Glacier National Park, one of the most spectacular sceneries on the planet is located in the northwest corner of Montana in America. This park protects more than a million acres of forests, alpine meadows, lakes, rugged peaks and glacial-carved valleys in the Northern Rocky Mountains. There are more than 175 named mountains, 762 lakes, 563 streams, over 200 named waterfalls, and over 745 miles of maintained hiking trails. Still, there are 25 active glaciers in the park. This park is named for the glaciers that produced its landscape as it moves, a glacier picks up rock and gravel. Glacier National Park got all its valleys, sharp mountain peaks, and lakes for thousands of years. Glacier National Park is regulated by the National Park Service, with the park’s headquarters in West Glacier, Montana. About 2.2 million visitors annually over the ten-year period from 2007 to 2016 visited this park. In Glacier National Park Tours, visitors can drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road, dining at Lake McDonald Lodge. Tourists can take a Historic Boat Ride, a Red Bus Tour, Sun Tour or a Hike on Mountains in their Glacier National Park Tours.
Glacier National Park Weather
Weather in Glacier National Park is fickle, unpredictable, and extreme even in the summer. It’s crazy out there and can be harsh at any time of year. Due to the disorder of the movement of air currents, climate differences occur between the east and west side of the park. East side of the park is higher in altitude and frequently windy, therefore often cooler. Western valleys usually receive the most rainfall. In the higher elevations, temperatures might fall at least 10 to 15 degrees cooler at any given time. Generally, the higher you climb, the colder it feels.
In summer, days are warm and nights are cooled. Visitors to Glacier National Park in the summer must be prepared for a gauntlet of weather patterns, such as freezing rain, snowfall, 100-degree days, 20-degree nights.
Mountain climbing, hiking, cycling and even a mild stroll to Avalanche Lake can be tough if the weather turns against you. Hikers should set their outing plan on a warm summer day along with raingear and lots of extra clothing for a comfortable visit all year long. They should always be prepared for a wide range of temperatures and changeable weather conditions while hiking in the park.
In winter, many areas are inaccessible. In this season, significant snowfall occurs, especially in the west. The temperature is constantly below freezing. Normally snowfall of Glacier for an entire season is recorded about 139.5 inches.
In spring and in autumn, national park’s weather is snowy.
Average temperatures and rainfall from January to December at Glacier National Park:
|Month||Average maximum (°F)||Average minimum (°F)||Average Precipitation (in)|
According to the chart and describing, I can suggest the best time for Glacier National Park Tours-
July to August is the peak tourist months of the National Park. The National Park is alive in this period as the days are warm and sunny, and ideal for almost all outdoor activities. Expect a higher range of lodging rates during this period. And the most attractive thing in this season of Glacier National Park Tours offers a lot of activities for kids, including the park’s ranger-led activities which are in full swing. Though it’s little crowded during these months, if you plan to go in this season it’s best to plan a reservation up to a year in advance.
Glacier National Park Map
In your Glacier National Park Tours, park map is mostly needed-
Glacier National Park Airport
The best way to get to Glacier National Park is flying. The closest cities of Glacier National Park with airline service are Kalispell, 29 miles southwest of the park; Great Falls, 200 miles southeast; and Missoula, 150 miles south.
Glacier National Park’s nearest airport is Glacier Park International Airport in the north of Kalispell at 4170 U.S.2 is serviced by United, Allegiant, Delta, and Horizon which is 30 miles away from the west entrance of the Park and 12 miles from the town of Whitefish. Missoula and Great Falls airports are in a relatively easy drive to Glacier. Visitors can fly in their Glacier National Park Tours from most US cities to Glacier Park International with only one layover.
Flights to Glacier National Park:
|Delta Airlines (Contact:1.800.221.1212)||Salt Lake City (SLC), Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP).||Atlanta (ATL), Los Angeles (LAX).|
|United Airlines (Contact:1.800.864.8331)||Denver (DEN)||Chicago (ORD)|
|Alaska Airlines (Contact: 1.800.252.7522)||Seattle (SEA)||Portland (PDX)|
|Allegiant Airlines (Contact:1.702.505.8888)||Las Vegas (LAS)||Oakland (OAK), Los Angeles (LAX).|
Amtrak’s Empire Builder, a Chicago-Seattle round-trip train which stops between May 1 and October 1 at East Glacier and year-round at West Glacier and Essex.
