Went through Glacier this past year during a three week trip to Canada. We were only in the park for a day, but we did ride the Going to the Sun Road. It is a can't miss. just be patient. The road is always wet in places and in various stages of construction. You can check the National Park Service's web site for Glacier for the current road conditions.
Stayed in Kalspell, MT the night before, then entered the Park through the west entrance and exited in St. Marys.
Bring lots of room on the camera memory cards. Spectacular scenery around every corner.
Don't miss Flathead Lake between Kalispell and Polson; we stayed overnight in Polson just to ride around the lake. We were at Glacier 23 Jun, 2008 and Logan Pass was not yet open. We rode up the west side and back down, rode around the mountains to the east side and did the same. That was the best we could do since we had to move on to the Dakotas. By the way, Hwy 2 is long and monotonous if you are considering going east across MT.
Last August a group of from the N.W. and Alberta Canada met for a Meet and Greet in Kalispel. We stayed at the Hill Top motel nice place one of those small Ma and Pa type motels.
I would suggest you get reservation in advance if you plan on staying in the area. That area gets real busy during the summer.. Like was said before the Park and a ride around Flathead lake is really nice.
We were in the area last year June 16-19 The Road to the Sun was Iced over and closed. There was a snow warning above 6500 ft. I would come up thru Missoula and go up the east side of Flat head....Stay in Columbia Falls or Whitefish. It is one of the most beautiful areas that I have seen. We stayed in a bed a breakfast out side of Columbia falls. It is well worth your time to explore this area. We are headed back up this year and going up to the Canadian Rockies via Montana.
Glacier is spectacular. The Going to the Sun is a must Flathead is also nice. Plan carefully, like others have said: hotel reservations, the GtS is typically open after July 1st I believe. Here's the park website, lots of info & if you see this guy tell him an Ole Fossil says Hi.
The Aussies were part of the group which went to Glacier NP in August 2012. Eric enjoyed the motorbike ride part.. lotsa fun. The advice about the motel was good.. The views were breathtaking.. literally and enough to flatten the camera battery so take a spare. It was quite warm in August. excellent company was the bonus! V
Just agreeing with what's been said already. The entire area is one of my favorite spots. When we met up with Ron, Eric, Kerry, Cliff and their sig others along with Ray(?, Bluey's former owner) it was my 4th trip through Glacier, but it won't be my last that's for sure. If you like to camp, there's a fantastic State park on the west side of Flathead Lake just north of Polson. You can camp right at the water's edge, gorgeous! I'd also recommend July or Auguast due to the chance of the Pass being close earlier on. It's a massive undertaking getting the snow plowed out for the season. Go to the Glacier Park website for info: http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm
Oh yeah if you go from west to east over the pass there is a lake on right on the east side on the way down., Look for the bear taking a swim in the last, he was there last August.
Oh and there is no need to worry about the Aussie driving/riding on the wrong side of the road, by the time they get to Glacier they are used to driving/riding on the RIGHT side of the road.
Hope you have as much fun as our group did.
We are headed that way either in June or August. I have been on all the state's websites. They have sent me booklets to browse through for our preparations. I don't think we are going all the way to Glacier NP. We have decided to possibly cut it off at the Black Hills and turn toward Denver. Not sure yet.
Thanks for the input. We will be going up from Billings on US89, after riding the Black Hills in South Dakota, and into East Glacier Park. My wife is dead set on doing the Red Bus Tour and it starts near there. We will spend 3 days in the area in late July. I have been checking websites and lodging. We will visit Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada as well. How is hwy 2 through the park?
Waterton is gorgeous too, but a bit more sensitive to weather changes, not always for the better IMO But if it's nice, it's fabulous.
Hwy 2 is quite uninteresting in the Montana interior, but it's better to the west of the Kalispell area and into Idaho and Washington.
I spent over a week there during the first week of July last year. I agree with everything posted and cannot stress enough that even one week wasn't enough to fully appreciate this beautiful area. Don't forget to go to the Park Cafe at the east end of RT2 at Saint Mary's, best Razzoberry pie you will ever have. An Epic trip.
I've been there twice for work but it was so smokey I still haven't seen Glacier. The second time I had to take a day off and did drive the Going to the Sun Road. I'm sure it is spectacular from the pictures I've seen but there were so many fires you couldn't see much. So early August is a better time to avoid smokey conditions. Late August and into September is the most likely time for wildfires in that part of the country.
They've had some serious fires there in the not too distant past. Mark would know better than most how fire loves mountainous terrain. You can see the effects of some of the more recent ones in the tall bleached deadheads standing in the rejuvinated burn areas, and many of the long ago ones.
I've seen what wildfires can do in Bridger, and Yellowstone a few years ago. We road the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway and the smoke looked like a thunderstorm coming in. When we got to Cody, ash was falling out of the sky like snow.
Three days is all the time we have at GNP this trip. Next year we are looking at Arches National Park in Utah.
Just checked out Marias Pass in Glacier NP. This is route 2, a 56 mile trip between West Glacier ad East Glacier Park. It is said to be a beautiful drive with lots of scenery and wildlife and takes between 1 and 2 hours to ride.
This is great information, my wife and I are planning a 3 week trip toward the end of July. We'll be taking the old 66 route into MO then up to the Dakotas and off to "Going to the Sun" hwy. We'll be spending a few days in Yellowstone. Then back to Oregon.