Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a national park located in Montana, USA. It is known for its rugged terrain, alpine meadows, and over 700 miles of hiking trails. The park is also home to over 130 named glaciers, including the Grinnell Glacier. The park has two main entrances, one at the west and one at the east. The park is a part of the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem. The park is open year-round, but some roads and facilities may be closed during the winter months.
Things to do at Glacier National Park
- Hiking: Glacier National Park offers over 700 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy nature walks to strenuous backcountry treks.
- Scenic drives: Take a drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile-long road that winds through the park, offering spectacular views of the mountains and glaciers.
- Wildlife viewing: The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.
- Camping: The park has 13 campgrounds, including backcountry campsites for those who want to explore the park’s more remote areas.
- Boating and Fishing: The park has several large lakes and rivers, perfect for boating and fishing.
- Ranger-led activities: The park offers a variety of ranger-led activities, including guided hikes, campfire programs, and educational talks.
- Skiing and Snowshoeing: The park has groomed cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing trails during the winter months.
- Take a guided tour: There are several tour companies offer guided tours, including guided hikes, backpacking trips, and horseback rides.
- Photography: The park offers many opportunities for photography, including views of the glaciers, waterfalls, and wildlife.
- Visit the visitor centers: The park has several visitor centers where you can learn more about the park’s history, geology, and wildlife.
Places to visit Glacier National Park
- Going-to-the-Sun Road: This 50-mile-long road winds through the heart of the park, offering spectacular views of the mountains and glaciers.
- Grinnell Glacier: One of the park’s most popular destinations, this glacier offers hiking trails and boat tours.
- Many Glacier: This area of the park is known for its beautiful valleys, mountains, and glaciers.
- Logan Pass: This popular destination offers hiking trails, a visitor center, and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
- Lake McDonald: This large lake is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and camping.
- Mary Valley: This valley offers some of the best views of the park’s mountains and glaciers, as well as hiking trails and campgrounds.
- Two Medicine: This area of the park is known for its beautiful lakes and hiking trails, as well as ranger-led activities.
- Apgar Village: This small village is located on the western shore of Lake McDonald and offers a variety of amenities, including a visitor center, campground, and shuttle bus service.
- Trail of the Cedars: This easy nature trail winds through a beautiful cedar forest and offers views of Avalanche Lake.
- Bowman Lake: This remote lake offers camping, boating, and fishing opportunities and can be accessed by a dirt road or by hiking trail.
- Grizzly bears: The park is home to a small population of grizzly bears, which can be found in the park’s backcountry. Visitors should always be bear aware and carry bear spray while hiking in the park.
- Wolves: Wolves were reintroduced to the park in the 1990s and can be found in the park’s backcountry.
- Mountain goats: These sure-footed animals can be found in rocky areas of the park and are often seen along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
- Bighorn sheep: These large sheep can be found in rocky areas of the park, and are often seen on cliffs and ledges.
- Elk: These large mammals can be found throughout the park, especially in meadows and near water sources.
- Moose: Moose are found in the park’s forested areas, especially in the Many Glacier Valley.
- Pika: These small mammals are found in the park’s alpine meadows, and are known for their high-pitched calls.
- Marten: These small carnivores are found in the park’s forested areas.
- Lynx: These elusive cats are found in the park’s forested areas, but are rarely seen.
- Black bears: Black bears are found in the park, but less common than grizzly bears.
Places To Stay In Glacier National Park
- Camping: Glacier National Park has 13 campgrounds, including backcountry campsites for those who want to explore the park’s more remote areas.
- Lodges: The park has several historic lodges, such as the Many Glacier Hotel and the Lake McDonald Lodge, which offer comfortable accommodations and great views of the park.
- Vacation Rentals: There are a variety of vacation rentals available outside the park, including cabins, chalets, and apartments.
- Hotels: There are several hotels located outside the park, such as the Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites, which offer comfortable accommodations and easy access to the park.
- Hostels: Glacier National Park has one hostel, the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, which is located in the Many Glacier Valley and offers dormitory-style accommodations.
- Backcountry Huts: The park has backcountry huts, such as Sperry Chalet and Granite Park Chalet, which can be accessed by hiking trails and offer rustic accommodations for overnight stays.
- RV Parks: There are several RV parks located outside the park, such as the Glacier Peaks RV Park and the Glacier Campground, which offer RV hook-ups and tent camping.
- Guest Ranch: The park has guest ranches, such as the Bar W Ranch, which offers horseback riding, hiking and other outdoor activities, as well as comfortable accommodations.
- Bed and Breakfasts: There are several bed and breakfasts located outside the park, such as the Belton Chalet and the Park Motel and Cabins, which offer comfortable accommodations and easy access to the park.
- Glamping: There are several glamping options available outside the park, such as the Under Canvas Glacier, which offers luxury camping experiences with amenities like private bathrooms, hot showers and comfortable beds.
How to reach and the Best time
- By car: The easiest way to reach Glacier National Park is by car. The park is located in northwest Montana and can be accessed via US Highway 2 or US Highway 89.
- By plane: The closest major airports to the park are in Kalispell and Great Falls, Montana. From there, visitors can rent a car or take a shuttle to reach the park.
- By train: The park can be reached via Amtrak’s Empire Builder train, which stops in the towns of East Glacier and West Glacier.
Best time to visit:
The park is open all year round, but the best time to visit is from June to September when the weather is warmer and the park’s facilities and roads are open. July and August are the busiest months, but also the best time to see the wildflowers and take part in ranger-led activities.
Winter: The park is open during the winter and offers snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and backcountry skiing opportunities. However, some park facilities and roads are closed during the winter and snowfall can make road conditions difficult.
Near by Attractions
- Flathead Lake: The largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River, located approximately 30 miles south of the park.
- Whitefish Mountain Resort: A popular ski resort located approximately 25 miles northwest of the park.
- Kalispell: A charming town located approximately 20 miles southwest of the park, known for its historic downtown and local shops and restaurants.
- Waterton Lakes National Park: A national park located in Alberta, Canada, that is closely connected to Glacier National Park and the two are often referred to as the “Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park”
- Bob Marshall Wilderness: A wilderness area located to the south of the park, known for its rugged mountains and remote backcountry.
- Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge: A wildlife refuge located approximately 45 miles south of the park, known for its birdwatching opportunities.
- Bigfork: A quaint village located approximately 25 miles northwest of the park, known for its art galleries and live theater performances.
- Blackfoot River: A popular river for rafting and fly fishing located approximately 75 miles south of the park.
- Flathead River: A popular river for rafting and fly fishing located approximately 25 miles south of the park.
- National Bison Range: A wildlife refuge located approximately 100 miles south of the park, known for its herd of bison and other native wildlife.