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Old 07-21-2015, 10:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by seigell View Post
Butte to St. Mary - there is really only one direct route:I-15, US-287, US-89

The last stretch from Browning up to St Mary is very Scenic and decently narrow and twisty (but there's no real alternative). You'll be Fine...

One assumes that you picked St Mary as a jumping-off spot for Glacier NP. Great!! The St Mary side (East Side) is imho more spectacular than the West Side. Drop your TT at the Campground, and explore Many Glacier and Two Medicine as well as the local St Mary Lake area. Seriously consider Booking Ahead on one of the Boat Tours for any of these Lakes (Many Glacier is best imho - did it just this June).

Also, take the Tundra up-and-over Going-to-the-Sun Road. It is SPECTACULAR (and my Grandpa worked on it as a teen in the CCC of the '30s). It is a MUST DO!! But taking your TT up there is a MUST DON'T - Vehicle Restrictions Prohibit it!! And wisely so, as I've seen a pair of Sprinter Van Conversions get "Stuck" between Cliff Wall and Oncoming Traffic. (More on this in "St Mary to Spokane"...)

In fact, the Morning Hours on the East Side are so spectacular that you will really want 2-days minimum based from St Mary - Many Glacier is SPECTACULAR in the first 2-3hrs after Dawn!! Then you top it off with the 9AM Boat Tour before leaving for other parts of the NP.

Thanks, @seigell...yes,we are visiting Glacier, and really looking forward to it! Staying 3 nights, and definitely planning on taking the GTTS road with just the Tundra. We do have I-15, US-287, US-89 mapped out as our route - thanks for confirming that it will work out. That helps a lot!


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Old 07-21-2015, 10:55 PM   #12
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St Mary MT to Spokane WA:



3) Take US-93 all the way down to I-90 near Missoula (or jog along the MT-28/MT-200/MT-135 to catch I-90 further West at St Regis - narrower but not too bad), then its a day's worth of Mountain Valleys and one substantial Mountain Pass before winding down the South Fork Couer d'Alene River into its namesake town at the lake of yet the same name.



All three of these routes are Full Days, although the I-90 will be a bit less stressful (unless you find being overtaken by 80mph Semis on the flatter parts only to dodge around them at 30mph nearer the Pass to be "stressful"). Just think of it as a Game of "Where have We Seen this Rig Before??"...



I hope the News about needing to Go Around rather than Through Glacier NP doesn't spoil any of your Travel Schedule...

Thanks so much - we were planning on going around the park on our way out, and had been thinking about the route back to the 90 through Missoula. Based on what we could find, we are estimating that route to be about 7.5 hours, not including stops to stretch. Would you agree?


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Old 07-22-2015, 11:31 AM   #13
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... the route back to the 90 through Missoula. Based on what we could find, we are estimating that route to be about 7.5 hours, not including stops to stretch. Would you agree?
Well... That really depends on how Fast you drive...
Unfortunately, the 7.5hrs average from most Mapping Apps fail to take into account several facts of both Rural Roads and Trailer Towing:
1) Several of the Roads early in the Route are nominally posted as 55mph but are realistically driven at 40-45mph due to Corners and Grades.
2) Portions of US-93 around Flathead Lake are Stop-n-Go Driving through the equivalent of a couple of "stretched-out Resort Towns" on 2-Lane Arterial (while the bulk of US-93 is Limited-Access 4-Lane Separated Highway or at least has long Passing Lanes).
3) The long stretch of I-90 is posted as 80MPH in Montana and 70-75MPH through Idaho - yet most "Good" Trailer Drivers will be holding their speeds closer to their 65MPH Tire Rating. And since that limits one to the Right-hand Lane quite often, one also gets slowed by Big Rigs on both sides of Mountain Passes.

I'd say you'd need to add an Hour to that estimate - 8.5hrs Drive Time.
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