Dubbed "The Crown of the Continent," Glacier National Park is an eden of unspoiled beauty carved out by prehistoric ice rivers in the upper range of Montana’s rugged mountain landscape. This area was established as a national park in 1910 and features a utopia of natural wonders. Whether you are seeking solitude or wanting to experience the beauty of the wild, Glacier National Park is an amazing place to visit!
Rising Temperatures, Fading Beauty
Unfortunately, the beauty of this magnificent park won’t last forever. In 1850, 150 glaciers could be found in Glacier National Park. Today, only 25 of them remain large enough to be considered functional glaciers. With climate fluctuations and current trends in global temperatures, it is predicted that by 2030, there will no longer be any glaciers in Glacier National Park. These breathtaking wonders are receding quickly, so if you have any interest in witnessing them before their extinction, plan your visit to Glacier National Park before it’s too late.
With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier National Park is a must-visit destination for all hiking enthusiasts. The trails vary in terrain, length, and intensity so there is a route to fit all levels and abilities. Take a leisurely day hike or challenge yourself to a multi-day hike and plan an overnight trip. Stop into the park visitor center before setting off and check in about hiking recommendations and any current warnings. Popular hiking trails include the Highland Trail, Grinnell Glacier, and Dawson Loop.
Sights & Scenes
Don’t be ashamed to play tourist when you get to Glacier National Park. Keep your camera handy and try to spot some wildlife through your lens. Sheep, goats, bears, and elk can all be observed in the park. Take a family portrait in the foreground of wildflower fields at Logan Pass or try to catch a shot of the northern lights at Lake McDonald. Wake up early and capture a frame-worthy photo of a spectacular sunrise or head to one of the many glacier-fed waterfalls for some jaw-dropping snapshots. If you’d prefer to explore the sights with some guidance, consider taking a bus tour, a guided hiking trip, a raft tour, or even a guided horseback ride.
Boating & Fishing
Throughout the park you can find calm bodies of water reflecting the snow-capped peaks ascending to the sky around them. With its abundance of lakes, streams, and rivers, the Glacier National Park is rich with aquatic opportunities. Public boat docks and launching ramps are available at a variety of locations, so if you’ve got a watercraft, this destination is great for scenic boating. The untamed waters are also swimming with fish and while you don’t need a license to fish in the park, you’ll want to brush up on the rules and restrictions before you cast out a line.
This roadway paves the perfect route for reveling in all the beauty that the park has to offer. Spanning 50 miles, you can expect to see lush fields of wildflowers, breathtaking waterfalls, and jaw-dropping glaciers as you cruise this route. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some wildlife! Due to the rugged mountainous terrain, the roadway is open seasonally, with closing largely dependent on the weather. Be aware that there are also size regulations, so if your rig is longer than 21’ or taller than 10’, you will not be permitted. Plan your visit accordingly. As an alternative, bus tours are also available.
- Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge: At an elevation of 2,100 feet, this incredible structure offers breathtaking views of the Kootenai Falls and the Kootenai River gorge directly below.
- Museum of the Plains Indian: Learn the rich heritage of the tribal people of the Northern Plains at this permanent gallery which teaches the historic culture of the land and its people.
- Glacier International Peace Park: Located in Waterton, less than an hour from the Glacier National Park, this park offers another dose of outdoor wonder to explore and discover!
Visit The Town
Soak in the surrounding sights of the Glacier National Park from West Glacier Village by touring the town via bike! Rentals are even available for kids bikes and carriers, so this is a great activity for the little ones to enjoy too! Shop for souvenirs at the Cedar Tree Gift Shop or West Glacier T-shirt Shop. Refuel from the ride at the West Glacier Restaurant, and cap off the meal with some of their famous huckleberry ice cream! Before you leave, grab some sugary snacks for the road at Sweet Treats and, if you need to restock on anything in your RV, make a grocery store run to West Glacier Mercantile.
Where To Stay
Apgar Campground: This campground is the largest in the park and is conveniently located near Apgar Village. Stay here and enjoy flush toilets, running water, and lovely evening sunsets over the waters of Lake McDonalds. Apgar Campground offers a disposal station and 194 sites, with 25 of them able to accommodate up to a 40’ RV.
Avalanche Campground: Enjoy free shuttle service along the Going-to-the-Sun Road when you stay at this campground, located in one of the most popular sections of the park. Camp comfortably in the shade provided by the surrounding growth of cedar and hemlock trees. Avalanche Campground offers 87 sites, with 50 of them able to accommodate vehicle lengths up to 26’.
Fish Creek Campground: This campground is one of two campgrounds in the park that take reservations. Sites are private and well shaded for a comfortable stay. Flush toilets, showers, and a disposal station are all available to campers. The central location of this campground makes it a great hub for hiking excursions. 18 of their 178 sites can accommodate up to a 35’ RV.
Many Glacier Campground: Located near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, you will have quick access to gift shops, camp stores, and restaurants when you stay at this campground. Wildlife sighting are often here, so don’t forget your camera or binoculars! A disposal station and flush toilets are available, and 13 of their 109 sites can accommodate a rig up to 35’ long.
Glaciers everywhere around the world are rapidly melting, so don’t wait to plan your visit to Glacier National Park and observe these colossal ice formations before they’re all gone. Have you ever visited Glacier National Park? Tell us about your trip in the comments below!