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9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

Des Moines, Iowa
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45 posts
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9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

I'm starting to plan a 9 night trip to Glacier/Waterton at the end of August. We are thinking we want to start with 2 nights in Kalispell/Whitefish (flying in and out of Kalispell), then 2 nights each in East Glacier, St. Mary and Waterton and end with one night back in Kalispell/Whitefish. My question is, for the nights in East Glacier, St. Mary and Waterton, what order would you do those in?

Also, activity suggestions in each area, especially on the West side would be appreciated. We are in our early 30s and love hiking so that will be our main focus on this trip.

Thanks!

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Kalispell
Kalispell
Montana
Whitefish
Whitefish
Montana
Spokane, Washington
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852 posts
12 reviews
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1. Re: 9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

East side - St. Mary's the most central of the 3, you would access Many Glacier and Logan Pass where the best hiking trails are. East Glacier (most southern) is gateway to Two Medicine, worth a visit, but not sure you need 2 days. Waterton has excellent trails to keep you busy for 2+ days. I personally would start from north to south, so I get back to Kalispell from East Glacier via Hwy 2. At this point, the limited lodging avail. will dictate your itin.

West side, hiking trails are not as superb, but it offers water rafting, and a trip to North Fork is very popular.

Post this in the very active GNP forum would get you lots of suggestions.

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Logan Pass
Logan Pass
1,044 Reviews
Glacier National Park, MT
Kalispell
Kalispell
Montana
Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Waterton Lakes National Park, Nelson
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2,694 posts
100 reviews
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2. Re: 9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

I think Daniel has given you good advice. No need for more than one day at East Glacier IMO. Don't miss GTTS Road.

Des Moines, Iowa
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45 posts
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3. Re: 9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

Thanks both for the advice. Based on the advice i got on my post in the Glacier forum, we'll probably skip the night(s) in East Glacier and just make St. Mary the home base for the good chunk of the trip.

If we drove from Whitefish to Waterton via GTTS road, do you think this would burn up an entire day's worth of activities? Google clocks it at 3 hrs 10 minutes but I know there's a lot of points to stop and look/take pictures.

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Whitefish
Whitefish
Montana
Spokane, Washington
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852 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: 9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

I'd say yes, especially you add a short hike or two along GTTS road - you could do Hidden Lake Nature trail or St. Mary/Virginia falls that day.

Waterton's triple crown of day hikes:

- Crypt Lake

- Carthew-Alderson (one way, transportation arrangement needed)

-- Akamina Ridge (require some rock scrambling)

Many hikers enjoy Lineham Ridge/Rowe Lake as well. My blog below has photos, distance and elevations

https:/…

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Hidden Lake
Hidden Lake
572 Reviews
West Glacier, MT
5. Re: 9 day Glacier/Waterton trip

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