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Model Y Road Trip Experience pt 2 - Crater Lake and Glacier National Park

jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
Hi Everyone,

A year ago I wrote about my first road trip experience to Teton National Park and Yellowstone, you can see it here-


Just want to pass along some information I learned along the way with my MY and this most recent major road trip we took this past week (3500+ miles), especially about Glacier National Park. Glacier’s implementation of the ticketed entry system and road status on Going to the Sun road can be quite challenging for EVers (Going-to-the-Sun Road Ticketed Entry - Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)).

I’m not going to talk about Crater Lake much because there are quite of bit of charging options available in the surrounding areas and it’s quite easy to plan out.

I spent about half a year planning the trip out to Glacier National Park. I’d suggest planning a year in advance now since people are picking up traveling again and I can see why Glacier is so popular. The place is seriously amazing! IMO, think it beats Yosemite in terms of some of the views.

There aren’t really any charging spots inside the park besides by Lake McDonald lodge (one charger). Glacier prohibits utility and electric hookups in the campgrounds (Camping - Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)) so you will have to secure a RV camping spot right outside the park to charge up your car and set it as a base point. The closest supercharger to Glacier is the Superior Supercharger on the west side, which is 161 miles away. I really hope they build one close by in the near future so this post will be obsolete.

On this trip, we stayed in Moose Creek RV park, which is right next to the West gate of the Glacier National Park. They have a campsite that’s specific to Teslas by the way. It was about $210 for four nights for the camping site. It’s got a 50amp, 120v, and 30amp.

If you’re planning to take your Tesla and experience the whole Glacier National Park, I’d suggest planning your trip for mid July and August. Don’t be like us and plan it for June. Why? Because you want to make sure Going to the Sun road is completely open and not partially closed, especially the middle of the (it’s got the best views!). That road is not only the best attraction of the park but a crucial road for the range of your car.

So why is the Going to the Sun road important?

Our trip to Glacier from June 21-25th, we were hoping the road would be opened by that time but it wasn’t…until the very last day (June 25th), and then we wished we could stay longer just to experience that section of the road and do more hiking around there. I learned quite a bit from this experience though so I want to pass it along.

When the Going to the Sun road is open completely, it’s only 71 miles to go from West Glacier to East Glacier one way. Range anxiety is non-existent since the speed is averaging around 40 mph on that road. We were able to drive through the road on June 25th from the West gate to the East gate and back and we only used about 40%.

If any part of the road is closed and you can’t get across, I recommend splitting up your nightly stays between West and East side. There is KOA RV campgrounds in both West and East side. In my opinion, after experienced Glacier for the first time, I’d spend the majority of the time in the east side the next time we go. There are more hikes and scenery to see in the east and the views are endless. West side is okay but less remote and quite busy.

So on June 22nd, since the middle of the Going to the Sun road was closed, we decided to drive around the park from West glacier to Many Glacier (117 miles one way). This was the first time I experienced range anxiety in my MY. From that span of the freeway (Highway 2 to 464) The average speed was 70mph. Most people were going 80-85mph in their ICE cars. Seriously Montana speed limit is no joke! We were going through the mountains ranges at 75mph. I charged the car to 100% and got to the Many Glacier location with 45%. I tried my best to keep at speed limit or below just to save range as much as I can when someone isn’t behind me trying to pass. I also turned off sentry mode. By the time we finished hiking Grinnell glacier trail my car battery was at 44%. I was kind of freaking out at that point because I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it back to West Glacier and where to look for a RV park to charge or if there are any availability (I had no reception). Thankfully, we went by the Many Glacier lodge and they were gracious and let me charge from their facility plug by the lake water via 120v and we went hiking the Cracker Lake trail nearby. I was able to charge back up to 54% after 6.5 hours. When I unplugged though from their facility, I did notice they have a nema 14-50 plug in their shack. So if you need charging there be sure to ask for it.

We got back to West Glacier with 5% left in our SoC. Here is the view from the charging area-

43F47548-EBBF-4CFF-AD89-B7F8E66FC5AB.jpeg


Another note is that if you’re planning to go to Many Glacier, there are a lot of construction going on and the road is terrible (gravel, rocks, and dirt for the 8+ miles) and stop and go traffic that can add 40+ minutes to your trip. If you care about your Tesla and your paint, I’d plan to either get PPF or wait until the road is paved, hopefully by next year. Same with Pole Ridge area, which is on the west side.

