Late July -early Aug trip

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Late July -early Aug trip

Postby KyCindy » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:04 am

I have made reservations for 7/21-8/3. This is our second trip to Glacier. We spent 10 days in 2017 similar timeframe. My question is we want to try to stay at Granite Park Chalet. I’m going to try to make a reservation Monday. What dates make the most sense with this itinerary. 7/27 &7/28 ? Do I need more possibilities? We were really disappointed not to make it to Highline Trail on our first trip. If we can’t get in to Granite Park Chalet we could do Highline from Rising Sun but we are not super fast hikers. Overnight would probably make it more enjoyable and be a good experience, right? I made reservations in September so i know we are moving around a bit. I may try to move to Swiftcurrent instead of Many if that opens up. But overall I think we are seeing a lot and filling in gaps of what we missed on our first trip. We are both 59. We didn’t want to wait too long to hit these Glacier highlights.

7/21 &7/22 Glacier Park Lodge plan to try to do Scenic Point , repeat Twin Falls and Upper Two Medicine Lake w a better boat reservation (we were rushed w late boat reservation) or Cobalt Lake,
7/23 Belton Chalet -had trouble finding a better reservation travel from East to West but might be cool to stay there for historic interest.
7/24 Lake McDonald - Avalanche Lake
7/25 Village at ApGar -Polebridge, Bowman Lake, Northern Lights saloon -We didn’t have time for this area previously and definitely want to explore this area at least by car.
7/26, 27 & 28 Rising Sun hike Hidden Lake ( we didn’t make it to Lake due to bear activity only to overlook), Highline Trail w overnight at Granite Park Chalet on 7/27 or 7/28 if we can get reservation w plan to cancel corresponding night at Rising Sun
7/29 Swiftcurrent cabin Ptarmigan Tunnel (we did Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake previously May repeat if problem w bear activity)
7/30 Many Hotel -Cracker Lake by horseback or hike
7/31 Swiftcurrent cabin -
8/1 & 8/2 Prince of Wales Hotel - Bear Hump , take boat to Goat Haunt & hike back or reverse. (We did Crypt Lake previously)
We flew in and out of Calgary on our first trip. We haven’t made flight plan yet but we can add a night near airport on either end if needed. I’m watching flights but I think we still have time to decide on that. Fly in 7/20 or 7/21 out 8/3 or 8/4.
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby al_in_al » Sat Jan 05, 2019 1:59 pm

I would try to consolidate your nights on 7/23, 7/24, and 7/25 to one place (my top pick would be Village Inn at Apgar if you can find openings from cancellations, but Lake McDonald Lodge might be easier to get). They are all close enough together that you don't gain much by switching.

Good luck getting a spot at Granite Park Chalet! I'd give them a range of dates to increase your chances - I'd do 7/25, 7/26, 7/28, or 7/29, based on your current hotel reservations. What trail are you planning to use to hike out from the chalet? I like coming down Swiftcurrent Pass, which would work out if you stay there between your Rising Sun and Swiftcurrent nights. If you've done the Grinnell Glacier hike, I don't think you'd have trouble doing the Highline-Loop, though, if you don't get a spot at the chalet.

I'm planning to get to the actual Hidden Lake this year, too. The bear closure is seasonal, and I *think* the trail usually reopens at the end of July. In 2017, it was still closed on 7/27, but opened a few days later. So you might want to try to do this later in your trip, if possible.

The Bear's Hump trail was closed in 2018 due damage from the 2017 fire. I'd watch the Waterton Lakes website to see if it opens up before your trip.
https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/watert ... uvert-open
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby orin » Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:10 pm

Granite Park Chalet is relatively centrally located so given your itinerary I would think you could fit it in most anywhere except the days in Waterton. Mostly it just depends how high up the chalet ranks on your list of things to do. As Al suggests give them the widest range of dates possible. But I've had quite good luck getting reservations later too so don't give up if you don't score on Monday. Just check the vacancy page a couple of times a day and act quickly when you see something. That process can also work well for consolidating your Apgar area days and Many Glacier days at single locations to reduce time spent packing and moving. I like to hike in on the Highline, stay 2 nights and hike over the pass to Many Glacier. But Granite Park is worth almost anything you can arrange.
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby PeteE » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:35 pm

al_in_al wrote:I would try to consolidate your nights on 7/23, 7/24, and 7/25 to one place (my top pick would be Village Inn at Apgar if you can find openings from cancellations, but Lake McDonald Lodge might be easier to get). They are all close enough together that you don't gain much by switching.

I like this suggestion of al_in_al. Have dinner at the Belton Chalet. Good food and you'll enjoy the ambience without the expense of the hotel stay.


Good luck getting a spot at Granite Park Chalet! I'd give them a range of dates to increase your chances - I'd do 7/25, 7/26, 7/28, or 7/29, based on your current hotel reservations.
I agree again with al_in_al .I suspect al_in_al chose these dates because they avoid the dates where they have reserved spaces(Gold Star) for guided trips for workshops...unless you wanted to do a workshop.
I got the 3 nights I wanted by simply watching for cancellation--which are frequent in the early months. i got two night initially, then a third night after a few weeks of watching for cancellations.


What trail are you planning to use to hike out from the chalet? I like coming down Swiftcurrent Pass, which would work out if you stay there between your Rising Sun and Swiftcurrent nights. If you've done the Grinnell Glacier hike, I don't think you'd have trouble doing the Highline-Loop, though, if you don't get a spot at the chalet.

