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Difficult Choice

Ballina, Australia
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117 posts
72 reviews
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Difficult Choice

I have a time share (actually I wish I didn't) and I have a choice we could spend a week at Whitefish and visit Glacier national Park and surrounds (we will have a rental car) or we can possibly get a week in West Yellowstone as an alternative. Can't do both. If we stay at one we may do a day or two at the other anyway. I know this is very subjective but not knowing much about either place, which of the two, IYHO would be the best to spend a week.? Both accommodations look the same standard. The time of the year will be late May. We visited Yosemite, GC, Zion and Shenandoah on a trip to the US in 2011 and found them "spectacular" particularly Yosemite. Thus, we want to see more US National Parks on our next trip. Any further tips appreciated.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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1. Re: Difficult Choice

Late May in Glacier is still winter. The main road thru the park - GTTSR- is usually not open until the third week of June or later.

Yellowstone in late May can be warm and sunny or cold and snowy- just never know. We've been twice at that time of the year. Had a great time both years but different weather. Will see lots of wildlife babies at this time.

It is a full day drive between Glacier and Yellowstone so doing both in a week is not really feasible imo.

I would choose Yellowstone because most likely can access most areas of the park. Lodging and facilities will be open. West Yellowstone has a number of restaurants also.

Ballina, Australia
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2. Re: Difficult Choice

Thanks for that. Just to clarify we will spend the whole week in the place we choose and move on from there to other parks.. We also want to do some easy (ier) walks during the day - say up to 10 miles.

Ennis MT
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for Yellowstone National Park, Ennis
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34 reviews
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3. Re: Difficult Choice

I would not plan a trip to Glacier in May. It is still winter there at that time - and very beautiful - however, roads and park facilities aren't all open yet. You could still go and explore the areas around the park if you wish, but be prepared for winter driving conditions if you do.

I would instead visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP, which is adjacent. You'll be more likely to have better weather, although it will still be cool, especially in the mornings. There's always the possibility of snow - but generally the roads will clear fairly quickly at that time of year. You will need to check with the Ranger stations regarding hikes, as some trails will be closed due to muddy conditions, and others for bear management as they come out of hibernation.

That all sounded negative as I read it over - I didn't mean it to! YNP is actually quite beautiful as Spring approaches. If you're interested in wild life, there will be lots to watch - especially the bison with their calves. If you haven't done so already, read over the YNP website for ideas of things to do and see: www. nps.gov/yell There is also an interactive map on the home page that is very useful. It will show you the distances between the various attractions - multiply the miles by 2 to get approximate driving times. As you'll see, you will be adding driving time with your base in West, but you'll be in Yellowstone, so it's all good. You will certainly be able to fill your week.

Have a great trip, whatever you decide!

Edited: 07 September 2013, 15:48
indiana
Destination Expert
for Glacier National Park
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4. Re: Difficult Choice

Agree, very limited access to Glacier in May. As stated, most facilities at Glacier will still be closed.

western WA
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5. Re: Difficult Choice

I'd say Yellowstone, too. Basing out of West will mean lots of long drive days. Be prepared for that.

10 mile hikes will still be pretty snowy. Check in with park ranger stations before heading out, wear boots, and bring 10 Essentials for winter conditions. You can still get blizzards in May, so plan accordingly.

6. Re: Difficult Choice

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