Glacier National Park

The state and Federal campgrounds were fully occupied July 5th and 6th, but we were not among their occupants. Fortunately the Kalispell Wal*Mart had a few openings. We camped there those nights, reloaded our provisions and bought a small, highly portable charcoal grill. Wal*Mart is nothing less than a life-saver for full-time RV’ers.

Glacier is but 40 miles north of Kalispell. We set up at a commercial campground a mile from the west gate of the park. Unlike most for-profit campgrounds, this one is heavily wooded with decent spacing between sites. We have full hookups, and aside from Amtrak and the helicopters, it’s very peaceful. The trains like to come through between 6 and 8 a.m. The choppers fly anytime there’s a paying customer; it seems that they do a pretty good business at Glacier.

Sunday afternoon we did some internet research and came up with a plan. The Park Service operates free shuttles between July 1 and Labor Day. These buses cover Going to the Sun Road and, like the pilot on your next commercial flight, none of their current drivers have been killed in the line of duty. There’s a difference between that and good, but when your fuel costs nothing and somebody else who knows the road does the driving, it’s good enough.

Today we rode the shuttles to Logan Pass, the halfway point on Going to the Sun. The scenery is splendid, and the only knock I have for the shuttle program is that they are not allowed to stop at overlooks for photos. Many of these pics were taken through the bus windows, but a few including this boy, were taken outdoors at Logan Pass. He was telling Kat how close his grandpa came to landing the title role in Groundhog Day, or something. Language barrier, you know.

Groundhog 2


On the way back we got a good look at mama mountain goat and her kid, and a million wildflowers. The springtime waterfalls are everywhere, and here it’s still spring. The mountains, streams, and forests are absolutely beautiful, even from a shuttle.



Glacier Lillies
Glacier Lillies

Wildflowers and Snow

Green Waterfall

Storm Between Us and Camp
Storm Between Us and Camp

On the return trip our shuttle passed within two fingers of a road-hogging RV. Our driver didn’t give an inch, and the RV’er flinched at the last second. We heard our driver note under his breath, “Guy can’t handle his rig!”

4 thoughts on “Glacier National Park

  1. Thank goodness for Wal-Mart! We’ve spent a few last-minute nights there ourselves. We didn’t make it to Glacier so I’m glad to read your post about it. And that comment by the bus driver made me laugh out loud!


    1. You haven’t made it to Glacier. You will. You should. You must. It’s insanely beautiful, and the glaciers will be gone in five to ten summers. Go next year if this year is booked.


  2. Glacier is my favorite vacation spot. If you are into some easy hiking for great photos try some of the trails bhind the visitors center at Logan Pass. Lot of wildlife and senic vistas with lakes in the foreground and mountains in the background. If you have a chanch to go to Many Glacier on the east side of the park it is well worth the trip. Be ure to go to the hotel and see the photos of the glacier decline over the years


    1. It’s quite a place even with milder winters that can’t replenish the glaciers. Alas, when it comes to hiking, “easy” has a far different meaning from when I routinely took six mile runs on Sundays to cleanse body and soul. Cedar Trail is about as easy as I want these days. We did the St. Mary’s Falls ‘easy’ hike today. Two doses of analgesic later my knees still take issue with that term.

      Thanks for reading us, Doc. And thanks for being my pain-free and oh-so caring dentist when we lived in the ‘port.



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