Planning the Trip

Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks without a clue

Return to Glacier Nat'l Park

We were considering a trip to Alaska during 2006.  We did a lot of research on small boat cruises and spending time in Denali.  The cost was frightening.  If we had a sudden wind-fall, maybe.  No sudden, unexpected income and no lottery hit so we had to re-consider.  I stumbled onto a web site and saw pictures of Glacier National Park.

That prompted a lot more research.  This looked like a worthy destination.  Phenomenal scenery and wildlife.  We dropped all talk of Alaska and started making plans.  As it turned out, the trip kept growing.  Our 8 or 9 day trip expanded to a full 2 weeks.  There's so many things to see and we don't know when we'll get to go again.

I was fairly ignorant about the Western states, so I started with maps.  We were going to fly into Jackson Hole, WY just for the scenery.  We planned to spend 3 days  in Yellowstone before heading up to Glacier.

We had to plan on how to get to Glacier from Yellowstone.  While looking at what lies in between the two parks, I discovered the National Bison Reserve in Montana.  That made it a 2 day trip between the parks but I'm sure its worth it.  We made plans to spend the night in Polson at the end of Flat Head Lake

Now where do we stay in Glacier.  Lake McDonald looked promising but the fine folks on Glacier Park Chat made me think there were more trails around Many Glacier.  They also persuaded me that Swiftcurrent Motor Inn is in many ways nicer than its cousin, Many Glacier Hotel.  Made those reservations in October also and am looking forward to staying at Swiftcurrent.  We'll spend our last night in the park at a cabin at Lake McDonald.

The final decision on Glacier is what trails to hike.  We're going to try to hike every day but we'll see what happens as reality sets in.  The first afternoon there, we'll likely walk to Red Rock Falls as a warm up.  The next day, we hope to get to Grinnell Glacier.  Iceberg Lake sometime after that.  We may be able to both hikes with a ranger.  That leaves 2 hiking days to figure out.  We're still sorting that out.  Not sure I'm up to one of the 15 mile hikes that Glacier offers.  When we drive Going to the Sun Road to Lake McDonald we'll try Hidden Lake, Avalanche Lake or both.

From there its a 2 day drive to Seattle.  We should have a little over a day to look around and visit friends before we go home on Saturday.