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  1. Default Roadtrip:POrtland to Glacier and back

    Driving solo from Portland to Glacier National Park in July. I was hoping to get suggestions on different routes to the park and back to Portland with ideas for sightseeing and possibly lodging. I was planning to take 2 days to drive each way but I can take as much or as little time as needed. Thanks in advance:)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default It's on the maps.

    By far the best thing you can do right now, is to get hold of some good detailed maps, such as those published by AAA (free to members) and Rand McNally. With those in hand you may find it helpful to follow the advice in this paragraph:

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck
    Start with maps. Not GPS, not software, not Google, but real honest-to-god paper maps that show you your entire route, that you can mark up (and erase), that you can stick pins in, and that show something about the land you'll be driving through. Those are your essential tool in any RoadTrip planning process. Start by marking all the places you know you want to visit. Then connect the dots. Then look for more places of interest and scenic routes along the lines connecting the dots. Repeat until you've got as many sites and roads as you think you want.
    There is no end of scenic routes (all marked on these maps) in ID and western MT, just as there will be countless attractions along the way, some of which may, and others may not interest you.

    So get some dots on the maps, and when you have a route planned, the experts here can help you fill in the blanks, and maybe fine tune the route - if necessary.

    Lifey
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 03-23-2016 at 10:10 PM. Reason: clarification.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,545

    Default

    From experience: get your lodging in Glacier booked ASAP. You have a number of choices, if you are using hotels. There are about 4 lodges in the park itself, but they are not very budget-friendly. Outside the park, you can book in St Mary's (on the east side), East Glacier Park (on the southeast side), or West Glacier Park, to be right next to the park. A little further out are Essex, Columbia Falls, Hungry Horse, and Whitefish, with Kalispell being really way out there. But do it now, or as soon as you get your arrival date at Glacier booked. We booked for July earlier this month, and found that the later in July, the fuller they already were.


    Donna

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default

    I agree that booking your lodgings in Glacier is essential and the sooner the better. You will want to visit both sides of the park from West Glacier to Many Glacier. We stayed in a cabin at the Rising sun motor Inn by St Marys lake which were good value, out of season at least. The cabins are clean and basic but in a lovely location on the east end of the Going to the Sun Road. You don't say if you are a Portland local or flying in so you could well be aware of the attractions around Portland which you can visit from 'home'. Just North of Missoula is the National Bison range which is a nice stop to drive around the one way road spotting wildlife. Near Polsen at the southern end of Flathead Lake you will find Kerr Dam which has quite a nice viewpoint of the dam and river. How much time is needed is really up to you, your timescale and what interests you.

  5. Default

    Thanks for all of your help. I do have Glacier booked already (called a year in advance to the day) and am flying in to Portland because it seemed like the drive from there to Glacier would be scenic. I have not booked the flight yet so I am open to changing the city I fly in and out of if anyone has better ideas. I have already visited Teton and Yellowstone so that is why I was hoping to stay more to the north for this trip.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,747

    Default In that case.

    Just east of Portland is the Historic Columbia river Gorge which is worth taking time to explore all the wonderful waterfalls. If you visited through there one way you could look at Mt Rainier and/or Mt St Helens the other way, again it depends on how much time you have for travelling and exploring beyond the 2 days you mention. Seattle would be a closer alternative for Glacier depending on what you decide you want to do.

  7. Default Spokane Washington to Glacier National Park and back

    Flying to Spokane middle of July, driving to Glacier where I will be staying for 4 days and then back to Spokane. Looking for suggestions on scenic routes to take there and back as well as places to stay. Have 2 days going to and from and was hoping to do lots of sightseeing on the way. Already have Glacier booked and am totally open to the roadtrip part.

    Mod note. Please keep all questions regarding this trip in one place.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 06-06-2016 at 12:54 PM. Reason: Merged with original trip thread.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Scenic and straightforward.

    US2 is not only a scenic route, but it takes you right to West Glacier, through Kalispell and Columbia Falls (which does not have any fallls).

    Sandpoint is worth a stop for the largest covered bridge, and before hitting the Going to the Sun Road, check out the goats on 'goatlick' beside US2, just to the south of the junction. The ranger station in Hungry Horse, or visitor centre in Columbia Falls will show you exactly where.

    Lifey

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