Tag Archives: transportation

Glacier Park Transportation

RED LODGE POST

With thousands of people visiting Glacier National Park each day during the peak season, July and August, transportation in the park can be a real challenge. Basically, visitors have three options for motorized transportation: free Shuttle Buses (courtesy NPS); the iconic Red Buses (for a fee); or by private vehicle.

Each option comes with pros and cons. With the free Shuttle Buses, riders can sit back and enjoy the scenery. The buses make multiple stops traveling up and down Going-to-the-Sun Road. Shuttle Buses add to your enjoyment with interpretive and educational materials at shuttle stops. On the downside, the free Shuttle Buses are almost always crowded. And people often to wait in line to catch a ride. On Shuttle Buses, it takes a full day to get from one side of the park to the other and return to the point of departure. The Shuttle Buses operate July through Labor Day.

Glacier shuttle bus
Free Shuttle Buses, Glacier National Park. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

The Red Buses are few, only 33 operate in the Park. With open, roll-back, tops, the Red Buses are an ideal way to view the wildlife and magnificent scenery in the Park. The Red Buses depart from both the east and west sides of the Park. The ride is round trip and departure and return are to the same location.  As with the Shuttle Buses, the Red Buses fill up fast, with a seating limit of 17 on each bus. Because demand is high, it may be difficult to snag a ride on the Red Buses.

Red bus Glacier
Red Buses operate in Glacier National Park. Photo courtesy National park Service.

Both the Shuttle Buses and Red Buses leave the stress of driving on a narrow, winding, mountain road to others. This may be important, especially for older visitors as well as many others.

Private transportation may be the best option. With private transportation, you can take along plenty of food, beverages, clothing, hiking equipment, binoculars and whatever else suits your needs. In this case, the driver is disadvantaged as full attention to navigating the road is a must. And parking can be a real hassle. However, at stops along the way, outlooks/pull-outs, you can take as much time as wanted to view wildlife and scenery.

Officials at Glacier acknowledge that the Park is a busy place. Transportation inside the Park, regardless of the option you choose, can be difficult. The best advice, choose transportation wisely and, above all, allow lots of time to make sure you can see and do the things you came for and, at the same time, get to where you want to go, safely and conveniently.

Due to the Pandemic, Shuttle Bus and Red Bus services are cancelled for the 2020 season. Check the Park’s Website before you go.

https://www.MontanaTraveler.com
Copyright © 2020 John Sandy

Transportation in Montana

RED LODGE POST

Montana
General Map of Montana showing major cities and towns and Interstate Highway System. From base map FHWA, U.S. Department of Transportation. Extra towns were added to the base map.

Major Cities and Towns

Major cities: •Billings, pop. 110,323 •Missoula, pop. 72,364 •Bozeman, pop. 45,250 •Helena, pop. 31,169 •Great Falls, pop. 58,701 •Butte, pop. 34,553

•Glendive, pop. 5,332 •Kalispell, pop. 22,761 •Miles City, pop. 8,647 •Lewistown, pop. 5,870 •Havre, pop. 9.846 •Dillon, pop. 4,257

Car Rentals, Taxi Services.  Shuttle Services.



BILLINGS:  Car rentals at Billings Logan International Airport:  Hertz (406) 248-9151, Alamo (406) 252-7626, Avis (406) 252-8007. For taxi service call City Cab (406) 252-8700 or Yellow Cab (406) 245-3033.

BOZEMAN:  Car rentals at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport:  Avis (406) 388-6414, Hertz (406) 388-6939, Alamo (406) 388-6694. North of Yellowstone Shuttle & Charter Service, operating out of Livingston, provides long-distance transportation to several towns in southwest Montana. They offer taxi, shuttle, and private car service to Big Sky, Livingston, Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Chico, Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and other locations (406) 580-2286. The company does not provide service in the city of Bozeman. For taxi service in Bozeman, call Greater Valley Taxi (406) 587-6303.

MISSOULA:  Car rentals at the Missoula International Airport:  Avis (406) 549-4711, Hertz (406) 549-9511, Alamo (406) 543-0926.  airport. For taxi service, call Missoula Green Taxi (406) 728-8294 or Yellow Cab of Missoula (406) 543-6644. A Web page by Missoula airport lists shuttle services.

HELENA:  Car rentals at the Helena Regional Airport:  Alamo, (406) 442-1765, Avis (406) 442-4440, Hertz, (406) 449-4167. For taxi service, call Capitol Taxi (406) 449-5525.

KALISPELL:  Car rentals at the Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell:  Avis (406) 257-2727, Hertz (406) 758-2220, Alamo (406) 257-7144. For taxi service in Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls call Glacier Taxi (406) 250-3603. Arrow Shuttle also provides ground transportation in the Kalispell area (406) 300-2301.

GREAT FALLS:   Car rentals at the Great Falls International Airport:  Alamo (406) 727-0273, Avis (406) 761-7610, Hertz (406) 761-6641. For taxi service, call Diamond Cab (406) 453-3241.

Bus Lines

Bus transportation is available for many cities. Check out Greyhound or Jefferson Lines. Another choice, travel by train on AMTRAK’S Empire Builder.

Airports

Some folks may choose to fly. Modern airports are found in major cities. Billings (BIL), Bozeman (BZN), Missoula (MSO), Helena (HLN), Kalispell (FCA), Butte (BTM), and Great Falls (GTF) airports are especially nice and all are served by major airlines and conveniently located near downtown areas. Booking flights on Expedia or other travel Web site is easy.

Travel tip: How far is Missoula? Montana is a very big state and distances between major cities can be as much as 100 miles or more. Plan ahead with the DOT’s distance calculator.

OFFICIAL STATE HIGHWAY MAP

https://www.MontanaTraveler.com
Copyright © 2020 John Sandy

Bozeman MT – Town of High Prices

RED LODGE POST

Bozeman is a very expensive city for travelers. A local hotel recently charged $339 for a one night stay in late September. At one restaurant on Main Street a simple buffalo burger with coffee cost $20.13 (including tip).



A car rental (Wednesday to Wednesday) in September from a local new car dealership for a Chevy Malibu cost $591.43. One visitor offers, “visitors to Bozeman should plan to leave their wallets behind when they drive out of town.”

MontanaTraveler.com