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Old 06-03-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
Marcin OP
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Chicago to Glacier National Park

Hi All

I'm planning a trip to GNP in middle of August for 8 days.
I'm looking for some info from riders who done such a trip mostly camping.
I will travel I-90 to Rapid City South Dakota and from there I would like to take some less travelled roads. Is there any roads that are must to see and is camping easily available around GNP.
Any information is highly appreciated. Maybe some GPS routes?

Thank you
Marcin
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Old 06-03-2013, 08:43 PM   #2
ts3doug
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I'd say needles highway, but you may be hitting sturgis time
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:43 PM   #3
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I like US 2. Good road, light traffic when I traveled to GNP in 2010. I'll use it again next trip out that way....
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
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I'm planning my route from AK to GNP and then onto New York through Rapid City. I've been doing some of the same research you are.

Here's my planned route with some POI's and info i've added:
http://goo.gl/maps/HuUt2

The route in the above map for all of Montana is my alternate paved route, as I plan to ride the CDT which I have routed on this map:
http://goo.gl/maps/QNpOh
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:58 PM   #5
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ts3doug screwed with this post 06-04-2013 at 09:18 PM
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:22 AM   #6
N-Id-Jim
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look up "benchmark maps" they publish the best maps for the western u.s. states. these are very useful and indicate all paved vs gravel surfaces with high reliability. they also show a lot of detail on campgrounds, etc..

THe route from Mt Rushmore , west has a lot of opportunities for you across Wyoming and toward Cody.. then up the Chief joe hwy and over the Beartooth hwy, then up toward Great Falls and Choteu, east Glacier.... IMO.

Lots of threads on trips like this... Have fun!
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #7
Marcin OP
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This time I would like to stay away from Yellowstone and try to go towards Canadian border (never traveled there) so US-2 looks promising.
How are campgrounds and motels available around Browning.
In general I don't like to book anything I just go as is, but is it good idea to book motel, campground in advance? any recommendations? I'm a frugal so anything upscale is out of question

Thanks
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Old 06-07-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
N-Id-Jim
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there are some nice little ma 'n pa cabin-motels in East Glacier. you can "google them" I dint think that Browning is a good place to stop. reservations around glacier park in the summer are definitely recommended
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Old 06-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #9
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You could probably get a very cheap hotel room in Shelby or Cut Bank and still be able to get to the Park early in the morning.

Kalispell will be VERY expensive for hotels - $100 for Motel 6.

You could stay in Browning, but I personally would not.
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Old 06-14-2013, 11:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N-Id-Jim View Post
THe route from Mt Rushmore , west has a lot of opportunities for you across Wyoming and toward Cody.. then up the Chief joe hwy and over the Beartooth hwy, then up toward Great Falls and Choteu, east Glacier.... IMO.
+1 I lived in Wyoming for many years and rode everything out there. If you are in the Black Hills during the Sturgis Rally, forget trying to ride there, the roads/motels/restaurants/bars/etc. are literally CHOKED with people. It is a glorious place to ride but that rally draws a stunning number of people.

If you go from Gillette, Wyoming across the Powder River Basin (Hwy 14/16 loops around a bit, but is a great road, but then I hate riding Interstates) to Buffalo you can take Hwy 16 across the Bighorns to Tensleep, a fantastic high-speed sweeper ride of about 80 miles. Just gorgeous. I would suggest, though, that you stay north and go through Sheridan and then over the Big Horns on Hwy 14/14A from Dayton/Ranchester to Lovell/Powell/Cody. That route is unbelievable, steep switchbacks up, glorious sweepers across, stunning switchbacks down into the Big Horn Basin. Just before you drop off the west side of the mountains is a place called the Medicine Wheel, a beautiful site where the Native Americans built a tribute to the circle of life, well worth the time and effort to stop and walk out to see. Motels will be more plentiful in Powell than Cody and much cheaper - Cody is essentially the East Entrance to Yellowstone.

