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Model S and Glacier National Park, MT - Help with how to approach

OlafGrins

New Member
Jul 4, 2015
4
0
Seattle, WA
Planning a Glacier National Park visit but worried about charging.

My plan was to go to West Glacier and spend a night at San-Suz-Ed RV park to get a full charge. Then do Going to the Sun road over to Many Glacier Hotel. Looks to be 70 miles one way, so round trip with some buffer appears to be under 200 rated miles? I was going to then re-stay at San-Suz-Ed to charge for return to Superior Supercharger. Would prefer to sweep back through East Glacier Village but only 110V shows on PlugShare at the inn.

Has anyone done Glacier; are there better ideas, options? I saw one post on a new B&B near Kalispell.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,418
14,432
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Last August my wife and I drove from our home near San Francisco to Glacier NP in 3 days. Our destination was a rental house in Essex on Hwy 2 on the south border of the park. The house has a 40A 14-50 plug on an exterior wall which we used to charge. Perfect setup. If you want contact information for the landlord, PM me.
It was an easy drive from the Superior MT Supercharger to the house in Essex. And our entire trip of 3,600 miles throughly California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana was done on Superchargers except for a few destination chasing locations (rental houses).
 

hill

high fiber member
Apr 21, 2015
1,343
751
either MT or TN
Planning a Glacier National Park visit but worried about charging.

My plan was to go to West Glacier and spend a night at San-Suz-Ed RV park to get a full charge. Then do Going to the Sun road over to Many Glacier Hotel. Looks to be 70 miles one way, so round trip with some buffer appears to be under 200 rated miles? I was going to then re-stay at San-Suz-Ed to charge for return to Superior Supercharger. Would prefer to sweep back through East Glacier Village but only 110V shows on PlugShare at the inn.

Has anyone done Glacier; are there better ideas, options? I saw one post on a new B&B near Kalispell.
yes, there are always new B&B's springing up in the Flathead Valley (then disappearing [emoji6]) .
Over the decades we've had a couple homes in Kalispell - last one was on the historic east side next to the Conrad mansion. Do you have any time frame to make the trip? Reason being, the road can be closed until late into summer on some occasions. Last time we went up the west side, it was heavy construction - down to one lane in some spots - so traffic really backs up waiting for the one lane spots to reverse direction. I'd advise calling the park late spring to see what the road's conditions are.
.
 

OlafGrins

New Member
Jul 4, 2015
4
0
Seattle, WA
Was trying to get to St Mary (for Many Glacier area). There is a KOA with cabins there and 14-50 RV plugs. Rated miles St Mary to Superior is 215. I think S85 can make it if I drive casual. Trip is in planning stage for late August/ early Sept. I've been advised to not drive Going to the Sun Road between West Glacier and St Mary and just use the tour buses. I guess its a scary road, lots of traffic and limited parking at Logan Pass.
 

fawu

Member
Sep 14, 2013
56
73
Snoqualmie, WA
Was trying to get to St Mary (for Many Glacier area). There is a KOA with cabins there and 14-50 RV plugs. Rated miles St Mary to Superior is 215. I think S85 can make it if I drive casual. Trip is in planning stage for late August/ early Sept. I've been advised to not drive Going to the Sun Road between West Glacier and St Mary and just use the tour buses. I guess its a scary road, lots of traffic and limited parking at Logan Pass.

I'd recommend you make a reservation at the KOA - when I was there in August it was fully booked. Not sure if the cabins have 14-50ies, you might have to ask one of the RV spots if you can use theirs.
The going to the sun road is spectacular, particularly in a Tesla with the Pano roof open :). Highly recommend it, and I didn't find it stressful at all, quite the opposite (but I must admit that I enjoy driving in Italy too).
 
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RDoc

S85D
Aug 24, 2012
2,755
1,706
Boston North Shore
I agree about how much fun it is driving over Going to the Sun, but we've always been out there a bit off season. I suspect there might be a lot of traffic in August. In early Sept just after school goes back in session it was great, as was the whole park. Don't delay till late Sept though, they start closing the camp grounds and you might run into some snow.
 

Villa-Lobos

Member
Apr 4, 2016
169
60
Whitefish
Try and drive up Going to the sun road early in the morning and leave Logan pass by noon and the traffic should not be a problem. Check out plugshare as there are several J1772 and NEMA 14-50 plugs in Kalispel and Whitefish.
 

Sudre

Active Member
May 30, 2012
1,065
6,981
Going to bounce this thread up since it is exactly what I am looking for.

Charging seems good in the Whitefish area.
Some places even have Tesla destination chargers.
Has charging been relatively easy for travelers?

My wife and I are taking our Model S to Whitefish this late June to see Glacier. I have been running numbers in EV Trip Planner and the wh/m seems very low. I am assuming from when I was there in the late 90s that the temps are rather mild (even cool the last week of June) but EV Trip Planner has the round trip from Whitefish to Lake McDonald (for example) in the mid 200s. Depending on the routes, round trip averages of different destinations are 212wh/m to 270wh/m.

I am driving an S60 with 19s.
What have other experienced? Those numbers have to be too low.

I have not been there since the 90s and that was in August. Do you think the road will be clear?
 

freds

Member
Apr 10, 2014
257
22
Bothell, WA
Going to bounce this thread up since it is exactly what I am looking for.

I am driving an S60 with 19s.
What have other experienced? Those numbers have to be too low.

I did the trip with a P85 and arrived in that area with 30 remaining, so really don't see how it's possible with a 60.
 

Sudre

Active Member
May 30, 2012
1,065
6,981
I did the trip with a P85 and arrived in that area with 30 remaining, so really don't see how it's possible with a 60.

