Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. Default Glacier NP & Yellowstone NP 8 day trip Itinerary


    I am travelling with my elderly parent arriving Aug 29th evening and leaving Sept 7 morning in and out of Bozeman, MT. Strenuous hiking is out of scope but I would like to cover as much ground as drive-able with easy to moderate walking / hiking. I plan to go :

    Glacier NP Aug 30th and Aug 31st at all three of Rising Sun and Swift Current Motor INN and Lake McDonald. Q1)Which would be better options to finalize ?

    Yellowstone NP Sept 2nd,3rd,4th, 5th. Q2) Which of these would be a better option to choose? Q3) Can I cover Grand Teton, Jenny Lake in one day if I start from Old Faithful INN(early morning till sun down) ?

    Q4) Would 3 days 2 nights be a good enough time at Glacier or should I spend an additional day at Glacier ?

    Q5) Also is Craters of the Moon NP a good place or is it passable ?

    Q6) Are there any other places that I should not be missing along the way ? I would be more interested in enjoying landscapes than doing a lot of hiking. We can walk around for an hour or two at max.

    Q7)Any advice on must do trails in either NP ? Appreciate any input/ help.

    I am staying in Helena on Aug 29th, Sept 1st and at Bozeman on Sept 6th. A lot of questions, its my first time at these NPs.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default A few suggestions.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    To complete a nice loop you could first head to the Many Glacier area of the park, then to Risng sun and then over the Going to the Sun road to Lake McDonald. A couple of nights would be the minimum you would want to spend, but 3 nights would allow you time for a comfortable drive from Bozeman, the following day explore Many Glacier and head to St Mary Lake and Rising Sun. The followng day stopping along the GTTSR and exploring the Lake McDonald area where you could stop another night or in West Glacier or Kallispell.

    Yes you could vist the Tetons in a day from Old Faithfull Inn, although you could spend longer. If you did go down to Craters of the Moon then it would be possible to drive through the Tetons on the way in to Yellowstone, maybe staying in Idaho Falls or Jackson

    The Craters of the Moon is a pretty cool place and any National park or Monument is worth it, but it doesn't compete with Glacier or Yellowstone in my opinion. Heading south from Kallispell you would drive around Flathead Lake towards Missoula and between the two is the National Bison Range.

    When you arrive at the National parks you will be given leaflets and maps and the park Rangers are only too pleased to tell you abouth their favourite spots and recommend easy trails/viewpoints that will match what you want.

    OK, I have just got to the end of your questions and have now noted you are in Helena Sept 1st. In that case you might want to drive to Lake McDonald first, reversing your trip and forget about Craters of the Moon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    To answer Q3 first, yes, it's entirely possible to leave Old Faithful Inn one morning and cover Grand Teton that day. We left West Yellowstone one morning and covered Grand Teton/Jenny Lake that same day, spending the night at Driggs, ID.

    As for Q5, Craters of the Moon is incredibly interesting to us! We enjoyed learning about the geology of the area, poking around a little with the stark landscape, and also realizing that our Apollo astronauts used Craters of the Moon to train for the moon.


  4. Default

    Another question is what would be a better option to travel from GNP to YNP:
    1. West side of GNP through Missoula and West YellowStone. Would this be too tiring to attempt ?
    2. East side of GNP through Helena, and enter YNP through US287?

    Note:I have confirmed reservations at both GNP and YNP


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    Where is your final night in Glacier ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Two great routes.

    If you plan to drive from GNP to YNP in one day, you may not be able to enjoy much of what these routes have to offer..

    US-287 will take you through the Geological Area of the 1959 earthquate. There is the visitor centre at the western end, on top of the tens of millions of tons which slid down from the mountain, blocking the canyon and burying 19 victims. As you go along the route there are 8 or 9 turnouts with features of this terrifying night, over the last 20 miles to US-191.

    Alternatively, and possibly a much more scenic route is US-191 from Belgrade on I-90 to West Yellowstone.. (Going this route would still allow you to experience the 20 miles along US-287 of the Geological Area.)


  7. Default

    I have final night reservations in GNP at both SwiftCurrent and Lake McDonald. Thus have flexibility of choosing the exit out of GNP.

    I intend to take a breat at night at one of Helena,MT or Missoula, MT on the way out of GNP to YNP. This depends on whether I should take the East side(lesser time) or the West side. Which would one be a more scenic route though ?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default National Bison Range.

    If you are going out the west entrance and down US-93 - a very scenic route - a visit to the National Bison Range would be most worthwhile. Be aware it can take hours to do the trip through there. Still, it would be a shame to miss.


  9. Default

    Just a summary report on how the trip went.
    Aug 30,31 Sept 1,2 at Glacier. Covered Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Swift Current, Lake McDonald. We did a few good hikes as well - Grinnell Lake (with Boat ride),Virginia Falls, Red Rock, Hidden Lake Overlook, Avalanche Lake..
    Logan Pass and GTTSR was just so amazing.. We also did get to see a lot of wildlife : bear(5 times), big horn sheep, dozens of mountain goats, couple of marmot. Glacier was really amazing!
    Drove back to Helena on the evening of Sept 2nd through the scenic US 83 from West side of the park. On the way we saw hoards of moose midway on US-200.
    Drove to East side Yellowstone on the 3rd morning. 3rd night at old faithful, 4th and 5th at lake lodge. We drove to Jenny Lake and did the hidden falls trail on the 5th morning. Covered most of the geysers, falls and got great wildlife views : a dozen pronghorns, bighorn sheep, lots of deer including a few new born calves, and 2 wolves!!!
    We drove to Bozeman on the 6th night and were lucky enough to witness the ascent of 4 sheep up a steep cliff face.

    Overall it was such a fulfilling experience. Many thanks to all the suggestions provided on this forum!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Cool.

    Pleased to hear you had a great trip, thanks for dropping in and sharing with us.


Similar Threads

  1. Yellowstone to Glacier NP (West Glacier) - best route?
    By London_Hobbes in forum Spring RoadTrips
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 04-29-2014, 12:57 PM
  2. RV trip from NY to Glacier Nat'l Park, Yellowstone and Colorado Rockies
    By pwissenb in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 06-20-2012, 01:20 PM
  3. First RV trip - Ohio to Glacier/Yellowstone
    By styxbb in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 01-05-2012, 07:30 PM
  4. 40 Bday Trip Seattle Vancouver Glacier Yellowstone
    By TuesdayJen in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-22-2011, 08:25 PM
  5. Grand Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier NP road trip
    By TJmom0306 in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-27-2008, 01:23 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name