Glacier National Park, and nearby towns (Whitefish, Essex, East Glacier, West Glacier)

Discussion in 'West, Alaska and Hawaii' started by Rail Freak, Jan 17, 2012.

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  1. Jul 11, 2019 #51

    dogbert617

    dogbert617

    dogbert617

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    So this train had TWO sightseer lounges?!? I've never seen the EB run with 2 such lounges, though at times I've seen more than one sleeper on the front half (Seattle section), and ditto with the Portland section as well. As was the case (2 Portland sleepers, & 2 Seattle sleepers) when I rode it last week, to Glacier NP.
     
  2. Jul 11, 2019 #52

    Rasputin

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    Yes the Izaak Walton Inn is open all year and I understand that they do a good business in the winter catering to cross country skiers who use the trails in the national forest. The hotels in the park (and many businesses and facilities outside the park) do not open until June. There is only one restaurant open all year in East Glacier and none in West Glacier so things are pretty quiet until the season starts.
     
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  3. Jul 12, 2019 #53

    Bel5

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    We're going to stay 2 nights at the Izaak Walton in October, stopping off on New York to Seattle trip. We're not planning any serious hikes but hopefully will be able to do a couple of not too strenuous walks and some chilling watching the trains. Very much looking forward to it.
     
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  4. Jul 12, 2019 #54

    Rasputin

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    I hope you will give us a review of your stay there. Hope you have a good time and that the weather is good.
     
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  5. Jul 13, 2019 #55

    Bel5

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    Thank you Rasputin. I will try to remember to do a review. These forums have so much useful info for planning.
     
  6. Jul 13, 2019 #56

    dogbert617

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    Speaking of Izaak Walton(and thanks for this earlier reply), do you know approximately when in September or October that leaf colors start to change on trees around Glacier, and also the Flathead National Forest? It'd be cool to see the leaf colors change, in the fall. Would be cool to revisit that area, and see leaf colors change out that way during the fall season.
     
  7. Jul 13, 2019 #57

    Rasputin

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    I haven't been to Glacier in September for many years so I don't know the answer to that. I would suggest a call or email to the Park or to the Inn or to the Whitefish Convention and Visitors Center might provide some information. In September and October there might be some snow especially at the higher elevations. Not sure when you would likely see some snow at the lower elevations such as around the Inn.

    For Barb's trip in October, I would suggest that if possible they rent a car for the day and drive to the Two Medicine area and the Many Glacier area in the Park and also drive up the Going-to-the-Sun road as far as it is open. Those will provide far superior scenery than can be seen at Essex. Perhaps the Park's visitors center at St. Mary will also be open. I might also suggest a stop at the Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning. Bring some warm clothes (or buy some at the Inn gift shop) but if there is a snowstorm, enjoy Essex instead of driving around.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
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  8. Jul 14, 2019 #58

    dogbert617

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    In East Glacier Village, there's also an art gallery (____? (forget first name) Clarke Art Gallery) of Native American art that seems like it would've been interesting to visit per online reviews, had it been open longer than just until 6pm. And as I recall, opened at something like 10 or 11am. It's free to visit, per the signage I saw outside the door. Like other seasonal places in this area, I think that's only open till sometime in September or October, so keep that in mind.
     
  9. Dec 8, 2019 #59

    Rasputin

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  10. Dec 8, 2019 #60

    Matthew H Fish

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    If anyone is looking for intercity transit out of Whitefish, the Confederated Tribes of the Salish and Kootenai runs a bus from Whitefish to Missoula, once a day.

    http://www.csktdhrd.org/transportation/flathead-transit

    The problem as the schedule currently stands is that the bus leaves Whitefish at 4 in the afternoon, meaning its a long wait from when the train drops off. Also, since that leg is the second one, if you go south, you have to spend the night.

    Still, if you want to go to, say, Polson, spend the night or weekend, and then head back to Whitefish to get back on the train, this is a good way to do it.
     
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  11. Dec 12, 2019 #61

    Rasputin

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  12. Dec 19, 2019 #62

    Willbridge

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    I rode it in 2015 and was thankful that it did not leave till 4 pm, as Train 28 was delayed by a derailed freight between Pasco and Spokane. Departing SPK after 8 a.m., we enjoyed the great scenery that used to be covered by the Mainstreeter and the Western Star, but a bit later and I would have had to use the print-out of Whitefish lodgings that I carried as a back-up.

    Amtrak's station stayed open long enough to get luggage and then closed from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., meaning that I and another passenger had to wait outside. The bus was a noisy truck chassis conversion, but everything else went well. I had previously ridden Rimrock Trailways on the same route, but the scenery is worth another trip. (My complete trip was PDX - WFS - Missoula - Billings - DEN.)
     
  13. Dec 23, 2019 #63

    Twin Star Rocket

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    We went in mid-September in 2018 and hit fall colors at their peak.
     
  14. Dec 23, 2019 #64

    Siegmund

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    If you have a rental car you can see great fall colors somewhere within an hour anytime in that timeframe.

    The east side of the pass is both higher and more windblown/colder; the aspens between the summit and East Glacier can very well be done by the 3rd week of September some years. But between Whitefish and Libby, the larches are barely started the first of October, and peak in mid to late October depending how low down and how cold of a fall. On any given week the peak colors will push farther down and farther west.
    A bonus of going from 2000 feet (Libby) to 3000 (Kalispell) to 4000 (hills above the Flathead Tunnel) to 5000 (Marias Pass).
     

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