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Topic: Glacier Shuttle Options in Sept.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 11:21 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We'll be doing a point-to-point hike in Glacier after their park shuttle stops operating in early September. We'll need to get from near Lake McDonald back up past Logan Pass on Going-t-t-Sun Road. Anyone aware of options other than hitchhiking?  And, if the latter, should we expect reasonable luck in getting a ride? Thanks.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(fquail @ Jun. 12 2013, 11:21 am)
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We'll be doing a point-to-point hike in Glacier after their park shuttle stops operating in early September. We'll need to get from near Lake McDonald back up past Logan Pass on Going-t-t-Sun Road. Anyone aware of options other than hitchhiking?  And, if the latter, should we expect reasonable luck in getting a ride? Thanks.

I've hitched in Glacier many times and seldom waited more than 20 minutes except on the North Fork of the Flathead Road.  Just not that much traffic there.  Of course in Sept. there won't be as much traffic as in the summer but you still shouldn't have much of a problem.  Just show your packs.  There will still be plenty of kindred spirits out there willing to give a fellow hiker(s) a ride.


BTW, early Sept is a fantastifc time to be in Glacier.  Have a great hike.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 12 2013, 10:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I totally agree with Hikerjer.  I've never had a problem hitching a ride in glacier, especially on Going To The Sun Road.  Glacier is a hikers park, so most people are hikers themselves and will stop to give you a ride, especially if they see your packs.  I know I always pick up people there.  If you hang out right by the parking lots, its even easier, catch them while they are stopped.  I sometimes will hitch over taking the shuttle because its faster.

Another thing to consider, try hitching to start your trip.  You will be cleaner and smell better.  I hate hitching a ride when I know ive been out for a week and smell awful.  

As a last resort, go into the lake McDonald lodge, and tell the front desk person you will give any employee a 12 pack of beer for a ride up to logan pass.  They will get someone for you.  And actually, they are usually good for getting you a ride from a visitor if people are around.  

looks like your maybe going to do gunsight pass?  Have a fun trip


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 1:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My wife and I will also be in a bit of the same boat. My parents just backed out from spending some time with us there at the end of our trip, with my dad being my ride back to my car. We are doing a point-to-point entering at Kintla Lake Trail Head on August 28 and exiting at Many Glacier on September 2nd. I found a shuttle service that will operate outside of the park (Flathead Glacier Transportation, http://www.glaciertransportation.com/shuttle%20service.html); however, it would be pretty pricey to haul me from Many Glacier to Polebridge (which would get me about 16 miles short of Kintla Lake), despite their desire to work with me on price a bit. I am also just considering renting a car prior to entering the backcountry to dump at the exit point, since it looks like it might be about $100 cheaper than the shuttle approach. While I am open-minded about hitch-hiking, I am coming from Wisconsin and want to try to have as much of the trip planned as possible before I leave. With it being after peak season, I am a little concerned that I would end up stuck without a ride if I rely on hitch-hiking. Any advice would be spectacular! Thanks!

To the OP, assuming we are still around the Glacier area when you exit your trail (we are still working out the details for our length of stay post trip plus our manner of retrieving our vehicle), we would be happy to try to help you guys out any way I can.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 9:00 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bstengel @ Jun. 13 2013, 1:21 pm)
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My wife and I will also be in a bit of the same boat. My parents just backed out from spending some time with us there at the end of our trip, with my dad being my ride back to my car. We are doing a point-to-point entering at Kintla Lake Trail Head on August 28 and exiting at Many Glacier on September 2nd. I found a shuttle service that will operate outside of the park (Flathead Glacier Transportation, http://www.glaciertransportation.com/shuttle%20service.html); however, it would be pretty pricey to haul me from Many Glacier to Polebridge (which would get me about 16 miles short of Kintla Lake), despite their desire to work with me on price a bit. I am also just considering renting a car prior to entering the backcountry to dump at the exit point, since it looks like it might be about $100 cheaper than the shuttle approach. While I am open-minded about hitch-hiking, I am coming from Wisconsin and want to try to have as much of the trip planned as possible before I leave. With it being after peak season, I am a little concerned that I would end up stuck without a ride if I rely on hitch-hiking. Any advice would be spectacular! Thanks!

To the OP, assuming we are still around the Glacier area when you exit your trail (we are still working out the details for our length of stay post trip plus our manner of retrieving our vehicle), we would be happy to try to help you guys out any way I can.

I want to say this one more time.  Glacier is a hiker's park.  It is really easy to hitch a ride because quite a few of the visitors are hiking/backpacking as well, and will give you a ride.  You will not get stuck without a ride.  Also, if Many Glacier is still open, or any of the hotels, the front desk will get you a ride from a guest or visitor.  That's what they do.  They will go into the lounge area and ask everybody if they can give you a lift.

