Latest 2020 Season Opening News

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zozeppelin
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by zozeppelin »

wnysteve wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:42 am
If you actually get the chance to do it, you will find the route into Two Medicine via Park Creek to be very decent. There is the opportunity to visit/camp at Lake Isabel. And the trail up to Two Medicine Pass is comfortable for its elevation gain. The backcountry CG at Upper Park Creek is one of my favorites. And yeah, no people.
Man I hope so - thanks for the insight!

In the background I have been trying to develop some possible itineraries that I was going want feedback from on campsites. If/once there are communications by GNP about opening areas for backcountry that are otherwise not accessible by car (TM, MG, etc), then I'll be looking for feedback and input on some of the options. Don't want to get ahead of myself just quite yet - Isabel was on the list, but makes for some long days to get to Reynolds Creek.

My original plan was Two Medcine to Lake McDonald, starting in Two Medicine because I didn't want to start the long trek with the heavy pack going up Sperry. Now I assume with the crunch, that Gunsight Pass is going to be a hot permit commodity, so I'll almost have to start at Park Creek due to availability. I suppose a good problem all considered.

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by orin »

At one point the status update page explicitly stated that no bc permits would be issued for the east side. They edited that part out so perhaps they are giving themselves room to maneuver later in the season. At the moment the page shows a map with the entire east side marked closed and the text says that the east side is closed "to all access". In addition only west side sites are currently available. Time will tell.

https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/statusupdate.htm

Pete, I doubt they will get a crew into Coal Creek anytime soon. I agree that the area around Two Medicine Pass is worth a trip. Park Creek valley is OK but kind of long. Upper Park Creek and Isabel are nice. I was there a year or so after it burned (2003?) and the fireweed was at times taller than me. After the climb from from Upper Park Creek to Isabel I was covered in pollen from head to toe. It has been a few years and by now the brush may have taken over. You can also take a short trip from Isabel up to a smaller, higher lake and from there scramble to the divide and look down into the Coal Creek valley. And even if you couldn't camp at Cobalt, the Two Medicine Pass area is worth at least a day of exploration.

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by PeteE »

Thanks Orin for the info. :D
Doesn't look good for camping for now since all the CG's in this area are currently closed.
The weather looks good for the weekend so I'm thinking about a day hike up to Firebrand Pass.
I'm not in the best shape right now, but maybe I can do the 5 miles and 2000ft. to get up there. 8)
If I'm lucky there will be some good flowers as well as the views.


pete :wink:
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by calicotraveler »

Good for you making the best of the situation right now! :?
The mountains are calling and I must go.

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by PeteE »

calicotraveler wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:37 am
Good for you making the best of the situation right now! :?
Ha!! I hope so. 8)
I'm going to make an effort to haul myself out of bed really early Saturday AM to drive to Firebrand Pass trail head at MP 203 on US2.
It's about 70 miles from my place in Kalispell. That'll mean leaving around 3:00 AM so I can get some of that early morning light for pictures.
It'll be a long day but should be worth it if the weather prediction holds true--sunny and temperature around 70F :D


http://www.hikinginglacier.com/firebrand-pass.htm

pete :wink:
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by al_in_al »

PeteE wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:34 am
calicotraveler wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:37 am
Good for you making the best of the situation right now! :?
Ha!! I hope so. 8)
I'm going to make an effort to haul myself out of bed really early Saturday AM to drive to Firebrand Pass trail head at MP 203 on US2.
It's about 70 miles from my place in Kalispell. That'll mean leaving around 3:00 AM so I can get some of that early morning light for pictures.
It'll be a long day but should be worth it if the weather prediction holds true--sunny and temperature around 70F :D


http://www.hikinginglacier.com/firebrand-pass.htm

pete :wink:
Pete, is Firebrand open? From the map on the park's website, it looks like it's in the closed portion of the park.
https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ ... June26.jpg

I've been assuming it will be closed and not an option for my August trip. Though I would really like to see your pics from the hike!