Here I disagree a little withal_in_al . Hiking out to Granite Park via the Highline from Logan Pass is a beautiful and fairly easy hike, roughly 8 miles with little "net" elevation gain/loss. Hiking to the chalet from Many Glacier via Swiftcurrent Pass can be a real long day if the weather is hot or otherwise bad. You really can't enjoy the scenery of the valley when slogging up the switchbacks in the hot sun---almost a given in late July.
Hiking back to Many Glacier from the chalet is MUCH more fun...imo.
Spectacular views coming down from the pass. This idea requires one of you shuttling from Many Glacier back to Logan Pass for your vehicle. Not a problem if you leave the chalet after breakfast to give yourself time to get the shuttle to St Mary by 6PM for the last shuttle to Logan Pass. So check the shuttle schedules for 2019 since they may change from 2018.


I'm planning to get to the actual Hidden Lake this year, too. The bear closure is seasonal, and I *think* the trail usually reopens at the end of July. In 2017, it was still closed on 7/27, but opened a few days later. So you might want to try to do this later in your trip, if possible.

The trail from Hidden Lake Overlook to the lake closes unpredictably, usually due to bear activity, the dates of which are never known with any certainly.


The Bear's Hump trail was closed in 2018 due damage from the 2017 fire. I'd watch the Waterton Lakes website to see if it opens up before your trip.
https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/watert ... uvert-open


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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby al_in_al » Sat Jan 05, 2019 8:59 pm

PeteE wrote:Here I disagree a little withal_in_al . Hiking out to Granite Park via the Highline from Logan Pass is a beautiful and fairly easy hike, roughly 8 miles with little "net" elevation gain/loss. Hiking to the chalet from Many Glacier via Swiftcurrent Pass can be a real long day if the weather is hot or otherwise bad. You really can't enjoy the scenery of the valley when slogging up the switchbacks in the hot sun---almost a given in late July.
Hiking back to Many Glacier from the chalet is MUCH more fun...imo.
Spectacular views coming down from the pass. This idea requires one of you shuttling from Many Glacier back to Logan Pass for your vehicle. Not a problem if you leave the chalet after breakfast to give yourself time to get the shuttle to St Mary by 6PM for the last shuttle to Logan Pass. So check the shuttle schedules for 2019 since they may change from 2018.



I agree with you, Pete! I meant hike in on the Highline (since that’s the reason for the hike), and down the next day to Many Glacier. I prefer to shuttle in the morning at the beginning of the hike so I’m not on a schedule later.
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby PeteE » Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:00 pm

al_in_al wrote:I agree with you, Pete! I meant hike in on the Highline (since that’s the reason for the hike), and down the next day to Many Glacier. I prefer to shuttle in the morning at the beginning of the hike so I’m not on a schedule later.


And I agree with you about shuttling to Logan after my experience last year 8)
I missed the last shuttle from St Mary to Logan Pass.
I walked 2 miles trying to get a ride hitching, normally an easy hitch.
No luck and it began to rain. Fortunately got a ride with a Law Enforcement Ranger :)
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby jasonwe » Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:53 am

ha great pic
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby KyCindy » Mon Jan 07, 2019 10:08 pm

Thanks for the advice. I finally got a request in after hours of trying. There are only 473 requests in front of mine. But I only need 1 night so maybe I’ll get lucky. Fingers crossed. :wink: If not I’ll keep checking back for cancellations. I’m hopeful. They said I should hear in 2 or 3 days. Exciting!
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby KyCindy » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:09 pm

Just heard back from Granite Park Chalet. We didn’t get in. I basically gave them every date in our itinerary 7/21-8/2 and I only needed 1 night. Disappointing. I was on the website early but I also had to work so I couldn’t try it continuously. I shouldn’t be surprised only 12 rooms and that week is popular. I can check periodically for cancellations. It was good advice to give them more than a few possibilities. I just didn’t get thru soon enough.
:cry:
On the bright side i don’t have to cancel anything yet.
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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby PeteE » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:42 pm

Hang in there Cindy.
Cancellations happen more frequently than you may believe.
"Stuff" happens and people's plans change.

The key imo is check the website for vacancies after the office closes, but before they open the following morning.
They don't have a" waiting list". All the "open dates" will show.
If you see a suitable night, then be ready at your computer at 0800 MST.
As the site says, the vacancies shown may not be accurate, but they are usually close.
Not much in July right now but August is looking good.
http://www.graniteparkchalet.com/vacancy_g.html

Good luck. I'm the same boat you are so far as I know. 8)

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Re: Late July -early Aug trip

Postby Sue Z » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:28 am

PeteE wrote:Hang in there Cindy.
Cancellations happen more frequently than you may believe.
"Stuff" happens and people's plans change.

The key imo is check the website for vacancies after the office closes, but before they open the following morning.
They don't have a" waiting list". All the "open dates" will show.
If you see a suitable night, then be ready at your computer at 0800 MST.
As the site says, the vacancies shown may not be accurate, but they are usually close.
Not much in July right now but August is looking good.
http://www.graniteparkchalet.com/vacancy_g.html

Good luck. I'm the same boat you are so far as I know. 8)

pete :wink:


They might also respond to voice mail. I once left one in the evening, and by the time I called back in the morning, they had already held the room for me.
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