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  1. #1

    Default Minneapolis to Glacier NP

    I'm taking the family (me, wife and 3 kids) on a road trip this summer from Minneapolis to Glacier National Park. We have 9 days for the trip and I'm looking for suggestions on:

    - best route to take
    - accommodations in Glacier NP
    - things to do/see in Glacier
    - interesting stops along the way

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Best route?

    We seem to be getting that question a lot lately. There really is no single best route. There are many possible routes and one of them might be the best one for you and your family based on your interests. Hopefully there are two best routes so you can do a loop and avoid retraveling the same roads. New roads are always the best roads, in my opinion. Why don't you share with us what kinds of things you'd like to see and do along the way? That will help us give you better recommendations, both for routes and things to do along the way.

    Are you looking for motels or camping opportunities?

    Glacier has the normal type of outdoor activities you'd expect in a national park like fishing, hiking, etc. Going to the Sun Road is a big highlight.

    Why did you decide to visit Glacier on your vacation?

    Help us help you by giving us a bit more info.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I seem to remember you as the person who likes to drive 1000 mile days. Is this what you want to do to get there or do you want a more relaxed trip this time?

    The fastest way just to get there is I-94 to I-90 to Missoula, then US-93 up to Kalispell and the park. This is 1300 miles, and we normally recommend 3 days for that - overnighting in Glendive and Missoula.

    A tip - if you decide to do a speed run, Montana actually enforces the speed limit. I was stopped last year in the middle of absolutely nowhere on I-94 on a beautiful clear dry day for doing 81 in a 75.

  4. #4


    Hi again folks,

    Thanks for replying. Sorry I'm not able to get back to my post as I've been swamped with work lately.

    PNWJudy, I'm quite interested in history, so old battlefields, old towns, westward migration sites/markers/visitor's centers, etc. I also have 3 kids (15, 14 and 6). So parks, short hiking trails, beautiful mountain views/look-outs, water parks, etc. are what they enjoy. We can also do museums, or a quick tour of colleges (my daughter is just a freshman in high school but if we happen to be in a college town, I guess it doesn't hurt to do a drive-by after a meal stop).

    glc, yes I'm that crazy guy that wanted to drive straight to LA from Minneapolis. That illusion of grandeur evaporated after about 6 hours of driving. We stopped for a good rest. I think it was your advice we took (to stop in Denver and cross the continental divide in the morning). I still can't get over the beauty of those mountains. Anyway, this time, we're allotting 9 days so we can have a more relaxed pace

    I'd appreciate it if you or others could give me tips on the activities and attractions that can be found at Glacier National Park and the surrounding area, and any worthwhile attractions along the route. I also would like to get suggestions on where to stay near/in Glacier NP. We're not really keen on camping so hotels/motels/vacation rentals are what we're considering. I was researching and found that there's a boat tour of the lake. I'm not so sure if that takes you to the Canadian side. I already applied for passports for the entire family just in case.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5

    Default Montana sights

    Well, the Little Bighorn battlefield seems rather obvious for one interested in history and battlefields. I'd also suggest a fairly short loop south of Missoula, down US 93 to Lost Trail Pass, thence east into the most spectacular alpine valley in the Lower 48, the Big Hole. There you'll find the Big Hole National Battlefield, a sobering place which each American who can arrange it should visit. Whilst there, consider overnighting in nearby Jackson and have a soak at the Jackson Hot Springs Resort. I'd then take MT 278 on down to Dillon, and then consider 41 or I-15 back up to I-90, unless you'd like to loop through Yellowstone and come back out via the Beartooth Highway (US 212).

    Also enroute and reasonably close to an overnight at Glendive is Theodore Roosevelt NP at Medora, ND. Medora is a cool little cowtown.

    Closer to Glacier, at Browning, MT, is the Museum of the Plains Indian, another sobering place any American interested in history should consider.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I have never been there, but thare appears to be lodging inside the park. It appears to be quite expensive. There are hotels in Kalispell but those aren't exactly cheap either. Explore the site in the link for everything you want to know about the park.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default the national park websites are full of good info

    So, yeah, explore the park website first for ideas and then we can branch out from there.

    Here are hotels near the west entrance. While it includes those in Kalispell, I wouldn't go that far from the park myself. And here are some on the east side. As you can see, there aren't as many options listed on the east side. However, I'm sure this is not an inclusive list.

    The first thing I'd do, if I were you, is to visit the Montana state tourism website and poke around there. Also, request their free trip planning packet that should include information about all sorts of activities, lodging, maps, etc. These free resources are a wealth of helpful info.

    If you take I-94, check out Theodore Roosevelt National Park (south section) along the way (in western North Dakota). You can find out more info at the national parks websites. If you go far enough west on I-94, you can check out Pompey's Pillar about 25 miles east of Billings, MT.

    How are you planning on getting home? I suggest a loop drive to see different things each way. You could take I-94 one way, and I-90 the other way. Since you're getting passports, you might also consider going into Canada for the drive home.

    Glad to hear you've decided to go for a more leisurely pace this time around. :)

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