Glacier National Park, You are planning to visit Glacier National Park, but don’t know where to start.
Glacier National Park is located in Montana’s northernmost corner, just miles from the Canadian border. It offers spectacular mountain escapes, world-class hiking, and one of the most scenic routes in the entire universe.
Glacier National Park offers over 700 miles worth of hiking trails, as well as the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. There are numerous exciting activities available here. How can you prioritize your time in this beautiful park?
This guide will help you plan your Glacier National Park trip. It covers the top activities. Here you will find information on how to get to Glacier, what to do there, and suggested itineraries.
- 1 RED BUS TOURS
- 2 BOAT TOUR
- 3 SUMMER IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
- 4 WINTER IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
- 5 West Glacier
- 6 East Glacier
- 7 The Most Inexpensive Time to Visit Glacier National Park
- 8 The Best Time for Warm Weather
- 9 Drive 90o up Going-to-the-Sun Road
The Crown of the Continent
There’s a reason why Glacier National Park is called the Crown of the Continent. In the park’s 1,000,000 acres, you’ll find glacier-carved terrain, swift waterfalls, mountain peaks covered in snow, and 734 miles of trails. All of it is perfect when paired with an incredible road called the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is an adventure that can be called epic.
The journey between Kalispell and Glacier National Park is easy because it’s just 32 miles of scenic drive from downtown to the park’s west entrance. The park is open all year round and is, therefore, easy to visit any time of the season, having Kalispell as your base.
On the way, you’ll travel across Bad Rock Canyon, cruise through and along the Flathead River, and be given glimpses of the snowy mountains of the park. The entrance to the west situated within West Glacier will take you directly to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, in addition to Apgar Village and Lake McDonald.
In the summer, when it is, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is entirely open (exact dates change as it is weather-dependent), and the 52-mile road winds through the center of the park, crossing Logan Pass before ending at the east entrance of St. Mary.
While it’s safe to say that the Glacier National Park’s most famous attraction is Going-to-the-Sun Road, numerous other spots are worth exploring, such as Many Glaciers, Two Medicine, Essex, and the North Fork.
You’ll find visitor centers with guided hikes, interpretive ranger-led programs, bus tours, tour boats and horseback rides, historical lodges, restaurants, and shops in the park. Outside the park’s limits, local outfitters provide unique guided tours such as horseback riding, fly-fishing excursions, and whitewater rafting to picturesque floating.
If you’re not familiar with Glacier National Park? You can always check in through their webcams which offer images from Lake McDonald, Apgar Village, St. Mary, and other locations.
RED BUS TOURS
It’s not difficult to imagine that among the more famous ways to visit the park is to take the red-colored bus. The tours are available during the summer months.
Red buses transport passengers to different destinations inside the park. With the roll-back top, passengers can enjoy the view. At the same time, the knowledgeable “jammers” (also known as drivers) give insight and stories about the park.
From 1938 onward, Glacier Park Boat Company provided visitors with a trip on trips to Glacier National Park on guided tours that covered four regions that, include Lake McDonald, Many Glacier, St. Mary, and Two Medicine. Tours are conducted on historic wooden boats, which are taken care of by the knowledgeable crew of Glacier Park Boat Company. Rentals are also provided in Apgar Village, Lake McDonald Lodge, Two Medicine, and Many Glaciers.
SUMMER IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
The Majority of Glacier National Park’s visitor flow occurs during the summer months when the official opening date of Going-to-the-Sun Road in its entirety signifies the opening of the summer season. Gateway communities, ranging from East Glacier Park to West Glacier, provide guides and tours in and around the park.
WINTER IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
Although winter is different from any other time of year, it’s also among the most stunning. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is transformed into a place for cross-country skis and snowshoes, and numerous skiing trails run along the road and in the other parts of the parks. For more ideas for winter, travel and learn more details about The Glacier’s Winter Glory.
In the busier part of the park, many families enjoy themselves and relax on the coastline of Lake McDonald. Kayakers and boaters are enjoying the water and a lively summer camp atmosphere.
The most popular hikes are Avalanche Lake via Trail of the Cedars. It’s important to note that the climb along Going-to-the-Sun Road from here is somewhat more exciting and, in my opinion, more scenic.
If you’re searching for an undiscovered getaway, take a trip towards East Glacier. When you ascend from Logan Pass, cars disappear as the mountains expand to broad plains of yellow and peaceful lakes.
The best walks within East Glacier include Grinnell Glacier, Rockwell Falls, and Pegan Pass. If you’re looking to stay clear of the crowds in summer, This side of the park is ideal for those who want to be able to escape the summer crowds.
The Best Time for Photography
It’s not a surprise that there are many fantastic photo opportunities within Glacier National Park. To see areas of blooming wildflowers with mountains as backdrops, go to the park between mid-June and late August, and you’ll see the yellow lilies, the purple fleabanes, and pink monkeyflowers, among others.
The general rule is that Logan Pass can be the ideal place to begin your hunt for wildflowers.
For photography of waterfalls, visit during spring in spring, when the snow melts while the river is flowing.
The Most Inexpensive Time to Visit Glacier National Park
In the winter months (November until April), the passes for Glacier National Park drop in cost. A seven-day private vehicle pass is typical $35. It is reduced to $25 in the winter months. The per-person entry fee ranges from $20 to $15.
The Best Time for Warm Weather
Because of the mountainous terrain in the northern part of the park, the weather can change at any time. It can vary from sunny to rain (and back) within minutes.
Suppose you’re set on visiting the park during a day of sunshine and mild, hiking-friendly temperatures. You should stay between the beginning of July and late October when almost everything is available, with pleasant conditions.
Whatever you decide to visit, ensure you bring layers, such as an umbrella and rain jacket, to protect yourself if the weather turns chilly during the day.
Drive 90o up Going-to-the-Sun Road
You won’t be able to drive 90o upwards along Going-to-the-Sun Road, but it’ll certainly feel like it. Let your friend with the most ferocious muscles (or Jesus) take the wheel and slow down the mountain’s narrow, snake-like route that reaches heights of 6,647 feet from its top and the halfway point, Logan Pass.
The speed limit on the route can be 40 mph. It’s easy to look out the window and say “hell Nah,” then a “hell Nah,” and drive to 20mph. It’s guaranteed. Well, you’ll always need to stop and enjoy the scenery on the route up.
Be on the lookout for landmarks such as Bird Woman Falls and the Jackson Glacier. If the elevations are too steep to handle, you can get a shuttle bus to the top. For those who are genuinely wild youngsters, you can bike up it.