baby mountain goat kid in glacier national park

Things To Do In Glacier National Park, Montana

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Things to do in Glacier National Park at Bowman Lake

This post was updated in 2024.

One of the highlights of a trip to Montana is a visit to Glacier National Park. In this post, I am going to go through the best things to do in Glacier National Park: See the sights along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park tours, spot glaciers and glacial activity, learn Glacier National Park facts at the Visitor Centers, hike the breathtaking Glacier trails, horseback ride, play in the lakes, fish, and more Glacier Park, Montana fun.

Plus, the best time to go to Glacier National Park, where to eat, and where to stay in Glacier National Park, and how to get to the Glacier National Park location you plan to visit. We visit Glacier National Park with kids, but this guide will benefit kid-free and solo travelers, as well.

Be sure to read all the way to the bottom to find a Glacier National Park suggested itinerary to help in planning a trip to Glacier National Park. In 1916, Mary Roberts Rinehart wrote: “For the lure of high places is in your blood. The call of the mountains is a real call.The veneer, after all, is so thin. Throw off the impedimenta of civilization, the telephones, the silly conventions, the lies that pass for truth. Go out to the West. Ride slowly, not to startle the wild things. Throw out your chest and breathe; look across green valleys to wild peaks where mountain sheep stand impassive on the edge of space. Let the summer rains fall on your upturned face and wash away the memory of all that is false and petty and cruel. Then the mountains will get you. You will go back. The call is a real call.” –from The Glacier Park Reader edited by David Stanley. Rinehart’s call still rings true today. Glacier National Park is filled with brilliant lakes reflecting craggy, striped mountains, and they do capture your heart and call you back over and over. I live in Montana, the same state as Glacier National Park. I am surrounding by wild rivers and towering mountains, but I still find myself called back to Glacier over and over. If you haven’t been before, you will soon know what I mean. And if this is a return trip for you, you’ve already felt the lure and are heeding the call. A visit to Glacier National Park is one of the best things to do in Montana, if not the whole country.


Where Is Glacier National Park Located?

Glacier is in the northwest corner of Montana along the Canadian border. It’s part of a larger park: Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The Waterton section is in southwest Alberta, Canada. Glacier is one of 10 Montana National Parks (I am including National Recreation Areas and National Historic Trails in that number, as well as parks like Yellowstone, which are partially in Montana). Let’s start with a map of Glacier National Park and surrounding area to give you a visual idea of where it is located. This Glacier National Park, Montana map will give you an idea of what the park looks like and the different areas of the park so you can plan out how to fit in all the best things to see in Glacier National Park mentioned below. This also serves as a Glacier Park lodging map. Where you stay in the park, in part, determines what you can do. Glacier National Park Map

Do You Need a Reservation for Glacier?



  • May 24 through September 8 vehicle reservations are required for the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road and North Fork from 6 am to 3 pm.
  • July 1 through September 8 vehicle reservations are required for Many Glacier from 6 am to 3 pm.
  • Visitors entering the park in a vehicle or on a motorcycle in one of these areas during these dates need two things(1) A vehicle reservation OR service reservation and (2) Park Entrance Fee OR valid Park Pass (Annual, Senior, Military, etc.). 
  • The park is open 24/7 and visitors may enter vehicle reservation areas before 6 am or after 3 pm without a vehicle reservation. 

Where Do You Need a Vehicle Reservation for Glacier National Park?

  • Going-To-The-Sun Road (west entrance station at Apgar)
  • North Fork Area from Polebridge Ranger Station (Inside North Fork Road, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake)
  • Many Glacier Area

How to Get into Glacier National Park Without a Reservation 

  • As mentioned above, you can get into the park before 6 am or after 3 pm without a vehicle reservation. 
  • If you have a lodging, camping, or commercial activity reservations (e.g., boat tours and horseback rides) within the specified reservation areas you can use that to enter the area.
  • Visit a part of the park that does not require a vehicle reservation (see next section!).

Where Can I Go in Glacier National Park Without a Vehicle Reservation?

  • Apgar Village 
  • Going-To-The-Sun Road (east entrance at St. Mary)
  • Two Medicine Lake
  • Polebridge (which isn’t inside the park, but the drive is scenic and the huckleberry bear claws at the Mercantile are worth the long, bumpy road.) 

Vehicle Reservation Release Dates

  • A portion of vehicle reservations will be available 120 days or approximately four months in advance, starting on January 25, 2024, at 8 am MST on a daily rolling basis.
  • Next Day vehicle reservations will be available at 7 pm MDT for next-day entry starting on May 23, 2024 on a daily rolling basis.

Vehicle reservations can be made on

the best hikes in Glacier National Park have pretty views

How Much Does It Cost To Go To Glacier National Park?

See below for a list of Glacier National Park entrance fees. As you can see, winter and summer entrance fees differ, primarily because some of the park isn’t accessible by car in the winter. Don’t let that stop you, though, we had a great time cross-country skiing in Glacier National Park. In lieu of a Glacier National Park pass, you may purchase an annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass or Lifetime Senior Pass for $80. These may be purchased online or at any National Park entrance kiosk and you will have access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites. You can also buy a Park Pass online at REI and they donate 10% to the National Park Foundation.

Glacier National Park Entrance Fees

Year Round and All Federal Lands
Summer Rates:
  1. Per vehicle – $35
  2. Per motorcycle – $30
  3. Per person – $20
  4. Park-specific pass – $70
Winter Rates:
  • Per vehicle – $25
  • Per motorcycle – $20
  • Per person – $15
  • Park-specific pass – $70

Best Time To Visit Glacier National Park

baby mountain goat kid in glacier national park In my opinion the answer to the question, “When is the best time to visit Glacier National Park?” is anytime! It really depends on what you want to do and see. Visiting Glacier National Park is different in every season, so you need to decide if you want to ski or play on a lake. Do you want to hike or snowshoe? Flyfish or icefish? The Glacier National Park weather determines what you need to pack, as well as how many other people will be in the park. One of the top Glacier Park things to do is drive or take the shuttle up the Going-to-the-Sun Road, but the alpine section is closed and covered in snow most of the year. In August, there are frequent wildfires and wildfire smoke. Parts of the park may even close down and be evacuated. It doesn’t happen every year, but with climate change, we are seeing more frequent and more intense fires. The charts below show the Glacier Park weather throughout the year in both temperature and precipitation. Since the information is for West Glacier, deduct around 10-15 degrees F for temperatures at Logan Pass (and it will probably be windy, too). The east side of the park is generally cooler and windier than the west side. It can rain or snow any day of the year, so be prepared for changing weather conditions throughout the day when you are in Glacier NP!

