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First Time Visit! Completely lost!

Minneapolis...
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First Time Visit! Completely lost!

I'm trying to plan a last minute trip to GNP. I've never left MN, and this is my first big trip. I don't know where to start as to booking hotels, activities, etc. I plan on taking the AMTRAK to West Glacier. How would I get to my hotel? Whether I would have a vehicle or no vehicle. If I book the hotel, do I then book the activities, if so, how? If anyone could just explain how the process works and lay down the basics to it and where to go from here, I would greatly appreciate it.

Minneapolis...
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1. Re: First Time Visit! Completely lost!

I want to stay for about a week. Do I stay at one hotel or move around-- how does that work (i.e transportation). I've never hiked in my life, so what are the options here?

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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for Glacier National Park
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2. Re: First Time Visit! Completely lost!

Wow! having never left Minnesota you are going to be blown away by GNP. the best way to discover the park is with a rental car. Is this possible for you? If not you will have to rely on the for public shuttles which would present a problem since they will not start till July 1. When are you planning to go? also note that Going to the Sun Rd which is the main road crossing the park is only open to certain points on either side till at least the 21 of June. Most higher elevation hikes are still snowed in but there are plenty of hikes that will be clear lower. call Glacier Park Inc now for reservations. if you can't get what you want, try East or West Glacier. there are quite a few mom and pop cabins and motels at East and West Glacier within walking distance of the depots. go to www.nps.gov/glacier for more info. This sight is great for planning your trip. After you do this come back to this forum with more specific questions.

Also remember, the two sides of the park are vastly different. the west side is a temperate rain forest and very woodsy. The east side is drier with more wide open views.

Whitefish, Montana
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for Glacier National Park
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3. Re: First Time Visit! Completely lost!

As GNP4me says if you don't drive then you will need to wait until July 1. You most likely will need to check out Vacation Rental by owners web site to find somewhere to stay at this late a date.

I cover hikes and trail and road conditions but now and in the past to give you an idea of what is going on and what to expect this summer.

GNP is currently plowing the parking lot at Logan Pass which had 5 - 7 feet of snow at the start of this week. The plow crews have met up on the middle of Big Drift which wasn't very big this year at 60 feet.

GPI has tours on their Jammers Glacier Boat has tours on their boat rides and Swan Mountain Outfitters have guided rides on their horses. Rafters are too many to name and most are based in West Glacier Montana. There were a couple of small rafts on the North Fork yesterday when I was hiking the South Boundary Trail hoping for flowers ~ either not yet or to late for that trail.

Bear Grass is blooming along the GTSR as you enter the park from West Glacier.

No where as many bugs in Glacier Park as there are in Minnesota

Western Montana does have something in common with Minnesota and that is lots of lakes!

With the exception of the parks free shuttles www.glacierhikers.com/shuttle.html public transportation is pretty slim pickings. Not sure if they would have any openings but the Belton Chalet picks up guests at the West Glacier Amtrak stop.

www.glacierhikers.com/index.html

Edited: 06 June 2013, 16:44
Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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4. Re: First Time Visit! Completely lost!

Galcier Highland hotel is right across from the west Glacier train station and you could get a room there. Dining is steps away and 1/2 mi. to park entrance. Car rentals available at the train station.

Trailhead cabins out of st. mary is an east side option as is duck lake inn. Rising sun (park concession operator) might be an option for the east side (don't know if fills up as fast as many glacier hotels.

Get bear spray

5. Re: First Time Visit! Completely lost!

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