On our third day, we went back to the East side again but instead of driving on the 464, we went from highway 2 to 49 to 89. From hwy 49 to 89, the speed limit is around 45mph so we were able to save some range a bit. In the end though, I decided to book KOA by East Glacier for a night and just stayed out there and explored Two Medicine area the day after so we didn't have to worry about rushing back to the West at night.

How did we camp?

This time we got a Napier SUV tent 82000 to go with our MY. It’s a quite spacious setup but definitely takes time and some repetition to set it up right. We use the tent as our dressing and storage. We closed the trunk at night to sleep and use camp mode. We’re still using the Tesmat from before, got extra blankets to use as toppers and it worked out fine. I think the SUV tent is great, not too hard to setup or take down. You do need to be careful though with the straps if you care about not scratching your car. I suggest marking around your tires with tape once you get a setup so when you return from a hike/activity you can set backup and reset up easily again.

E06F569C-C009-47A5-AEAC-D3AC06D47B32.jpeg


The inside-

0B8F434A-E5F3-4F5B-BE42-FFA8B89EBB19.jpeg


Using magnets to seal the sides and prevent bugs from getting in-

B22061C0-13BD-4EC0-B340-1BB0A19C2754.jpeg


A30D26FF-51A2-4634-8E79-FFD0D35839AD.jpeg


Our setup at Moose Creek-

EAAF91A5-2752-43EC-93F5-CEF0BC398404.jpeg


Overall the trip was awesome! Can’t wait to go back to Glacier again and Going to the Sun road. I averaged around 306wh/mi for the trip, drove around 70-75mph most of the time.

Bonus pictures-

59118153-4033-4B7D-88AE-F76FE919C845.jpeg

8B3D667E-B1FD-4911-8E86-DBD71FBFB375.jpeg

0D635F35-CED7-490D-978B-64C5C4EF5D4B.jpeg


22F76609-BCA7-42A1-AD85-2FE932D3D234.jpeg
 
Last edited:

PeterJ

Member
Apr 4, 2016
14
27
CA
Thanks for sharing. Those are awesome photos and a great camping setup. What size/kind of mattress do you use?
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
241
362
Maryland
Thanks for posting what may have been the best travel writeup I've ever read!!! Great amount of info and absolutely stunning pictures!!

Yeah, thanks a lot, this is just what I need. I got work to do here folks! I can't be looking at where to stay in or around Glacier, figuring out how long to go for, and what parks to stop at on the way there from Maryland, and how to get there before all the glaciers melt. And yet, here I am, checking prices and looking at scenery with Google Earth, and...

Curse you, jwuwu! You and the National Park Service you rode in on!
 
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jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
Yeah, thanks a lot, this is just what I need. I got work to do here folks! I can't be looking at where to stay in or around Glacier, figuring out how long to go for, and what parks to stop at on the way there from Maryland, and how to get there before all the glaciers melt. And yet, here I am, checking prices and looking at scenery with Google Earth, and...

Curse you, jwuwu! You and the National Park Service you rode in on!
No worries, I do the same thing when I'm working. Already planning our next trip...
 

threeputts

Member
Dec 14, 2020
108
125
Minnesota
My wife and I will be there in September. I found a place to rent with a 14-50 outlet through airbnb. The tesla supercharger page list Kalispell as a coming in 2022 supercharger site. One other tip for Glacier from a friend of mine - if you are going to carry bear spray buy it at home, the places that sell it near the park jack the price up.
 
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pusheen

Member
Jul 26, 2020
137
77
Seattl
Really enjoyed reading this. Very informative. I'd be curious to read your experiences with Crater Lake, even if they were a bit less harrowing. I'm curious what the EV experience is!
 
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jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
Really enjoyed reading this. Very informative. I'd be curious to read your experiences with Crater Lake, even if they were a bit less harrowing. I'm curious what the EV experience is!

Thank you.

