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Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Kirkland, WA
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Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Hello, my husband and I are avid, experienced hikers and I'm in the planning stages of our trip to GNP. Does the order of this itinerary look ok? Thanks in advance!

Day 1: Two Medicine (Dawson Pass)

Day 2: Drive from Two Medicine to St Mary (hike Hidden Lake and St Mary Falls)

Day 3: St Mary (Highline Trail)

Day 4: Drive from St Mary to Many Glacier (hike Apikuni Falls)

Day 5: Many Glacier (Grinnell Glacier)

Day 6: Many Glacier (Ptarmigan Tunnel)

Day 7: Many Glacier (Redrock Falls)

Day 8: Drive from Many Glacier to Waterton

Day 9: Leave Waterton. Going to the Sun Road to west entrance

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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1. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Where are you staying? The intinerary looks good, but depending on your location could require a lot of driving. Hidden Lake is at Logan Pass and St. Mary falls along the GTTSR, not in St. Mary. I would go on to Virginia falls when you hike to St. Mary falls. Also I think I would hike to Iceberg or Cracker lake instead of Redrock Falls. Redrock is an easy 3 miles RT and could be done after one of the longer trails in the afternoon.

buffalo
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2. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Day 1: Two Medicine (Dawson Pass)

If you can do the extra 5 miles, I would definitely extend this to do Dawson/Pitamakan Loop (18 miles)...you do almost all of the elevation gain just going to Dawson Pass and the best part is the amazing hike on the continental divide between the two passes...

Day 2: Drive from Two Medicine to St Mary (hike Hidden Lake and St Mary Falls)

This is a nice easier day...Hidden Lake has a great pay-off for the little effort...

Day 3: St Mary (Highline Trail)

Great hike...

Day 4: Drive from St Mary to Many Glacier (hike Apikuni Falls)

Another nice easier day...soak up the best area of the Park and do a short hike...you might also want to stroll down to Fishercap Lake (.7 miles of flat trail from Swiftcurrent Inn) to see if there are moose around.

Day 5: Many Glacier (Grinnell Glacier)

Yup. Start early (hit trailhead before 8 AM) to beat the crowds...

Day 6: Many Glacier (Ptarmigan Tunnel)

Another good call; if you have the energy, you can do both Iceberg Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel as they share the first 3 miles of trail...if you do, start with Ptarmigan Tunnel then do iceberg as the bigger elevation gain is to the tunnel...

Day 7: Many Glacier (Redrock Falls)

As mentioned in an earlier reply...I'd do Cracker Lake here (or Siyeh Pass Loop), much better hikes/destinations...Redrock Falls isn't much of a hike and is crazy crowded (because it is flat)...

Day 8: Drive from Many Glacier to Waterton

Day 9: Leave Waterton. Going to the Sun Road to west entrance

Bemidji, Minnesota
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3. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

When? A number of those trails may not be open until the middle of July or later.

The parking lot at Logan Pass often fills before 10 A.M. Plan to get there early or take the park shuttle bus. If taking the shuttle note the time is starts and the time of the last shuttle down. You don't want to have to spend the night at Logan Pass.

indiana
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4. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Todd makes a good point for the day you travel from St. Mary to Many Glacier. That is only a thirty minute drive, so if you want to go to Redrock Falls that would be a good day, stopping at Fishercap. They are the same trail. As RM states, the time of year you are going will be a factor for the higher elevation trails. If you are not camping, you need to try to get lodging as soon as possible.

Edited: 8:35 am, January 15, 2013
Louisville, Kentucky
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5. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Day 1, definitely do the Dawson Pass/Pitamakan loop, you won't regret it! Afterwards stop for dinner at Serrano's Mexican restaurant in East Glacer - the best Mexican food in Montana!

Day 2, You definitely want to add Virginia Falls. It's not that much farther and it's a spectacular waterfall.

Day 4, You could do Redrock Falls after hiking Apikuni Falls or another easy hike (or walk) would be around Swiftcurrent Lake which starts at the Many Glacier Hotel. You can usually spot moose in the lake.

hikinginglacier.com/swiftcurrent-lake-nature…

Day 5, Grinnell Glacier. If you're planning on taking the boat ride to cut off some miles, be sure to make your boat reservations a few days in advance - otherwise you usually can't get seats day of hike.

Day 7, I agree with Toddnick about Redrock Falls - very crowded. Cracker Lake would be a much better hike. Last time we hiked it we only encountered about 6 people the entire day.

Spokane, Washington
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6. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

Did I miss when you are going?? Might impact some suggestions. Dawson, go west to east for better views and easier route. Highline, don't overlook the grinnel glacier overlook or short jaunt to swiftcurrent pass. Depending on when you go, iceberg lake is an easy add on to ptarmigan tunnel.

Whitefish, Montana
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7. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

As many others have mentioned when you are going will have a major impact on what you will be able to do.

www.glacierhikers.com

My site has opening dates for many of the trails in 201 and 2010.

Cracker Lake is a great destination hike.

www.glacierhikers.com/cracker-lake-trail.html

In the Two Medicine area if that is were you are staying then I would sugest on the second day hiking to scenic point. www.glacierhikers.com/cracker-lake-trail.html

You could still get in Hidden Lake as that is more of a stroll (except for the boardwalk)

Snow accumulation in GNP is about 22 inches ahead of last year. It is still to early to make any predictions on opening dates for GTSR.

montana slow hiker

Edited: 12:35 pm, January 15, 2013
Kirkland, WA
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8. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

THANK YOU EVERYONE!! You guys have been so helpful and I appreciate all of your responses! Our travel dates are August 11 - 22, 2013. So far I have only booked the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn for August 16-19, 2013.

I am looking at these places and could use your help: (1) For the Two Medicine area: The Whistling Swan Motel. (2) For the St Mary area: I was thinking of camping at the Rising Sun campground. Is that a nice campground? Or if the Swifcurrent isn't too far of a drive, should I add additional nights there, for when we do our hikes in St Mary?

Thanks again!!

Bemidji, Minnesota
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9. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

I've camped in both Rising Sun and at Two Medicine. I thought that both were decent places to camp. If I were going to do a long hike from Two Medicine I'd be tempted to camp there to cut down on the morning drive to get there.

10. Re: Help with GNP Itinerary Please

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