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How many days at Many Glacier?

Nashille
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How many days at Many Glacier?

My husband and I just learned we have a new Southwest Companion Pass -- and we've been wanting to see GNP for quite awhile (but airfare was too high). So now we're all excited about flying into Spokane at half price, renting a car and driving to GNP. Would love to stay at Many Glacier if it's available -- our days are very flexible, but I guess July is really the best time to go? If June is the only month the hotel is available, should we go then? (I'm calling tomorrow.)

THEN, my second question is: Do we need to stay anywhere else if we have just a week or so? We like hiking/walking, but aren't into really strenuous lengthy hikes. Would love shorter ranger-led hikes, boat rides, great scenery, stars, decent food and relaxing away from it all. If possible, I'd like to stay in one place and just unwind, rather than packing up all the time. But how long would it make sense to stay at Many Glacier (if it's even available? and I know that's a very big if.) Would anyone recommend just parking ourselves there? Would we miss too much?

If Many Glacier is not available, should we move to our Plan B Vacation (Vancouver Island)? And try GNP another year?

Thank you for any and all advice. We've never been in this part of the US.

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1. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

The Swiftcurrent Inn is only one mile down the road and is more affordable. You can still hang out at Many Glacier...

Whitefish, Montana
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2. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

It depends on how flexible you are June can be great or awful. This year it was great and I camped and hiked in Many Glacier several times in June. It can however be very wet.

The views are actually better in June then July as all the mountains should be snow covered.

Swiftcurrent Pass Trail to Red Rock Lake should be passable as well as the Grinnell Glacier Trail to the viewpoint above Grinnell Lake.

www.glacierhikers.com/day-hikes-many.html

The GTSR can not open before June 20 2014 weather permitting.

The Scenic Point Trail in Two Medicine is a great trail that open most of the way early in the hiking season.

www.glacierhikers.com/scenic-point.html

As earlyhiker mentions Swiftcurrent Inn is another option.

NOTE: 2014 will be the first year for the new concessionaire in GNP. (not the first year for other major parks)

Good time for wildflowers!

montana slow hiker

Spokane, Washington
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for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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3. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

July definitely better, or at the least, as late June as possible. A week is great, if you like hiking, photography, beautiful scenery and animal sightings. At switch near the end of your trip to the west side of the park will make the reutrn trip to spokane much easier but stay on the east side as long as you can.

indiana
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4. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

Agree with staying on the west for a night or two before your drive back to Spokane. Will give you time to drive across the park without being rushed. Try for Village Inn at Apgar for rooms right on the lakeshore.

Nashille
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5. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

thank you all for the great advice. I tried to call today abt rooms at either Many Glacier or SwiftCurrent, and learned that the whole reservation system is down until later this week. It's because they're right in the middle of switching over to the new concessionaire, Xanta (or something like that). Does anyone know how long the system has been down?

After reading a lot of posts in this forum, we're thinking that we need to stay in that area of the park for probably 4 or 5 nights, with a night or two at Village Inn at Apgar at the beginning and/or end of the trip. As we're starting on this rather late, I fear that there will be nothing left for our dates (we're teachers so we have to be back by about July 20, which with June road closures, narrows our window considerably.)

If Many Glacier and Swift Current don't have availability, we're considering postponing the trip to another year and heading to Vancouver island instead (though I've fallen in love with the sound of GNP). Is that the general consensus -- to postpone? Or are there smaller hotels within the park that don't have websites but could be reached via email? We've always loved staying in B&Bs so small size doesn't bother us; we do, however, much prefer something with charm and character (no new pre-fab cabins, for example).

Again, thank you for your thoughts. I'm counting down the hours until the reservations line opens back up. And wondering how Xanta will run GNP? They are hiring all sorts of people according to their website, from the top on down.

Edited: 10 December 2013, 03:36
Spokane, Washington
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6. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

Google st. Mary, mt for some ideas, 20 miles from many glacier or look at the park lodging at rising sun, 26 miles from MG. I think GNP far outweighs Vancouver island and there are many lodging options that are in the park and close to other sights of beauty. Might. Just make for a little more driving time

indiana
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7. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

There are many small motels in East Glacier, just know that they are an hour drive to the main area of the park on a road that many don't care to drive, especially after dark. As K2 mentioned there are some other options in Babb, St. Mary. Glacier Trailhead Cabins and Thronson's are two that come to mind. I have no first hand experience with either but they get pretty good reviews.

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8. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

Don't give up if your dates are showing as not available..... Cancellations happen often! And.... You and your husband need to hike Warner Park as often as you can. :)

Whitefish, Montana
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9. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

You could check with the Yellowstone Forum Archives for reports on Xantera. I expect that the on-line system will be up on Jan 1st 2014 which is when the new contract goes into effect. Xantera has lots of experience with taking over large parks concessions.

K2 & Hikes suggestion regarding Apgar is very important for your drive time return to Spokane.

VRBO.com might have some options for outside lodging. I always camp so don't have any real world experience regarding lodging. Swiftcurrent Inn has been my favorite breakfast spot in GNP especially with its early breakfast hours and long time helpful staff.

Hopefully most of them will make the transition to Xantera.

montana slow hiker

Nashille
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10. Re: How many days at Many Glacier?

Just had to report my good news -- got 6 nights at Many Glacier (lakeside with shared balcony, 1 Double and a Twin) and nights before and after at Village Inn at Apgar (one of the nights with 2 Twins and the other a Family Room with Double and twins... all they had). So I'm thrilled -- based on the reviews and suggestions here.

My only possible "concern" is that returning to the Village Inn at the end of the trip after already staying there and at Many Glacier might seem rather anticlimactic ("been there, done that.") Wondering if we should leave the park via a different route and stay somewhere else for a different experience? We love B&Bs, but don't know if any make sense, scenically or otherwise, as we head back to Spokane for the flight home.

Thoughts?