Nestled in the lush mountains of Montana is Glacier National Park. Whether you spend a day or a week there you will be rewarded with the captivating beauty of snow covered peaks and glacier fed lakes so teal blue in color you may ask yourself, “How could somewhere be so beautiful?” I have listed some of my favorite spots in Glacier that you should check out on your next trip.
Drive across the Going to the Sun Road
The Going to the Sun Road is a must do if you are traveling through Glacier. Be sure to check ahead to ensure that the road is open as the snow pack can often linger until late June and can arrive as early as the middle of September.
Make a stop at the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Here you can check out information about the flora and fauna in the park. If you are feeling adventurous take the Hidden Lake Trail, leading up the hillside just outside the visitor center.
Be sure to check out the roadside view of Jackson Glacier on the east side of the park. The glacier is easier to see later in the year once the snow pack has melted but it is impressive no matter what time of year you see it.
The road is narrow and windy and can often challenge even the most seasoned driver. My recommendation is to go early in the morning as there will be less traffic and more animal activity. If you are not up for the drive but still want to see the sights let the Red Bus or shuttles take you across the road.
Catch a Ride on the Red Bus
Whether it be that you want to reduce your carbon footprint or you just want to take in all that the park has to offer, a ride on the Red Bus is a great option.
There are several Red Bus tours to choose from to suit everyone’s needs. During our late May visit we took the Huckleberry Mountain Tour. Due to the time of year this was one of a few tours offered as the snow limited where the buses could go. Later in the year this is less of an issue.
Our tour stopped in Apgar for stunning views of Lake McDonald. We continued along the Going to the Sun road to Avalanche Creek with a walk through the Trail of the Cedars and to the northern side of park with a stroll on the Huckleberry Mountain Nature Trail. The Red Bus is a fun step back in time and lets you enjoy the scenery of the park without driving.
Take a boat ride around Lake McDonald
In my opinion Lake McDonald is the crown jewel of Glacier National Park. Its beauty is breathtaking. We took a boat cruise departing from the Lake McDonald Lodge which gave us unbeatable views of the mountains and lake. Boat tours are also offered on Swiftcurrent Lake, St. Mary Lake and Two Medicine Lake as well.
Take a Day Hike
A great day hike is the Iceberg Lake trail. The trail head is located on the east side of the park in the Swiftcurrent parking lot. This 9 mile round trip hike has a 1,200 foot elevation gain.
There are a few challenging spots but nothing too difficult, even for the novice hiker. There is little shade on the trail so bring water, sunscreen and a light windbreaker as weather can change quickly. I also recommend a bear bell as bears frequent the trail.
Glacier National Park is a fantastic travel destination for the entire family with a wide range of easy to extreme activities but all will leave lasting memories. Plan your visit today, but be sure to book ahead as activities and lodging fill up fast in the summer months.
Brittany Longden is a road tripper blogging about her quest for great beer and adventure along with her copilot Boomer, her dog. A native of Idaho she loves exploring the mountains and lakes that create the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. You can find more great tips from Brittany via her blog, Paws for Beer.