That being said, getting from Many Glacier to Kintla is a major project.  Ive been in that situation before, in September, in a snowstorm to boot.  We had driven a car to kintla, and left my truck at Swiftcurrent for our exit.  When we got to my truck, it wouldn't start.  (Actually, it did start, but we drove to the bathrooms between swift and many, and turned the truck off.  Then when I went to restart it, it wouldn't start.  Not to mention there had been an APB out for me in the park as a missing person, because of some miscommunication, and resulted in me getting banned from all GPI Properties, buts that a whole nother crazy story).

At the Many Glacier Lodge, the front desk people knew my situation, and went around asking people for rides.  This was late September by the way.  Took them 5 minutes to find someone leaving the park.  So we hitched a ride down to East Glacier, where we rented a car, drove all the way to Kintla to pick up our other vehicle, and then drove back to return the rental car.  So we didn't have the rental car for more than 24 hours.  That's what I would do if I were you.  Don't rent a car and leave it there for your whole trip, unless you have the money and want the security.

There really isn't any other option, unless you find someone on the trail that can help you out.  

Are you the same person that posted this same exact question on Glacier park Chat webpage?  If so, what they told you is right on


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 11:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Excellent advice from Robin Hood.  Can't make any better suggestions myself.  I would add, however, if you decide to hitch, I'd leave my car at the exit point and hitch to the trailhead where you start your hike.  I find it reassuring to know I have a ride waiting for me when I get out regardless of the time.  The last thing you want to do at the end of a hike when you're tired, dirty and gritty, is want to worry about getting a ride.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 13 2013, 11:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(RobinHood @ Jun. 13 2013, 9:00 pm)
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 Not to mention there had been an APB out for me in the park as a missing person, because of some miscommunication, and resulted in me getting banned from all GPI Properties, buts that a whole nother crazy story).

Sounds like an interesting story.  Do tell.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 10:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for advice and reassurances about getting at least from Many Glacier to East Glacier to be able to rent a car to go the rest of the way. That definitely sounds like a much better idea (definitely more cost effective)! I would also love to hear the story at some point! I would much prefer to hitch to the start and leave the car at the exit to avoid having to deal with a rental at all. With how long our first day is, I wanted to try to get to as early a start as possible, unless you guys think that it would be likely to find a ride from Apgar area to Kintla Lake early in the morning late August. I am planning on grabbing a room post trip in Many Glacier, so that we can shower and can find a hot meal without doing too much work. This will be my wife's first big trip, and I want to try to have the carrot of a little bit of pampering in the end, in case things go a little sideways during the trip.

As for your question about the Glacier chat page, no, that was not me (did not know that such a place existed). This is my first time ever posting on a backcountry forum (possibly a forum ever). I have been "stalking" the wonderful people here for the last 6 months or so trying to absorb and learn as much as I could, but did not feel I had anything worthy to contribute yet (or ask that was not already asked). I am working on finishing up my photos and trip report from Yosemite last week. Whenever I am done with that, I will share that on the trip report page.

Thank you guys again for all of your help and advice! I greatly appreciate it!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 8:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Or you could park at your exit point, use the various shuttles to get back to Apgar or West Glacier and then hitch up to Polebridge and then to Kintla. If you can get all the way up to Kintla that day all the better.  IF not, you could stay in Polebridge or at the HOme Ranch Bottoms and hope you can get a ride to Kintla early---which I bet you could because a LOT of the folks in Ploebridge in the AM then go to Kintla or Bowman.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 14 2013, 10:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow, my last post really sucks. Sorry about that. I blame my wife who was pestering me to come upstairs to watch a movie. To clarify, park at your exit point the day before your hike begins and try to make it up to Kintla. Spend the night at the CG there. You can pick up your permit at the Apgar BC office en route.  If you get to Polebridge and can't find a ride the rest of the way, spend the night there. There are a few spots you can utilize.  In the the event you don't score a ride get to the Merc first thing in the morning and start asking for a lift. The folks with kayaks on their vehicles or pickup's would be the ones I hit up first.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 19 2013, 10:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'll add my voice.  Jer and I have had this conversation before, but I take a somewhat different view of hitchhiking in the park.  My experiences have not always been as wonderful as people here have led you to believe.   I've spent lots of time in the park and used hitching get to around from time to time.  I would put my success rate at 50/50.  I've had times where I've walked 1-2 miles more than once on the GTTS road watching car after car rush past me without a second glance.  My point is ... sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.  What I always had success in doing though was finding people in campgrounds (both front country and backcountry) who were willing to help out.  Strike up a conversation at the food prep area  .... or with your neighbors ... or whatever.  You are bound to find someone who would be available to help out.

Another idea is to mention to the backcountry office people that you're thinking of hitching.  Often times you'll find people available right there in the permit center, either workers or other backpackers who might be listening in (similar to the idea of using the Many Glacier hotel lobby area).  There are people who will do it, I'd just say they aren't falling out of the trees everywhere.

