Monday, May 2, 2022
HomeTravel15 Finest Issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park

15 Finest Issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park

Montana’s Glacier Nationwide Park had been on my bucket listing for a while. Rumors of Montana’s magnificence had swirled in my outdoorsy-person circles and Instagram feed for years, tempting me.

After I noticed it for myself, I understood what the hype was all about. The water is crystal clear, the wildlife is ample, the celebs are unimaginable. And the place else do you’ve glaciers that accessible within the decrease 48?

Like many individuals passing via, I needed to make my time there rely, since I didn’t have greater than a few days to get pleasure from it, although I’m already planning on a return. 

The next are one of the best issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park. I solely had two days to discover, and there’s much more right here than one can do in 48 hours, but it surely ought to enable you to decide and select your must-sees.

There are a number of completely different areas of the park, with a number of east and west entrance choices. For the needs of this put up I’ll begin within the west (West Glacier entrance) and transfer east, starting with the aspect that I explored extra of, and what you’ll be nearer to should you fly into Kalispell or are coming in from Idaho. 

1. Lake McDonald

Attractive at sundown and dawn

Maybe Glacier Nationwide Park’s most well-known lake, Lake McDonald is the biggest within the park, at roughly 10 miles lengthy. Like most otheres, it’s characterised by its extremely clear water, colourful rocks, and the mountains that body it for an ideal sundown or dawn.

This was my first cease within the park; should you’re coming in from the West Glacier entrance, it’s more likely to be yours, too. There are a number of locations alongside the lake the place you’ll be able to pull off to get pleasure from it; should you arrive at dawn or sundown, you’ll be able to keep away from the crowds.

2. Avalanche Gorge and Lake

glacier national park things to do avalanche gorge
Could be extra spectacular within the spring, however nonetheless cool!

Avalanche Gorge and Avalanche Lake are two of the extra accessible issues on this listing. The Path of the Cedars loop that results in the gorge is wheelchair accessible, completely flat, and fairly brief. It’s additionally one of the vital fashionable trails within the park for that purpose.

You’ll be able to add on one other mile to get to the lake, should you really feel so inclined, which is able to take you uphill. That stated, the following lake on this listing is price a go to as a substitute should you’re brief on time.

3. Highway to Logan Move

glacier national park things to do logan pass
Going-to-the-Solar Highway as taken from Logan Move

You’ll be on Going-to-the-Solar Highway from the second you enter the park from the West Glacier entrance and as you cross alongside Lake McDonald. This street is unimaginable when it comes to views and the perfect strategy to see the park’s most important options. Take into account that the street can also be fairly slim, and might get highly regarded within the summertime. I like to recommend heading out proper at dawn should you plan on parking at Logan Move, which is the place the next trailheads depart from.

4. Hidden Lake

glacier national park things to do hidden lake
Insane for stargazing

I used to be amazed by Hidden Lake. I had it nearly all to myself after I went stargazing there after darkish. Provided that Glacier Nationwide Park is a dark-sky park, and since I used to be there throughout the confluence of a number of meteor showers, I simply needed to expertise it after darkish. After a lot analysis, I discovered that the Milky Means can be completely located for simply the correct {photograph} of the lake.

To get there, park at Logan Move. You will have a few choices for this hike, together with ending on the overlook a mile and a half in, or going three miles to the lake. The path is fairly flat up till the overlook, then has just a few steep elements resulting in the lake.

Take into account that that is grizzly bear nation, and it’s a good suggestion to hold bear spray, which I purchased at Middlefork Cabins, the place I stayed. It’s additionally accessible for lease at Logan Move. Bears not often assault teams, however as a solo hiker, it was a threat to hike down by myself, particularly at nighttime. Simply one thing to bear in mind!

5. Highline Path

glacier national park things to do highline trail
This hike was extremely stunning

The Highline Path was my huge hike throughout my go to to Glacier Nationwide Park, and it didn’t disappoint! I began it proper at dawn, watching because the rays of sunshine danced throughout the mountains.

glacier national park things to do highline trail

The hike can start on the loop or at Logan Move. You’ll be able to both hike it out and again, or go all the best way to the loop and take a bus again. Take into account that the buses may be full in the summertime — should you end late, you may need to hitchhike again (not an enormous deal — I picked up a hitchhiker myself!).

glacier national park things to do highline trail
The Grinnell Glacier overlook

I did the path as an out and again, including on the Grinnell Glacier overlook. Though it’s a really steep remaining mile on an in any other case fairly mild path, the perspective on the finish was price it. My journey whole was 15 miles (it might have been 13 if I’d gone to the loop as a substitute). Take into account that this path is generally uncovered, will get very popular noon in the summertime, and could be very fashionable. There are just a few steep drop-offs, which can hassle these with a worry of heights. Nonetheless, should you begin early or go within the low season, you may get a lot of all of it to your self. 

