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Old 09-28-2015, 01:29 PM   #1
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Need advice: Ohio to Glacier National Park

So, we are sort of thinking of Glacier possibly in the next two summers. I have Googled some options The most direct route takes us through Chicago via 80, I90, I94...problem is very few campground options in ND.

Google has alternate routes that take us up through Michigan, than lower Mn.

Also I90., US212, 87 through SD, Touch in Wyoming and than traverse across Montana.

Decisions, Decisions.

Anyone recommend a route?

The last one via Montana/US212 looks sketchy to me ....I was told avoid Beartooth Pass at all costs, so we went up and around on our trip to Yellowstone a few years ago.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:57 PM   #2
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In 2010 we traveled from Eastern Ontario via south-east Ohio all the way to Seattle. The Ohio part was to visit friends there.

Beartooth Pass - Yes, avoid that with the trailer. We went through there on a day trip (with just the truck) from Yellowstone where we were staying at the time. There are a lot of switch-backs. Wonderful as a day trip - beautiful scenery, and Red Lodge, Montana is a lovely little town, we thoroughly enjoyed strolling through it.

As for campgrounds? We now use the KOA system a lot. Back then, we weren't very much. Louisville, KY - Horse Park is great. If you can see the Arch at St. Louis, that is so worth it.

There's a self serve campground in Seneca, Kansas behind the hotel. Best campground we ever stayed at. Level sites, good internet, super clean, cheap.

There's a museum near Kearney, Nebraska which is over I-80, like an overpass. This is great and well worth seeing. It is mostly about the westward expansion (pioneers with covered wagons), but goes into other stuff as well.

At Chimney Rock, Nebraska we stayed at a campground that had wagon rides and a barbecue meal. Not a lot of sites, but the meal was great.

There is a camping app called Allstays which is awesome. Well worth getting.

I hope some of the above is of some help.
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Old 09-28-2015, 03:40 PM   #3
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As a kid, we took 90 out west when we went to Tetons/Yellowstone.

If you go 90W, you can probably time an overnight stop by Rushmore. If you haven't been there, good overnight visit - not worth more time than that. Rapid City KOA also looks easy to get to, along with several alternatives.
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Old 09-28-2015, 04:49 PM   #4
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Went from windsor ,ont/detriot to glacier this past summer. Had a truck camper for this trip as we were on our way to alaska and yukon. Thru chicago and up to minniapolis to fargo . csmpground beside a nice motel . stayed in tedy roosevelt nat;l park next night on the western side on nd. great hiling and drive in the park , bison walking right thru our site. next night was shelby montana, campground right behind the ramada inn with best showers we ever saw and a pool . when you get to glacier ,stay at the first camp in the park and take the bus to the visitor center the beyond. or take your truck if it is 21' or less. great hikes there also. We never stay at koa's , to expensiveand sites not private enough for my daughter..lol. . we always find a private one or nat'l park or state park or prov pk.
We did a 7 week trip this summer with no reservations cause we did not know where we would end up each night . Some nights we just boondocked .
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:30 PM   #5
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Thanks, all great info. alot to think about.

We do use allstays, great app. RV parky is great to map out a trip and its free.

We've done yellowstone via billings, so we too used the KOA system. Once you get so many nights, you can cancel up to the evening of without a penalty..great feature when traveling and not really knowing how far you want to go any given day.

The KOA by Rushmore is really nice, we might head back out that way just for that campground.

Maybe I'm just weird, but the Badlands on a summer evening under a full moon was absolutely stunning for me..moreso than anything at Yellowstone. So desolate, but beautiful
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:40 PM   #6
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The theodore roosevelt natl park is the north dakota badlands...pretty also.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ewbldavis View Post
As a kid, we took 90 out west when we went to Tetons/Yellowstone.

If you go 90W, you can probably time an overnight stop by Rushmore. If you haven't been there, good overnight visit - not worth more time than that. Rapid City KOA also looks easy to get to, along with several alternatives.

Yeah, taking 94 up north leaves very little in terms of camping in Northern Montana until you get to Glacier..

90 seems to be the way to go..plus we're already familiar with most of that route.
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Old 09-28-2015, 09:50 PM   #8
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Like I said earlier there is a real nice overnight campground in shelby montana. at a ramada in with pool .
Personally , I like taking different routes when heading anywhere.
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Old 09-29-2015, 06:20 AM   #9
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Like I said earlier there is a real nice overnight campground in shelby montana. at a ramada in with pool .
Personally , I like taking different routes when heading anywhere.

