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Topic: Glacier National Park MT< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
MackShaft Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 07 2013, 6:43 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Looking for the best spot to reserve to car camp that I can make reservations.

Thanks!
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SPeacock Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 08 2013, 3:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

An out of the way spot that very few (relatively) visit, is the NW corner of Glacier at Polebridge and Bowman Lake. What you see from the map (dozen buildings) is it.

They didn't charge us coming into the park just a wave through.  It is a different and much more 'rustic' (no running water for other than drinking).  Only one store and accommodations that are also rustic.  Lots of dirt roads getting to places.  

http://mapper.acme.com/?ll=48.77395,-114.24957&z=12&t=T

Several good trails into the western side - longer approach to the high mountains than from the east.  We went in from Bowman Lake.  Nice...but long.   I understand the fishing is good - we didn't.  But saw an adult mountain lion on the trail watching us until I moved to get a camera.  It just disappeared in a flash.  Must have been easily a 30 ft jump and a bound. Certainly would have no doubt of the outcome had it wanted a lunch. So rare to see one anywhere else and extremely rare to be eaten by one (3 in last 100 years in USA).

None of the car camps were full - mid season.  If you want to get away from it all.  It is not for everybody but the Sun road is spectacular as always.

Access through Kalispell or Whitefish.  Motel 6 in Kalisbell area is reasonable.  The other motels are not.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 7:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just talking about inside the park itself, 2 car camps can be reserved.  Fish Creek and St Mary.  If I had to pick one, I'd pick Fish Creek.  St Mary is very open and can be very windy.  It's not bad, it's just not really that ideal.

Regarding the above comments on Bowman Lake.  If the gate house is open, expect to be asked for a pass or to pay.  Speacock may have gotten lucky, but I've entered the park there dozens of times over the last decade and never once been waved through.  If you pass through after the gate house is closed though it's just like any other park, they expect self registration and payment.

The car camps over the last 5 years have become crazy full.  Even out of the way places like Bowman are filling up regularly.  Glacier's website has a history of when camps fill up, you can search by month/year (it goes back several years).    Go here:

http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/cgstatus/cgstatus.cfm

Then select the campground to see fill times.  In 2012 Bowman filled 4 times in July (all towards the end of the month) and 13 times in August.  It also filled the Sat of Labor day weekend (in Sep).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 9:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

What pasqualli says about car campgrounds is, unfortunately, true during the height of the season.   However. surrounding the park, especially west of it are numerous forest service campgrounds especially in the Hungry Horse Dam (worth seeing in itself) and along it's resevoir and the South Fork of the Flathead.  I generally easily find half filled campgrounds there anytime.  It's only a half hour drive to West Glacier from there.  We usually plan on spending the first night there and then getting an early start to snag one of the campgrounds in the park the next morning.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 9:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Last July I showed up at about 7:00 PM one night and got a space at one of the first come, first serve campgrounds NE of Lake MacDonald along Going to the Sun Road.   Filled up but was not rowdy or annoying.  YMMV.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 10 2013, 10:49 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, your not going to get in for free at the polebridge entrance unless your just lucky.  They definately check you there.

For reserving campgrounds, i dont know much about that.  other than St Marys campground is terrible unless your just looking for a good location for sight seeing.  I would never stay there.

Bowman lake, kintla lake, sprauge, two medicine, and many glacier are the best campgrounds in the park.  If you can reserve any of those go for it.  While Many Glacier campground isnt as senic as the others, it is in the greatest location in the park for hiking.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 13 2013, 7:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Jan. 10 2013, 10:49 pm)
QUOTE
 While Many Glacier campground isnt as senic as the others, it is in the greatest location in the park for hiking.

Absolutely correct.

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