Glacier National Park Temperature & Glacier National Park Precipitation

Glacier National Park Precipitation You can check the current conditions here to help you decide when to visit Glacier National Park.

Where To Go In Glacier National Park

I think the first thing to do is realize you won’t see the whole park in one visit and that’s o.k. You will enjoy your trip more if you take your time and get to know little parts of the park. Even after nearly ten visits of a week or so each, I still feel like there is so much more for me to see and do in Glacier National Park. Start by picking a section of the park to stay in and explore. Our Glacier National Park vacation usually consists of two parts – a west side stay and an east side stay. We’ve spent half a week in Many Glacier and the other half in West Glacier. Recently, we spent four days in the North Fork Area at Bowman Lake and three days camped just outside St. Mary. By splitting the trip along the Continental Divide, we didn’t have to go far on any given day. The main places to visit in Glacier National Park are:

West Side

  • North Fork Area (Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake, Polebridge)
  • Apgar Village (on Lake McDonald)
  • Logan Pass (no lodging, but many Glacier National Park attractions)

East Side

  • Mary Lake (Rising Sun and St. Mary)
  • Many Glacier (Swiftcurrent Lake, Grinnell Glacier Trail)
  • Two Medicine (and Cut Bank)

We generally come in the Glacier National Park East Entrance and stay on that side of the park first, but it depends on how you plan to travel to Glacier National Park. (See Getting to Glacier National Park below) No matter which direction you come to Glacier from, make sure you have reservations for your first night or can arrive really early. Places to stay in Glacier National Park fill up quickly. Even the places to stay near Glacier National Park tend to be full in summer. (See the Glacier National Park Lodging section below)

Things To Do in Glacier National Park

There are so many things you can do in Glacier National Park, and many of them are listed below, but I encourage you to take some time to do nothing. Sit next to a lake and gaze across at the mountains, nap along the river, or perch in a wildflower meadow and just take it all in. So much of the Glacier National Park experience is just absorbing the “Crown of the Continent.” Then, lace up your hiking boots, slip your kayak into Lake McDonald, or cram a huckleberry ice cream cone into your face and get to know Glacier National Park.

Best Hikes in Glacier National Park

hiking trails in Glacier National Park There are a lot of things to see in Glacier National Park that can be seen from roads and pullouts, but to really get to know the park, you need to get off the road and onto a trail. Glacier has more than 730 miles of trail in various ecosystems and degrees of difficulty. Many of the best trails in Glacier National Park really don’t require that much effort (ok, they do require some effort). One of the big advantages of hiking in Glacier is that there really isn’t much altitude. The mountains are high and steep, but the whole park is at a surprisingly low elevation. If you are coming from a low-lying area, you may still feel some effects of elevation, but nothing like you would in Yellowstone or Rocky Mountain National Parks. All of the trails along the Going-to-the-Sun Road can be accessed with the free park shuttle. As parking is limited, this is a great way to go. Additionally, you can make some of the hikes through-hikes but riding the shuttle from one end of the trail back to the other end.

Trails Near Apgar

Trail of the cedars in Glacier National Park
Trail of the Cedars

Apgar Village is on the shore of Lake McDonald and in one of the most popular regions of the park. Many first-time visitors to the park focus on the Glacier National Park hiking trips that leave from this area. There are two popular, and spectacular trails leaving from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake Trail, that I recommend you bracing the crowds to experience.

Trail of the Cedars

  • Distance (loop): 1 miles
  • Elevation gain: negligible
  • What you’ll see: An accessible boardwalk winds through beautiful, old growth cedars and hemlocks covered in moss and lichen. The easy, loop trail follows and crosses Avalanche Creek and interpretive signs explain what you are seeing.
  • Trailhead: Avalanche Picnic Area
  • Shuttle stop: Yes

Avalanche Lake

  • Distance (one-way): 2.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 500 feet
  • What you’ll see: The walk to Avalanche Lake starts on the Trail of the Cedars and it’s easy to incorporate this loop into your hike. An alpine lake surrounded by steep cliffs and waterfalls awaits you at the end of the trail.
  • Trailhead: Avalanche Picnic Area
  • Shuttle stop: Yes

Rocky Point Trail

  1. Distance (one-way): 1.1 miles
  2. Elevation gain: 85 feet
  3. What you’ll see: Much of this hike travels through the 2003 Robert Fire burn area. Nearly 40,000 acres along the shore of Lake McDonald burned in this fire. At the right time of the year, the area is filled with wildflowers. At 0.06 miles the loop portion of the trail starts. Head right to take the loop counterclockwise. From Rocky Point, you’ll get great views of Lake McDonald and the mountains above it.
  4. Trailhead: 0.2 miles north of Fish Creek Campground
  5. Shuttle stop: No

Trails Near Logan Pass

Planning a trip to Glacier National Park should include hikes
Highline Trail

Two of the top 10 hikes in Glacier National Park start at Logan Pass. They will be crowded, but there is a reason for that (the alpine scenery is ridiculously gorgeous!). Get started early to minimize the number of people you share the trail with (and give yourself a chance at parking if you opt not to use the shuttle system).

Hidden Lake Overlook

  1. Distance (one-way): 1.4 miles to overlook, additional 1.2 miles to Hidden Lake
  2. Elevation gain: 460 feet to overlook, 780 feet down to Hidden Lake
  3. What you’ll see: This gentle incline takes visitors to an overlook of Hidden Lake. Since you start at the Continental Divide (or high point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road), this hike gets you into the alpine environment quickly and easily. Look for mountain goats, marmots, wildflowers, and glacial moraines. The trail down to Hidden Lake is pretty easy, but remember, you have to turn around and come back up!
  4. Trailhead: Logan Pass Visitor Center
  5. Shuttle stop: Yes

Highline Trail

  • Distance (one-way): As a through hike – 11.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 800 feet to Granite Park Chalet, then 2,200 feet down to The Loop
  • What you’ll see: This is a great hike for (relatively) easily experiencing Glacier’s alpine backcountry. Start at Logan Pass, walk to Granite Park Chalet, then take the trail down to The Loop where you can catch the shuttle back to Logan Pass. The trail winds below the Garden Wall – a rock cliff. You’re greeted with majestic mountain and valley views all the way to the chalet. The Granite Park Chalet is open only to people with reservations for the night, but you can use the vault toilet and sit on the porch to eat your lunch. The hardest part of the trip is the steep downhill to The Loop.
  • Trailhead: Continental Divide sign at Logan Pass
  • Shuttle stop: Yes –at both ends

Trails Near St. Mary

hikes near St. Mary in Glacier National Park
St. Mary Falls Trail

The name “St. Mary” graces a town, a lake, a waterfall, and a visitor center. Probably other things, too. For the sake of this article, it includes everything east of Logan Pass along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The east side of the park tends to be drier, warmer, and windier (and less buggy). I’m including two easy hikes here, but for something a little longer consider Siyeh Pass to Sunrift Gorge, which can be done using the shuttle system.

