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RMNP or Glacier?
  
 
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · RMNP or Glacier?


Shouldn't be a hard answer - but wanted to get some input on those that have been to both. My wife and i have a week off in late August (weekend before labor day), and she wants to do a nice trip - with a mix of camping and hotel.

This will be a photo trip mostly. There is a ton of great stuff in RMNP, but takes work to get to, where as GNP has a lot more stuff easily accessible by road. I am sure drive in campgrounds will be impossible to get at both places this late in the year, and hotels i am sure are booked in GNP (haven't checked to see what is around RMNP).

If we go to GNP, we can spend some time in Tetons or Yellowstone on the way there or back. If we go to RMNP, we will go through Denver and then can spend a night or two in the San Juans, as we will drive back through that way.

thanks for any info.



Jul 31, 2017 at 06:03 PM
JimFox
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · RMNP or Glacier?


Dustin Gent wrote:
Shouldn't be a hard answer - but wanted to get some input on those that have been to both. My wife and i have a week off in late August (weekend before labor day), and she wants to do a nice trip - with a mix of camping and hotel.

This will be a photo trip mostly. There is a ton of great stuff in RMNP, but takes work to get to, where as GNP has a lot more stuff easily accessible by road. I am sure drive in campgrounds will be impossible to get at both places this
...Show more

GNP is way better then RMNP, way better. RMNP has a few things, but it's a totally different view of the mountains. In RMNP the mountains actually seem smaller and further away. In GNP the mountains tower above you, the valleys drop below you. I would rate on a scale of 1 to 10 RMNP a 3 or 4, and GNP a 8 or 9.

As an alternative, if you haven't gone, look at the San Juan Mountains down by Ouray and Telluride, stretching all the way down to Silverton. An area that easily surpasses RMNP in terms of grandeur and probably is pretty close to being an equal to GNP.

Anyway, that's my thoughts. I know others have a much higher opinion of RMNP then I do, but I have been to them all, and just have to call it how they speak to me.

Jim



Jul 31, 2017 at 07:52 PM
stanparker
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · RMNP or Glacier?


I like both parks, but have to agree with Jim that GNP is much better. Be aware that hiking is required to see some of the better places, although a lot can be seen from the roads. I always stay on the east side and visit Two Medicine and many Glacier Valleys, in addition to driving Going To The Sun Road. I think it would be great to stay at the Many Glacier Lodge and/or St Mary Lodge.

Since I live in Montrose, CO, I am also partial to the San Juans, especially in the fall. However, for wildlife, GNP is easily the best of the options you identified. Grizzlies and moose are common in Many Glacier Valley, but can also be seen elsewhere.

Various boat tours are also worthwhile in GNP.



Aug 01, 2017 at 05:02 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · RMNP or Glacier?



JimFox wrote:
GNP is way better then RMNP, way better. RMNP has a few things, but it's a totally different view of the mountains. In RMNP the mountains actually seem smaller and further away. In GNP the mountains tower above you, the valleys drop below you. I would rate on a scale of 1 to 10 RMNP a 3 or 4, and GNP a 8 or 9.

As an alternative, if you haven't gone, look at the San Juan Mountains down by Ouray and Telluride, stretching all the way down to Silverton. An area that easily surpasses RMNP in terms of grandeur and
...Show more

I am torn right now. My wife and I don't get much time off together, and she stated she wants to "go all out" on this trip. She told me to choose a location. I said Hawaii, she said no haha.

So thus the questions. I would LOVE to do Glacier, but i guess i need to check on hotels and such. We also could do Yellowstone on the way back...

The San Juans are FANTASTIC! I was there last month and camped at Velocity Basin, and drove around, scouting for next month (! Fall colors are in 7 weeks!!). Ouray/Silverton are right there as well. i will look into camping options on the northern options.

thanks again



Aug 01, 2017 at 05:05 PM
JimKied
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · RMNP or Glacier?


Hey Dustin - I'm more into the hotel lodging thing - mainly because of my wife, but I just booked a week in GNP...... for next July 2018. As it was, I still had to book 3 separate hotels because I could not get an entire 7 night stay at one (already booked). So you may want to consider that. Maybe lodging is easier in August? IDK.


Aug 03, 2017 at 11:24 AM
 

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Dustin Gent
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · RMNP or Glacier?


thanks everyone for the advice! we are going to head up north to Glacier. We are taking stand up paddle boards and will stay in campgrounds - going to try for Bowman Lake first night and then go from there.

on the way back (maybe stay there 4 nights), we will stop and stay in a hotel near yellowstone for the remaining time.



Aug 03, 2017 at 03:22 PM
MedicineMan404
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · RMNP or Glacier?


A few years ago I flew up two Feathercraft kayaks and paddled St. Mary Lake in GNP. We've also
paddle camped 5 days around the peninsula between the south arm and southeast arm on Yellowstone Lake. Either place we discovered that paddling was best early (EARLY) in the morning. We'd try to get our miles in well before 11 a.m. Thereafter the winds picked up and picked up. But maybe paddle boarding is fun in whitecaps?



Aug 09, 2017 at 04:32 AM
GoldenVic
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · RMNP or Glacier?


Dustin: I have been to both parks several times and RMNP more than a dozen. If your drive time and ease of access to these is roughly equivalent, then I would make Glacier my first choice. It is visually more appealing as a general rule from north to south and east to west. Also, it has more lakes and water features that are more visable and easily accessed from various pull outs. RMNP has numerous lakes but by and large, a hike is required to reach the more visually stimulating ones. On the other hand, if you elect the west side of RMNP there are several large lakes continuously visible by car with many Osprey flying over head. These are just a few hundred yards outside of the park and offer some great hiking and fishing. This side (west) of RMNP also hosts many opportunities for moose, elk and black bear sightings and they can be quite close. There are no wolves or brown bears in RMNP. Rocky Mountain BigHorn sheep are often seen on the east side of the park. The drive from one side of RMNP to other is quite something. It is the highest continously paved road in North America. The towns of Grand Lake and Granby are just outside the west entrance of RMNP

Glacier is vast and visually open, meaning one gets the sense of expanse verses RMNP. Obviously is abounds in wildlife opportunities including grizzly bears. If you were to chose Glacier I would suggest trying to approach or exit it going past Whitefish and Flathead Lake and wild life refuge. This adds to the sense of expanse and openness while also providing more wildlife and birding opportunities.

At this time of the year, I suspect you would feel that RMNP would be more populated with visitors given its relatively easy access from Denver.

Have a great trip.

GoldenVic



Aug 12, 2017 at 07:05 PM
Dustin Gent
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · RMNP or Glacier?


thanks! I think right now our plans have switched back to RMNP for a few days, then make our way to Denver and then to the San Juans. Glacier fires are now causing closures, and as much as we want to go, not being able to see a lot of the places and air quality being bad makes it not worth going this time.

if this changes, we will head up there, but 2 more fires started this past weekend.



Aug 12, 2017 at 10:42 PM
stanparker
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · RMNP or Glacier?


If you need specific advice about the San Juans, PM me. If I'm home at that time, I'd be happy to make suggestions or even guide some. The old mining trails have gotten pretty rough (heavy ATV usage), requiring HC4WD.


Aug 14, 2017 at 05:45 PM







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