Glacier National Park
This place is unreal. Immediately after we left, we already started making plans to go back next summer.
We spent four days making our way up to Glacier National Park and three days camping in the park.
Drove into Billings from Wyoming and stayed at Acton Recreation Area. The road getting here was 8 miles of very rough gravel. Even after driving 8-10 mph the whole time it was 100% worth it. Additionally, this was one of the first nights where we weren’t baking in our sleep. The cool air was a verrryy nice change. We could’ve stayed here a week if we had the time.
Took a morning hike around the area with Big Chungus, hung out for a bit at the site, then drove back into Billings. We had some amazing tacos at Commons 1882; then ran around town running errands (groceries and Planet Fitness). For the first time since we moved into the van, our spot for the night was pre-planned! We stayed at a Harvest Host – Yellowstone Cellars and Winery. They had a cute little patio outside so we got a bottle of wine, a cheese board, and once we were done we walked 15 feet to our van and got to stay in the parking lot.
Started another morning with a hike, ran some more errands around town, and then left to find a new spot for the night. We weren’t sure how far we wanted to drive so we just started going. Our goal was to fill up at water at some point along the road, but once we got to the first water station, we realized that we had lost our water hose. We think we forgot it at the last spot we filled up… Thankfully we were right next to an RV store and they had a water hose that worked with our system!! Once we had the water hose we realized that the fill-up station didn’t even have potable water… but at least we now had a water hose. We ended up driving 3+ hours this night and stayed at a spot we found on iOverlander right outside of Butte, MT.
Another day of running errands!! We went to a new water station, printed off some work papers, worked, and then decided on a new plan for the night. Once we got to Glacier, we knew we wanted to snag one of the first come first serve camping spots in the park. After doing some research, we learned that some of the campgrounds fill up before 7 am, and we were still a solid 4 hours away. The new plan was to stay at a rest stop about 1 hour away from the park, wake up early, and grind to try to get a spot the next morning.
The plan worked and we were finally in Glacier National Park!! We woke up at about 4:30, drove straight to the campsite, and got a spot by 6:15 am!! Our campground of choice ended up being Two Medicine, which is on the east side of the park and less crowded compared to the west side. Later that day, we hiked around one of the main lakes at Two Medicine. It ended up being about 10 miles and we were able to see Twin Falls and Aster Falls. We also saw two moose!!
The following morning, we made plans to spend the day in the main part of the park, the Going To The Sun Road. We knew it was going to be crowded, but we were still surprised by how many people were there so early. After a couple of scenic stops, we arrived at Logan Pass, drove around for about an hour, and were unable to find a parking spot. At this point, we decided we would try again in a couple of days. We stopped at a store on the way back to grab some Huckleberry Cider. Huckleberries must be huge in Montana because there is a Huckleberry product in almost anything you can think of. (Later we learned that they are a popular berry in a lot of the Northwestern states!)
The next day we woke up even earlier because we were not about to miss a parking spot at the hike we had planned for the day. This time we didn’t go to the main park, instead, we went to Many Glacier. The hike we had picked out was Craker Lake, a 12-mile out-and-back that supposedly had a beautiful turquoise lake. It 100% lived up to the hype. The views were beyond amazing, and the color of the lake was unlike anything I had ever seen before. After the hike, we made dinner in the van, drove back to our campsite, (saw a bear!!), and made a campfire. We were surprised campfires were allowed here, since they are banned in the majority of other areas we had traveled.
At this point in our trip our time at Glacier Park was coming to an end. We drove through the Going To The Sun Road on our way out, but didn’t stop at any sights. We had attempted to get to Logan Pass this morning as well, but even at 7 am the parking lot was jam-packed with no sight of anyone leaving soon. After our drive through the park, we began the journey up to Polebridge, MT. We were headed up that way to spend some time with family. Polebridge has a super cute Mercantile that we stopped by and I got some amazing green curry. Also – don’t plan on stopping for gas there, it’s $6.50 a gallon!! Once we got to Papa Tom’s house we were only 6 miles from the Canadian border. If the border was open, we probably would’ve continued our journey into Canada!