St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls

  • Distance (one-way): 1.2 miles from St. Mary Falls Trailhead to St. Mary Falls

    (1.2 miles from St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop). And 0.8 miles from St. Mary Falls to Virginia Falls.

  • Elevation gain: Loss of 260 feet to St. Mary Falls, gain 285 feet to Virginia Falls

  • What you’ll see: This walk takes you to one or two waterfalls on creeks flowing into St. Mary Lake. St. Mary Falls drops into a frothing pool, while Virginia Falls is the taller waterfall and worth adding to your Glacier National Park hike.
  • Trailhead: St. Mary Falls Trailhead or St. Mary Falls Shuttle Stop
  • Shuttle stop: Yes

Beaver Pond Loop Trail

  • Distance (loop): 3.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 150 feet
  • What you’ll see: Start this loop to the right or counterclockwise for the best view of the mountains around St. Mary Lake. Additionally, the earlier you go, the less hazy it will be. You’ll pass through burned areas, meadows, and eventually to the beaver pond for which the trail was named. Keep an eye out for moose.
  • Trailhead: 1913 Ranger Station
  • Shuttle stop: No, but it is a short walk from the St. Mary Visitor Center Shuttle Stop

Trails Near Many Glacier

Many Glacier National Park Some of the best hiking trails in Glacier National Park start (or end) in Many Glacier. Two of the most popular and well-known are the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint Trail and Iceberg Lake Trail. Additionally, the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail around Swiftcurrent Lake and the Redrock Falls hike from the Swiftcurrent Trailhead are pretty easy and quite lovely. The Swiftcurrent Nature Trail can be walked on your way to and from the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint Trail.

Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint Trail

  • Distance (one-way): 5.3 miles from the trailhead or 3.6 miles using the concession boat from Many Glacier Hotel (fees apply and reservations are highly recommended).
  • Elevation gain: 1,600 feet
  • What you’ll see: The glaciers in Glacier National Park are shrinking quickly due to climate change and, according to scientists, may disappear in the next 10-20 years. That makes seeing one of the largest glaciers in the park something everyone should do while they still can. Make sure you head to the Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint at Upper Grinnell Lake and not to Grinnell Lake. You will pass lakes, cliffs, and alpine meadows along the way.
  • Trailhead: Grinnell Glacier Trailhead
  • Shuttle stop: No

Iceberg Lake

  • Distance (one-way): 4.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,200 feet
  • What you’ll see: This is a beautiful lake, surrounded by steep cliffs, with icebergs floating in it. Classic Glacier. See it while you can.
  • Trailhead: Ptarmigan Trailhead
  • Shuttle stop: No

Trails Near Two Medicine and Cut Bank

Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park There are several day hikes and Glacier National Park backcountry camping trails that originate out of the Two Medicine and Cut Bank areas. While these areas are just as gorgeous as the rest of the park, due to their remoteness (via road), they are a little quieter than places like Apgar and the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There are several very short hikes, including Running Eagle Falls (0.6 miles round trip and accessible), Appistoki Falls (1.2 miles round trip), and Paradise Point (1.4 miles roundtrip), in addition to the longer trails that get you way into the backcountry.

Aster Falls and Aster Park

  • Distance (one-way): 1.2 miles to Aster Falls, 2.0 miles to Aster Park
  • Elevation gain: 100 feet to Aster Falls, 670 feet to Aster Park
  • What you’ll see: You’ll pass beaver ponds, meadows, and moose habitat on your way to this pretty 20-foot waterfall. From there it is a bit of a climb to Aster Park, but worth it for the views of Two Medicine Lake, Flinsch Peak, and Rising Wolf Mountain.
  • Trailhead: South Shore Trailhead
  • Shuttle stop: No

Twin Falls

  • Distance (one-way): 3.5 miles from the North Shore Trailhead or 0.9 miles using the concession boat near the South Shore Trailhead (fees apply).
  • Elevation gain: 75 feet
  • What you’ll see: Twin Falls is another of Glacier National Park’s waterfalls. This one splits and flows off the side of Pumpelly Pillar. Pumpelly Pillar is a cone-shaped rock formed by glaciers and named after Raphael Pumpelly, leader of the Northern Transcontinental Railway Survey party.
  • Trailhead: North Shore Trailhead
  • Shuttle stop: No

Medicine Grizzly Lake

  • Distance (one-way): 6.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 475 feet
  • What you’ll see: You’ll follow the North Fork of Cut Bank Creek and Atlantic Creek for most of this hike, gazing at the big mountains that capture the skyline. Before reaching the lake, you’ll cross a large meadow filled with wildflowers (in season). The lake sits in a bowl, surrounded by big peaks and waterfalls. It’s gorgeous.
  • Trailhead: Cut Bank Trailhead
  • Shuttle stop: No

For information on permitting and Glacier National Park backpacking trips, see the park’s website.

Ride the Glacier National Park Shuttle

The shuttle system is a great way to get around Glacier National Park. It’s one of the things to do in Glacier that some people skip because driving seems easier. Admittedly, we felt the same way. However, having now used the shuttle to make a through-hike possible, I am a big fan. Plus, the parking lots along the Going-to-the-Sun Road fill up and you may not be able to get where you want to go during peak season. The free Shuttle System is how to get around Glacier National Park The hop-on, hop-off shuttle system is free and provides two-way service along Going-to-the-Sun Road between Apgar Visitor Center and St. Mary Visitor Center. One group of buses drives from Apgar Village to Logan Pass and the other travels from St. Mary Visitor Center to Logan Pass. Not only is the Glacier shuttle great for getting from place to place, but it’s also a nice way to sightsee. We were thrilled to find out it is air-conditioned (nice after a hot hike!) and the big windows make it easy to take in all the sights along the road. When I drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road, I don’t see anything except the road! The only drawback is that you may have to wait for a bus or two in the very crowded parts of the park, like Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars, but at least you can get there. It’s about an hour and a half from Apgar to Logan Pass and about an hour from St. Mary to Logan Pass. Check the hours to make sure you don’t get stranded somewhere. Summer shuttle service begins on July 1 or when Going-to-the-Sun Road is fully open, whichever comes first. Summer shuttle service continues through Labor Day. Before Going-to-the-Sun Road is fully opened to vehicles, shuttles will service all active stops. Reduced services may also be offered through mid-September. Glacier National Park Shuttle Stops Map

West Side Service

Apgar Visitor Center to Logan Pass (and back)

  • Shuttles approximately every 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Express service to Logan Pass begins at 7:00 am.
  • Full service to all stops begins at 9:00 am
  • Last shuttles leave Logan Pass at 7:00 pm
  • Transfers may be required at Avalanche Creek.

