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What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Denmark
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What to see/experience in Glacier Park

We are planing our first trip to US in june 2006. We are from Denmark and know nothing about Glacier Park, except from what we have read on this page.

Can anybody help us recomending places to see and stay. We are planing a 4 days stay in or near the park. I have thought about horse riding and riverrafting but I am not sure whether this is possible with an 8 year boy, any experience?. Which airport is nearest the Park and does anyone know a " cheap" car rental.

Looking forward for your replies.

Thanks a lot :-)

Regina

Spokane, Washington
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park, Spokane
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1. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

June is early in this park and the Going to the Sun road may not be open yet, which makes getting around the park more difficult. The more scenic areas and best hiking is in the east and south of the park. You can fly in to Kalispel, 30 miles west of the park entrance. Loging in the park is overpriced, but there are some places right at the entrance, in west Glacier that are more reasonable. Car rentals can be had at the airport and shopped on line ahead of time for price. Spokane is likely less expensive to fly to, though 4 1/2 hours drive away.

Two Medicine in the south and Many Glacier in the northest are the best places to experience the park and wildlife, assuming the pass is not open. If the pass is open, expect significant snow up high.

nowhere
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276 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

As k2 said, the Going to the Sun Highway, the only road which crosses through the park, usually opens some time in early June, but if they get a heavy snow, it will be later in the month. At any rate, you can expect snow to be on the ground at the higher elevations throughout June.

Many Glacier, which k2 recommended, is truly beautiful, but it can also be truly crowded, although June is a relatively uncrowded time in the park. Two Medicine is not quite so spectacular (though still a very scenic area) and much less likely to be crowded.

We actually prefer the west side of the park. The view of Lake McDonald from Apgar is stupendous, and some of our favorite hiking trails (Avalanche Lake, for example) are on the west side. These two areas can also be crowded. We also enjoy driving the rough, gravel road up the west side of the park to Lakes Bowman and Kintla, although recent fires in those areas have affected the scenery quite a bit. These areas are almost completely empty of people.

As k2 said, Kalispell is the closest airport (airport code FCA). On our last trip, we flew into Spokane (code GEG), saving quite a bit on both air fares and rental car costs. Depending on time, you might want to check both airports. Be sure to check the car rental rates at each place as they can vary widely, too.

If you do fly into FCA, you might look into staying at the Duck Inn in Whitefish. It's about 30 minutes from the west entrance into Glacier, but Whitefish is a nice town to be in for the evenings. Duck Inn (www.duckinn.com) is a small lodge with 10 rooms. They also rent cars and can pick you up at the airport and have the car waiting for you at the lodge.

Let us know if we can answer more questions. Will this be your first visit to the USA? I hope you enjoy your visit.

montana
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3. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Regina,

K2 and Radio are right on. Yes, June is a bit early too experience warm or hot weather, but there will be less crowds. Come prepared for rain, as June is the rainiest month of the year. It could also be beautiful, sunny weather, you just never know. If Going To The Sun Road (the pass) is still closed, you can get to the east side of the park by taking the very beautiful drive along the southern edge of the park, Highway 2.

There is whitewater rafting available in June, but the rivers will be high and possibly turbulent, "milkshake" is how it's sometimes described because it can be chocolate colored. Please be extra careful if you decide to go whitewater rafting in early June, chose a rafting company that I've recommended in other posts, and only go with a well-trained guide, not on your own.

Let us know if you have any other specific questions. Whitefish is a nice town for lodging, as you will find other interesting things to do there, and good places to eat.

Coming from Denmark, you will be used to colder weather, so if your clothing is appropriate, you should have a wonderful time.

Raleigh, North...
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16 posts
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4. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Regina, my family is taking its first trip to Glacier June 28 2006 for a week. I got a super deal on a van from Avis. I checked 3 airports (Kalispell, Missoula, and Spokane) and I was given unlimited mileage with Avis (plus a very reasonable weekly rate). After mapping places I want to go, I knew I'd need unlimited miles on the rental.

We are also considering whitewater rafting, but I'm not sure I want to maneuver down class IV rapids with the snow melt. The last time we did this, our daughter went airborne because she's so light. So, I'm also considering some of the "family floats" offered by some of rafting companies recommended by the experts on this site.

Cheers,

Janet

Downers Grove...
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5. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

I was in Glacier for 10 days in June/July of 2005. We stayed at the Silverwolf Chalets and the Many Glacier Lodge. We loved Silverwolf and thought Many Glacier was a beautiful setting with small rooms and little hot water. We saw one bear near East Glacier and three more up near Many Glacier Lodge. We spent three nights up in Canada but wouldn't do it again. It is VERY windy in Waterton and most of the trail are only accessable by boat. We did see two moose in Canada. I would recommend doing a Jammer Bus tour when you get there, followed by a rafting trip.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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6. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Wrigley,

I must take exception to your comments on Waterton - only one trail is only accessible by boat - that being the Crypt Lake Trail. It is worth the boat ride - BELIEVE ME!!!!!. But there are at least 2 dozen other trails in the park - from moderate to advanced - which are accessible from the village side of the lake. It can be windy at times, but this is not every day. Read the reviews on Waterton and you will see that it is prized by people the world over for its beauty and relative lack of crowds.

Downers Grove...
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7. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Please don't get me wrong. We had an absolutely wonderful time and Waterton is beautiful. If I could do it again, however, I'd do a day trip to Waterton and spent the extra nights in Banff or East Glacier.

Winter Park, Florida
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760 posts
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8. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

I have been to the Whitefish/ Glacier area 7 times in the past three years. I love it! I'll be backin two weeks to ski. Stay on the West side of the Park. June is a little tight as far as the GTTS road. Try the boat tour on St. Mary's lake. Also, do the hike on Apgar Lookout- you can see the mountain regrowing from the fire three years ago (4 years ago?)I'd stay in Whitefish too. Maybe on Whitefish Lake- there are realy great restaurants and you can hike around Big Mountain (amazing views) or tour Flathead Lake. It kind of keeps you in the middle of things being in Whitefish- only 15 minutes from the airport. I'd stay at the Lake Macdonald Lodge if you do plan to be in the Park. Many Glacier is very pretty too, but it's so far from everything. Also, don't do the horse ride in the park. They have the most tired old boney horses you have ever seen. There is a really great Dude ranch (Bar W )that just opened in Whitefish a few months ago. They have gorgeous quarter horses and the wranglers take you on some beautiful forest land.

Nashville, TN
3 posts
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9. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Janet, from where did your trip originate? We are planning a trip to Glacier June 25, 2006 for about 10 days also, and we want to visit Yellowstone. I am trying to figure out which airport would be halfway between Yellowstone and Glacier. I know it's about 400 miles between Yellowstone & Glacier. We are coming from Tennessee.

nowhere
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276 posts
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10. Re: What to see/experience in Glacier Park

Helena and Butte are probably the most central airports to both parks, but they aren't the biggest. Bozeman is closer to Yellowstone; Missoula is closer to Glacier. Kalispell is the closest to Glacier.