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  1. #1

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    Montana vacation in July 2014

    The Nodust family (me, Mrs Dust, and two boys 14/11) are planning a two week trip to Montana in July. Plans are to fly into Salt Lake, Spokane, Missoula, whatever is cheapest. Right now Spokane is the cheapest tickets. Planning to see Glacier and Yellowstone parks. Also spend a few days in Anaconda where we lived after first getting married. We are taking our hammocks and backpacks and would like to stay at campgrounds and do some backpacking, nothing to extreme. I would like to camp in Yellowstone and Glacier but due to work can't nail down dates until April so we will be at the mercy of walk up permits for back country. I really don't know how that system works so any advice would be great.

    So if any Montana hangers have some good campgrounds or other things to do chime in. I haven't been back to Montana since 2000 and looking forward to seeing everything again. We may try to work in climbing Mount Haggin on the outskirts of Anaconda. I can't believe I never did this when living there. I know of a few campgrounds around that area that would be fine for us.

    Also thinking of a rafting trip, if anyone knows a good outfitter for a day or half day trip.

    Thanks in Advance
    Nodust

  2. #2
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    The Nodust family (me, Mrs Dust, and two boys 14/11) are planning a two week trip to Montana in July. Plans are to fly into Salt Lake, Spokane, Missoula, whatever is cheapest. Right now Spokane is the cheapest tickets. Planning to see Glacier and Yellowstone parks. Also spend a few days in Anaconda where we lived after first getting married. We are taking our hammocks and backpacks and would like to stay at campgrounds and do some backpacking, nothing to extreme. I would like to camp in Yellowstone and Glacier but due to work can't nail down dates until April so we will be at the mercy of walk up permits for back country. I really don't know how that system works so any advice would be great.

    So if any Montana hangers have some good campgrounds or other things to do chime in. I haven't been back to Montana since 2000 and looking forward to seeing everything again. We may try to work in climbing Mount Haggin on the outskirts of Anaconda. I can't believe I never did this when living there. I know of a few campgrounds around that area that would be fine for us.

    Also thinking of a rafting trip, if anyone knows a good outfitter for a day or half day trip.

    Thanks in Advance
    Nodust
    I've not done it in Glacier, but in other national parks I've been able to just walk up, get a permit and get on my way. The whole process (not including standing in line) takes about 15 minutes. You will need a bear keg, but most likely you can rent one for $5 a week there.

    I'll also be in Glacier in July. Hope you have an awesome trip with your family.

    Fronkey

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fronkey View Post
    I've not done it in Glacier, but in other national parks I've been able to just walk up, get a permit and get on my way. The whole process (not including standing in line) takes about 15 minutes. You will need a bear keg, but most likely you can rent one for $5 a week there.

    I'll also be in Glacier in July. Hope you have an awesome trip with your family.

    Fronkey
    So you just picked what campsite you wanted and if it was available you got it that day? That could work, we aren't that picky just want a few nights sleeping with the bears

    Forgot about bear kegs. Rental would be nice if required.

  4. #4
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    So you just picked what campsite you wanted and if it was available you got it that day? That could work, we aren't that picky just want a few nights sleeping with the bears

    Forgot about bear kegs. Rental would be nice if required.
    They do try and monitor how many people are on the trail at a time and there are a limited amount of permits. For backcountry camping though, I'm sure you'll be fine with getting one. Also, I'm pretty sure you can also camp anywhere that's 200 feet from the trail.

    You guys are going to have a great trip out there.

    Fronkey

  5. #5
    Downhill Trucker's Avatar
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    You'll have a great time. I spent two weeks in glacier in August 2012. I really liked the northwest area of the park. No one was out there. If I go back I would do gunsight pass. We did Dawson as well as day hikes throughout. You can see a lot dayhiking. My favorite was ptarmigan tunnel.

  6. #6
    renegadepilgrim's Avatar
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    Just did GNP last summer in August. We did the Bowman-Kintla Loop. We did walk-up permits. I will NEVER do that again. It was a pain in the butt and the rangers were less than helpful.

    Bear cans are NOT required. Bear spray is recommended, I don't think required and you can rent it at the park. I got a killer deal on unused bear spray for $15 because it was the end of the season for them. You are are required to stay at designated campsites in the backcountry (especially in the northern part of the park...the southern part is more flexible from what I remember they don't require you to stay in designated spots, but the river crossings are pretty crazy, especially in July), and each campsite has a designated eating area (so you'll get to know the other people at your campsite, whether you want to or not) with bear poles for hanging food. All of the campsites we stayed at had privies, some were with four walls and some were not. The best one is at Hole in The Wall...it's a fancy solar-powered composting one. Loved it! We didn't camp at Hole In the Wall but we did make the 2 mile RT detour because it is seriously one of the most amazing places in the park. Stunning views. It's also where I had the best waterfall shower ever! A little chilly but soooooo good!!!! I hung the whole trip but Boulder Pass was a challenge. I did not have a good hang because there weren't a lot of trees for hanging in the campsites. All the other sites we stayed at had plenty of trees.

    If you get a chance, camp at the Kintla Campground and talk to Lyle. He's a 92yo NP Ranger who started when he was 70!!!! Awesome guy. And stop in Polebridge at the bakery for treats. The pastries were all we thought about on the trail and OMG, so good!

    Have fun! I'm heading to Bozeman in a few weeks for some snow adventures.
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  7. #7
    renegadepilgrim's Avatar
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    http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry.htm

    I'm sure you've already looked at this link but this has all the info you'll need for your visit if you want to go into the backcountry.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Redpath's Avatar
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    I was in Bozeman and went fishing on many of the rivers around there and was impressed by all of the places to camp along the rivers. Especially the Gallatin. Next time I go, I'm bringing a hammock for sure. Have fun!
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  9. #9
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    Bozeman

    Id recommend flying into Bozeman if you can. Its an awesome little college town with a great atmosphere. You could raft down the Gallatin...look into packrafts which can be rented by mail, and then hike/camp back to car. Not too far a drive into Yellowstone, but if you can do without the geysers, I much prefer to hike/camp in the Gallatin National Forest where pretty much anything goes.

    Forget the name of waterfalls, but ask some of the locals where the big ones by the dam are. Thats a great place to hike and get soaked too.

    You can also float the madison near Three Forks for some of the best fly fishing in the world.

    Montana is an awesome state that really feels like your in a different world. Its getting alot of rich retired folk moving in and becoming more yuppy, but not near as bad as places like Colorado.

  10. #10
    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renegadepilgrim View Post
    Bear cans are NOT required.

    The pastries were all we thought about on the trail and OMG, so good!
    Thanks for clarifying the bear can and I will for sure be stoping at that bakery when I re-supply.


    Fronkey

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