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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

Looking for advice/tips/recommendations related to softroading/offroading in/around Glacier National Park. Basically, it appears that the park is going to be completely overrun with tourists this season, and so I am hoping that my willingness to get off the beaten path with my OB might save us from standing in line, Disneyland style, on a trail.

My understanding is that the eastern side of the park is less frequented, however, my wife and kids are likely to veto the hour + (and very windy) commute to get there (we're staying near Flathead Lake). Also, not married to hiking in Glacier. Flathead National Forest would be fine, too. My goal is to find some nice, medium challenge level trails with not too many humans and no traffic noise. I may be hoping for too much, but, if anyone has any tips, that'd be great.

As for my OB, I've got Falken ATs on her, no lift (yet!), and the 3.6L engine.

-- Matt
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Hmm...that would be hard to do. There is a dirt road that goes to a lake near the Canadian border, I think Kintla Lake, which is fabulous. However, parking at the end is near non-existent unless you have camping reservation. Room for people is also extremely limited. Everything else will be the same and admission will likely (should be) limited especially as there is road work on the one paved road. The road to Many Glacier, paved, is a great place from which to see brown bears (binoculars will help) but is extremely hard to get on due to traffic and related closures.

The main dirt road, I think it is 486 is absolutely dreadful as it is exceptionally dusty so you get to understand AUstralian offroading LOL. So that would be way nicer with some rain.

All in all, we found Glacier extremely pretty and equally hard to visit: and that was in 2018!

There are some good looking dirt roads on the map that in my experience turned out to be just roads in the trees with a little bit of panorama here or there. I never got to check the dirt roads around Hungry Horse Reservoir.

Generally, I spent 2 summer months in Montana and found their trails to bifurcate. The enormous majority are just dirt roads, even if many are narrow. And then there is a small number of 4x4 trails that are often so tight that you really want an old small 4x4 for them. I have driven several and a couple would be good for an H6 but those are far from Glacier.

Do carry a saw of some sort if you do anything beyond well-traveled dirt roads in MT. I used my reciprocating saw a few times, one was on the way back when a small tree had fallen and completely closed the trail!
 

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'08 OBXT 5MT Limited
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On the west side of the park Inside North Fork Road was fun to explore and where I found a boondock site on the river. Also found some pretty spots on North Fork Road. But have to give a disclaimer that it's been a couple of years since I've been up there. It wasn't as striking as the park, but still nice.

If you plan on accessing the park, make sure you have your entry reservation ticket as you won't get in otherwise. Might not be as busy as you expect now that they are limiting entry until early September.
 

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How far away are you willing to drive? There are a few good places up on the west side of the park by Eureka and Yaak that mainly stick to national forest lands. On the east side there is plenty of hiking and driving around in the Helena - Lewis and Clark NF, I stayed at the Monument Peak lookout which is +25 miles of forest roads off the beaten path, with plenty of hiking along the way.
 

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How ironic! I just got back from walking my niece down the aisle in Polson. The 1 big thing she wanted to do was to take us to Glacier National Park. Take it from a local(my niece), the whole area is a no go these days. There are only 25% of passes available to non locals that are gone within 10 seconds when they open them up online. It's like winning the lottery to get a pass into the park. The consequences of this are the entire area around the park is a clusterf*ck of people trying to find somewhere to go or something to do. It was even a headline story in one of the local newspapers while I was there.

We stayed on Flathead lake ourselves. My advise is to put this off for now and find somewhere else to go. Of course if you like sitting in stop and go traffic for hours on end go for it! The area roads just are not able to handle flood of people coming to the area.
 

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2013 OB 3.6R (former)
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Good points. How about pushing into the Canadian Rockies instead of going to the Glacier area?
 
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