East Side Service

St. Mary Visitor Center to Logan Pass (and back)

  • Shuttles approximately every 40 minutes.
  • Service begins at 7:00 am.
  • Last shuttles leave Logan Pass at 7:00 pm

Hiker’s Shuttle

A seasonal hiker’s shuttle is offered by Glacier National Park Lodges for a fee. It connects West Glacier, Apgar, Lake McDonald Lodge, St. Mary, and Many Glacier. Reservations required.

Best Places To See Glaciers in Glacier National Park

The glaciers in Glacier National Park are what gave this place its name, so you need to see at least one while you are there. Due to climate change, the glaciers won’t be around for much longer. I read that they are predicted to melt away by 2020 or 2030. Either way, it’s not much longer. Currently, there are 25 glaciers, all of them shrinking in size. When Glacier was established as a national park in 1910, there were 150 glaciers. The largest glacier is Harrison Glacier at 1,66,456.75 square meters.

Where To See Glaciers in Glacier National Park, MT

Jackson Glacier is the easiest glacier to see. There is a pullout along the Going-to-the-Sun Road (called Jackson Glacier Overlook, 14 miles from St. Mary) and a viewing platform. The interpretive displays have photos of the glacier when it was much larger as well as information about many of the glaciers in the park. In my opinion, one of the best things to do in Glacier National Park is to hike to Grinnell Glacier from St. Mary. You can also see Gem and Salamander Glaciers, so you get three for the hike of one! It’s a 7.2-mile walk if you take the concession boat. See the details in the “Best Hikes in Glacier National Park” section above. You can also see Grinnell Glacier from side route on the Highline Trail (see hiking section above). The view isn’t quite as good and you aren’t as close, but if you are up there anyway, you might as well take a look. Sperry Glacier is a steep nine-mile hike from Lake McDonald Lodge on the Sperry Trail. The beloved Sperry Chalet burned down in 2017. There are plans to rebuild it, but check before you go if that’s part of the reason for your hike. The Sperry Glacier is in a beautiful spot that will make you realize why Glacier is called the “Crown of the Continent.” Sexton Glacier can be viewed from the base of Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Find it on beyond Siyeh Pass on the way to Sunrift Gorge. Piegan Glacier is another beauty. Start at the Siyeh Bend Trail and hike to Piegan Pass Trail junction. Turn left and continue to Preston Park and Siyeh Pass. After about three miles you’ll have views of Jackson, Blackfoot, and Piegan Glaciers.

Glacier National Park Visitor Centers

Glacier National Park Visitor Center One of the first things I recommend people do on a Glacier National Park trip is to stop at one of the visitor centers. Glacier has three main visitor centers. Each one has interpretive displays and ranger programs. You can get any information you need for your visit to Glacier National Park. Each visitor center also has a bookstore, bathrooms, and water. The visitor centers are the place to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet, and the place to return it when you are ready to get your Junior Ranger badge.

Apgar Visitor Center

Location: entry off Going-to-the-Sun Road, approximately two miles (3.2 km) from the West Glacier Entrance Station near the town of West Glacier, Montana. Amenities:

  • Trip planning information and exhibits, both inside and outside building
  • WiFi
  • Ranger-led activities, both summer and winter
  • Astronomy programs
  • Paved 0.25 mi (0.4 km) biking/walking path to Apgar Village, Apgar Campground, and Lake McDonald
  • Shuttle service
  • Parking lot (with plenty of room for park-n-riders—leave your car and board free shuttle buses)

Logan Pass Visitor Center

Location: in the middle of the park at the highest point along Going-to-the-Sun Road, approximately 32 miles (51.5 km) from the West Entrance and 18 miles from the St. Mary Entrance. Amenities:

  • Trip planning information
  • Interactive exhibits, both inside and outside of the building
  • Ranger-led activities (including guided hikes)
  • Trailheads for The Highline and Hidden Lake trails
  • Wildlife and wildflower viewing opportunities
  • Shuttle service
  • Parking lot—usually fills early in the day so take the park shuttle or be patient

St. Mary Visitor Center

Location: adjacent to the St. Mary Entrance Station on Going-to-the-Sun Road, near the town of St. Mary on U.S. Hwy 89 on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Amenities:

  • Trip planning information and exhibits, both inside and outside the building
  • Interactive exhibits on American Indian tribes and their ties to the lands that today make up Glacier National Park
  • Park film Land of Many Journeys(15 min) shown on the hour and ½ hour
  • WiFi
  • Ranger-led activities
  • Astronomy programs
  • Backcountry permitting location
  • Auditorium that hosts Native America Speaks programs and special events (bringing together Salish, Blackfeet and Kootenai tribal members for cultural performances and talks)
  • Shuttle service
  • Parking lot (with plenty of room for park-n-riders—leave your car and board free shuttle buses)

Each visitor center in Glacier Natl Park is different enough that you can visit all three.

Drive the Going to the Sun Highway

Glacier National Park Going to the Sun Highway If you are looking for what to see in Glacier National Park, the Going-to-the-Sun Highway always tops the list. There are a bunch of stops along the way: hiking trails, overlooks, visitor centers, and more. It seems that everyone who comes to Glacier wants to drive the Sun Road. It’s beautiful, it’s famous, and it gets you up high in the alpine ecosystem. For those reasons, it’s also very crowded. Go early if you want to get a parking space at any of the big stops, including Avalanche, The Loop, and Logan Pass. You can drive the Sun Road, ride the shuttle, and even bike and hike it during certain times of the year. While biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road in spring is a seasonal rite of passage, use extreme caution once the road is open to vehicles. The Going-to-the-Sun is a National Historic Landmark and its architecture and engineering is worth a trip in itself. The scenery from the road is jaw-dropping, which is one of the reasons I like taking the shuttle. A driver really can’t take her eyes off the road for more than a second or two at a time – it’s that narrow and winding. Parts of the Sun Road are open year-round, the rest of it (the big climb to and from Logan Pass) typically opens in late June or early July depending on the weather. Closing portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road is also weather-dependent. Typically the road is fully open until the third Monday of October (for 2018 that will be October 15th), but that can change due to weather conditions at any point. Check the Road Status page for up-to-date information.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Facts

  • Without stopping, it takes at least 2 hours to drive the full 50 miles of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
  • Speed limit is 45 mph in the lower elevations and 25 mph in the alpine section
  • Logan Pass is the highest point on Going-to-the-Sun Road at 6,646 feet.
  • Logan Pass is 32 miles (51.5 km) from the west entrance and 18 miles (29 km) from the east entrance. The parking lot at Logan Pass usually fills between the hours of 9:30 am to 4:00 pm, though this can vary during peak weekends.

