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Thread: Glaicier NP, approaching from the east?

  1. #1
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    Question Glaicier NP, approaching from the east?

    I could use some regional knowledge about approaching Glaicier NP from the east. I would like to start the morning in St. Mary or Browning. But have heard several bad experiences about staying overnight in that area. (Esp. Browning) I do not plan on camping overnight that night.

    Can someone more local share their experiences?
    Jim Nyffeler
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    My experience is that St. Mary is a nice town to stay in - we have camped there and stayed in a motel there too. Browning is a dump in my considered professional opinion.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
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  3. #3
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Glacier Park

    Browning is a dump...PGlaves
    +1, and I won't even stop there for gas. For motels / hotels in the immediate area, I would suggest East Glacier, West Glacier, or St. Mary. If your budget can accomodate it, the Isaac Walton Inn in Essex or the Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier, are wonderful places. But there is a good selection of accommodation in the area.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  4. #4
    MT State of mind
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    Browning or St Mary is like saying, uh, breakfast bar or hot breakfast. Browning is a community (Blackfeet tribe), St Mary is a typical park entrance village.

    Don't stop at the junction in St. Mary. Go N just beyond the entrance to the park and find Red Eagle Lodge and Johnson's, on the right, it is about the best place to stay and eat (http://www.johnsonsofstmary.com/); there's a campground, a motel, and one of the best restaurants in the area. Family-style meals, big bowls of food. Be forewarned, though, the driveway is a big uphill but there's plenty of flat at the top and you can park at your room.

    The Park Cafe has the best pies.

    East Glacier is a very small year-round town, at the best entrance to the park (Two Medicine Lake and Kiowa Cut off) and the lodge is nice if you can afford it. Otherwise, check on East Glacier Motel (get a little cabin, they're great) (http://www.eastglacier.com/). Right nearby is the Thimbleberry Restaurant. Or stay at the Whistling Swan (http://whistlingswanmotel.com/.

    And, wow, eat at Serrano's if you like Mexican-American style. They used to have a place in Red Lodge (near the Beartooth Highway) and Whitefish but I think East Glacier is the only one, now, and it's only open in the summer. They have a Backpacker Lodge, it's like a hostel.

  5. #5
    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana View Post
    Don't stop at the junction in St. Mary. Go N just beyond the entrance to the park and find Red Eagle Lodge and Johnson's, on the right, it is about the best place to stay and eat (http://www.johnsonsofstmary.com/); there's a campground, a motel, and one of the best restaurants in the area. Family-style meals, big bowls of food. Be forewarned, though, the driveway is a big uphill but there's plenty of flat at the top and you can park at your room.
    Yes indeed - that is the place - stayed there at least twice. I couldn't remember the name so didn't try to guess in the prior post.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://www.bigbend.net/users/glaves

  6. #6
    Bob
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    We live a couple hours away (southeast in Great Falls) and make frequent trips to Glacier, and just do dayrides as well. I don't know what time of year you're planning this visit, but it can affect what roads are open (Looking Glass and Many Glacier, for example might be open but get hammered by winter slides and/or spring washouts).
    We've stayed at each of the main lodges (well worth it) and camped out. Rising Sun is our preference for campgrounds towards the east side. The Issak Walton Inn in Essex (Highway 2, south of the park) is a nice stay too, though we prefer it for wintertime visits.
    PM me if you have more questions, I'll be glad to try to answer them.

  7. #7
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Glacier

    Jim:

    There are a number of old threads on this area. Just do some searches under "Kiowa" and "Glacier" and you'll pull them up.

    You'll have a great time in the Park; it's one of our favourite places.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  8. #8
    MT State of mind
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    Time of year is important and so is time of day. Don't schedule yourself tight for time. It's not unusual to wake up in the morning, planning on an early start, and finding frost or even snow on the ground, in July. Give yourself the slack to wait it out.

    The Izaak Walton is a long way out of the way, if you want to go into the park at St Mary. If you want to stay there, I'd go there after coming out at West Galcier. Go over the pass, East to West, in the morning, so the sun is mostly behind you. Then, from West Glacier, you backtrack East a bit, and by then it's afternoon, so you can ride to Essex and see animals along the river. If you are a train buff, it is a must-see.

    We're "Boat people" from GNP: Used to run the tour boats on Two Medicine, St Marys, at Many Glacier and on Josephine.

  9. #9
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Glacier

    Go over the pass, East to West...Montana
    And doing it that way, you're also a traffic lane away from the cliffs, which may be of some benefit if you, uh, hit a corner hot.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  10. #10
    Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by Montana View Post
    We're "Boat people" from GNP: Used to run the tour boats on Two Medicine, St Marys, at Many Glacier and on Josephine.
    I love the boats and the "Jammers" (the red bus fleet). Both give you an opportunity to rubber neck and see more than you would riding or driving (that whole trying not to fall off a cliff thing again). Better yet, be sure to pack some hiking shoes and a canteen or camelback get out on foot for a while. There is a shuttle service now that will pick up hikers and return them to where they started

  11. #11
    MT State of mind
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    Quote Originally Posted by rinty View Post
    And doing it that way, you're also a traffic lane away from the cliffs, which may be of some benefit if you, uh, hit a corner hot.
    Ha ha ha! Until you cross over Logan Pass. Then you're on the outside again. Especially after the Big Loop:



    It was still smoldering, that fall.

  12. #12
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Glacier

    True, but the West side is a gentler, kinder, place.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  13. #13
    Single Malt Imbiber Sanders's Avatar
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    Browning is a ghetto in my opinion. Beautiful vistas on the approach, but the closer you get the more boarded up public buildings (schools, churches) you'll see. I (we) made a wrong turn in town and one block off the highway, I say again...one block off of the highway, I observed two burned automobile hulks and numerous homes (still lived in) with boarded up windows, glass scattered across the street along with regular old garbage strewn about.
    1 block away...
    My buddy pre warned me about staying in Browning, good thing he did. While perusing a map its the logical place to overnight in preparation for a shot into Glacier NP

    Manifest Destiny. We hosed 'em (reparations would never be enough)

  14. #14
    Registered User nyfty's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Thanks for the input.

    I really appreciate the input. You've confirmed my concerns about passing through Browning.
    Jim Nyffeler
    Lincoln NE
    '10 F800GS
    BMWMOA 110521, IBA 8936

  15. #15
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    Unfortunately every thing that was said about Browning is true.

    My last trip that way included a pedal bike tour stretched out for miles with their support vehicle an open box pickup hauling all the luggage. I samsonite suitcase bounced out of the truck struck the road in front of me went airborne and was head level as it zoomed by me and between me and my son who was riding on a bike about 30 yards back in the other tire lane. Missed Dave who we had picked up along the way (lost Beemer rider from MI).

    We all stopped in the next town and got on our knees and thanked Jesus for not killing us with a samsonite suitcase on an Indian reservation.

    Adventures of the open and crowded road.

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