Okay. Here's my take on Crater Lake-

We stayed at the Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect for two days. Only the West Rim was open at the time and the east side was closed. Took us about half a day to hike Garfield Peak and drive the whole west rim. We were hoping to drive around the lake and check out more of the hiking trails, especially Cleetwood Cove Trail, which allows you to go down to the water but unfortunately we couldn't. I think it's still closed right now.

I charged the car up at 90% was able to get to the park, drive through the west to the north and back towards the south eastern closure point (Vidae Falls area), and then back to the RV park with 40% left.

For the rest of the day, I charged the car up to 60%, ate some ice cream, and we went to chase a bunch of waterfalls near Prospect (West side of Crater Lake) and on hwy 230 and 138. I think that was our favorite part of the trip tbh. We looked through this guide from the RV park brochure and followed along the suggestions-


We were able to see Mill Creek Falls, Toketee Falls, Whitehorse Falls, Watson Falls, and Clearwater Falls all in that one charge. It was awesome! Got back with 12-14% from what I remember. We drove to the furtherest one which was Toketee and worked our way back one by one.

On our way from Crate Lake to Glacier though, we drove by the Mt. Hood area to check out the Lavender Farms (Wife's request), I highly recommend it. It's a beautiful drive there. I also loved Bend, Oregon, nice city with Subarus in every corner lol.

Forgot to add: Be sure to download Offline maps for the road trip on Google Maps or your preferred navigation app. It's a lifesaver.

Here are some pictures-

Our view on the 138 on the way to see Toketee Falls-

5B1449AB-BB24-4761-A017-C8E64798C934.jpeg


View of car on one of the west rim view point-

5B4F8CCE-79F2-4DDE-9201-AC3D825E7F65.jpeg


View of Wizard Island and Crater Lake-

3033191D-CA03-49BE-911E-112824BFF706.jpeg


View of Mt. Hood from the Lavender Farm-

D9BBCF8D-A4A7-49E7-9FDE-4CD571DF0800.jpeg


:)
 
Last edited:

pusheen

Member
Jul 26, 2020
137
77
Seattl
Thank you.

Okay. Here's my take on Crater Lake-

We stayed at the Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect for two days. Only the West Rim was open at the time and the east side was closed. Took us about half a day to hike Garfield Peak and drive the whole west rim. We were hoping to drive around the lake and check out more of the hiking trails, especially Cleetwood Cove Trail, which allows you to go down to the water but unfortunately we couldn't. I think it's still closed right now.

I charged the car up at 90% was able to get to the park, drive through the west to the north and back towards the south eastern closure point (Vidae Falls area), and then back to the RV park with 40% left.

For the rest of the day, I charged the car up to 60%, ate some ice cream, and we went to chase a bunch of waterfalls near Prospect (West side of Crater Lake) and on hwy 230 and 138. I think that was our favorite part of the trip tbh. We looked through this guide from the RV park brochure-


We were able to see Mill Creak Falls, Toketee Falls, Whitehorse Falls, Watson Falls, and Clearwater Falls all in that one charge. It was awesome! Got back with 12-14% from what I remember. We drove to the furtherest one which was Toketee and worked our way back one by one.

On our way from Crate Lake to Glacier though, we drove by the Mt. Hood area to check out the Lavender Farms (Wife's request), I highly recommend it. It's a beautiful drive there. I also loved Bend, Oregon, nice city with Subarus in every corner lol.

Here are some pictures-

Our view on the 138 on the way to see Toketee Falls-

View attachment 679362

View of car on one of the west rim view point-

View attachment 679363

View of Wizard Island and Crater Lake-

View attachment 679364

View of Mt. Hood from the Lavender Farm-

View attachment 679361

:)
Gorgeous! Love the look of your MY. What's the tinting on the front windows? Did you tint the windshield? I didn't know about the falls and will have to check them out next time I'm there. Do you think an SR would have any issues around crater lake, range wise?
 

jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
My wife and I will be there in September. I found a place to rent with a 14-50 outlet through airbnb. The tesla supercharger page list Kalispell as a coming in 2022 supercharger site. One other tip for Glacier from a friend of mine - if you are going to carry bear spray buy it at home, the places that sell it near the park jack the price up.