You're absolutely right. We took our big trip to Yellowstone a few years back and what I remember most is all stops along the way. We had a blast. The Corn Palace in Mitchell was a blast. Bought cowboy boots in Billings in some little shop. Good fun. How do you book those type of places in advance?
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:11 AM   #10
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Did you hit Wild Bill Cody's place when you went to Yellowstone?

This right here is why I bought a camper. We mainly camp seasonally at a campground, but I am chomping at the bit to travel again with this thing!
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:13 AM   #11
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That one fell off the list. We spent too much time @ Rushmore. As mentioned, day trip at best, although the KOA there was top notch.
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Old 09-29-2015, 08:19 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by harley View Post
Went from windsor ,ont/detriot to glacier this past summer. Had a truck camper for this trip as we were on our way to alaska and yukon. Thru chicago and up to minniapolis to fargo . csmpground beside a nice motel . stayed in tedy roosevelt nat;l park next night on the western side on nd. great hiling and drive in the park , bison walking right thru our site. next night was shelby montana, campground right behind the ramada inn with best showers we ever saw and a pool . when you get to glacier ,stay at the first camp in the park and take the bus to the visitor center the beyond. or take your truck if it is 21' or less. great hikes there also. We never stay at koa's , to expensiveand sites not private enough for my daughter..lol. . we always find a private one or nat'l park or state park or prov pk.
We did a 7 week trip this summer with no reservations cause we did not know where we would end up each night . Some nights we just boondocked .
We do plan to go there some time and our pickup truck is longer than 21'. Are they real sticklers on that? Like do they actually measure your truck?
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:41 AM   #13
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We do plan to go there some time and our pickup truck is longer than 21'. Are they real sticklers on that? Like do they actually measure your truck?
I had a truck camp on and they actually got ou of the booth to see where my unit lined up un the painted stripes at the booth. Reason for height and length limits are because the sides of the cliffs on the edge of the road are right at the edge,so you can easily swipe them when another vehicle (small tour bus) passes you in the other direction. the buses are free. and run all day.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:43 AM   #14
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You're absolutely right. We took our big trip to Yellowstone a few years back and what I remember most is all stops along the way. We had a blast. The Corn Palace in Mitchell was a blast. Bought cowboy boots in Billings in some little shop. Good fun. How do you book those type of places in advance?
Have never booked anything in advance. Never had a hard time finding any park . When in doubt , just stop and ask someone. That is how we find some interesting parks. Especialyl a small municipal park in a tiny town that only charges a minimal fee.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:47 AM   #15
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Thanks, Harley.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:48 AM   #16
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Have never booked anything in advance. Never had a hard time finding any park . When in doubt , just stop and ask someone. That is how we find some interesting parks. Especialyl a small municipal park in a tiny town that only charges a minimal fee.

Thanks..

we've been stuck traveling not having a place to stop, so always leary not having a destination booked
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:58 AM   #17
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On our trip west in 2010 we had everything booked and made some changes on the way - places we were done with early or places we wanted to stay longer at.

When we went to the south-west last fall, we did not book anything before we left. Since we are retired, we are more flexible. We had our route planned, and we even varied from that.

What we did, however, was we would decide a day ahead when we wanted to move, and had the campground book the next place for us. Sometimes we got the last site in the park, and this was in the fall! We were in the KOA system then.

Our feeling was if there are no sites at all, we could always stay at Walmart for one night. That never happened.

Campgrounds are getting fully booked more and more these days. If you want to know why, just take a trip to north-east Indiana, where most of the RVs are made. Every time you turn around there goes another trailer being delivered. All those trailers have to camp somewhere, right?
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:18 AM   #18
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On our trip west in 2010 we had everything booked and made some changes on the way - places we were done with early or places we wanted to stay longer at.

When we went to the south-west last fall, we did not book anything before we left. Since we are retired, we are more flexible. We had our route planned, and we even varied from that.

What we did, however, was we would decide a day ahead when we wanted to move, and had the campground book the next place for us. Sometimes we got the last site in the park, and this was in the fall! We were in the KOA system then.

Our feeling was if there are no sites at all, we could always stay at Walmart for one night. That never happened.

Campgrounds are getting fully booked more and more these days. If you want to know why, just take a trip to north-east Indiana, where most of the RVs are made. Every time you turn around there goes another trailer being delivered. All those trailers have to camp somewhere, right?
I've been told that with the oil boom out west, campgrounds are filling up with oil workers because of a lack of housing. We saw some of this in southern Ohio.
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Old 09-29-2015, 10:58 AM   #19
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I've been told that with the oil boom out west, campgrounds are filling up with oil workers because of a lack of housing. We saw some of this in southern Ohio.
Interesting!
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