Glacier National Park – Part 1

Glacier National Park was at the top of our list of places to visit. We knew that it was going to take us a while to drive there and that it really wasn’t near anything to make it easy to stop back again anytime soon. So we decided to give ourselves a full 2 weeks at Glacier….which was the longest we’ve stayed in one place since we left Minnesota in June! 

Hidden Lake, Glacier National Park

We left our campground in Idaho (outside of Yellowstone) on Friday, July 21st and drove until we arrived at a Walmart parking lot in somewhere in Montana to Boondock it for the night. We did our grocery run inside Walmart, had dinner, and then began to hear some domestic disputes outside our RV. There were several other RV’s and camper trucks parked in the back of the well-lit parking lot with us, so at first, we felt pretty comfortable. Then, what Tony calls his ‘Spidey Sense’ kicked in and we started to be more aware of our surroundings. For instance, we saw the same car drive by our RV over 5 times in 10 minutes. We also heard some yelling and looked out to see a woman throwing a man’s luggage and belongings onto the parking lot outside their vehicle while screaming at him. At this point, the kids were in their PJs and ready for bed, but Tony and I decided we needed to leave. So we did a quick search on our AllStays app and found a Cracker Barrell across town that welcomes RV’s to boondock overnight. We decided to try it out. 

The Cracker Barrell was quiet with only 2 other RV’s there. We felt MUCH better and had a peaceful night!

Saturday morning, we woke up to drive to Glacier National Park. On our way, we drove past so many Cherry Orchards. I told Tony that we had to try to stop at one, as many of them were ‘pick your own’ and we have never picked our own cherries before! 

I should mention here that Jasmine began to get her arms out of her 5-point harness car seat while I was driving. Our little 2-year old was being a stubborn little lady and would not put her arms safely back in. So I used our 2-way radio to let Tony know that we needed to pull over, as he was in the lead. So he pulled into a Cherry Orchard. Perfect! We stretched our legs and had a blast picking cherries! (and Jasmine kept her arms in her car seat straps the rest of the way to Glacier, NP)

We arrived in Glacier National Park by lunchtime to find that our amazing friends, whom we met in Grand Teton National Park, found and reserved us a campsite for one night IN the National park campground! You see, this was pretty fantastic as the campgrounds were all ‘first-come-first-serve’ and people come at 6 am and drive around to find an available campsite. Sarah and Derek are amazing! 

Woodpecker at our campsite

That day we took a long family bike-ride using their paved biking trails. Tony ended up with a flat tire, so the kids and I began to ride back to camp so that we could drive the van to go pick him up. But he managed to fix his flat before we even get to the van. Good thing he carries around a pump and flat-fixing-kit. However, we only had one can of bear spray….in this instant Tony made sure that the kids and I had it on us for the ride back. That left Tony alone without any bear spray! No bear encounters happened that day, thank goodness. 

We had a bonfire with our friends that night and realized that we were so far north that the sun was not going down…yet our 2-year-old was losing it. Oh yeah, that’s because it was already after 10 pm and it was still light out! Yikes! 

Sunday, we woke up to take the shuttle bus to Logan’s Pass to hike the Hidden Lake Trail. This was half-way down the Road to the Sun. Many people warned us not to drive it, as you usually cannot find any parking once you get up to Logan Pass. So we stood in line for the shuttle. It took much longer than we thought, as we had to wait in line for 3 more shuttles before us (it was a long line), then get off at a transfer station partway up to then wait in line again for a smaller shuttle that could only fit 13 people. Well, when you are a family of 6, you end up taking up half the room on one of these small shuttles! 😉 

The hike was worth it though! We brought out lunch, at it at Logan Pass and then head out on our 3 mile round trip hike. 

Later that day, we drove to our campsite that was outside of the park, that I had reserved over a month prior. I know this campground had good cellular internet and electricity hook-ups. The campground inside the park had very slow cellular internet, not enough for Tony or I to work on. So we made a home-base about 15 minutes outside the park at Timber Wolf Resort in Hungry Horse, MT.  

During our two weeks in the Glacier National Park area, we made many memories!! One of our favorite memories of the park was taking the kids kayaking for their first time in kid-sized kayaks. We rented out child-sized kayaks and a paddle board a few times. It was a blast!

We found a private little beach area just off the main road on Lake McDonald one late afternoon. Skipping rocks and swimming in the freezing cold water felt so wonderful on the unusually hot days we were having. It was in the 80s and 90s while we were there! The kids also enjoyed collecting sticks and building their own forts. It was so much fun and refreshing. 

Without planning it, we found out that our new friends were going to be staying in Glacier the same 2 weeks that we were going to be there! So Sarah and her kiddos and the kids and I did many things together during the days while our husbands worked. We did a Junior Ranger-led hike,

went on a bike ride, hiked the Rocky P0int Trail

played at the playground at our campground, played outside in the dirt or in the tent at Sarah’s campground, and grilled out a few times. We even planned a sleepover! 

Riley slept over with his new friend Isacc in his camper and Anna slept over with us. I would say Anna slept over with her friend Lilya….but Gwen and Jasmine were pretty excited to have THEIR friend Anna spend the night 😉

The boys started out in the tent, but by midnight complained of being too cold and went inside to sleep in the beds. They all did well and made great memories with their new friends!

Click here for Part 2 of our Glacier National Park journey and find out how things went weening Jasmine from breastfeeding and my encounter with a bear!! 

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