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  1. Default Minneapolis to Glacier National Park

    Hello. My family is planning a roadtrip to Glacier NP this summer. We're planning on leaving our home in Minneapolis on Saturday, July 30 and returning home Sunday, August 7.

    We're planning on going through ND since Sturgis will be starting up in SD. My daughter lives in Fargo so we may leave Friday night and spend the night there and then head out Saturday morning for Medora. Spend the day at Theordore Roosevelt NP and spend the night in Medora. The next morning we would leave for Havre, MT. My husband's grandparents lived in Havre and he wants to visit the underground city and visit their graves. Not sure if we would spend the night in Havre or possibly drive to Shelby. The next morning we would head to Glacier.

    This is the hard part. There is so much to see and do in Glacier we're not sure where to start. We're not sure where to stay (we'd rather not camp). We'll have our 3 girls with us (21, 19 and 16). Definitely want to do the Going to the Sun road (possibly the bus tour). How do we find free hikes? We'd rather not go on our own...bears and stuff. We want to see Lake McDonald.

    What are the MUST DO's for GNP on a budget??

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

    Default It's easy to find your way around once there.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    There are possibly some Ranger led hikes, but you will be fine going it alone on hikes and at your own pace, there will be many people on the trails. Thousands and thousands of people hike year in and year out without having issues of "bears and stuff". The best place to find info and see what hikes and activities appeal to you would be the National parks Glacier Park pages. When you arrive you will have booklets and the Rangers are always happy to answer questions and recommend places suitable for your group. The Going to the sun road links east to west in the park so it would be a good idea to look at lodgings both sides of the park and consider driving the road yourselves. You will need to sort lodgings out asap if it is not already too late to find availability in August. We found the cabins at the Rising sun Motor Inn opposite St Marys Lake to be quite good value, they are quite small and basic yet cosy. There are other options in the Many Glacier area, the Swiftcurrent motor Inn being one and on the west side is Apgar village and Lake McDonald. West Glacier and Kalispell offer lodgings outside of the park.

    Get your girls to do a bit of research and have some input on where to go, they will have much more fun having a vested interest in your visit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    As for where to stay when seeing Glacier -- I've recently done a lot of research on this and found the following:

    The park has about 6 hotels. However, they are all very pricey. You can stay on the east side of the park in East Glacier Park, or on the west side of the park either in Essex, West Glacier, or Columbia Falls.

    Now here's the rub: when I made my reservations back in February, a lot of places were already full for July -- and I'm guessing, August. If you find this to be the case, you could try for someplace in Whitefish or Kalispell, make reservations that can be canceled, and keep trying for a place in one of the closer towns. We are heading there next week. Watch my Road Trip Report, as I will be reporting on hikes -- something my husband and I enjoy very much. There are a lot of popular trails where bears are not a problem. (Bears are mostly a problem in the extreme backcountry.)

    The bus tour is one way to see Going to the Sun Road. So is the free shuttle, though I understand it is very difficult for a group of 5 people to get back on a shuttle and stay together, once off.


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