Libbys on the Loose:2 Humans. 2 Great Danes. 1 RV.: Glacier National Park - Apgar Campground Review - West Glacier, Montana

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Glacier National Park - Apgar Campground Review - West Glacier, Montana

Glacier National Park
Apgar Campground
West Glacier, MT 59936
Website
(406) 888-7800



After leaving Abbot Bay (and braving a pretty decent windstorm!) our weekend off-grid came to a close as we had to seek out cell/data signal for the Monday morning grind.  Unfortunately, we hadn't gotten our cell booster yet (which was sad because we found signal just around the bend of the lake from where we were!).  Since we plan to be hooked up for the remainder of our time on the road (due to freezing temps) we didn't really have a need for it.  Too add to that, we verified all of the campgrounds we plan to stay have coverage using this awesome app by Technomadia!  (Thank you guys!  The app has been awesome on the road so far) We use the app to ensure that we will have adequate cell/data signal - both a requirement for our daily work responsibilities.

Before we left Florida, all accounts of Glacier National Park on their website said that as of October 1, all facilities would be closed with the exception of foot/bike traffic.  So, it was our understanding that, providing we were walking or biking, we wouldn't be allowed access to the park.  On one of our scouting runs (looking for a place to boondock that had good cellular signal), we drove back past the West Glacier park entrance.  A brightly lit beacon of a sign read "Going to the Sun Road open to Logan Pass".  An immediate wave of happiness washed over us because we didn't think we were going to be able to get into the park let alone being able to go 32 miles on the Going to the Sun Road!  During our discussion with the ranger at the fee booth, she informed us that a few of the campgrounds were open, but would be mostly primitive camping. Didn't bother us one bit since we wanted to get a gauge on our propane consumption through the use of the generator and the furnace (temps were dropping into the mid to high 30s at night).

Only Loop A was open to camping and was switching to full primitive camping the day after we got there so we were dry camping but with cell signal!   The number of larger sites (big enough to accommodated our 36) are few and far between, so if you plan to visit, especially in the busier time periods, make sure you get there early.  By our estimate, there are probably only 9-10 sites that we'd be able to fit.  Since a few of those sites were already occupied, we picked the one that appeared easiest to get in and out of.  For most smaller rigs, the spot we choose would have been a pull-through.  We found it much easier (after our first incident, we've been erring on the side of caution!) backing the trailer into the spot than pulling through.  Aside from that, pulling through would have employed us as tree trimmers (low hangers on the entrance to the site).




The best part about staying in the park is the close proximity to all that Glacier National Park has to offer.  One of the biggest attractions is the Going to the Sun Road which traverses the park through the near center (north to south) and runs east/west from East Glacier to West Glacier.   Fortunately, we got there early enough to be able to take the Going to the Sun Road to Logan Pass.  32 miles on a narrow winding road (completed in 1932) to the summit at 6646' above sea level.  Needless to say, it was colder and much, much more windy!  According to a couple we met at the summit, the winds were gusting to about 25mph (measured with an anemometer) while the temps were in the low 30's without the wind chill!  For a couple (under dressed) Floridians, the stay at the top was short and sweet!
Avalanche Lake

Since the colder winter weather was impending, during our stay, the road to Logan Pass was closed but access to Avalanche Lake parking area was still open.  This was great as this area offers many miles of beauty-laden trails to hike and bike.   In this section, there is a magnificent hike to Avalanche lake that is approximately 2 miles each way.  With some pretty dramatic elevation changes and a shortage of time before we ran out of light, we huffed our way to the lake (meeting a very friendly woman from Russia along the way who was also was traveling full-time).

View from Apgar Lookout
Another nearby hike is the Apgar Lookout which winds its way up 1850' to a (no longer used) fire tower.  The hike is 7.2 miles round trip and is not for the faint-of-heart.  In fact, we stopped several times along the way to take breaks and keep from overexerting as neither of us had hiked anything with as much elevation change in such a short distance.  That being said:  Do this hike!  Once we arrived at the tower, it was quickly apparent that the walk was well worth it.  Panoramic 360 views of Glacier and the surrounding Flathead Valley were truly breathtaking.  Both of us wished that we could stay the night at the tower!  Waking up in the morning to that view would make anyone want to stay in bed and soak up the scene!

Jeanine working hard!
The biggest downside to staying Glacier is that National Parks (for the most part) do not allow dogs to be walked on any of the hiking trails.  While this isn't the best for us, it's understandable, especially since there is a LOT of wildlife in the park.   They are allowed to be in any developed portions of the park with the exception of picnic areas, restrooms, etc.  As far as the camping areas, they are (like most parks) to be kept on a 6' leash at all times and, of course, can't be left unattended outside.

All in all, we spent nearly three weeks staying at Apgar and loved every minute of it, despite the chilly temps!  We learned a lot about prepping for cold weather while staying and got the RV ready for some much colder weather.  Needless to say, we aren't done with Glacier National Park.  We've just seen the "tip of the iceberg" (couldn't resist!) of this park and can't wait to get back to experience more!


Apgar Lookout fire tower
Did we get it right? Do you have experience or knowledge about this post? Please make yourself heard! Comment below and we will respond as soon as possible. As always, thanks for following us! Disclaimer: We are not paid writers. We write for enjoyment and to share information about our travels with our families, friends, and our followers. The information that we provide is based on our experiences with the products, services, etc, that we write about. It is 100% non-biased!

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