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UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Swansea, United...
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UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

My husband and I will be travelling from Bellingham, Washington to Glacier Park at the end of August this year. We want to break the travel about half way, possibly in the Spokane area. We might be jetlagged so don't really want to drive much more than 350 miles, has anyone got any ideas where we might stay. We would like a mid price hotel suitable for an older couple, in a nice, safe area with restaurants nearby.

Seattle, Washington
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1. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Welcome to TA!

One thing to note is that Labo(u)r Day is a national holiday in both Canada and the US - the first Monday in September, so that 3-day weekend is a time of very intensive travel in (and between) both countries as school often starts the following week. So you'll be well-advised to book space sooner rather than later if that's your travel time.

I'd personally opt for Coeur d'Alene Idaho if you're traveling on the US side of the border. It's a little farther than Spokane, but (in my opinion) a much, much more attractive destination. It's a medium-sized town on a gorgeous mountain lake, with plenty of affordable accommodations, plenty of interesting restaurants, and lots of scenery, well worth the extra half-hour past Spokane in the car.

Swansea, United...
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2. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

We had been looking at Coeur d'Alene and I think we will probably stay there, it looks very pretty. Thanks also for the info about Labour Day, we wouldn't have realised that so will make sure we are booked in around that time.

Green Valley...
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3. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

I assume that you have reservations in or near GNP...

Spokane, Washington
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4. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Coeur d'Alene has a couple of very good hotels they are on the pricey side otherwise you'll be stuck in a motel not near the lake. It's a tourist town and small at that, the shops around the hotel are priced for tourists so you pay.

At the risk of offending some good people in Coeur d'Alene I've never seen the attraction and over the years I've been there hundreds of time to visit friends, for weddings, you can get married the same day no waiting, there is much more to see and do in Spokane. You can get a very nice hotel/ motel cheaper and next to the river, Riverfront park and Riverpark square, a shopping center in the middle of town. The walk along along the river is awesome.

I guess there is a different mind set with people who like tourist stuff and those that want a genuine experience. Couer d'Alene has genuine people

no offense to any intended, just my perceptions.

Collie

western WA
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5. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

I'm pretty much in agreement with Collie, especially for such a short stay. Downtown Spokane has a lot to offer.

Spokane, Washington
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6. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Cd'A and Spokane options quite different as referred above. I am also a DE for Glacier and have not seen your posts for Glacier. That is high season in Glacier so if you don't have accomodations now, you will likely be staying close, but outside the park. Glacier has very distinct landscape/flora/animal areas so depending on what you wish to see you should plan accordingly.

Swansea, United...
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7. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

I've booked the Village at Agpar, not much choice anywhere else. We are going on to Yellowstone, so I have to book that too and then the Arches NP. I have booked in Bryce Canyon.

Swansea, United...
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8. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Thanks for this info, we like the sound of somewhere by the river, I shall have a look at that. It's great to get any info on the area, since it's our first travel to this area. We love the American National Parks and can't wait to see Glacier and Yellowstone.

Green Valley...
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9. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Because you mentioned Yellowstone NP, here is key information for you. As time permits, add Grand Teton NP. Consider posting on the WY forum, that'll cover both parks.

How many days have you allotted for the two, perhaps three, parks? I suggest at least 3 full days for YNP, 2 full days for GTNP.

You need to make your Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP reservations ASAP, as well as for Glacier NP.

Lodging Inside and Outside YNP

For lodging INSIDE the Park - http://www.travelyellowstone.com/ Xanterra is the YNP contracted lodging resource. Other agencies might charge a nonrefundable fee and they have to contact Xanterra themselves which you can do for free.

To get reservations in the park - (1) Monitor the Xanterra website continuously, and if you can, (2) call several times a day as cancellations often occur.

If nothing available, reserve lodging outside the park but know the cancellation policies. If you do get Xanterra lodging, cancel those reservations.

For lodging OUTSIDE the Park - If you cannot get or do not want lodging inside the park, use the gateway towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner. Cooke City and Silvergate are quite distant from major park sights, except for the Lamar Valley.

See the hotel reviews on the TA Forum for each city, left hand column, “Hotels”.

Ensure that your lodging outside the park is close to the entrances; you’ll have plenty of driving in the park.

SPLITTING Lodging Locations – The Park is vast so if you have 3 or more days, consider two lodging locations. This will minimize driving and could be safer because wildlife is very difficult to see after dark.

Split lodging by choosing any of the following combinations, depending on what is available and the type of lodging wanted. Use the official park interactive map at http://tinyurl.com/6tp6kvh to understand these splits.

• Old Faithful and either Canyon or Lake

Old Faithful and Roosevelt or Mammoth or Gardiner, MT.

• West Yellowstone and either Canyon or Lake or Roosevelt

• West Yellowstone and Gardiner.

Edited: 01 January 2013, 05:15
Spokane, Washington
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10. Re: UK travellers driving from Bellingham to West Clacier Park

Brenda, I would recommend the Red Lion River Inn.

www.redlion.com/riverinn

If you have time walk across the street to Riverfront park

www.spokaneriverfront park

It's fun to wonder around in. Spokane is the only city in the US that has a river running through the middle of it and also has two falls. The Indians used to catch salmon there many years ago.

The name Spokane is from the Indian word meaning "children of the Sun".

Also as you will be going through Idaho and Montana check out these interesting facts about how the area was formed .

www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/missoula_floods

If you have other questions please ask.

Collie

Edited: 01 January 2013, 07:33