Because of the nature of the Sun Road, Glacier National Park has size restrictions on vehicles. Vehicles, and vehicle combinations, longer than 21 feet (including bumpers) or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors), are prohibited between Avalanche Campground and the Rising Sun picnic area parking. Vehicle and vehicle combinations over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass to the Loop, due to rock overhangs. Stock trucks and trailers can access Packers Roost on the west, and Siyeh Bend on the east.

Play on a Lake

Lake McDonald Things to do in Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald

Glacier National Park is known for its glaciers, but it should also be known for its lakes. From Kintla, Bowman, Quartz, and Logging Lakes in the northwest to Lake McDonald in the west to St. Mary Lake in the east and Swiftcurrent Lake in the northeast, there is no shortage of places to get on the water. The lakes in Glacier are cold! So, while you may want to take a quick dip, you probably aren’t going to spend a lot of time swimming. The people I have seen swimming and snorkeling in the lakes were all wearing wetsuits. Most of us run in, scream, and run out. At least, that’s what I do.

See this post for The Best Places to Swim in Glacier National Park

Boating in Glacier National Park

The most important thing to know about boating in Glacier is that all watercraft must be inspected. We learned the hard way that this includes your inflatable paddleboard that’s nestled into the carrier box on top of your car. ALL watercraft. Non-motorized watercraft and non-trailered electric motorized watercraft are permitted same-day launch on Lake McDonald, Bowman Lake, Two Medicine Lake, St. Mary Lake, and Swiftcurrent Lake, after inspection and permit issuance by NPS staff. Kintla Lake is open to hand-propelled watercraft, after inspection. Inspections for the North Fork area of the park (Bowman and Kintla Lakes) are performed at the Apgar Village permit station. Don’t make the mistake we did and drive all the way to Bowman Lake without an inspection.

Watercraft Inspection Stations in Glacier National Park
  • Lake McDonald (Across street from Public Boat Ramp)
  • Two Medicine Ranger Station
  • Mary Visitor Center
  • Many Glacier Ranger Station

If you don’t want to bring your own watercraft or don’t own a boat, you can rent from Glacier Park Boat Rentals in the park. They have motorboats (at Lake McDonald), kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and row boats that rent by the hour. Find their rentals at Apgar, Lake McDonald Lodge, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. They also do guided boat tours (see the Guided Tours section below).

Glacier National Park Guided Tours

Guided Red Bus Tours in Glacier National Park There are many different tours of Glacier National Park. You can see the park with a guide on foot, on horseback, by boat, or in a vehicle. One of the big advantages of Glacier Park tours is that you learn so much more about the park than when you visit yourself.

Glacier National Park Guided Hikes

Topping the list of Glacier National Park things to do is hiking. It’s my favorite way to see the park. There are plenty of trails you can walk on your own, but if you want to learn more about the area or are uncomfortable hiking in bear country by yourself, a guided hiking tour might be perfect. There are a variety of ranger-led hikes and walks throughout the summer (and snowshoe hikes in winter). These hikes range from short walks to all-day hikes. Schedules are made available about two weeks before the start of each month. Programs start in mid-June and generally conclude at the end of September. Ranger hikes are free and most do not require advanced reservations. Ranger Hike in Glacier National Park To hike with a non-National Park guide or for Glacier National Park-guided backpacking trips, you can hire one of the companies permitted to guide in the park. Glacier Guides offers guided day hikes and backpacking trips into Glacier’s backcountry for one to seven days. Custom trips are available. Backcountry porter service is also available—let your Glacier National Park guide carry your gear into backcountry campgrounds or chalets. Camping equipment is available for rent at their West Glacier office.

Glacier National Park Bus Tours

I haven’t done the bus tours, but people say the Red Bus Tours are one of the top 10 things to do in Glacier National Park. These historic red buses have been used to tour people around Glacier since the 1930s. The Red Bus Tours leave from both the east and west ends of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and return to where they picked you up. Along the way, the driver tells you all about Glacier. Another bus tour that looks like a great way to see the park is Glacier National Park’s Sun Tours. These bus tours are led by Blackfeet guides who share tribal history along with the usual natural and cultural history of the park. The Blackfeet Reservation abuts the east side of Glacier and the Blackfeet people have a long history in the park.

Glacier National Park Boat Tours

Glacier Park boat tours take place at St. Mary Lake, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine Lake, and Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier. Glacier Park Boat Company offers optional guided walks with most of their boat tours. The tours take place on historic wooden boats and the guides share lots of great information about the park. And the views are pretty darn great along the way.

Glacier National Park Horseback Riding

For horseback riding Glacier National Park is a beautiful area. Most of the early explorers of the park came on horseback. In her book Tenting Tonight (1916), Mary Rinehart wrote about a horseback expedition: “There were bright days and days when we rode through a steady mist of rain. Always it was worth while. What matters a little rain when there is a yellow slicker to put on and no one to care how one looks? Once, riding down a mountain-side, water pouring over the rim of my old felt hat and pattering merrily on my slicker, I looked to one side to see a great grizzly raise himself from behind a tree-trunk, and, standing upright, watch impassively as my horse and I proceeded. I watched him as far as I could see him. We were mutually interested. The party had gone on ahead. For a long time afterward I head the crackling of small twigs in the heavy woods beside the trail. But I never saw him again.” I can’t promise your horseback riding will be that exciting, but it will be fun and one of the Glacier National Park activities you won’t forget. Guided horseback rides are available inside the park at Many Glacier, Lake McDonald, and Apgar from Swan Mountain Outfitters. They also offer drop camp services, packing visitors’ gear into certain backcountry campgrounds using stock. This is a great way to go backpacking without a backpack.

