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Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

Chicago, Illinois
10 posts
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Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

Hi there,

My cousin and I are planning a 3 month trip and we are really excited to visit Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. We've pulled together an itinerary, and have GNP for Oct 1-5, then driving to Yellowstone, to be there until Oct 9. We'll be flying in from San Francisco.

From reading the forums here and looking at the GNP and Yellowstone websites, I've learnt that this is the off season, and most of the lodges will be closed. For those who have been to these parks during different seasons, what are the pros and cons of visiting during this time?

We are on a tight budget so we were thinking camping would be a good option. We're both young (20s) and don't mind roughing it. However, we are hesitant because we haven't had much experience with camping (I'm a bit scared of the bears!); and we wouldn't have any gear (e.g. tents, sleeping bags) with us.

Do you have any recommendations on affordable lodging for beginner campers? Alternatively, if we stayed outside of the parks, would it be a hassle driving to visit the park every day?

If Oct is still nice and pleasant, we would want to make it work despite the lodges being closed. But if it's best to visit during the peak season, we would consider reworking our itinerary to move our visit earlier. This would put a kink in all our plans, but we want to make the most of our short visit.

Your advice and recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Anna

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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30,436 posts
442 reviews
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1. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

You could encounter winter type weather in Oct. The main road in Glacier will be partially closed after Sept. 22.

Come in early to mid September if you can.

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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21,346 posts
109 reviews
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2. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

I agree with PeachBelle. If you have the option to come earlier, then do so. I am not a camper, but this would not be the time of year to learn to camp. Nights will be below freezing. It might warm up in the day, but then again it might not.

Pam

New York City, New...
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994 posts
27 reviews
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3. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

Another agree here. Lodges and campgrounds will already be shutting down if they haven't already, and there might already be a chance of snow. According to the Glacier website, Going to the Sun Road is going to start closing on September 22 this year, and it's best to do Glacier during the three month window when Going to the Sun is completely open. You also want to go before the Rangers start shutting down trails as the Grizzlies move down the mountains to eat the berry crops.

Chicago, Illinois
10 posts
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4. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

Thanks for the replies! We will reschedule to come early September.

Thanks!!

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
21,346 posts
109 reviews
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5. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

That is a much better time frame! Be aware that some services in Yellowstone start shutting down on Labor Day, but you can work around that.

www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/ocd_locale.htm

Pam

Chicago, Illinois
10 posts
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6. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

Awesome, thanks Pam! I'm so glad I asked and got the feedback :) We'll have 4 nights (I really wish we could have more), so understand we won't get to see much.

From your experience, which area of the park do you like to stay?

7. Re: Glacier National Park and Yellowstone in October

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