Monday, August 15, 2016

Teardrop Camping in Glacier National Park

The Sunflower and her crew recently returned from a trip to Glacier National Park in northern Montana. This amazing park has been on our camping bucket list for some time. We stayed at the St. Mary KOA in the small town of St. Mary on the east side of the park—both for their KOA cabins for our two friends, Nelly and Andres, and for the convenience to both the St. Mary and Many Glacier entrances to the park.

Most of our time was spent in the park: hiking, exploring, watching grizzlies, mountain goats, big horn sheep, and (my favorite) the American dipper bird. We hiked over 37 miles of the park's trails and even jumped into both Grinnell Glacier Lake and Iceberg Lake for an icy afternoon dip.

The weather was all over the place, which I heard is typical of this area. In the same day we would get cold temps, hot and humid hiking weather, lightning, rain and wind. If you decide to go, prepare for anything and don't put up an EZ-Up over your teardrop. We came back from a hike and ours had blown away in an afternoon wind storm.

Trailers are discouraged on the main road through the park, Going to the Sun Road. Any vehicle driven along the road and over Logan Pass can only be 21 feet long. I spoke to another teardrop owner at the KOA who had towed his new teardrop over the pass the day before. The ranger smiled about the tiny trailer traversing the steep, winding road, but still gave him a warning.

Since the teardrop was not quite next door to our friends' cabin, we used our galley for storing the cooking gear and their porch and "front yard" to cook our meals. This meant some running back and forth between the two camps, and for some reason, we were the only campers in the RV area who were cooking outside. The weather held up most of the time and it only rained on us once or twice.

The wildflowers were in full bloom at the end of July and we asked a park ranger when the leaves start to change: mid-September. Camping time in Glacier is short and sweet.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! That's so nice. There will be a lot more information on the area in future posts.

  2. Thank you for sharing your adventure and great photos with us. I'd love to do a road trip when I retire and GNP is high on the list of places to visit along the way. Looking forward to future posts.

    1. Thank you William! Yes, I knew GNP would be beautiful, but I didn't think I would be crying when we left. I really want to go back and spend more time there. Give yourself at least two weeks in the park.

  3. Great pics! I'm embarking on a road trip soon and will be heading to GNP later in September. I've considered staying at the KOA and the national park campgrounds. Any advantages to staying at the KOA campground there? Did you consider going up to Waterton, Canada at all while there?

    1. Hello Dan. Thank you! My husband and friend Andres took much better pics and I'm hoping to get some of those up soon. I also plan on having a post about KOAs up soon as well.

      The St. Mary KOA had both pros and cons. If you take your teardrop, get a spot down near the tents rather than the RVs. There is a lot more privacy. It was nice to have bathrooms and showers, but they get full very quickly (RVers with full hookups use them too). The KOA is a lot more expensive, but you are close to a store with ice, coffee, beer, etc. Our KOA had an amazing huckleberry ice cream and they delivered pizza to your site!

      The Avalanche campground in the park is the only one I really got to explore and it was so beautiful. It had a lot of trees, so if it's chilly, you might not get enough sun to warm up. Some of the other campgrounds are more exposed to sun and wind. They were about $20 per night...much cheaper than a KOA, but with less amenities.

      We did bring our passports to visit Waterton, but we were so busy in Glacier we never got a chance to head up there. I would definitely do it next time...and visit Banff. :-)

      Hope this helps. Have a great time and visit Two Dog Flats early in the morning to see grizzly bears.