From Cody you will not find a more exciting road than the Chief Joseph Highway through Sunlight Basin and then over the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge, Montana. I've gotten stuck in there for days riding that section over and over , just stunning. I rode over the Beartooths one July 4th waving at the skiers... Once you're in Montana there are no bad routes in the western part of the state, it is all gorgeous (except maybe right around Butte, sorry). Even I-90 through western Montana is a hoot, very little traffic, twisty and scenic; I used to ride my 1100RT across there at warp 11 because the speed limit was "reasonable and prudent", no numerical maximum!!! That's changed now, I guess. As you get closer to Glacier it gets even prettier, but also more congested and expensive because of the tourism thing. Kalispell is ridiculously pretty. My son and I did a big ride through there several years ago (turned around at Jasper, Alberta) and we enjoyed the Canadian side of Waterton-Glacier more than the American side. There were better campgrounds and fewer people on that side, but Going to the Sun Road is a must-do.

I've ridden Highway 2 all the way across NoDak and it's a great road (empty 4-lane) but there's a lot of more entertaining riding south of there if you've got the time to look it over.

Have a great trip!

Doug
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Old 06-14-2013, 03:50 PM   #11
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So many road recommendations, so many choices, I think i'm getting overwhelmed.
Aaaaahhhhh so little time to see it all :(

Thank YOU everybody
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Old 06-14-2013, 05:51 PM   #12
LoopGaroo
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We did chi-to-glacier last year

My wife and I rode our V-Strom 2up out to Glacier last year, starting July 30th. We basically avoided all major interstates the entire time. I don't think we ever made a reservation for campsites... we just basically relied on our iphones and gps to give us suggestions while we're one the road.

Day 1 we rode through up through Madison, detoured through the twisties in the driftless area and ended up sleeping in Minneapolis.

We continued north to Hwy 2 and took that over to Glacier. The oil traffic was there...but not bad at all. We're from Chicago, we know what bad traffic is like. The oil traffic was insignificant compared to rush hour in Chicago. I thought it was cool to see...

Hwy 2 was a little desolate though, but in a beautiful way. Very lonely and scenic. You can make good time on it. Although I got pulled over twice for speeding (warnings both times!).

We avoided The Badlands & Sturgis on the way out to avoid the rally so we decided to head through that area on our way back to Chicago. I think It was my favorite part of our trip. Spend some time out there if you can. We ended up heading south out of the badlands to Hwy 20 to Iowa, which was nice, and then hit the River Roads through Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Moline, and Dixion on the final stretch home.
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Old 06-11-2013, 07:26 AM   #13
mammal
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I rode to Glacier last year in June and had no problem getting a camp site in Glacier. It helped that it was during the week and that I got there early in the day. I don't know if it would be any harder to get a site in August, but I'd recommend it if you can get it. It was $20 a night with flush toilets. Another site further up G2TS road had showers but, apparently, was not as nice.
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Old 06-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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this is a great MT package.
there are some phenomenal roads west of Glacier
http://www.butlermaps.com/Motorcycle...g-Montana-Book
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Old 06-13-2013, 03:24 PM   #15
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Going to the Sun

Going to the sun road is a must see, but I am sure you have already planned that, start off early to beat traffic, before 9 am, or later evening when everyone is having supper. nothing like being stuck behind a van. The past few years there has been a lot of construction on the pass, should almost be done this year.

From East Glacier you can take 49 to 89 to St Mary's, stop by the Park Café in St Mary's for Pie than up over the pass.

Depending on What your riding, Kintla Lake or Bowman Lake are nice out of the way camping, but a lot of gravel. Camping usually fills up early, especially on the weekends.

Feel free to contact me if I can help out on this end, I am from Alberta but spend most of my summers weekends down in GNP. I know I will get some slack over this, being Canadian, but Waterton Park is a nice place but more pricey and more commercial, Nice to see but not a must see.

http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm
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