White Water Rafting in Glacier National Park

First, you can’t go white water rafting in Glacier National Park, but you can go rafting near Glacier National Park, so scratch “river rafting Glacier National Park” off your bucket list or amend it to “river rafting near Glacier National Park. There are a number of companies with offer class II-III and scenic rafting trips on the Middle and North Forks of the Flathead River. Glacier Raft Company and Glacier Guides both do a good job.

Fishing in Glacier National Park

Fishing in Glacier National Park Fishing is synonymous with Montana and you are welcome to fish in Glacier when following fishing regulations. Flyfishing is a “Glacier National Park What to Do” right up there with driving the Sun Road and hiking to the Hidden Lake Overlook. A permit is not required for fishing in the park, but some of the best fishing in Glacier National Park is into the Middle Fork of the Flathead River where a Montana fishing license is required. Certain areas are closed at certain times of the year, so check the fishing page on the NPS website to make sure you are keeping it legal. You can also find out what limits of which species apply.

Glacier National Park Camping

Camping in Glacier National Park at Bowman Lake Campground
Bowman Lake Campground

One of our favorite ways to spend time in Glacier is by camping. Set up the tent, get the campfire roaring, and roast some marshmallows. There is something special about sleeping under the stars. There are 13 campgrounds in Glacier National Park and other options for camping near Glacier National Park, just outside the boundary. Some of the best campsites in Glacier National Park cannot be reserved, however, you can make a reservation at Fish Creek, St. Mary, some of Many Glacier, and half of the group sites in Apgar. For campgrounds that don’t take reservations, you should probably get there pretty early to insure you get a campsite. Since Glacier National Park is so far from almost everything, we plan to spend the night before we want to camp as close as possible to our desired campsite and make a beeline for it in the morning. Or we camp outside the park at a campground that takes reservations.

Glacier National Park Campgrounds

Kintla Lake through the trees at Kintla Lake campground in Glacier National Park
Kintla Lake

Kintla Lake Campground

Kintla Lake Campground is the most northwest campground in the park and probably the most remote car camping site. It’s almost in Canada and a long drive on a gravel road from anywhere. It’s in the North Fork area and on a lake. It’s an hour’s drive from Polebridge, which is an hour from West Glacier. Bring everything you need since running to the market isn’t much of an option. The beauty of all the remoteness is quiet and solitude. Consider spending the night in Polebridge the night before camping. Vehicles over 21’ in length and/or vehicle- trailer combinations are prohibited at Kintla Lake due to the nature of the long, narrow, and windy dirt road, and very tight parking areas at each campsite.

  • 13 sites
  • hand pump for potable water (this wasn’t working last time I camped here so have a backup for treating water)
  • vault toilet
  • non-motorized lake activities (get all watercraft inspected before going to Kintla Lake)
  • hiking trails
  • no reservations

Bowman Lake Campground

Swimming in Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park Like Kintla, Bowman Lake Campground is in the North Fork area and situated on a lake. It’s about 30 minutes from Polebridge, which is an hour from West Glacier. Even though it is bigger than Kintla, it is still quiet and remote. When we camp here, we spend the night prior at the North Fork Hostel in Polebridge (and not just because we want huckleberry bear claws from the Polebridge Mercantile). Bring bug spray as the mosquitoes are famous for their ferocity and abundance here.

  • 46 sites
  • water spigots
  • vault toilets
  • lake activities (get all watercraft inspected before going to Kintla Lake)
  • hiking trails
  • no reservations

Quartz Creek Campground and Logging Creek Campground

Quartz Creek and Logging Creek campgrounds are primitive campgrounds south of Polebridge on the North Fork Road (Quartz: 5.7 miles from Polebridge, Logging: 9 miles south of Polebridge). They both have hiking trails to nearby lakes, are small, and offer solitude and an almost-backcountry experience. Vehicles over 21’ in length and/or vehicle- trailer combinations are prohibited at Quartz Creek and Logging Creek due to the nature of the long, narrow, winding dirt road to the campground, and very tight parking areas at each campsite.

  • 7 sites at each
  • no water – bring your own
  • vault toilet
  • hiking trails
  • no reservations

Fish Creek Campground

Fish Creek is just 2.5 miles from Apgar on the west side of the park. This is the second largest campground in the park and has some filtered views of Lake McDonald. Most sites are in the trees and have shade.

  • 178 sites (18 accommodate up to 35-foot RV)
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks, showers in loop A, disposal station
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • hiking trails, easy access to rest of park
  • reservations 

Apgar Campground

Apgar is the largest campground in the park. It’s close to Lake McDonald and in the trees. Its proximity to Apgar village means easy access to shops, visitor center, shuttle, and other village amenities.

  • 194 sites (20 accommodate up to 40-foot RV)
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks, disposal station
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • easy access to rest of park via driving or shuttle system
  • lake activities
  • reservations

Sprague Creek Campground

Sprague Campground is a small campground on the northeast end of Lake McDonald. Some of the sites are on the shore of Lake McDonald itself. There are no towed vehicles allowed because of the campground road. The campground is about a mile from the Lake McDonald Lodge and all the shops etc. that go along with it. It’s quite close to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which means you should plan on hearing traffic. There is a shuttle stop at the campground, making it easy to leave your car behind as you explore the stops along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

  • 25 sites (Towed units (vehicle plus unit) and RVs exceeding 21 feet are not permitted in this campground.)
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks
  • easy access to rest of park via driving or shuttle system
  • reservations

Avalanche Campground

This is a popular campground and for good reason. It’s in the old-growth cedar and hemlock forest near the Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake trails. It’s ideal for getting up early or staying late, on either of these normally busy trails.

  • 87 sites (50 accommodate up to 26-foot RV)
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • easy access to rest of park via driving or shuttle system
  • hiking trails
  • reservations

Rising Sun Campground

Rising Sun is the first campground in this list on the east side of the park. Rising Sun Campground is where “the mountains meet the prairies”, just west of St. Mary and halfway along St. Mary Lake. It gets its name from the spectacular sunrises visible from the campground. There is a camp store, a casual restaurant, and token-operated showers near the campground. You can also access boat tours on St. Mary Lake.

  • 84 sites (20 accommodate up to 25-foot RV)
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks, disposal station
  • sites 49 through 84 are generator free.
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • easy access to rest of park via driving or shuttle system
  • lake activities
  • hiking trails
  • no reservations

St. Mary Campground

St. Mary Campground is near the east entrance of the park. There isn’t a whole lot of shade here, but the views of the mountains are pretty spectacular. The campground is close to the St. Mary Visitor Center and 0.5 miles from the town of St. Mary (outside the park boundary) and all its restaurants, shops, gas stations, grocery store, and hotels.

