Hello, there! I’m Alex from Alex on the Map. I grew up proper by Glacier Nationwide Park within the close by city of Kalispell. My summer season days as a toddler had been spent exploring its many trails and swimming within the crystal clear lakes.
Though I’ve traveled everywhere in the world, Glacier continues to carry a particular significance for me—I used to be even married on the shores of Lake McDonald this summer season!
Should you’re serious about heading to Glacier, you’re in for a deal with. I’ve taken a number of out-of-towners by way of “the Park” they usually have been blown away. There’s a cause there have been greater than three million guests there final yr!
Right here’s my native’s information to visiting Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana!
The Finest Time to Go to
Montana summers are quick, and most guests crowd into the park in July and August. Whereas this time has one of the best climate (and the warmest temperatures within the lakes), it may be tremendous crowded and take away from the expertise of being in a naturally lovely place.
Should you can, late June and early September are nice instances to go as a way to keep away from the crowds. You even have much less of an opportunity for forest fires to break your journey.
Easy methods to Go to + Get There
The primary airport is Glacier Worldwide, or airport code FCA. Most guests fly in right here after which lease a automobile for his or her keep.
Should you’re feeling really adventurous, fly into the close by cities of Bozeman or Missoula and drive north. It provides you an opportunity to see extra of the gorgeous Montana panorama, and you may additionally discover higher flight offers through the summer season.
You’ll most actually need to lease a automobile.
Be sure to do it a bit prematurely simply in case—you don’t need to end up stranded simply because others have thought forward earlier than you probably did. All the main automobile rental corporations are on the airport or are in Kalispell and Whitefish together with Alamo, Nationwide, and extra.
The place to Keep
The place you’ll want to keep will depend upon how shut you need to be to the park. Personally, I believe tenting is all a part of the enjoyable if you’re in a spot like Glacier.
Verify a couple of months prematurely for areas within the park itself, or contemplate a campground close by like KOA Campgrounds, which have a couple of places close to Glacier.
Listed here are some extra spots price contemplating if you wish to keep away from roughing the outside:
I like this glamping location—it could be probably the most snug mattress I’ve ever slept in! The most effective a part of selecting this spot is that you simply get the tenting expertise with out the additional trouble of pitching a tent since your lodging are already arrange.
Situated solely a mile from the West Glacier entrance, this lodge options clear rooms and has a beautiful porch so that you can calm down on after a protracted day of climbing. It additionally has barely decrease costs than a few of the fancier lodges positioned in Whitefish.
The Belton Chalet is nearly at all times booked months prematurely due to its posh-yet-rustic vibe. Whereas it could be on the higher finish of some vacationers’ budgets, it does provide easy accessibility to the east aspect of the park and a few of the higher climbing trails.
What to Do
Any expertise you’ve gotten in Glacier goes to be an excellent one, however there are particular highlights that may’t be missed—particularly for those who solely have a couple of days to discover!
The crown jewel of the “Crown of the Continent,” Going-to-the-Solar is the place for a few of the most dramatic views of the park and the way in which to climb as much as Logan Go.
Should you can, lease a smaller automobile to keep away from tight activates a tiny street. It’s additionally the place quite a lot of completely different hikes begin for guests who need to hit the path.
As one of many clearest lakes in the USA, Lake McDonald has turn into Instagram-famous. Whereas you may get a glimpse of it at Apgar Village, head to the Lake McDonald Lodge for a little bit of historical past and the right locale for a picnic.
You possibly can even sometimes spot wildlife as you head all the way down to the lake for a drink!
Wish to strap on these climbing boots? The Highline is a superb place for starting hikers or those that simply need to expertise a few of the park’s most photogenic views. You begin at Logan Go earlier than strolling on a reasonably flat path earlier than heading again once more.
If the Highline isn’t sufficient to satiate your urge to hike, then you definitely’ll need to head for Avalanche. This pretty straightforward four-mile loop affords gorgeous views of a glacial lake with crystal clear waters.
You’ll see a number of different guests headed to this spot for excellent pictures or to have lunch with a view.
Ice Cream at Apgar Village
Charming Apgar is positioned proper after the West Glacier entrance and has some charming shops and eating places. Nonetheless, you need to just be sure you embark on a particular journey for ice cream at Eddie’s.
My grandmother sometimes makes the 40-minute drive from Kalispell as much as the park solely for his or her huckleberry cones—it’s that good!
What to Carry
A lot of what you’ll want to deliver with you comes down as to whether or not you’ll be tenting or not. Should you plan on getting your tenting provides when you are in Montana, each Kalispell and Whitefish have outside shops like Sportsman Skihaus and REI for your whole wants.
For everybody else, you need to want some fundamentals for climbing and every other garments you assume you may want for time enjoyable at your lodge or campsite. Relying on the time of yr (assume shoulder season), it could be price it to deliver a light-weight jacket, as effectively.
Listed here are some gadgets I’d suggest having in your suitcase with you if you head to Glacier:
Additionally, you will need to decide up a can of bear spray for those who plan on doing any climbing.
Bears have not too long ago turn into a significant presence within the park (they had been previously on the “threatened” record, so that is excellent news!) and it by no means hurts to organize your self. You possibly can lease a can on the airport, outside shops, or within the retailers within the park.
Simply bear in mind to not take it with you in your flight house!
Don’t contact or feed any animals. Not solely does it train them to strategy people once they shouldn’t, however this may be detrimental to their wellbeing in the long term.
Likewise, just be sure you are tenting that you simply correctly retailer your meals in order that bears and different animals can’t get to it!
Get to the park as early as doable.
With so many individuals attempting to get in for the day, you may need to arrive as early as six within the morning for those who plan on climbing a few of the extra common trails. Logan Go tends to refill quick with parking, so the sooner you get there, the higher.
If you wish to keep away from driving within the park, you may need to take one of many supplied shuttles as a substitute. Not solely do the shuttles drop you off at the preferred components of the park, however additionally they can help you escape a few of the stress of driving in crowded areas.
Glacier Nationwide Park was one among America’s first nationwide parks, and you may’t beat it for all its journey, breathtaking views, and superb hikes.
I get again to the park a minimum of yearly, and I like getting the possibility to revisit a few of the locations I beloved probably the most from childhood. Should you can, I like to recommend three days in Glacier on the minimal, although if in case you have extra time to spend there, do it.