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 time days as a toddler had been spent exploring its many trails and swimming within the crystal clear lakes.
Although I’ve traveled all around 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 time!
Should you’re fascinated with heading to Glacier, you’re in for a deal with. I’ve taken a number of out-of-towners via “the Park” they usually have been blown away. There’s a cause there have been greater than three million guests there final 12 months!
Right here’s my native’s information to visiting Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana!
The Greatest Time to Go to
Montana summers are quick, and most guests crowd into the park in July and August. Whereas this time has the perfect climate (and the warmest temperatures within the lakes), it may be tremendous crowded and take away from the expertise of being in a naturally stunning place.
Should you can, late June and early September are nice occasions to go to be able to keep away from the crowds. You even have much less of an opportunity for forest fires to wreck your journey.
The way to Go to + Get There
The principle airport is Glacier Worldwide, or airport code FCA. Most guests fly in right here after which hire a automobile for his or her keep.
Should you’re feeling actually 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 in the course of the summer time.
You’ll most actually need to hire a automobile.
Make sure that to do it a bit upfront simply in case—you don’t need to end up stranded simply because others have thought forward earlier than you probably did. All the foremost 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 it would be best 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 upfront for areas within the park itself, or take into account a campground close by like KOA Campgrounds, which have a couple of places close to Glacier.
Listed below are some extra spots price contemplating if you wish to keep away from roughing the outside:
I like this glamping location—it may be essentially the most snug mattress I’ve ever slept in! The very best a part of selecting this spot is that you just get the tenting expertise with out the additional trouble of pitching a tent since your lodging are already arrange.
Positioned solely a mile from the West Glacier entrance, this lodge options clear rooms and has an exquisite porch so that you can loosen up on after a protracted day of mountain climbing. It additionally has barely decrease costs than among the fancier resorts situated in Whitefish.
The Belton Chalet is sort of at all times booked months upfront due to its posh-yet-rustic vibe. Whereas it may be on the higher finish of some vacationers’ budgets, it does supply easy accessibility to the east aspect of the park and among the higher mountain climbing trails.
What to Do
Any expertise you’ve in Glacier goes to be one, however there are particular highlights that may’t be missed—particularly in the event you 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 among the most dramatic views of the park and the best way to climb as much as Logan Go.
Should you can, hire a smaller automobile to keep away from tight activates a tiny highway. 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 america, Lake McDonald has develop into Instagram-famous. Whereas you will 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 may even often spot wildlife as you head all the way down to the lake for a drink!
Wish to strap on these mountain climbing boots? The Highline is a superb place for starting hikers or those that simply need to expertise among 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, you then’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 plenty of different guests headed to this spot for excellent photographs or to have lunch with a view.
Ice Cream at Apgar Village
Charming Apgar is situated 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 often 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 Convey
A lot of what it would be best to carry with you comes down as to whether or not you may be tenting or not. Should you plan on getting your tenting provides when you are in Montana, each Kalispell and Whitefish have out of doors shops like Sportsman Skihaus and REI for all your wants.
For everybody else, you must want some fundamentals for mountain climbing and every other garments you suppose you would possibly want for time enjoyable at your lodge or campsite. Relying on the time of 12 months (suppose shoulder season), it may be price it to carry a lightweight jacket, as effectively.
Listed below are some gadgets I’d advocate having in your suitcase with you if you head to Glacier:
Additionally, you will need to choose up a can of bear spray in the event you plan on doing any mountain climbing.
Bears have just lately develop 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 may hire a can on the airport, out of doors shops, or within the outlets within the park.
Simply keep in mind to not take it with you in your flight dwelling!
Don’t contact or feed any animals. Not solely does it train them to method 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 just 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 making an attempt to get in for the day, you would possibly need to arrive as early as six within the morning in the event you plan on mountain climbing among the extra fashionable trails. Logan Go tends to replenish quick with parking, so the sooner you get there, the higher.
If you wish to keep away from driving within the park, you would possibly 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 mean you can escape among the stress of driving in crowded areas.
Glacier Nationwide Park was one among America’s first nationwide parks, and you’ll’t beat it for all its journey, breathtaking views, and wonderful hikes.
I get again to the park a minimum of every year, and I like getting the possibility to revisit among the locations I cherished essentially the most from childhood. Should you can, I like to recommend three days in Glacier on the minimal, although when you’ve got extra time to spend there, do it.