Hwy 2 Camping

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Jay w
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Hwy 2 Camping

Post by Jay w »

We’re looking to tag on a few days to an “East side of Glacier” trip this Sep. I’ve seen the camping along Hwy 2, but never considered it. We’ll be in a small travel trailer.

I’m looking for recommendations along Hwy 2 or maybe the east side of Flathead. We don’t want to drive too far west since we’ll be heading back to MN. The other concern is getting a spot in mid-Sep. So any info about first come first served or need a reservation would be most welcome.

Looking to explore something new.

Thanks.

Jay W
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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by wnysteve »

Devil Creek, USFS, is one that I have used over the years. About 16-18 sites. Some are built to accomodate travel campers. Some sites on the west side of the campground back up to Devil Creek itself. I have never had a problem with finding a site on a walk-in basis, but that was BC (before Chaos). Sites are reservable on recreation.gov.

There is Summit CG, also USFS. I have never stayed there, but have driven through it. I saw many appealing sites. That CG, of course, is closer to East Glacier.

The Devil Creek CG is close to the Snowslip Inn, in case a rain storm comes up and you don't want to cook.

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Jay w
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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by Jay w »

That’s perfect info. I’ll have to start the google and check rec.gov to see how booked it is. Local chow is good since we’ll be at the end of our supplies.

Any idea how hard it is to get across Bear Creek in Sep? I assume it’s not bad. Maybe it’s worth doing a lookout.

Thanks,

Jay
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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by Selkie »

Devil Creek is a favorite, but it looks as though the campground closes Sept. 11.
Summit Campground, at Marias Pass, is open later. It is more oriented toward larger RVs but still wooded and quiet.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/hlcnf/r ... ecid=61568

Along Rte 2 there are other sites for one or two self-contained units (some may have a privy). Exits from highway may have a simple tent sign or similar.
Ousel Peak trailhead is on Rte 2.
https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/mont ... peak-trail
And the hike from Glacier Park Lodge to Scenic Point is wonderful. You might have it to yourself. Highlight is a big meadow. From the grasslands to the mountains.

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Jay w
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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by Jay w »

I appreciate the good intel here. I couldn’t find the info stating Devils Creek was closing the 11th, so I call the park district. She didn’t seem to really know, but thought it would go until Oct 1. After the call, I got on rec.gov and saw that they were not taking reservations after the 11th, so I understand where that came from. Also, it’s fully booked until closing but they have a few first come sites.

The lookout looks good. I’ve never hiked from East Glacier (to Scenic, but I’ve done the dead tree route from the other side.) It’s hard to finish the hike when I keep setting up the tripod.

Thanks,

Jay
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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by Selkie »

In re Devil Creek, the slider labeled Season Opens--Season Closes I took to mean the opening and closing dates of the campground in toto, not just reservable period. (I did pass by it in Sept when it was closed for the season.)
Summit CG is just a bit farther up the road. Lots of trees between sites. I did not feel overwhelmed by the larger RVs.

Glacier Park Lodge front desk may still be handing out a piece of paper with rather general hike route. I will look up the trail name at some point.
Basically, you pass by the golf course (two holes?) and bear left where road splits. Left has maybe 3-4 houses. To access the trail, you walk past and around the farthest house and pick up a 2-track. If feels as though it is a private drive, but isn't (I think). May have cows. the dirt 2-track splits shortly (ca 100-200 yds??), and take a right there. Look soon for small signage (right) in the shrubbery and a worn path.

One outfitter has horse rights up to the Park boundary, so you may meet a party.
IIRC, Ralph described the path as one of the older, historic routes into the park.
It was among my most satisfying days in the Park. Many photo ops.
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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by orin »

I second the Two Medicine to East Glacier route. I did it a couple of years ago when it was still possible to park a car in East Glacier and catch a shuttle to Two Medicine. It starts with a climb to Scenic Point. Then you descend down the mountain and eventually out of the mountains into the aspen parkland around East Glacier. I really enjoyed the transition. Once on the reservation the route gets a bit confusing at times but I had no trouble getting back to my car.

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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by Selkie »

Couple of things I picked up on TripAdvisor Glacier:
1. Road into Cut Bank is closed at the ranger station. Must park and walk ca. 1/2 mile to reach trailheads.
2. Two Medicine parking was full one day (probably a lot of days) and cars were being turned back.
3. The pressure on GttSR has simply moved traffic to Polebridge, Many Glacier, Two Medicine.

If stuck for ideas, Blake Passmore's Climb Glacier National Park, in 5 vols by area, is very good. Many routes are nontechnical, such as Dancing Lady.
https://www.climbglacier.com/

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Re: Hwy 2 Camping

Post by kangiek »

Not sure how far north you want to go, or what kind of amenities you’re looking for, but one place to consider on the East side might be Duck Lake Campground near Babb. We stayed three nights last week and really enjoyed it. The sites are large, well spaced out, and all are just a few steps from the lake. It’s only 4 miles to the Many Glacier Road, a couple good restaurants are nearby, Thronson’s store, etc. It’s a quiet place, more on the primitive camping end of the spectrum, no potable water, only a few sites with electric.

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