As one of the most spectacular and sought-after national parks in the United States, Glacier is worthy of a place on your bucket list. But how best to explore a million acres of wild spaces? Here are a few ideas for what to do on your trip to Glacier.
If the road is open to vehicle traffic during your visit, it’s well worth a drive up and over Logan Pass from West Glacier to St. Mary and then back again. When the road is closed to cars in late fall till early summer, you can bike, ski, snowshoe, or hike the closed road, depending on the conditions. Even if you can’t see as many miles under human power, the high-rising mountains and snowy scenery make for a memorable trip.
Glacier Park Boat Company runs their tours from classic wooden boats that have seen it all in Glacier. With boats that have been on the water as far back as 1926, you can experience the lakes of Glacier from a historical perspective.
These iconic red buseshave been driving park roads since the 30s. The seasoned drivers are your tour guides to the rich tapestry of the park, and the roll-back roofs give you another dimension to the high-mountain views.
Much of Glacier is accessible only on foot, and hiking makes a great way to get away from the crowds and into the mountains. Sure, the top trails on everyone’s bucket list are often busy, and for good reason. But ask in at the ranger station or backcountry permit office for some less-traveled options. Just be sure you’re ready for rugged terrain in bear country.
Evening talks and guided walks led by park staff and volunteers are usually free and can provide a great depth of information on the ecology and history of the area. Deepen your understanding of Glacier when you attend a ranger program.
In the early days of the park, one of the best ways to see the landscape was on horseback. And in many ways, that hasn’t changed. A pack trip lets you look around and explore the trail from a unique vantage that puts you in touch with the past.
Take a few hours to immerse yourself in the interpretive displays. This is a great—and free—way to learn about the park. You can enjoy your surroundings, even more, when you have some of the backstories on how the mountains came to be, the unique flora and fauna of the region, and how native tribes interacted with the landscape for generations before white settlers arrived.
Getting on the river can be either lazy, relaxing fun in the sun, or an invigorating whitewater experience. But whichever you choose, you can uniquely experience the park. Both the North Fork and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River skirt the park boundary, giving you views into Glacier and the surrounding national forest land while you make your way down the river.
When you’re ready to explore Glacier, you should find a home base that lets you relax and rest up for an adventure. Uncover camping in the park’s gateway communities at Highline Adventuresproperties, and find a sustainable stay to suit your travel style.