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  1. Default Boulder to Glacier routes?

    Planning a trip very soon, mid July, for a two week vacation to be spent between Boulder and Glacier NP and back to Boulder. We will be driving a rental and have little knowledge of the area. I've read some great posts on this site and am sure that someone here has done a similar trip a time or two. Our tentative plan is to get to Glacier pretty quickly, spend 4-5 days there and take our time returning to Boulder. Probably a quick drive by of Yellowstone as to avoid the big crowds of summer and a couple day stint in the Tetons. We plan on doing a combo of tent camping and hotels, but are very flexible. I realize that most of the primo campspots and lodges will be be long since reserved but have heard that some campsites do not take prior reservations. Any great routes or scenic drives come to mind for anyone? Really appreciate any tips. Thanks


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time Well Spent

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Of course, mid July is when the 'big crowds of summer' will be at Glacier, Yellowstone, the Tetons and everywhere else. Still, if that's when you can make your trip, there's no reason not to make the best of it. On your way north, you do have quite a bit of time since you could make the drive in as little as two days. Your basic route is just I-25 north to Buffalo, WY, I-90 west to Billings, US-87 north to Great Falls, and I-15 up to the Glacier area. some places to consider spending a little time along the way include Ayers Natural Bridge near Douglas WY and the Little Bighorn Battlefield at Crow Agency MT.

    On your way back, you'd work your way down US-89/US-287/I-15 to Helena, US-12/US-287/I-90.US-191 to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, then US-26/US-287 southeast across Wyoming to Rawlins and then it's just I-80/I-25 home. Your best bet for your extra time along the return is in Yellowstone. There's more to see and do there than just look at Old Faithful and if you can find accommodations in Gardiner or West Yellowstone, or better yet camping in the park, by all means spend as much time there as you can.


  3. Default Thanks AZBuck...

    Thanks Buck. Are these roads primarily 4 lane interstates or more scenic drives? We are from the mountains of VA so I expect any driving in this area will be 'scenic' for us. Our old worn down mountains would be just little hills out there. We were thinking that we might spend more time in the Tetons area than Yellowstone as to have a bit more space, assuming Yellowstone would be like Disneyworld this time of year. We are two early 30's who enjoy a good bit of hiking and adventure and not so much standing in lines. Is this a mistake? Who knows if we'll ever make it back out west, so I hope to at least a see a bit of Yellowstone, maybe a day or so. thanks again

  4. #4

    Default The Beartooths

    Hello CBASS,

    The routing to Glacier from Boulder is the fastest, is practically all superhighway, and is quite scenic for the most part. From about Big Timber, MT the rest of the way up you will be in awe of the scenery.

    If you want a peek at Yellowstone and don't mind a bit more backtracking, I can heartily suggest passing back through Bozeman + Livingston to Red Lodge, MT, and enter Yellowstone via the Beartooth Highway. The highway itself is a terrific drive, and you enter through Cooke City and the less-traveled Northeast entrance. Or, if you leave Glacier from the west side, you might take "the road less traveled" and pass through Missoula on US 93, on down to the MT-ID line, thence east on MT 43 to The Big Hole Valley. Traverse "the land of 10,000 haystacks" on MT 43 and 278, thence MT 41 and MT 287 through Twin Bridges and Ennis, thence to West Yellowstone to enter the park. You might then take the loop within Yellowstone to exit the park via the Beartooth Highway.

    Have fun planning and executing your RoadTrip!


  5. Default Thanks Foy

    Exactly the type of info I am looking for. The Beartooth HWY sounds great, and I was hoping to find a way to include it in our journey. Thanks again for the help.

  6. #6

    Default Any time

    Quote Originally Posted by cbass2000 View Post
    Exactly the type of info I am looking for. The Beartooth HWY sounds great, and I was hoping to find a way to include it in our journey. Thanks again for the help.
    As much as I like the Beartooth Highway, I like the Big Hole even more. Excepting the segment of US 93 from Missoula down to Lost Trail Pass (MT-ID line where MT 43 turns off back into MT), the whole of the drive through and beyond the Big Hole is 2 lanes, but very open offering high posted speed limit travel. Bannack State Park is an authentic restored ghost town and was the first capital of MT when it became a territory in 1861. Bannack lies just a handful of miles off of MT 278 just outside of the Big Hole. If you get to lovin' the area, look at the Pioneer Mountains Scenic Parkway. Having traversed the heart of the Big Hole from Lost Trail Pass through Wisdom and Jackson, you can jog north on the Parkway to Wise River, thence east on MT 43 to Divide, thence over to Twin Bridges on back roads from about Melrose. The Parkway is very, very nice and there are many good NF campgrounds along it, plus pull-off camping abounds. I'm crazy about the place.


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