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“Make reservations - we got the last 2 seats”

Glacier Park Red Bus Tours
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Bus Tours, Tours
Attraction details
Reviewed August 2, 2011

I didn't make reservations ahead of time because I wasn't sure of our timing, but we got the last 2 seats for the 6 hour Moutain Majesty morning tour. Matt was our driver and was very good, he has been doing it for years and lives in Montana full time (away from civilization). He was very respectfull of the Blackfeet, not like an earlier review. One couple wasn't where the driver was expecting them so some time was wasted trying to locate them. There was also one couple who couldn't keep to the time schedule on stops (I expect this with a bus of 50, but not of 14!). Our tour ran about a half hour late and Matt had to skip a couple of the photo stops. The lunch stop was OK but our waitress needed waitressing skills. We had driven GTTSR on a previous visit and am so glad we did the Red Bus (formerly known as Jammers), we got to see the peaks, etc.

3  Thank DesertGirl28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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711 - 715 of 727 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2011

My wife and I took the Red Bus Tour yesterday. We decided to go for the whole enchilada and took the Crown of the Continent Tour from Apgar Transit Center to the Many Glacier Hotel and back again. That was $80 a person. They picked us up at 8:15am and dropped us back off at 5:15pm. Our driver was Clair, a polite and friendly gentleman from Tennessee.

The main part of the tour was along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which goes up and over Logan Pass from west to east. Then, the tour leaves the park on the east side and re-enters at the Many Glacier section. After driving up that road, we stopped for lunch (not included in the price) at the Swiftcurrent Motor Lodge. That's because the Many Glacier Hotel is undergoing renovations and their dining room is only partially open. Then, after lunch, we went back the way we came.

When we made our reservations (which are required) the reservation agent was very clear about the need to bring a hat, sunscreen, layers of clothes, water, and a snack. And so we were pretty well prepared. What we weren't prepared for was just how cold it would be on the drive up the mountain with the top off the bus in the cool morning. Everyone on the bus was cold, and the blankets only did a little to help since they couldn't eliminate the 45 mph wind chill. My only other complaint was that the bus stopped at only three places all day with a bathroom. So if your morning coffee hasn't made it all the way through your system by the time you board at 8:15, you've gotta hold it until about 11:30.

Some people might say they can see all the same things from their own personal car as they can see from the bus. And that's true to a degree. But taking the bus, we didn't have to worry about parking, which is a huge deal in the summertime at Glacier. As many people learn when visiting Glacier, parking areas fill up early in the morning and stay full all day. But fortunately, there are reserved bus spaces for the tour buses. Also, we didn't have to "keep our eyes on the road" (something you DEFINITELY need to do when driving the narrow, winding road while it's under construction, as it is this year) and could instead enjoy the scenery, which made for a better experience. So for us the price was worth it.

10  Thank ToddBradley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

We had an excellent experience with the Red Bus Tour. We are seasoned travelers and when we have a limited amount of time we prefer to take advantage of tour services with good reputations and we were not disappointed. We took the Crown of the Continent Tour starting at the Apgar Transit Center (near the park's west entrance). The center was easy to locate, there was ample parking and the bus stop was clearly marked. We made our reservations about two months ahead but it appeared that buses were added to meet demand.

The bus arrived promptly and our driver, Glenn, introduced himself, explained the tour and set the stage for a pleasant tour. He had each passenger introduce themselves, tell where they were from and if they wanted to share something about themselves. We found we had something in common with several of the other passengers. The buses seat four in each bench seat and there is one seat in the front next to the driver for a passenger. The very last seat is limited on room for your feet and the wheel wells take up some space. If you are big or really need the space make an effort to take one of the other seats.

You do need to be prepared for a range of weather conditions on the trip - check the weather before you go. The driver will open up the canvas top and it will be windy and cool during parts of the trip. When we started it was on the cold side but after lunch we were warm. We dressed in long pants and layered on top. The buses provide blankets - one per bench seat - but I wouldn't count on that to keep me warm. I recommend you wear a synthetic top, bring a polar fleece or sweater and a windproof shell. A hat to shade you from the sun, sunscreen and sunglasses are also a must. Bring a small day pack to carry your stuff. Do bring binoculars and your camera - there's so much to see and photograph. You can also pack some snacks and bring a bottle of water too but the bus stops often enough that it won't be a problem if you forget.

The tour stops at a number of places and our driver went out of his way to make sure we had adequate time for photos and questions. - we never felt rushed. At some stops we simply stood up to look at or photograph the sites and there were plenty of stops where we were able to get out and take photos. Glen was very knowledgable and provided excellent commentary throughout the tour. He knew about the history of the park, the early explorers and figures as well as the wildlife, forest and geology. His commentary wasn't overwhelming. He was quiet at times and took questions from the group. There were a number of bathroom stops and a little more than an hour for lunch. The tour did run a bit more than the 8 hours advertised but we didn't mind.

We were fortunate to have good weather and we saw lots of wildlife including a bear. Clearly our driver, Glen, made a big difference. He went out of his way to learn each of our names and to check in with each person as the tour went on to make sure we were doing well.

We had a great time and felt we got our money's worth.

14  Thank Westolytravelers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 25, 2011

You can't find a better or more complete way to get a great overview of Glacier Park. The Red Bus Tour drivers provide loads of information, and there are many stops along the way to take in the views and other offerings. Take the 8-hour tour and you'll have gone through most of the park and feel you have seen much. If you have more time, the tour is a great way to decide what you want to see more of. This is a great way to see without the hassle (and it can be) of driving in the park. Well worth the cost.

3  Thank free8864
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2011

`The Red Bus tours in Glacier National Park were not what we expected. We were not informed ahead of time that the top comes down, so we didn't come prepared with sun hats or sunscreen. The two 6-hour tours we booked ahead of time lasted 10-11 hours. We tried to cancel the second tour, but they wouldn't let us because of 72-hour cancel-policy. We were informed by the hotel front desk the day we arrived that the pick up time had been changed from 10am to 8am~~too early for us on an anniversary trip. The driver/guide was good.

1  Thank terri58687
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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