That's why I am curious about the wh/m averages. I typically drive a 285 wh/m in Missouri with my S60. Most Panything will be 320wh/m or higher. What I want to do is compare what people get in there 85 to what EV Trip planner says they should have gotten. With that I can figure out if I can make it without too much extra charging. Altitude is not relevant. It is the change in altitude that is the big hit.
 

Sudre

Active Member
May 30, 2012
1,065
6,981
Now that I am home I ran the numbers for a P85 with 21s thru EV Trip Planner and adjusted the speed and temp until I got a round trip from Whitefish to the East Lodge and back with freds outcome.
Distance 175.5 miles
Driving Time 2:52
Charging Time 0:00
Total Trip Time 2:52
Total Energy Used 60.1 kWh
200 RM
Average Efficiency 342 Wh/mile


When I reset the car and tire type but left everything else the same I was able to see I could make it in my 60 (starting with 100% charge) but at almost 0 miles left if the conditions are the same as freds. So freds info was helpful. If I drive the entire round trip from end to end I will probably have to stop at the campground to get an hours worth or more of juice to have a safe buffer.
Distance 175.5 miles
Driving Time 2:52
Charging Time 0:00
Total Trip Time 2:52
Total Energy Used 52.8 kWh (I have about 54kWh of usable battery on a full charge)
188 RM
Average Efficiency 301 Wh/mile

The S60 with 19" tires has always been a more efficient car.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
10,084
12,663
California
Last summer drove down to Glacier from Fernie, BC (municipal charger) and stayed at Many Glacier Lodge in the park. No charging there but we did end up driving to Duck Lake Lodge to watch the Women's Soccer and they have a small RV park where I was able to charge (14-50) for a few hours while we watched the game (no TV at Many Glacier Lodge).
Montana Lodge | Lodges in Montana | Canadians Welcome | Duck Lake Lodge
This gave us enough charge to get over Going to the Sun Road to West Glacier where we stayed at the San-Suz-Ed RV park (nice people).
St. Mary's also has an RV park with charging.
 
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Sudre

Active Member
May 30, 2012
1,065
6,981
Just got back from Glacier with my S60. Stayed in Whitefish, MT. Had no issues getting to Glacier and back with plenty of range to spare. I didn't even max charge after the first day's journey. Since the average speed is so slow in Glacier my Whr/mile was rather low. I did not drive all the way to the East entrance. The furthest drive into Glacier was to St. Mary's Lake from the West entrance and back.

We stayed at the Whitefish Mountain Resort. The first drive up to the resort was the only range issue we almost had for the entire trip. I misjudged the amount of energy it was going to take to make the 7 miles switchback drive up the mountain to our check-in. Got down to 3 Ideal miles left (750Whr) and still about a half mile away but I was burning 889Whr/mile so I decided to play it safe and plug in at the ski-lift lodge's outside 120 volt plug and let the car add a few miles while I walked the short trail up to check-in. By the time I checked in, found the plug right outside the condo (120 volt but was plenty), and walked back down to the car I had enough range to easily make it the rest of the way. Moral of the story. If you are driving up the mountain to Whitefish Mountain Resort you will need 21 miles of range not 20. Play it smart and use the Tesla destination charger at the Whitefish Lake Lodge which is located at the bottom of the mountain.

EV Trip Planner was pretty accurate at forecasting the journeys for my S60.
I adjusted the speed to 1.15
Outside temp to:90
Inside temp:72
 

Tinky

Member
Jun 23, 2014
95
32
Scottsdale
Not to change the subject but I received a photo from the garage below the Whitefish Lake Lodge with 3 Teslas
Charging.
image.jpeg
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,366
2,783
Redmond, WA
My car was just in that garage a couple of weeks ago. We were there for four days. There was another Tesla when we first arrived, but no other EVs after that. There was an ICE in one of the spots once or twice.

I think the J1772 was 208V 30A and the Tesla charger was 208V 40A.

From there, to the far side of Glacier (St Mary's) and back was really easy - I think I got back with about 1/3 of the battery left in my S85. Driving through one way at 6:30am was awesome. Driving back after a hike about 11am in August...was pretty bad, the tram sounds like a better solution. Very slow going. No parking anywhere near Logan pass (although everything else was OK).

We had been there in an ICE about 10 years ago. Fun driving then, but it was off-season. I had always wanted to go back in an EV to try that road.
 

ecrsail

Member
Oct 16, 2015
113
325
California
Lucky you @ChadS! I also stayed at the Whitefish Lodge with my Model X earlier this summer in early June. Unfortunately the road through Glacier (Going to the Sun Road) was still closed at that time. Have any pictures from your drive to the Sun? Please post!

While I was at Whitefish, I was the only Tesla. The owner/manager greeted me upon arrival and said he had never seen an X before. It was a nice spot to stay, and I would return.

IMG_6405.JPG
 
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ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,366
2,783
Redmond, WA
I agree the Whitefish Lodge was a great place to stay. I got put in the units across the street; they are nice and there is a skybridge to get to the main lodge, but in the main lodge you can get lake views, walk-out access to the small "beach" if you are on the ground floor, and easier access to the garage with charging and the restaurant.

I didn't take many pictures at Glacier (though my wife got a lot of great shots from her hike to Sperry Chalet over Gunsight Pass), but did get this one with my cell phone from one of the pullouts along Going-To-The-Sun:
IMG_20160815_093951.jpg
 

ecrsail

Member
Oct 16, 2015
113
325
California
Thanks! Here's a shot of Lake McDonald from Apgar Lookout -- a hike that took the place of driving the Going to the Sun Road:

IMG_6402.JPG


And just in case you didn't make it to Avalanche Lake, this was a shorter and also spectacular hike:

IMG_6385.JPG
 

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