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Glacier Nat'l Park: Need help with Northern Traverse Shuttle -- two open camper slots!
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Bonnie Mcilrath
Glacier Nat'l Park: Need help with Northern Traverse Shuttle -- two open camper slots! on 07/03/2014 21:43:16 MDT Print View

I was very lucky this year and scored the Northern Traverse Route as follows:

.      8-7-2014 - GLF - GLENNS LAKE, FT
.      8-8-2014 - MOJ - MOKOWANIS JCT
.      8-9-2014 - WAT - WATERTON RIVER
.      8-10-2014 - BRO - BROWN PASS
.      8-11-2014 - BOW - BOWMAN LK, HD

My problem is that I have a rental car, but need a way to get from one end of the hike to the other.... The shuttles dont run on the west side and shuttles to the east run quite late. What i'd really like to do is drop the vehicle at Bowman Lk and get a ride to Chief Mountain. But.... I am flexible.

All that said, I do have one option for those interested in going along... I have two "open seats" for the hike. I have a permit for four campers, but just two of us are going. I would be happy to have two others join in on the hike and we could preposition one rental car at Bowman and ride to Chief Mountain in the other vehicle. After the hike, we would go pick up the vehicle at Chief Mountain. You get to hike one of the greatest routes on the planet and I solve my shuttle dilemma. And.... I wouldnt even expect you to hike with us... Go your own pace and do what you want.

Any thoughhts? takers?

Appreciate the assistance in advance!


Adam G
(anonwums) - MLife
Hitch-hike on 07/05/2014 09:55:56 MDT Print View

Hitch hike. It is legal in Montana and super common around GNP. It should not be that hard to hitch from Bowman Lake to Polebridge if you get there early enough, as people pack up camp and head home. If you're worried about hitching, be reassured as the people you meet at Bowman Lake will be campers interested in enjoying nature, not crazy murderous psychopaths. Buy your ride some of the delicious pastries as a gift.

It would be very easy to get from Polebridge to West Glacier if for some reason your ride couldn't get you all the way back. From there, you can catch the free shuttles all the way to St. Mary's. Getting up to Chief Mountain customs via hitching will be a bit harder, but manageable. I hitched from West Glacier up to Kintla Lake with a giant colorful posterboard I made, and it took maybe 3 hours. If you don't feel comfortable hitching up to Chief Mountain, you can catch the Glacier Park, Inc shuttle from St. Mary (

Edited by anonwums on 07/05/2014 10:00:49 MDT.

Bonnie Mcilrath
Hitchhiking on 07/09/2014 20:55:54 MDT Print View

Adam, appreciate the response. Question... do you think it would be better to leave the car at Chief Mtn and hitch a ride back to it, or leave it at the end and hitch up to Chief Mtn? Here's my quandary...

....if I hitch a ride to Chief Mtn (leaving vehicle at Bowman), I'd have to take the GPI shuttle from St. Mary up. That puts me at the trailhead around 3pm. Kinda late for my 10 mile hike from Chief Mtn. Customs to the BC campsite. And, if I arrive the night before, I don't think there's anywhere nearby to camp.

I sure wish there was an east side shuttle or company that did these shuttles....

Thanks again for the advice!


James Couch

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Re: Hitchhiking on 07/09/2014 22:55:03 MDT Print View

I don't have information on your specific situation but in general I find it better to park at the end point of a trip, hitch to the beginning. The last thing you want to have to do at the end of a long trip is to try and get a ride!