glacier was one of our best trips ever.

Bigfork, MT
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7. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Hi Alma-Consider this. You will get into Whitefish day 1 pretty early. (The train schedule is known by locals. . . .) Have breakfast/early lunch at "Coffee Traders" in Columbia Falls on your way to Glacier/Apgar. Do the "Trail of the Cedars" walk and the "Avalanche Lake" hike this day. You have plenty of time. Heck you could have them pack a couple of cookies to take and have a snack after a nap by the side of the lake. If you did it this way, you could then enjoy more of GNP as you drive toward Logan Pass the next morning. When you head to Avalanche if the parking is full at the trail head, just circle back to the McDonald Lake Lodge area and check out the lodge and surrounding area for a while before heading back to Avalanche.

Day 2- Consider packing a picnic lunch for your hike to Hidden Lake. You are staying at Apgar. Get coffee and Muffins at Eddies Cafe, and have them pack you a lunch for later. (You may be able to pre-order the packed lunch the night before at Eddies.) You should be out the door of Eddies by 7:30, and could be at the Logan Pass parking lot by 9 or 9:30am. If you do it this way you probably won't have trouble with parking at Logan. Take your pack and enjoy a lovely lunch up at Hidden Lake!

California
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8. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Thanks, everyone! I just saw some updates in this forum. We will be in GNP from 7/23-7/29. Seems like GTTSR is closed till Logan Pass, Highline to Haystack Pass will be closed, and the Grinnell Glacier hike is closed after the first 2 miles. Is that correct? Wow, that would be disappointing :-(. If that is the case, a special thanks to everyone for suggesting alternate hikes!

Detroit, Michigan
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9. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

Don't miss Two Sisters, big servings, homemade food, great Chicken Fried Steak, real mashed taters, not as cheap as you would think, but the best food we had the whole trip we went back a 2nd time. We felt The Park Cafe was overrated and no Huckleberry pie, they make one Huck/Blueberry a day that is it. We has the Razzleberry alamode it was really good, but the food was just ok. Cattle Barron great to celebrate a big hike, huge steaks. The restaruant at Swiftcurrent has a decent pizza and really good hard serve Huckleberry Ice Cream. Felt Many Glacier breakfast was very expensive and just so so. You really work up an appetite hiking. :)

Whitefish, Montana
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10. Re: GNP - Itinerary, food, reservations

From NPS trail status reports it looks like Piegan Pass Trail might open during your trip

www.glacierhikers.com/piegan-pass-trail.html

Logistically easier is to hike to the pass and then return to Siyeh Bend there are three weekly ranger led hikes which I may take when it finally opens cuz I want to see how they propose getting across some snow fields on the long traverse.

It's possible after the recent rock slides that Highline Trail might not open this year as those slides were all in the trail area.

slow hiker