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by PeteE »

al_in_al wrote: Pete, is Firebrand open? From the map on the park's website, it looks like it's in the closed portion of the park.
https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ ... June26.jpg

I've been assuming it will be closed and not an option for my August trip. Though I would really like to see your pics from the hike!
#*%@*%#!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sigh.....I'm afraid you're right J.
I was looking at another map and I just ASSumed that since it wasn't on the stupid reservation, it'd be ok.
I see now that they closed everything east of the divide.

Sooooo. Maybe I'll give Elk Mountain a try.
http://enjoyyourparks.com/glacier-park- ... ntain.html
Looks like Mt Brown on steroids. 8)
3000ft in 2.5 miles is really f'in steep.
Maybe there will be some good views on the way up if I don't make it all the way.
I'll feel like Superman if I make the summit! :arrow:

Oh well, better than staying home; I'm sick of the West side.
I guess I better go lighten my pack as much as I can.
Make room for max water.
S***!

later
pete :wink:
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by Jay w »

I can hear the conversation.

What should we close?
Let's close everything east of the divide.
How about Firebrand?
No one hikes that. Keep it simple...east of the divide.

Jay
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by dpratt »

I made the mistake of thinking I would bike GTTSR this morning for the first time. I made it to Avalanche by 7:00 (about 90 minutes from my place), and it was PACKED. There were people walking and on bikes all over the place. I made a loop through the campground, which is day-use parking now, and it was 3/4+ full. Due to the people milling about, it took a while to slowly get through it. I actually found a couple of open spots at the very end, but by then I had lost all interest. I have no desire to ride single file with a swarm of people. On the way out, the traffic heading into the park was constant all the way to West Glacier. That is not an exaggeration. Looks like they shut down the road at Lake McDonald Lodge around 9:00, then at the foot of the lake shortly thereafter, for a while due to congestion. It's nuts.

I drove back to my "backyard" and biked a gated Forest Service road up to one of the higher hills in the area (elevation 6,000' +/-). Nice view of the Whitefish and Swan Ranges, etc. How many other people did I run into? None. Lots of fresh (still warm) elk and moose scat, as well as some wolf scat that looked only a day old.

Glacier - I guess I'll see you again this Fall once the city-like crowds dwindle (if they do). Too many other beautiful areas around here to spend time in, rather than dealing with the crowds in the park. I expected there to be people. I'm not naive enough to think I'd have it to myself. However, it felt more like later July or August, even on a 50 degree and rainy day.

3 hours round trip, 120 miles, and a 1/4 tank of gas, just to end up riding about 20 minutes from my house. :roll: :D Lesson learned.

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by calicotraveler »

I was afraid that would happen. Makes me sad. :(
The mountains are calling and I must go.

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by dpratt »

calicotraveler wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:27 pm
I was afraid that would happen. Makes me sad. :(
Me too. I remember when Glacier was only crowded in July and August, and even then it was manageable and you could get a campsite even on a holiday.

It will always be near and dear to me, and it is what drew me to this area. Unfortunately I find myself going there less and less due to Disney-like crowds.

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by PeteE »

Wait until tomorrow and the weekend. :evil:
I bet it'll be total gridlock everywhere since the weather is predicted to be near perfect--clear, sunny, temps in the 70s-80-s.

It'll be interesting to see if the southern part of the parks gets some action.
I doubt Elk Mountain will draw many people, but I'm planning on leaving very early to avoid any possible crowds.

Great Northern Mountain is on my short list of hikes to try soon. I may have to do it as a two day hike, camping overnight.
https://www.summitpost.org/great-northe ... ain/523950

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Post by Fairbanks142 »

Thanks dpratt and Pete, and everyone that's venturing into the park and letting us know what's happening. If you can go in super early, find parking, and then get on the trail and away from the crowds....but it sounds like getting in and parking (and biking) is crazy!

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