Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

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Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby AdamGNP » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:50 am

Hello All,

We just received our BC permits and are wanting to finalize the travel accommodations. We will be using taxis, and shuttles and will not be renting a car.

Our travel plans involve flying into FCA, and booking a taxi to our hotel in West Glacier. The following morning booking a taxi to Apgar and receiving our BC permit and taking the shuttle to our trailhead at Loop Trail.

Our BC permit ends in Bowman Lake. The big question is how can we get to our hotel in West Glacier / Apgar from Bowman Lake?

Any advice on taxi companies or our travel plans so far would be greatly appreciated as well.
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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby PeteE » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:46 pm

Commercial transport services aren't allowed into the park past the Polebridge Ranger Station gate.

In my opinion and experience, hitchhiking would be a viable option if you can't arrange private transport in advance of your trip. I hitchhike within the park every year.

There's a lot of traffic between Bowman Lake car campground and Polebridge every day during the summer. You might even score a ride all the way back to Apgar if you get lucky.

I'd hitchhike to Apgar from Polebridge as well.

Commercial transport from Polebridge to Apgar would be very expensive as cabs cannot get to Apgar via the Camas Road "legally".

From work

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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby llholmes1948 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:05 pm

Pete,

I see that AdamGNP is proposing to take a taxi from West Glacier to Apgar. Is it legal to have a taxi take you to Apgar or would they only be able to take you to the Park boundary?

Even if going to Apgar by taxi was allowed, wouldn't the taxi have to come all the way from Kalispell in order to pick you up at the hotel in West Glacier and take you from there to Apgar. That would be apt to be quite expensive.

By the way is there a taxi service in Whitefish now? I know the taxi business in Whitefish went out of business a few years ago but I heard that a new service was starting up. Don't know if it ever did.

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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby paul » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:53 pm

I know it costs more to rent a vehicle and it's kind of waste if you are spending 95% of your time on the trail, but it sure makes it a lot easier from a transportation/logistics perspective. And if you have several members in your group you can share the cost of the vehicle.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir
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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby PeteE » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:24 pm

llholmes1948 wrote:Pete,

I see that AdamGNP is proposing to take a taxi from West Glacier to Apgar. Is it legal to have a taxi take you to Apgar or would they only be able to take you to the Park boundary?

I didn't think private livery services were allowed in the park.....however I remembered this old Pocketlint post of mine. 8) I don't know if the information in it is "current". be easy to call and verify.


Postby Pocketlint » Tue Jun 28, 2011 8:50 am

tuna wrote:
I'm flying into FCA and am not renting a car. Are the shuttles to Apgar right there in the airport or do I have to arrange a shuttle ahead of time?

Hey tuna:

You might start here.
I just called this outfit a minute ago. A nice crusty old dude like me answered. :mrgreen: Sounds like a one-man operation, but that's typical around here :)

Flathead Glacier Transportation.
It's a kind of "on-call" service. He operates from 0400-midnight daily.
Price from the airport to Apgar is $45.00/1st person +$3.00 per person after that.
The phone number is (406)892-3390
That's a Columbia Falls exchange so he's only about 10-15 mins from the airport.

hhehehee...I just went and looked at Kathy's original post. Prices have gone up a bit is all.
$45.00 is very reasonable imo. Airport to Apgar is about 30 miles one way. It's cost me 3 gallons of fuel round trip in my Ranger @20mpg. Gotta cost more in a shuttle type van.

pocketlint :wink:

Even if going to Apgar by taxi was allowed, wouldn't the taxi have to come all the way from Kalispell in order to pick you up at the hotel in West Glacier and take you from there to Apgar. That would be apt to be quite expensive.

It would be quite expensive in my opinion as well...which is why renting a car like Paul suggests is usually the best way to go.
That said, if one end of a backpack is out in the boondocks like Kintla Lake or Bowman Lake, having one car only solves half your transportation problem.


By the way is there a taxi service in Whitefish now? I know the taxi business in Whitefish went out of business a few years ago but I heard that a new service was starting up. Don't know if it ever did.

Hehehehehehe!
Yeah, Whitefish has caught up with the rest of the industrialized world concerning taxi service.
It's not hard to get a cab anymore. WF to the airport was about $20-$25 the last time I used a cab a couple years ago.


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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby cdsmith379 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 5:33 pm

Stay at the Glacier Highland(I love that place), skip the taxi and just walk to Apgar. It's only 3 miles or so and there is a flat paved footpath/bikepath. You can even leave your luggage at the Highland(check with them to be sure).
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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby PeteE » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:16 pm

cdsmith379 wrote:Stay at the Glacier Highland(I love that place), skip the taxi and just walk to Apgar. It's only 3 miles or so and there is a flat paved footpath/bikepath. You can even leave your luggage at the Highland(check with them to be sure).


Staying at Glacier Highland is an idea, especially if they'll watch your "stuff" while you're backpacking.
You can walk/hitch to the permit office, get your permit, walk across the street(literally) to the shuttle stop for your ride to the Loop.
Getting back to Apgar from Bowman Lake still presents problems.

Hitchhiking works great....although somewhat less appealing if it's pouring rain and blowing a gale 8)

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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby llholmes1948 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:29 pm

Pete,

Thanks for your information on this. Isn't there a park service shuttle that connects several places in West Glacier to the Visitors Center in Apgar or is that a figment of my imagination? Seems to me that I recall they stopped at the Travel Alberta Center in West Glacier to pick up passengers.

I agree with CD's suggestion of the Glacier Highland. We enjoy their rooms and the restaurant. They have kept stuff for us twice when we have gone to Sperry Chalet. On our last trip, I donated our bear spray to them. Our practice when staying there is to run the room fan on low all night to muffle the highway and train noise.

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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby AdamGNP » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:46 am

Good Morning everyone!

I really appreciate all the comments. Ive called a few of the taxi services on this site and on the airport site, a lot of them said they can get me to our hotel and to Apgar the following morning.

We will be staying at the Golden Inn Mini the night before our BC trek (closest we could find). And Belton the night after our trek, which appears to be walkable from Apgar.

It looks like we will have to rely on hitchhiking to get from Bowman Lake to Apgar after the trip. :shock: I would feel comfortable doing this but my wife is a nervous. Any recommendations on hitchhiking in Glacier?
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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby llholmes1948 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:07 am

Adam,

Hitchhiking around Glacier is fine and we have never had a problem. It may help to bring a magic marker with you and make a cardboard sign spelling out your destination "Bowman Lake", "Polebridge", etc.

Many visitors and especially park regulars are aware that hitchhiking is sometimes the only way to effectively get to a trailhead so hitchhiking is quite accepted. It also helps to talk to other guests at whereever you are staying or dining and you may find someone going in your direction.

Hope you have a great trip and that you will post a report of your trip. There are also sections on the Chat to post lodging reviews and dining reviews and those are always appreciated.

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Re: Bowman Lake (Polebridge) to Apgar

Postby PeteE » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:05 pm

I just left GNP Headquarters a lil while ago.
Had a delightful and informative conversation with Tiegan regarding taxi service into the park.
"Unscheduled" taxi cabs can pick you up and deliver you to Apgar and Lake McDonald Lodge on the West side.
And Two Medicine, St Mary, Rising Sun Inn, and Many Glacier/Swiftcurrent on the East side.
Tiegan sent me an email with more specific info.
I'll post it when I get home.
So you can get a cab ride from the airport to Apgar locations.
Glad I went there. I was all wrong. :(

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