Author Topic: Hamilton MT to Glacier National Park and Canada - border to Minnesota  (Read 307 times)

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Offline chrissiedakini


Hi everybody,

so, we are looking to cycle to Glacier National PArk and was wondering whether you guys would recommend going on the east or west side of Flathead Lake? We are leaving in a few days and will of course be stopping by the Missoula AC office!!

Also:

We are going to cross the border in Canada and wanted to cycle to the Grassland National Park and across until we get to the Minnesota border. Does anyone have any experience with cycling along the border? Are there any roads we should avoid, are they with shoulder, or, does anyone have any information about this area that may help?

Thank you for any feedback!
christina

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http://vagabonditinerary.wordpress.com/

Offline CMajernik

Re: Hamilton MT to Glacier National Park and Canada - border to Minnesota
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 01:51:35 pm »
Instead of going around Flathead Lake our Great Parks North map takes cyclists up Hwy. 83 through the Swan Valley, and uses mostly smaller county roads to reach Glacier NP. If you do want to cycle around the lake US 93 has shoulders and more traffic, as compared to Hwy. 35 which is narrower and in many places has no shoulder.

If you are visiting the office you can view this map.

After you leave the Grasslands National Park you should head farther north and not stay along the border. In eastern MT and western ND the Bakken oil field is booming and this field extends north into Canada. There will be high amounts of large truck traffic and gravel roads, the same as there is in the U.S. Google "Bakken oil field map" and you can see its range.

Here is the site for online cycling journals. You could search for Saskatchewan and Manitoba to see if anyone has cycled through those provinces with suggestions of routing.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline indyfabz

Re: Hamilton MT to Glacier National Park and Canada - border to Minnesota
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 02:41:25 pm »
I haven't cycled the Grasslands National Park, but a quick look at Google Maps Street View reveals that at least the one main road near and through the park is not paved. It also reveals that roads connecting to the road that is shown on Street View are also unpaved. Don't know if that makes a difference to you. Some people are steadfastly opposed to dirt riding and/or may not have the equipment to handle it. Also, services in that area seem like they may be somewhat limited.

I once rode the route Carla mentions, but in the opposite direction. It's nice. Camped at a state park in Big Fork and then Lake Inez or Lake Alva U.S.F.S. campground (Can't remember which. The one that has water) before heading to Missoula.

If you do go into Canada after Glacier N/P., I highly recommend going to Waterton Village for a rest day if desired. The towne campsite is in a dramatic setting along the shore of the lake. Plenty of services in town, and there is a combination boat ride/hike you can do. Just don't underestimate the difficulty of Chief Mountain Highway, especially if you do that leg the day after Logan Pass. And both times I rode the spur off of PR 5 into Waterton I had a pretty stiff headwind. On the flip side, the tailwind from on PR 5 through Cardston to Magrath was awesome.

Offline chrissiedakini

Re: Hamilton MT to Glacier National Park and Canada - border to Minnesota
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 04:47:53 pm »
Thank you both for the insight!
We will be going along the Swan valley, have driven, camped and hiked in there it is so beautiful! We will try to make Waterton Park, sounds so pretty also! We have sat down some more and looked at maps. Here is what we have come up with, if we don't make Waterton Park.

We are entering at Carway and crossing towards Lethbridge on the 5. Onwards on the 3 to Medicine Hat, follow the 1 to Swift Current, drop to the 363 and back up to Moose Jaw/Regina to 33/Stoughton; 13 to Winnepeg, then the 59 to the border. We will return to Canada on the otherside of Detroit and follow the roads along Lake Erie. We are leaving mid next week in Hamilton, MT then heading to Glacier National Park and up. Are aware of the impending winter.... yikes... and are stocking up on cold weather clothes and are hoping for warm shower hosts.

By the way, our first stop will be the ac headquarters!!!! Looking forward to stopping by!
 
Thank you guys for any insight!!

christina and marcus

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http://vagabonditinerary.wordpress.com/

Offline mbattisti

Re: Hamilton MT to Glacier National Park and Canada - border to Minnesota
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 08:28:49 pm »
Instead of going around Flathead Lake our Great Parks North map takes cyclists up Hwy. 83 through the Swan Valley, and uses mostly smaller county roads to reach Glacier NP.

A beautiful and peaceful ride if I recall!