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Thread: Glacier National Park in early September?

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    Glacier National Park in early September?

    I'm part of a group that is leaving Dallas on August 31st and heading up to Glacier. We'll be coming up 93 to Missoula, going east on 200 to 83N, to 2E to 89N, to Saint Mary, then the Going to the Sun Road westbound to West Glacier and staying in Columbia Falls that night. My question is to those that live and ride in these parts, how much traffic should we expect taking this route at that time of year? Thanks.

    Doug
    Doug
    '07 R1200RT

  2. #2
    Mike LngRdr's Avatar
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    Glacier

    I'm going about that timeframe as well, hoping to miss the crowds with school back in session but also hoping to not be too cold. As long as the roads don't get slick I should be ok.
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    Probably one week later would be ideal. But the extra day off for Labor Day helped everyone with vacation time. Not likely to be overly cold but there may still be a bit of traffic in the park. We'll see.

    Doug
    Doug
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    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Don't live near there but did ride thru in early Sept, 2012 (ninth and tenth). The traffic was bearable and the GTTSH was decent with one construction traffic stop. Motels, dinner/breakfast places and the park were quite busy. More people and tailgaters than I wanted to see. It was plenty warm.

    The Canadian side (Waterton/Glacier) has a lot less people and traffic IMHO. I will do that next time for sure.

    I liked Yellowstone so much more even though it was crowded.

    I hope you enjoy your trip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wvpc View Post
    Don't live near there but did ride thru in early Sept, 2012 (ninth and tenth). The traffic was bearable and the GTTSH was decent with one construction traffic stop. Motels, dinner/breakfast places and the park were quite busy. More people and tailgaters than I wanted to see. It was plenty warm.

    The Canadian side (Waterton/Glacier) has a lot less people and traffic IMHO. I will do that next time for sure.

    I liked Yellowstone so much more even though it was crowded.

    I hope you enjoy your trip.
    Thanks. We did Yellowstone and the Tetons two years ago. That was a great trip, although we had a bit of foggy drizzle going through the Tetons so we didn't get the full effect. I'll have to hit that again some day.
    There is nothing like riding in the west!

    Doug
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  6. #6
    Survivor akbeemer's Avatar
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    Live not far from Glacier.

    Be prepared for wind; blew our tent flat last year even though we had huge rocks in each corner. Dead calm the other days.

    Try to avoid the Going to the Sun Road on weekends. The kiddies should be back in school by when you ride, so week days are best.

    Ride the Going to the Sun with the sun to your back.

    Looking for more to see: The lake district of BC is gorgeous; Balfour, Nakusp, Revelstoke; great towns, neat (free) ferries and great roads. Good camping in the towns as well.
    Kevin Huddy
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  7. #7
    172526
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    Have gone through twice in September. Once early, once late. By my standards there was lots of traffic, but then in my neck of the woods seeing 20 cars in an hour is close to gridlock. Actually it was not that bad but there has been construction on the Going to the Sun road for the last few years so that tends to group traffic and slows things down a bit

    As noted avoid the weekends.

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    we just did GTSR this past Sunday, mid-morning. no traffic to speak of, just a slow down for a construction zone (wet muddy gravel) that was not "active". in fact, the only stops we had were ones that we planned for picture ops. certainly not empty and open, but surprisingly clean riding.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerfish1100 View Post
    we just did GTSR this past Sunday, mid-morning. no traffic to speak of, just a slow down for a construction zone (wet muddy gravel) that was not "active". in fact, the only stops we had were ones that we planned for picture ops. certainly not empty and open, but surprisingly clean riding.
    That's great to hear. Thanks!
    Doug
    '07 R1200RT

  10. #10
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Doug:

    If you leave home on the 31st, you can time your travelling so that you get to the Going to the Sun Road after Labour Day Monday. But I don't think you'll see much traffic even over the weekend. Things seem to die down in the Park towards the latter half of August.

    Also, if you stay in Whitefish, instead of Columbia Falls, you can enjoy one of the best bars in the West: the Great Northern.

    http://www.greatnorthernbar.com/index.html

    From the Pine Lodge, which is a pretty good hotel, it's just a short walk.

    Also, at East Glacier, you can short cut to St. Mary on 89 (the Looking Glass Highway; one of my favourite roads), and avoid Browning. Watch out for a few short gravel patches.
    Rinty

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

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RINTY View Post
    Doug:

    If you leave home on the 31st, you can time your travelling so that you get to the Going to the Sun Road after Labour Day Monday. But I don't think you'll see much traffic even over the weekend. Things seem to die down in the Park towards the latter half of August.

    Also, if you stay in Whitefish, instead of Columbia Falls, you can enjoy one of the best bars in the West: the Great Northern.

    http://www.greatnorthernbar.com/index.html

    From the Pine Lodge, which is a pretty good hotel, it's just a short walk.

    Also, at East Glacier, you can short cut to St. Mary on 89 (the Looking Glass Highway; one of my favourite roads), and avoid Browning. Watch out for a few short gravel patches.
    We won't be at Glacier until Wednesday so that should work out well. I just looked on the map for 49n (Looking Glass Highway). Is that road paved? If it is we'll give it's shot. Thanks.

    Doug
    Doug
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  12. #12
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbaliko View Post
    We won't be at Glacier until Wednesday so that should work out well. I just looked on the map for 49n (Looking Glass Highway). Is that road paved? If it is we'll give it's shot. Thanks.

    Doug
    It's paved but tends to be rough. Great road for riding just the same, with some great views and turns. Not for fast canyon carving though.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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  13. #13
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Looking Glass is a nice appetizer before the main course of twisties: the recently re - paved 89 from Kiowa to St. Mary.

    Also, on your way to East Glacier, just west of Marias Pass, you'll pass by this place, in Essex:

    http://www.izaakwaltoninn.com/
    Rinty

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

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