Ah nice. I think September will be perfect! Kalispell is really nice! It's still quite a bit of drive to the west gate though, about 40 minutes. I hope they can be like Yellowstone and build one right near the west gate or somewhere in the East. Man...the views from St. Mary's is amazing!

I agree with the bear spray purchase.
 

jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
Gorgeous! Love the look of your MY. What's the tinting on the front windows? Did you tint the windshield? I didn't know about the falls and will have to check them out next time I'm there. Do you think an SR would have any issues around crater lake, range wise?

Thank you. I only tinted the front windows to 35%, didn't tint the rest. No windshield but I am considering it. The weather was 90F to 115F range on our whole road trip, I got quite a nice driving tan on my arms.

For SR, I don't think you'll have any issues at all. I'd say charge it to 100% before you head out and try to split up Crater Lake (if the whole place is open) as a whole day trip and the water falls part into another trip. Right before the south gate of Crater Lake there's also a Tesla destination charger if you need to top up.

Edit: Make sure to download Offline maps since reception is pretty crappy and you don't want to be lost.
 
Last edited:

pusheen

Member
Jul 26, 2020
137
77
Seattl
Thank you. I only tinted the front windows to 35%, didn't tint the rest. No windshield but I am considering it. The weather was 90F to 115F range on our whole road trip, I got quite a nice driving tan on my arms.

For SR, I don't think you'll have any issues at all. I'd say charge it to 100% before you head out and try to split up Crater Lake (if the whole place is open) as a whole day trip and the water falls part into another trip. Right before the south gate of Crater Lake there's also a Tesla destination charger if you need to top up.

Edit: Make sure to download Offline maps since reception is pretty crappy and you don't want to be lost.
Oh thanks for the offline maps tip! Picking up MYSR tomorrow and it will be my first new car. Coming from a 2002 Impreza so got a ton of tech to catch up on!
 

Rice&Curry

Member
May 9, 2018
310
159
San Jose
Thank you for all the insights. I am planning to go in Sept, but accomodation is becoming issue -not getting anything nearby and camping/RV is not an option for my wife - which may force me to consider an ICE car to avoid range anxiety.
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
241
362
Maryland
Thank you.

Okay. Here's my take on Crater Lake-

We stayed at the Crater Lake RV Park in Prospect for two days. Only the West Rim was open at the time and the east side was closed. Took us about half a day to hike Garfield Peak and drive the whole west rim. We were hoping to drive around the lake and check out more of the hiking trails, especially Cleetwood Cove Trail, which allows you to go down to the water but unfortunately we couldn't. I think it's still closed right now.

I charged the car up at 90% was able to get to the park, drive through the west to the north and back towards the south eastern closure point (Vidae Falls area), and then back to the RV park with 40% left.

For the rest of the day, I charged the car up to 60%, ate some ice cream, and we went to chase a bunch of waterfalls near Prospect (West side of Crater Lake) and on hwy 230 and 138. I think that was our favorite part of the trip tbh. We looked through this guide from the RV park brochure and followed along the suggestions-


We were able to see Mill Creek Falls, Toketee Falls, Whitehorse Falls, Watson Falls, and Clearwater Falls all in that one charge. It was awesome! Got back with 12-14% from what I remember. We drove to the furtherest one which was Toketee and worked our way back one by one.

On our way from Crate Lake to Glacier though, we drove by the Mt. Hood area to check out the Lavender Farms (Wife's request), I highly recommend it. It's a beautiful drive there. I also loved Bend, Oregon, nice city with Subarus in every corner lol.

Forgot to add: Be sure to download Offline maps for the road trip on Google Maps or your preferred navigation app. It's a lifesaver.

:)

Welp, now I have something to add to when I go to Crater Lake. Thanks for the tips! And I just figured out that I can retire a year earlier than I thought, so...

Honestly, how have I never heard of Toketee Falls? A two-step falls over columnar basalt? Take my money! Looks like I can add a day or two to the Crater Lake part of whichever trip takes me out thataway. I was gonna say I can't believe how terrible (e.g. low resolution) that brochure is, but I don't imagine they lack for tourists. There's plenty I love about the East, but I do miss real mountains.
 
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