  • 148 sites (3 accommodate up to 40-foot RV, 22 accommodate up to 35-foot RV)
  • loop A is most sheltered and generator-free
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks, showers in loop C, disposal station
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • easy access to rest of park via driving or shuttle system at St. Mary Visitor Center
  • reservations 

Many Glacier Campground

Many Glacier is one of my favorite campgrounds because of its location in a spectacular corner of the park. It is a little farther to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road and the rest of the park, but you could spend your whole trip here and be pretty happy. And, it’s really not that far to catch the shuttle at St. Mary (21 miles) or drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road for a day. The campground is near the Swiftcurrent Inn, where pay showers, a restaurant, gift shop, and camp store are available. It’s also not far from the Many Glacier Hotel, horse rides, boat rides, and trailheads. There is a pay shuttle to other places on the east side of Glacier National Park

  • 109 site (13 accommodate up to 35-foot RV)
  • sites 88 through 102 are generator-free
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks, disposal station
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • hiking trails
  • reservations

Cut Bank Campground

Cut Bank Campground is a primitive campground on the east side of the park. RVs are not recommended due to the campground road and campsite layout. This is a pretty quiet section of the park and a small campground. It’s great for hiking and as a jumping-off point for a backcountry trip. It is harder to access most of the rest of the park from this campground.

  • 14 sites (RVs and trailers are not recommended)
  • no generators
  • no water – bring your own
  • vault toilet
  • hiking trails
  • no reservations

Two Medicine Campground

The Two Medicine area of Glacier is gorgeous. The only downside of staying here is that it is a long way to the more popular and more well-known parts of the park. Maybe that’s an upside. The camp store, gift shop, and café are in a building that originally served as a chalet for the Great Northern Railway. Boat tours and Red Bus tours can be found at Two Medicine.

  • 100 sites (10 accommodate up to 35-foot RV)
  • sites 1 through 36 are generator-free.
  • water spigots
  • flush toilets, sinks
  • nightly evening ranger programs in amphitheater
  • hiking trails
  • reservations

For Glacier National Park campground reservations visit

How much does it cost to camp in Glacier National Park?

Camping fees vary between $10-$23 dollars per night during the summer season. For prices of each individual campground, visit the Campground Status Page. Another very cool thing you can find on that page is the historical data on campground fill times.

Camping Near Glacier National Park

Camping near Glacier National Park at Johnson's of St. Mary
Johnson’s of St. Mary Campground

If you can’t get a reservation at a campground in Glacier National Park, you might consider camping outside the park’s boundary. Knowing that we wouldn’t arrive until evening, we have made reservations in the Johnson’s of St. Mary Campground. It was quiet, showers were included, and we had plenty of room. Plus, it was only five minutes from St. Mary Campground, so it really wasn’t much of a stretch. Private campgrounds and Glacier National Park RV Parks have more amenities than park campgrounds. They are also more expensive. Here are some of the private campgrounds and RV camping near Glacier National Park.

Campgrounds West of Glacier National Park

Campgrounds East of Glacier National Park

Campgrounds South of Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Lodging

As you plan what to do in Glacier National Park, you need to take into consideration where you are going to stay. We primarily camp, but I’ve eyed the Many Glacier Hotel and the Lake McDonald Lodge and wished I was staying there.

The best lodging in Glacier National Park depends on what you are looking for, of course.

I will divide this by area, since most people plan their trips that way. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to spend part of my time on the east side and part on the west side with one move in between. Both Xanterra/Glacier National Park Lodges and Glacier Park Collection have hotels in Glacier National Park, Montana. Of course there are a lot of hotels near Glacier National Park, Montana, but just outside the boundary.

I like to stay inside the park when possible, but there is a lot to say for staying outside the park, too. I wrote a whole post about the best places to stay near Glacier National Park!

Where to Stay Near Glacier National Park


Best Places To Stay In Glacier National Park

East Glacier Hotels

I should probably tell you there is a difference between East Glacier (the town) and the east side (Two Medicine, St. Mary, Many Glacier) of Glacier National Park. In Glacier National Park, where to stay very much depends on what you want to do. The Many Glacier area is one of my favorites and there is a lot to do there. Not to mention the mountain and lake scenery is gorgeous.

Many Glacier Hotels

The Many Glacier Hotel is the largest hotel in Glacier National Park. It’s rustic, historical, and comfortable. The best hotels in Glacier National Park, in my opinion, are the old, historic inns like the Many Glacier Lodge. They lend a feeling of the old Glacier when the park was just starting to be developed by the Great Northern Railroad. The Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins is a more affordable option for Glacier National Park cabins and motel rooms.

St. Mary Hotels

There are a lot of hotels near Glacier National Park, but not in the park. The gateway town of St. Mary has several resorts near Glacier National Park. Find the best deals on hotels in St. Mary on TripAdvisor by entering the dates of your visit.

East Glacier Hotels (The Town)

East Glacier village lodging is abundant. The most well known is likely the Glacier Park Lodge (also known as the East Glacier Lodge because of its location). The East Glacier Park Lodge was built by the Great Northern Railway and was the first stop for many people on the Glacier National Park vacation as they arrived on the rails. It’s still one of the best places to stay near Glacier National Park. There are several other Glacier National Park accommodations in and around East Glacier. We especially love the Izaak Walton Inn in nearby Essex, where you can stay in the lodge or a renovated train car. We stayed there as part of our winter Montana road trip.

West Glacier Hotels

Lake McDonald Hotels

The Lake McDonald Lodge is one of the Glacier National Park resorts that has been around a while and has a rich history. Built in 1913 in a Swiss style, the lodge, cabins, and suites are situated on Lake McDonald with a stunning view.

Apgar Village Hotels

When deciding where to stay when visiting Glacier National Park, a lot of people choose Apgar Village. It’s on the west end of Lake McDonald and has great access to the lake, shops, restaurants, two visitor centers, boat rentals, a shuttle stop, and more. It’s also the busiest place around Glacier National Park motels. The Village Inn at Apgar and the similarly named Apgar Village Lodge and Cabins both provide somewhat budget-friendly lodging with stellar views and access to many Glacier National Park activities. There are some great private cabin rentals in Glacier, too.

West Glacier Hotels (the town)

West Glacier is where to stay near Glacier National Park in order to be as close as possible to the West Entrance. There are several options for motels near Glacier National Park including Glacier Outdoor Center (modern cabin rentals and homes near Glacier National Park).

I also recommend house and cabin rentals near Glacier National Park in West Glacier. 

