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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
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.
I totally understand.

Some RV/Camping places like Moose Creek and KOA offer cabins with running water and then you can add the Tesla(RV spot) to charge your car. It'll add an additional $50-98 a night just for the RV spot but you'll get to drive your tesla around the park without worrying about range anxiety.

As a test I did Sept 15th to 18th, 2021 at KOA St. Mary's (East side and right next to the gate), there's a cabin with no bathroom available for $90 avg a night. The bathroom ones are booked out. And there are 50/30/20amp RV sites for $68 avg a night for those dates at the location. You're looking at about $510 for 3 nights or $170 a night avg for both charging the tesla and a cabin with tax and fees. There's no bathroom though but the shared bathroom was fine imo. That's not bad at all to be right next to Glacier.
 
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jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
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.
Happy retirement!

Toketee falls is so awesome! Wish we could spend more time there. If you're up for it (it's kind of steep) there's a path with rope that leads down right to the falls from the viewpoint. A bunch of locals go down there to hangout.

Watson Falls is also incredible, the hike is short and the view is superb.

3C7C0275-AF87-4AEA-8520-15F84DC3B177.jpeg

Also bring a lot of bug spray. The mosquitoes loved me.
 

Rice&Curry

Member
May 9, 2018
310
159
San Jose
I totally understand.

Some RV/Camping places like Moose Creek and KOA offer cabins with running water and then you can add the Tesla(RV spot) to charge your car. It'll add an additional $50-98 a night just for the RV spot but you'll get to drive your tesla around the park without worrying about range anxiety.

As a test I did Sept 15th to 18th, 2021 at KOA St. Mary's (East side and right next to the gate), there's a cabin with no bathroom available for $90 avg a night. The bathroom ones are booked out. And there are 50/30/20amp RV sites for $68 avg a night for those dates at the location. You're looking at about $510 for 3 nights or $170 a night avg for both charging the tesla and a cabin with tax and fees. There's no bathroom though but the shared bathroom was fine imo. That's not bad at all to be right next to Glacier.
Thank you, really appreciate you guidance. You have solved 50% of the problem with the info on cabins- the balance 50% of the difficult problem ( no attached bathroom/toilet) is something I will attempt to convince... being married for 30+ years , I am not too hopeful- but its still worth a try.
 
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same

Member
Mar 8, 2020
166
89
someplace over the rainbow
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-

View attachment 678437

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.

View attachment 678442

The inside-

View attachment 678439

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

View attachment 678440

View attachment 678441

Our setup at Moose Creek-

View attachment 678438

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-

View attachment 678446
View attachment 678447
View attachment 678448

View attachment 678453
like this is a great post -- thanks. we are there in two weeks. we need more of this
 
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jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
Thank you, really appreciate you guidance. You have solved 50% of the problem with the info on cabins- the balance 50% of the difficult problem ( no attached bathroom/toilet) is something I will attempt to convince... being married for 30+ years , I am not too hopeful- but its still worth a try.
No problem. Happy wife, happy life!

I checked again just now there’s a deluxe cabin available for Sept 29th and 30th for KOA St. Mary’s. I also checked KOA West Glacier, they have more reservations available with cabins that have bathroom and shower but a lot pricier avg $200-300+ a night.

 

jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
164
314
Bay Area
like this is a great post -- thanks. we are there in two weeks. we need more of this
Enjoy your trip to Glacier!
Thank you so much for putting all this together for all of us .. very much appreciated!

Happy to help out! Camping and road trips are so much more enjoyable for us with the Tesla. I’m always looking forward to the next one. Hope you all can enjoy your trips with your Teslas.
 
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same

Member
Mar 8, 2020
166
89
someplace over the rainbow
just got back from Glacier. Saw lots of Tesla's....I even saw one at Kintla Lake Campground with New Jersey plates -- which is pretty incredible and scary (to me). I was in a 4x4 F150 short bed (not my Y) and the road was super rough. There is so much unpredictabiility 15 miles from even a real (dirt) road. Very impressive. Literally if you had a power problem there would be no answer to get the car out.
 

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