Note: If this is more appropriate for the Road Trip forum I am happy to ask there, but I specifically want to know about where to spend time in GNP (and Waterton NP, but primarily Glacier). I am not concerned about the route(s), I can figure that out or ask in the appropriate spot later. I just need to know where we'll be!
I have read quite a bit on the forums and other sites, and am trying to put together a reasonable first visit to GNP for my family, including myself and hubby, plus our two kids who are 9 and 11. We like short hikes, nice scenery, and don't mind a long day in the car here and there. The following is my draft plan thus far, but I could use help with it from those of you who know the park. I'm going off what I've read, and I'd rather have input from fellow forum members with firsthand experience!
This trip will be in early August and we will be driving a rental car/van. I have checked the rental info and it appears that going into Canada won't be an issue as long as they know when we rent so they can provide proper documents.
Day 1 - drive from Idaho Falls, ID, stay in Essex, MT
Day 2 - tour GNP, camp at Fish Creek
Day 3 - Relax, tour western part of park camp at Fish Creek
Day 4 - See part of GTTS, stay Rising Sun Motor Inn
Day 5 - Bus tour of GNP (not sure which one - input welcomed!), Swiftcurrent
Day 6 - Hiking, tour eastern side of park (MG, TM?) Swiftcurrent
Day 7 - Tour eastern side of park (MG, TM?) Swiftcurrent
Day 8 - return to Idaho Falls
The first day is a motel/hotel day because we will likely be arriving too late to want to set up camp. As for the rest of the trip, I will do more reading up on activities, specific hikes, etc. The plan is to do a boat tour, I am going to look into horseback riding, and some short hikes.
I was considering driving up to Waterton NP for a day trip when we were at Swiftcurrent, but I am starting to wonder if it makes more sense to depart Glacier after Day 6 and spend one night up in Waterton and then return to Idaho from there instead, driving the loop of that park back down into MT instead of going back through Glacier.
Any suggestions? I am at the mercy of the reservation deity when it comes to changing nights, but I am willing to toss everything up in the air if it would make for a better trip. We *might* be able to stretch the Glacier trip one more day, possibly two, but it would mean ditching plans to visit Zion NP on the earlier loop of our trip (we are doing a road trip through OR, northern CA, and GCNP , followed by Zion).
Thank you for any guidance or advice you can offer.