But as has been mentioned, getting out to Kintla is probably the hardest hitch to find in the park.  Not too many people are headed out that way on any given day  However I'd bet you're more likely to get a ride from the first car to go past you if they have room  :D  But as Dorf mentioned, the Polebridge merc can be a good place to locate a ride if you get stuck (oh so close, but yet so far, from your starting point).  Most definitely try to get to Kintla frontcountry CG the night before and stay to start your hike the next morning.  You don't want to be trying to rush out there the morning of your hike, end up getting a late start, and then having to run down the trail on the first day.  Not a good way to start off a trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 12:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pasqualli @ Jun. 19 2013, 10:27 pm)
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 I would put my success rate at 50/50.  I've had times where I've walked 1-2 miles more than once on the GTTS road watching car after car rush past me without a second glance.  My point is ... sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.  

You gotta quit wearing that hockey mask and carrying that chainsaw around.  Makes getting rides a lot easier.

Still, your suggestions make a lot of sense.  More than one way to get around the park.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 1:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Jun. 20 2013, 12:10 am)
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You gotta quit wearing that hockey mask and carrying that chainsaw around.  Makes getting rides a lot easier.

But it goes so well with my all black, denim, hiking gear!  ;-)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 20 2013, 2:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pasqualli @ Jun. 20 2013, 1:31 pm)
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(hikerjer @ Jun. 20 2013, 12:10 am)
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You gotta quit wearing that hockey mask and carrying that chainsaw around.  Makes getting rides a lot easier.

But it goes so well with my all black, denim, hiking gear!  ;-)

:laugh:  :laugh:  :laugh:

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 8:45 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I once walked from the Many Glacier Hotel to Swiftcurrent wearing only boxers.  I don't even think I had shoes on.  Mid day.  Had to make it to work at the camp store.  

No one offered to give me a ride, and I didn't bother trying to ask.  The most awkward part was the bear jam with traffic stopped and rangers everywhere at the edge of swift lake.  It's quite possible I show up in some awkward photos of a bear jam in some people's photo albums.

True story, but it was a great night before that :D


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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 8:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(hikerjer @ Jun. 13 2013, 11:16 pm)
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(RobinHood @ Jun. 13 2013, 9:00 pm)
QUOTE
 Not to mention there had been an APB out for me in the park as a missing person, because of some miscommunication, and resulted in me getting banned from all GPI Properties, buts that a whole nother crazy story).

Sounds like an interesting story.  Do tell.

That's a campfire story Hikerjer.  If we get to hike together sometime I will be sure to tell you.  To long to tell here.  

It did involve rangers with shotguns, a bear running around my tent in the middle of the night quite a few times, a grizzly encounter, a huge snowstorm, being holed up at goat haunt shelters for a few days, a rock slide covering up 2/3rds of the north entrance to ptarmagin tunnel, barely being able to get into the tunnel because of the slide, mountain lion tracks going up thru the snow into the tunnel we had to drop down into, rangers in the backcountry looking for me specifically, and finally the great, wicked, witch of Many Glacier known as Helen, for those of you who know who im talking about


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The vast majority of every species that has ever lived on Earth is now extinct. To think that humans can avoid the fate of every other creature is arrogant. Like all life on Earth, our time is limited.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 21 2013, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE


(pasqualli @ Jun. 19 2013, 10:27 pm)
QUOTE
 I've had times where I've walked 1-2 miles more than once on the GTTS road watching car after car rush past me without a second glance.  My point is ... sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't.  What I always had success in doing though was finding people in campgrounds (both front country and backcountry) who were willing to help out.  Strike up a conversation at the food prep area  .... or with your neighbors ... or whatever.  You are bound to find someone who would be available to help out.

Another idea is to mention to the backcountry office people that you're thinking of hitching.  Often times you'll find people available right there in the permit center, either workers or other backpackers who might be listening in (similar to the idea of using the Many Glacier hotel lobby area).  There are people who will do it, I'd just say they aren't falling out of the trees everywhere.

But as has been mentioned, getting out to Kintla is probably the hardest hitch to find in the park.  Not too many people are headed out that way on any given day  However I'd bet you're more likely to get a ride from the first car to go past you if they have room  :D  But as Dorf mentioned, the Polebridge merc can be a good place to locate a ride if you get stuck (oh so close, but yet so far, from your starting point).  Most definitely try to get to Kintla frontcountry CG the night before and stay to start your hike the next morning.  You don't want to be trying to rush out there the morning of your hike, end up getting a late start, and then having to run down the trail on the first day.  Not a good way to start off a trip.

I think what we all can agree on, is its a better option to ask around for a ride.  I don't typically walk the road with my thumb out.  I stand at the edge of a parking area, and stare down people as they go to leave the parking lot.  Just don't hesitate to ask people for rides.  That's the best may to make it work


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