Getting To Glacier National Park

Getting to Glacier National Park Glacier is way up there in northern Montana and not super easy to get to. We live in the same state and it’s still a 5-6 hour drive to Glacier National Park for us. Whether you road trip to Glacier National Park (and may I recommend coming in on Highway 2 through Washington?) or plan on flying to Glacier National Park, you’ll find the information you need below.

Driving to Glacier National Park

For directions to Glacier National Park, simply enter your starting and ending points into Google Maps. Whether you are driving from Great Falls Montana to Glacier National Park or somewhere more distant, it is easy to find.

Distance to Glacier National Park

From - ToDistance in MilesTime (Approx)
Whitefish to Glacier National Park (West)25.735 min
Kalispell, MT to Glacier National Park (West)3345 min
Missoula to Glacier National Park (West)1382.5 hrs
Seattle to Glacier National Park (West)5508 hrs 35 min
Salt Lake City to Glacier National Park (West)6469 hrs 35 min
Great Falls to Glacier National Park (St. Mary)1552 hrs 30 min
Bozeman to Glacier National Park (St. Mary)2974 hrs 50 min
Denver to Glacier National Park (West)92714 hrs
Calgary to Glacier National Park1803 hrs

Glacier National Park Airport

You can’t fly into Glacier, but you can get kind of close. There are airports near Glacier National Park on both the west and east sides.

  • Glacier Park International Airport, near Kalispell, is about 30 miles from the West Entrance. Missoula International Airport is 150 miles south of the West Entrance and is a slightly larger airport. Plus, there are a lot of things to do in Missoula and on the way to Glacier.
  • Great Falls International Airport is between 130 miles to 165 miles east of East Glacier Park, St Mary, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier Entrances. If you have a little extra time, check out the Lewis and Clark sites in Great Falls.

You can pick up a rental car at any of the airports. Find and book a rental car today at

Train to Glacier National Park

The first time I visited Glacier National Park I was eighteen years old and a girlfriend and I took the train from Santa Barbara, California to East Glacier. I can’t remember how we got to Many Glacier from there, but now there is an east-side shuttle. Amtrak’s historic Empire Builder train line stops year-round at West Glacier (Belton), The Izaak Walton Inn at Essex, and seasonally at East Glacier. Glacier National Park Lodges provides a shuttle (for a fee) that transports West Glacier Amtrak passengers between the train depot and Apgar and the Lake McDonald Lodge.

Glacier National Park Entrances

Glacier National Park Entrances Polebridge Once you know how to get to Glacier National Park, you pretty much know which entrance you are going to use. Polebridge Entrance: Near Polebridge in the North Fork area. Access to Kintla, Bowman, Quartz, and Logging Lakes. West Entrance: Near Columbia Falls and the gateway town of West Glacier. Access to the Lake McDonald area, Park Headquarters, the Apgar Visitor Center and is the west entry point to the Going-to-the-Sun-Road. St. Mary Entrance: Off Highway 89 and near the Gateway town of St. Mary. Access to the St. Mary Visitor Center, Rising Sun, and the east entry of the Going-to-the-Sun-Road. Two Medicine Entrance: Off Highway 89, the closest town is East Glacier. Access to the Two Medicine area. Many Glacier Entrance: Off Highway 89, north of St. Mary. Access to the Many Glacier Area.

Glacier National Park Itinerary

Now that you have all this Glacier National Park information, how do you put it all together to make your own Glacier National Park itinerary? Don’t worry, I have you covered. Consider me your personal Glacier National Park Trip Planner. If you are planning a Yellowstone trip to go along with your Glacier adventure, check out my detailed Yellowstone itineraries. This itinerary assumes you have five full days in the park, not including the day you arrive and the day you leave. You can easily reverse the first three days with the last two days and start on the west side rather than the east. Mountain Goat Glacier National Park

One Week Glacier Itinerary

East Side (Days 1-3)

Choose one of the east side campgrounds or Glacier National Park hotels. Day 1: Start at the St. Mary Visitor Center to get your bearings, maps, and junior ranger booklets. Next, take the shuttle (or a boat ride) to St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls trailhead and walk to the falls. Either continue west on the shuttle to Jackson Glacier Overlook to spot a glacier or take the boat back to the dock. Attend a ranger program in the evening. Day 2: Explore Many Glacier. Choose one of the hikes listed above, take a boat ride across Swiftcurrent Lake, get ice cream at the historic and Swiss-styled Many Glacier Hotel. Day 3: Pack up camp or your hotel room and drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road to the west side. Stop at pullouts along the way or plan a longer hike like the Highline Trail from Logan Pass. Be sure to spend some time at Logan Pass in the Visitor Center and/or walking the interpretive trails.

West Side (Days 4-6)

Stay at one of the west side campgrounds or Glacier Park hotels. Day 4: Start at the Apgar Visitor Center or hop on a shuttle to the Avalanche Shuttle Stop. From here, walk the Trail of the Cedars and on to Avalanche Lake. Shuttle back to Apgar and spend the afternoon kayaking, canoeing, or paddleboarding on Lake McDonald. Day 5: Go horseback riding or whitewater rafting. If neither of those appeal to you, take a hike! You could also make your time in Glacier part of a Glacier to Yellowstone road trip.

Things To Do Near Glacier National Park

If you want to make more of your trip, there are so many things to do outside the borders of Glacier Park.


Do you have any other questions about things to do at Glacier National Park, Montana? Let me know in the comments or through the contact link above. : Planning a trip to Glacier National Park? You'll find things to do in Glacier National Park (like hikes, visitor centers, horseback riding, and glacier gazing), the best hotels in Glacier National Park, the best campsites in Glacier National Park, and more...from an expert! Everything you need to plan your trip is in here. : Planning a trip to Glacier National Park? You'll find things to do in Glacier National Park (like hikes, visitor centers, horseback riding, and glacier gazing), the best hotels in Glacier National Park, the best campsites in Glacier National Park, and more...from an expert! Everything you need to plan your trip is in here.

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3 thoughts on “Things To Do In Glacier National Park, Montana”

  1. Pingback: NATURALEZA: 30 POSTS QUE AYUDAN PARA VIAJAR [1] | Viatges pel Món

  2. Yvonne Reynolds

    Wow! This is probably the best, ad-free post I have found on Glacier National Park. So thank you! My husband and I are making our plans to visit the park this upcoming August and I am saving this post to help us in our planning.

    1. Thank you for saying that! I go back and forth between adding ads to my site or not. I could make more money, but I hate sites with ads, so…..

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