polebridge hours and parking clarifications *Edit*

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polebridge hours and parking clarifications *Edit*

Postby thorn726 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 3:50 pm

*EDIT* //after a Successful trip, i have some good news- the Campground Host at Bowman Lake CG said if you show up with a Backcountry Permit, they find you a place to park. If the Back country Parking is full, they stick you somewhere he said if you paid for a permit they make sure you can park... //
in case anyone else was wondering, i had some confusion over what time does Polebridge open, and worse, the Park phone message indicates a number of stations to pick up permits, and does not list Polebridge.. so i called them and they called back and said of course Polebridge issues permits... and the more Relevant info- they open at (correction) 815am// (Apgar opens at 7am) some parts of the Park page do not list the hours and other pages suggested 9 or 930am opening... // Polebridge opens at 815.. As far as the parking the Ranger said we should be ok if we arrive early but there is NO guarantee of parking being available for backpackers which i find a very terrible situation//day hikers and BC permits share the parking. im sure we will make it early enough but it seems very unfair to me that a person could make an advance reservation and then there be no parking at all reserved for backpackers in an area inaccessible to buses or taxis...../ sounds like it is time for Park to start figuring out how to allow 3rd parties to provide hiker transport in more areas. COMEDY- they just called me back to say it does NOT open at 8am but rather 815 am at Polebridge... that would have been a nerve racking 15 minutes for sure!!
Last edited by thorn726 on Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby thorn726 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:01 pm

corrected above but just to reiterate, Ranger just called me back to say Polebridge opens at 815am not 8am.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby NDjason » Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:56 pm

I think if you're just picking a permit up, then doing so at Polebridge is ok. However, if you need modifications, I would not go there. In addition to opening late, the ranger handling the entrance station is also doing permits between cars. Last year I wanted to modify to add an extra night (to begin the trip one day early at a site that was available. After 15 minutes of talking in between cars, I was told they would have to cancel my entire itinerary and then try to quickly grab all the same sites in order to modify it. I did not feel comfortable with that and was not going to risk losing my itinerary, so I drove to Apgar. In addition to having multiple rangers, I was told they have a lot more tools and special privileges there. They were able to issue me a new permit by overbooking all of the sites and then cancelling my old permit. It was definitely worth the drive.

None of this is to say anything bad about the ranger in Polebridge. She was very helpful. She just had other primary responsibilities and a lack of "super ranger" access to the system.
~ jason
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby thorn726 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:14 pm

that is good advice - especially since Ranger told me they do not have any separate lines for reservations vs walk up permits due to the large number of people seeking modifications. Sounds like Most people want to modify their reservation. //we dont need any modifications, we're keeping it simple// parking is going to be stressful enough. If we're lucky and we make it back from our dayhikes early enough the day before I'll pick up permit at Apgar. Definitely sounds like if you are able to pick up a permit the day before, you should// but our problem is day before will be a big day of day hiking along GTTS road so we may not have time and i can not justify giving up time on GTTS for the permit office. Day of BC we only hike into Bowman so worst case if we are delayed we'll wait it out// Going to Apgar at 7am might work, or might be a mile long line... seems like with an 8am opening, picking up permit at Polebridge will get us to Bowman trailhead in time for parking. Does make me wonder about Kintla though- if you had a Kintla permit, even first in line might not get out of the office in time to drive all the way up there before parking was full.. just crazy.... would definitely try to pick up day before for Kintla.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby NDjason » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:16 pm

Last year, our permit started at Kintla. We drove straight up to the campground and grabbed a spot by 10am. The campground had been filling up everyday, but parking didn't seem to be an issue even at that time. I know they run out occasionally and closer access, but since there isn't a lot of day hiking at either spot, I would guess it's most likely short term visitors or day use boaters. So if you can be at Polebridge at 8am, I think you should be pretty safe for parking.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby thorn726 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:53 pm

i hope so// it's getting earlier... last few days both Kintla and Bowman have been filling up around 1130am.. today Bowman filled at 1023am. everyone is reading the twitter feed...my permit is next tuesday// at this rate parking will be filling before 10am by then... hope i can make it... i guess worst case we get stuck waiting for parking all day and hike in in the dark. Maybe i'll get lucky and we make it back to Apgar early enough to pick up our permit on monday.
There are so many things making this more difficult for us, some items others might know what to be aware of...
reserving a site at Fish Creek gave us some security in knowing we have a spot BUT it is over 2 miles from the Apgar shuttle stop and permit office.
If everything went perfectly we could park early at Apgar, take a shuttle to logan, hike, take another shuttle, hike more, shuttle back to apgar, pick up permit, drive back to FC campsite... but with the crowds and traffic, that seems unlikely, and we might not even make the last shuttle.
Our terrible plan is now to get up at dawn, drive to Logan, hike there. Take shuttle east, hike more, shuttle back to Logan. Problem is even though we could make it back to Apgar in time to pick up permit,
Seems like the best solution would be if we got lucky and there was a walk in site at apgar we could cancel fish creek... the conclusion of this rant is if you want to have crazy plans, either reserve a whole extra day to pick up a permit or try to get into Apgar because at least from there you can walk to shuttles and permit office. Fish Creek is causing a major headache. Besides the time factor of walking two miles, adding 4 miles rd trip to a very long day is too much for many of us.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby paul » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:36 pm

