Glacier National Park is a wild gem in the Rocky Mountains in Montana along the Canadian border. The park is renowned for its fabulous scenery and abundant wildlife.
Choosing a Place to Stay in Glacier
Getting to Glacier is no easy task. It is far from major airports and is a long drive from most anywhere. While many visitors from the west coast may opt to stay on the west side of the park, most of the entries into the park are on the east side, requiring them to drive the white-knuckle Going-to-the-Sun Road across the park each day.
One the east side of the park, the Amtrak train station is across the street from Glacier Park Lodge. The red buses can take visitors around the park to lodges and other major areas of the park, and a shuttle bus picks up and drops off at different trail heads, eliminating the need for a car. Glacier Park Lodge, with its shuffleboard, pool, and golf course, is the best lodge for families.
The St. Mary entrance is the major entrance into the park and Going-to-the-Sun Road from the east side, making it a great home base. However, while it has lodging options, it does not have one of the major national park lodges. Just north at Many Glacier is the one of most beautiful lodge settings in the national park system. The Many Glacier Lodge sits beside Swiftcurrent Lake, with a pyramid-shaped mountain looming in the background. It is the perfect spot for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
Restaurants in and around Glacier National Park
The restaurants inside Glacier National Park serve generally the same food as they have the same supplier. The food is typical family-friendly fare, such as grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs, and buffalo burgers. The lodges each have a fine dining room that are great for celebrating special occasions.
Best Hiking Trails in Glacier National Park
One of the most scenic hikes is the shortest is the trail to Sunrift Gorge. The trail goes under a stone bridge supporting the Going-to-the-Sun Road and climbs a few steps back to look down a long, narrow canyon out of which a stream flows. For those interested in a moderate walk, head down past Baring Falls and then hike a path that winds along Saint Mary Lake to Saint Mary Falls.
Trail of the Cedars is a boardwalk trail along Avalanche Creek. This hike is great for children or older visitors. For those who want more of a challenge, take the additional leg up to Avalanche Lake, which is walled in by mountains.
At Logan Pass behind the Visitor Center is Hidden Lake Nature Trail. The trail extends up the side of the mountain through an open meadow, frequented by mountain goats. If you hike all the way to the lake and back it’s 6 miles round trip, otherwise hike until you feel comfortable turning around. Following the trail across the road below the Visitor Center leads along the base of the Garden Wall.
At Many Glacier, buy the boat tour to be shuttled across Swiftcurrent Lake and then a short hike to Lake Josephine for a second boat ride. This secluded area is a great place to see bears and moose. Either return on the boat that brought you or continue on to hike up to the milky blue Grinnell Lake fed by Grinnell Glacier.