A Native’s Information to Glacier Nationwide Park

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 baby have been spent exploring its many trails and swimming within the crystal clear lakes.

Regardless that 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 enthusiastic about heading to Glacier, you’re in for a deal with. I’ve taken a number of out-of-towners by “the Park” and so they 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!

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The Finest  Time to Go to

Montana summers are brief, and most guests crowd into the park in July and August. Whereas this time has the most effective 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 in an effort to keep away from the crowds. You even have much less of an opportunity for forest fires to wreck your journey.

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Learn how 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 beautiful Montana panorama, and you may also discover higher flight offers throughout the summer season.

You’ll most actually need to lease a automobile.

Be certain 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 key automobile rental corporations are on the airport or are in Kalispell and Whitefish together with Alamo, Nationwide, and extra.

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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 feel tenting is all a part of the enjoyable whenever you’re in a spot like Glacier.

Examine a number of months prematurely for areas within the park itself, or take into account a campground close by like KOA Campgrounds, which have a number of areas close to Glacier.

Listed here are some extra spots price contemplating if you wish to keep away from roughing the outside:


Under Canvas Glacier

I really like this glamping location—it is likely to be probably the most comfy mattress I’ve ever slept in! One of the best 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.

Glacier Outdoor Center

Situated solely a mile from the West Glacier entrance, this resort options clear rooms and has a beautiful porch so that you can loosen up on after a protracted day of mountaineering. It additionally has barely decrease costs than among the fancier lodges positioned in Whitefish.

GI Belton Chalet Roadside View

Belton Chalet

Belton Chalet

The Belton Chalet is sort of all the time booked months prematurely due to its posh-yet-rustic vibe. Whereas it is likely to be on the higher finish of some vacationers’ budgets, it does supply quick access to the east facet of the park and among the higher mountaineering trails.

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What  to Do

Any expertise you have got in Glacier goes to be a great one, however there are specific highlights that may’t be missed—particularly should you solely have a number of days to discover!

Going-to-the-Solar Highway

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 way in which to climb as much as Logan Move.

Should you can, lease a smaller automobile to keep away from tight activates a tiny highway. It’s additionally the place plenty of totally different hikes begin for guests who need to hit the path.

Lake McDonald

As one of many clearest lakes in the USA, 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!

glacier national park summer view

The Highline

Need to strap on these mountaineering boots? The Highline is a good place for starting hikers or those that simply need to expertise among the park’s most photogenic views. You begin at Logan Move earlier than strolling on a reasonably flat path earlier than heading again once more.

Avalanche Lake

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 beautiful views of a glacial lake with crystal clear waters.

You’ll see numerous different guests headed to this spot for excellent images 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 remember to 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!

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What  to Convey

A lot of what it would be best to convey with you comes down as to whether or not you may be tenting or not. Should you plan on getting your tenting provides if you are in Montana, each Kalispell and Whitefish have out of doors shops like Sportsman Skihaus and REI for your entire wants.

For everybody else, it’s best to want some fundamentals for mountaineering and some other garments you assume you would possibly want for time enjoyable at your resort or campsite. Relying on the time of 12 months (assume shoulder season), it is likely to be price it to convey a light-weight jacket, as effectively.

Listed here are some objects I might advocate having in your suitcase with you whenever you head to Glacier:

Additionally, you will need to decide up a can of bear spray should you plan on doing any mountaineering.

Bears have lately develop into a significant presence within the park (they have been previously on the “threatened” listing, so that is excellent news!) and it by no means hurts to arrange your self. You may lease a can on the airport, out of doors shops, or within the retailers within the park.

Simply keep in mind to not take it with you in your flight dwelling!

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Useful Suggestions

Don’t contact or feed any animals. Not solely does it educate them to strategy people after they shouldn’t, however this may be detrimental to their wellbeing in the long term.

Likewise, just remember to 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 attainable.

With so many individuals attempting to get in for the day, you would possibly need to arrive as early as six within the morning should you plan on mountaineering among the extra standard trails. Logan Move 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 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 help you escape among the stress of driving in crowded areas.

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Glacier Nationwide Park was certainly one of America’s first nationwide parks, and you may’t beat it for all its journey, breathtaking views, and wonderful hikes.

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I get again to the park no less than annually, and I really like getting the prospect to revisit among the locations I liked probably the most from childhood. Should you can, I like to recommend three days in Glacier on the minimal, although in case you have extra time to spend there, do it.


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