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Help with our route from YNP to GNP

Charleston, South...
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Help with our route from YNP to GNP

Please forgive me if this ends up being a double post. I originally posted it on the Montana Forum, thinking it would show up here on the Glacier one as well. I realize now that it didn't, so I'm re-posting here. Sorry!

All of our park reservations are now made for our Summer 2014 triple park adventure (YNP, GTNP & GNP), so now I'm just trying to settle on the best way to get from YNP to GNP. We will be departing from Old Faithful Inn and heading toward Many Glacier Hotel, allowing for one night to be spent on the road. I'm thinking leave via the west entrance to US 287 or 191(which is better)?

We know that we want to drive Mt. Hwy. 1 (Pintler Scenic Hwy.), see St. Ignatius Mission, visit Miracle of America Museum, maybe the Kerr Dam and eventually travel up the east side of Flathead Lake.

Should we overnight in Missoula, and then head to those sites in the morning on our way to Many Glacier? Or do as much as we can and then overnight in Polson? It just seems like accommodations are more economical in Missoula.

Also, since we really want to go up the east side of FH Lake, what's the best route to Many Glacier Hotel...through the park or around? I'm clueless about GNP.

Thanks so very much. :)

PS. Please let me know if there is anything else we shouldn't miss on the way!

montana
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1. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

What month are taking this trip? Do the best cherries in the world matter or not? If your trip up the east shore of Flathead Lake is during cherry season -- last week of July, first week of Aug. -- you'll want to allow a little extra time there, maybe even visit a U-Pick orchard.

I'd say overnight in Polson after your visit to St Ignatius (allow about 30 minutes), then you could spend lots or little time at Kerr Dam and the Miracle of America Museum.

Either route to MG Hotel -- taking GTTS Rd. will be a must-do (assuming you're coming here when that road is fully open) so you could do it on your way to MG. If anyone in your group has a pronounced fear of heights you'd not want to go west to east on this road, but rest assured the road is very safe and you travel at a slow speed. If you chose taking Hwy 2 alongside the south end of the park, then you can catch Two Med before getting to MG.

Just keep reading through these Forum posts, and you will no longer "be clueless" about GNP! You're doing a great job of advance planning.

Charleston, South...
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2. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

Thanks for your input, RiverDays. I really appreciate it!

The night we'll be on the road is 7/16 and then we'll be in the park 7/17-7/23. Will we miss the cherries? We're beginning the park on the east side @ Many Glacier, then Swiftcurrent, then lastly Village Inn before flying out of Kalispell. We're so psyched!!!

Is the travel time about the same going through the park as compared to Hwy. 2? I do have a fear of heights, but I handled the Beartooth Hwy.(through clenched teeth). :)

Also, any recs. on where to stay in Polson? However, we were really liking the idea of Staybridge Suites in Missoula and getting a free breakfast, evening appetizers/cocktails and no charge laundry!

montana
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3. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

The cherries that will be sold in stands all along the east shore mid-July will be imported from Eastern Washington -- they will be OK, but nothing to write home about. Washington cherries ripen a couple of weeks ahead of Flathead cherries.

I can't recall the time difference between using GTTS Rd vs. Hiway 2, mostly because I've never done GTTS without multiple stops. You could use googlemaps to tell you. Due to your fear of heights, I suggest driving GTTS from east to west, because you will enjoy it more, and after all, isn't that the point of a vacation? :>)

In Polson, the "nicest" hotel is KwaNukTuk (KwaTukNuk?) which is a Best Western situated right on the edge of Flathead Lake (which you can swim in in mid-July, or take a boat cruise). It may matter more to you to have the rest & relaxation of staying in your preferred brand in Missoula. You could also decide this a week or two ahead of your arrival, so you've got plenty of time to ponder this part of your trip planning.

Charleston, South...
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4. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

Thanks again. Most likely we will end up entering on the west side and driving the GTTS. My fear of heights shouldn't factor in too much because I'm not going to be the driver. However, if we do end up driving Hwy. 2, which park entrance would we use to get to MG?

You're right about me having plenty of "ponder time" to decide on Missoula or Polson. Maybe I'm just making up questions b/c it gives me opportunities to dream about our trip! :)

Virginia Beach...
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5. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

I am doing the same route as you about two weeks later. From my research I decided to pass on Polson and stay in Missoula instead. The tripadviser reviews of the Polson hotels left a little to be desired if you have an option. Also staying at Missoula sets you up for the National Bison Range, a must do in my opinion. After that you can continue north, hit the miracle of Americas museum and continue on.

western WA
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6. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

If you've just been to Yellowstone, I don't personally think the National Bison Range is worth the time. It's ok, but not awesome in my book.

Edited: 10 May 2013, 16:02
Charleston, South...
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7. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

I think I agree with you, ainwa. If there's one animal that we saw a lot of in YNP, it was bison! Since we will be coming directly from the park, I don't think we will stop at the NBR. However, I'm sure it's a wonderful treat for those who haven't just left Yellowstone. :)

8. Re: Help with our route from YNP to GNP

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