I think if you get to Bowman early, you should be okay for parking. I hope that works out for you. I have the same problem at Kintla where I'll be parking. I'm not sure how early I can be there either! However, I've always found room to park there before so my fingers are crossed for the same this year.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby thorn726 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:28 pm

paul wrote:I think if you get to Bowman early, you should be okay for parking. I hope that works out for you. I have the same problem at Kintla where I'll be parking. I'm not sure how early I can be there either! However, I've always found room to park there before so my fingers are crossed for the same this year.


Thanks and Good Luck! If we are among the first few in line at Polebridge i am hopeful we will make it. At least we only have to go from Fish Creek, and i get up at dawn when i sleep outside. Definitely sounds like if at all possible, pick up permit the day before.
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby teapot57 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:07 pm

I hope this doesn’t cause you further anxiety, but I thought I’d mention something I just read on the Trail And Area Closings and Postings Page:

Beginning July 17, the road to Bowman Lake will be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and
Thursdays from 10 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 3 pm for road repairs.

https://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/ ... osures.cfm
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby thorn726 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:56 pm

Thanks for the update i had no idea.... we will be there well before 10am... honestly sounds like this may help us more than hurt. Worst case we dont make it by 10am, i bet there will not be many people waiting around, and we could wait it out till 12pm, even 3pm would not be too late for us to make it into BOW i think... not ideal but i think we can work around it if we miss the early shift... definitely good to be aware of, again thank you very much
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby PeteE » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:53 pm

teapot57 wrote:I hope this doesn’t cause you further anxiety, but I thought I’d mention something I just read on the Trail And Area Closings and Postings Page:

Beginning July 17, the road to Bowman Lake will be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and
Thursdays from 10 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 3 pm for road repairs.

https://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/ ... osures.cfm


Thanks Tina!
Good spot.

A certain number of vehicles "diverted" from Bowman will wind up headed to Kintla...if for no other reason than:
Let's see what's going at Kintla Lake while we wait to try Bowman again...nice drive, might see a bear or a wolf...nothing else to do out here, blah blah.

So if you're going to Kintla during those days and times, you might want to keep that in mind.
Kintla Lake CG and day picnic area is "tiny" compared to Bowman Lake.
13-14 campsites and maybe 3-4 places to park for day use.
If Ranger Lyle is there, you best not "fudge" on the rules....like parking in a no parking spot, walking on plants, trash. etc. etc.
Ranger Lyle is NOT shy about reminding you what the rules are! 8)

Parking at the BOU trailhead can be tough too when it's busy.
One year a while back I had friends follow me to the BOU trailhead(maybe 1/4 mile before the Kintla CG.)
I was spotting a car for a couple chatters except there was ZERO parking available at the BOU trailhead when we arrived.Don't recall time of day. It wasn't much of an issue back then.
Ultimately, I did get their car spotted. But...

Now, the "new reality" everywhere in GNP is:
Go Early

pete :wink:
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications

Postby llholmes1948 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 1:05 pm

Is Ranger Lyle back at Kintla this year?

Thanks,
Lyman
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Re: polebridge hours and parking clarifications *Edit*

Postby thorn726 » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:31 am

added above as well // /after a Successful trip, i have some good news- the Campground Host at Bowman Lake CG said if you show up with a Backcountry Permit, they find you a place to park. If the Back country Parking is full, they stick you somewhere he said if you paid for a permit they make sure you can park... //
and further, regarding the construction.. they changed it a little, closing from 1030am to 1230 pm, close around 1pm again, re open at 3pm. Expect traffic after 3pm. We exited around 4pm and it was a line of cars entering but not many leaving... Drive Carefully!! THANKS to PeteE for warning us about the high speed crazy oncoming traffic, we had a few of those nuts pass us, we were ready for them...
We were in a TINY rental car so we took it SUPER SLOW. The first section from the end of pavement to Polebridge is not too bad at all but we kept it to about 20mph through there. From Polebridge to Bowman - more like 10 mph most of those last 8 miles... DEEP ruts... it is getting better and will be GReat when they finish the roadwork BUT in the meantime there is some super soft deep gravel after they work on it... they are spreading a lot of soft gravel first and slowly spreading it so there were some pretty thick layers i was glad to be going downhill on .... The real problem will be after it is done some people will decide to go a lot faster.... take it carefully!
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