6. Many Glacier

glacier national park things to do many glacier
Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier

Many Glacier is a valley that many think about to be probably the most stunning a part of the park. It’s accessible from the St. Mary entrance within the east, after which additionally, you will discover the well-known Grinnell Glacier trailhead.

glacier national park things to do many glacier
“Many” glaciers to see on this space

If you happen to’re heading there from Going-to-the-Solar Highway, be sure you cease by St. Mary Lake as properly, significantly to catch dawn or sundown with a view of Wild Goose Island.

7. Grinnell Glacier Path

glacier national park things to do many glacier
Some of the stunning trails within the park

This was the path I had my sights on after I first began choices in Glacier Nationwide Park. It has all of it when it comes to views, and finishes at an aquamarine lake and the well-known Grinnell Glacier. The path begins on the Many Glacier Lodge boat dock, the place there’s an choice to take a ship for a part of the best way.

It’s a 7.6-mile out-and-back path with an 1,840-foot elevation acquire. If you happen to hiked to the overlook on the Highline Path, this can be an opportunity to see the glacier up shut, and from one other perspective.

8. Two Medication Lake

glacier national park things to do two medicine
Two Medication, one other dawn and sundown favourite

Two Medication Lake is excessive on my listing to go to subsequent time. The easiest way to get there’s via the East Glacier Park space off of Freeway 49. There’s a campground and several other mountaineering trails branching off from the lake as properly.

A Few Extra Issues…

9. Rafting

Glacier Guides affords guided hikes of the park, in addition to rafting adventures, together with dinner. Although the rapids are fairly tame (largely Class II), it’s supreme for a calming afternoon, and affords an opportunity to raft on tremendous clear water.

Whereas I didn’t get an opportunity to verify these out, the next are nonetheless excessive on my listing:

10. The Triple Divide Move Path 

The Continental Divide runs proper via this a part of Montana, as you’ll see should you go to Logan Move. The Triple Divide Move Path, a 14.6-mile out-and-back path with a 2,400-foot elevation acquire, begins at Minimize Financial institution within the East Glacier space. It’s identified for spectacular views because it weaves out and in of forests and previous meadows.

11. Bowman Lake

If you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing extra secluded, do this lake, which is meant to be wonderful. The street in may be troublesome, which retains most individuals out, except you’ve a 4×4 automobile.

12. Backcountry mountaineering 

If you happen to’re extra into backcountry, multiday hikes, learn extra on the Nationwide Park Service web site. Apply for permits prematurely.

As a bonus, from Glacier Nationwide Park, you’ll be able to head all the best way into Canada’s Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park in Alberta. That might be one epic journey should you ask me.

13. Snowshoeing

If you happen to’re visiting Glacier within the wintertime, positively think about renting some snowshoes to discover. You’ll be able to lease snowshoes in West Glacier; ask about which trails close by are in one of the best situation.

14. Lease an ATV in Whitefish

You’ll be able to discover Whitefish by renting an ATV, supplying you with extra freedom should you’re in a time crunch. Go at your individual tempo, having fun with the journey of driving your individual ATV.

15. St. Mary Falls

This hike is 1.7 miles and begins on the small automotive park on Going-to-the-Solar Highway. Attending to St. Mary Falls is a reasonably straightforward trek, because it’s largely downhill. The waterfall itself has two distinct streams and is very ample within the spring and early summer time, after the snow has melted.

Leaving No Hint

Please endeavor to depart no hint when having fun with nature in Glacier Nationwide Park (and wherever it’s possible you’ll go). Meaning packing out all of your trash, at all times staying on the path, not choosing any flowers, and solely tenting in designated spots.

Avoiding Crowds

bob marshall wilderness
Black Leaf in “the Bob”

The easiest way to keep away from the crowds in Glacier is to go there throughout a shoulder season. September is outwardly probably the most stunning time within the park, offered there aren’t fires that shut it for the season. You can even snowshoe within the winter, and benefit from the heavier water movement and better lakes within the spring.

In the summertime, I used to be in a position to keep away from the crowds by heading out at sundown, catching the celebs, and making it in round 5am, earlier than the solar had risen. Most individuals aren’t prepared to do this, however if you’re, you then’ll see the park in its finest gentle and are certain to get parking!

The Bob Marshall Wilderness can also be a fantastic choice. Locals consult with this because the “native” Glacier Nationwide Park since there are so few individuals and the views are spectacular as properly. It’s much more expansive, and is finest for multiday hikes, because the solely strategy to entry many of the wilderness is by horse or foot. Dropstone Outfitting is an area women-owned, women-run firm that took me out for a day hike and left me wanting an extended, multiday expertise!

➵ Lease a automotive in Montana right here

The place to Keep

The West Glacier Village was so good! It appeared fairly new, had a sitting space, and a full kitchen. I’ll positively keep there once more subsequent time I go to Glacier.

I hope this put up helped you to search out some wonderful locations to your journey to Glacier Nationwide Park. There are such a lot of issues to do there, however then once more, it’s all so stunning you could’t actually go incorrect.

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*This put up was delivered to you in partnership with Go to Montana. All ideas on the wonderful nationwide park are my very own. How might one not be impressed, proper?

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