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First time visit

Eastbourne, United...
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First time visit

I have just finished reading Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" in which he seems to really rate Montana as a place to visit . I'm from uk and don't know much about the state. We are planning a trip to USA next July and have 10 days or so spare. Can anyone suggest an itinerary flying in from Boston Ma and picking up a rental car. Our last trip to USA was Colorado and Utah and we really loved the empty roads, wide open spaces, mountains, national and state parks. Any advice much appreciated.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: First time visit

With 10 days- have you visited Yellowstone and Grand Tetons? If not then could fly into one place and out of another if can find good one way car rental rates. Or could fly in and out of somewhere like Bozeman. In 2010 we did both parks and flew into Spokane and out of Billings.

With 10 days then could see-

Glacier- 3-4 days

Yellowstone- 4 days

Grand Tetons- 1-2 days

Glacier is known for hiking and beautiful mountains and glaciers, Yellowstone for different areas of interest from Old Faithful to Artist Point and an abundance of wildlife.

If you want to stay in the parks then need to plan now and make reservations ASAP. If doing a road trip then might want to post on road trip forum for great info from Tet, Wings and others.

western WA
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2. Re: First time visit

Peach Belle has it pretty good, as long as you have ten days with no air travel. It takes basically a whole day to get to Montana from the east coast, though you do gain two hours on the clock.

She doesn't seem to include drive time between Glacier and Yellowstone, which takes a day.

The main thing to do is make lodging reservations NOW. Make sure they're cancellable, and do it. You can work up the details in the coming months. Read some Glacier itineraries. In Yellowstone, you don't want to stay in one place more than a day. It is a big place.

Alberta, Canada
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3. Re: First time visit

Just wanted to say -

I'm from Canada and did a road trip to GNP, YNP and GT in summer 2010. Didn't have a lot of time so had to skim over some places. We absolutely loved Montana and are planning a trip in summer/fall 2012 to see what we missed and also revisit some places. As suggested, put your trip planning in high gear to secure accomodations. I have no doubt, you'll love Montana too!

Ohio, USA
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for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
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4. Re: First time visit

paul - your style of travel and what you want to get out of the trip will be a determining factor in how many destinations you can fit into the 10 days. Peachbelles suggested itinerary is very good, and will allow time to hit many of the highlights in each park. But there will be a some of your time spent in travel between Glacier and Yellowstone/Grand Teton. If you are the type to really explore a place in detail, then you could easily fill 10 days in either Glacier OR Yellowstone. That is what we did wne visiting each area (11 day/10 nights in 2009 for Glacier and 11 days/10 nights for YNP/GTNP in 2011). Granted, since you are coming from the UK, you may not have the advantage of being able to make multiple long trips to see all the parks. But you should consider what you plan to do and what you hope to get out of your visit.

Check out the trip report archives in the Glacier NP forum. These trip reports should provide you with a lot of great ideas for things to see and do in the parks. To get you started, here's the link to my TR from August 2009:


NW Washington state
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5. Re: First time visit

We did Yellowstone easily in 4 days last fall. But we did a lot of it in driving. We spent 2 nights in Jackson Hole Wyoming and 2 nights in West Yellowstone, Montana. If you could fly from the east Coast to somewhere in Wyoming or close to Yellowstone in Montana, it would be easier than driving from the east coast, which will take some time out of your trip.

I agree about securing your accommodations right away. Things fill up fast. We are doing a cross country road trip next September and have already made all of our hotel reservations. Believe it or not, the pickings are slim already, if you are budget minded but still want something nice.

Eastbourne, United...
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6. Re: First time visit

Many thanks for all your helpful suggestions. I've managed to book three nights accommodation in Yellowstone and a couple of nights nearby. Unfortunately I just don't have time to make it to Glacier and do it any sort of justice so that will have to wait for another trip maybe that time cross the border into Canada.

I'm now researching the best way to spend time in Yellowstone. I'm guessing get up early and take it slow?

Mahtomedi, Minnesota
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for Glacier National Park
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7. Re: First time visit

Keep in mind you are visiting during peak vacation period. Patience is required when driving the park roads and around Old Faithful and Canyon. Since you have plenty of time no need to get stressed. Wise to skip Glacier this trip. Just gives you another reason to come back. My favorite hike in GTNP is to take the boat across Jenny Lake, hike up to Inspiration Point with all the tourists. Most of them stop here but the best is yet to come with Hidden Falls, and a beautiful hike through the canyon. Hike as far as you want, then turn around and catch the boat back. We made the mistake of hiking back because the trail is on the lake but offers very few lake views and is in the forest most the time, making it very tedious. I would have rather spent my time hiking through that wonderful canyon. (I can't recall the name)

Bemidji, Minnesota
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for Yellowstone National Park
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8. Re: First time visit

If you want to really see what the great plains on into the rocky mountains is like you could perhaps fly into Bismarck, ND and drive to Livingstone, MT on your way to Yellowstone's north entrance or turn at Laurel, MT to go through Red Lodge and over the Beartooth Pass to the northeast entrance to Yellowstone. Check on availability of a one way car rental from Bismarck to where ever your would get a plane as some rental places either won't allow it or charge exorbitant drop off fees.

Glasgow, MT
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9. Re: First time visit

I would suggest visiting the Eastern side of the state, too. Our too-often-forgot part of Montana is full of activities to partake in. No where else will you find the untouched beauty of the Northern plains like you will here. Fort Peck Lake is chock full of Montana history!

This year is the 75th anniversary of the building of the Fort Peck dam and spillway. The Corps of Engineers is planning a big celebration in honor of the hundreds of men who labored to create what was the largest hydraulic filled dam in the WORLD until one built by the Chinese in the '80's surpassed it; It is currently the largest hydraulic filled dam in the U.S. Fort Peck Lake is also the fifth largest man-made lake in the U.S. boasting a coastline longer than the state of California's.

US Army Corp of Engineers website: …army.mil/visitors/projects.cfm…

The historic Fort Peck Summer Theater is also a must if you're in the area. Built during the creation of the dam in the 1930's, it's rustic charm and world class actors have been entertaining Northeastern Montana's for decades!

Fort Peck Summer Theater website: http://www.fortpecktheatre.org/

The town of Glasgow is located 15 miles north of Fort Peck and has many options for lodging. The Fort Peck Hotel is also a good option if you plan on staying in Fort Peck. Check out Glasgow or Fort Pecks TripAdvisor page for more info!

10. Re: First time visit

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