If you’re driving in your Glacier National Park Tours, the easiest ways to reach the park are from U.S. 2 and U.S. 89. The park’s entrances are at West Glacier, Camas Road, St. Mary, Many Glacier, Two Medicine, and Pole bridge. The entrance of Going-to-the-Sun Road is from West Glacier on the southwest side and St. Mary on the east.
Where to Stay When Visiting Glacier National Park:
Glacier National Park Hotels Near:
- Many Glacier Hotel Glacier National Park – Location: 36 Many Glacier Hotel Loop, Babb, MT, 59411, USA.
- The Firebrand Hotel- Location: 650 3rd St E, Whitefish, MT 59937-2669.
- Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell- Location: 1840 Us Highway 93 S, MT 59901.
- Morning Eagle- Location: 3893 Big Mountain Road, Whitefish, MT 59937-8624.
- Morning Eagle- Location: 3893 Big Mountain Road, Whitefish, MT 59937-8624.
- Hampton Inn Kalispell- Location: 1140 Highway 2 W, MT 59901.
- Holiday Inn Express Kalispell- Location: 275 Treeline Rd, Kalispell, MT 59901-1204.
- La Quinta Inn & Suites Kalispell- Location: 255 Montclair Dr | Kalispell, MT 59901-3229.
- Red Lion Hotel Kalispell- Location: 20 N Main St, Kalispell, MT 59901-4080.
- Waterton Glacier Suites- Location: 107 Windflower Ave, Park, AB T0K 2M0.
- Comfort Inn Big Sky- Location: 1330 US Highway 2 West | Kalispell, MT 59901-1621.
- Chalet Motel Whitefish- Location: 6430 Hwy 93 South, MT 59937.
- Hibernation House- Location: 3812 Big Mountain Rd, Whitefish, MT 59937-8624.
- Motel 6 – Kalispell- Location: 1540 US 93 S, Kalispell, MT 59901.
- Whitefish Mountain Resort- Location: 3889 Big Mountain Rd, Whitefish, MT 59937, USA.
- Meadow Lake Resort- Location: 100 St Andrews Dr, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, USA.
- Swiftcurrent Motor Inn- Location: Glacier National Park, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, USA.
- East Glacier Hotels.
Glacier National Park Lodging:
- The Lodge at Whitefish Lake- Location: 1380 Wisconsin Ave, Whitefish, MT 59937-3338.
- Grouse Mountain Lodge- Location: 2 Fairway Dr, Whitefish, MT 59937-3199.
- Kintla Lodge- Location: 3889 Big Mountain Rd. Whitefish, MT 59937.
- Western Rocky Mountain- Location: 6510 Highway, 93 South, Whitefish, MT 59937.
- Big Mountain Lodge- Location: 6390 Hwy 93 South, Whitefish, MT 59937-8235.
- Econo Lodge Inn & Suites- Location: 1680 Highway 93 South, Kalispell, MT 59901-5725.
- Travelodge Kalispell- Location: 350 N Main St, Kalispell, MT 59901-3947.
- Lake McDonald Lodge- Location: The-Sun Road Lake McDonald Lodge Loop, MT 59936, Glacier National Park, MT 59936.
Lodging Near Glacier National Park West Entrance:
- Apgar Village Lodge- Location: Lake View Dr, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Silverwolf Log Chalets Resort- Location: 160 Gladys Glen Rd, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- West Glacier Village- Location: 250 Going-to-the-Sun Rd, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- The Great Bear Inn- Location: 5672 Blankenship Rd, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Glacier Guides Lodge- Location: 120 Highline Blvd, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA
- Belton Chalet- Location: 12575 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Lake McDonald Lodge- Location: 288 Lake Mcdonald Lodge Loop, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Great Northern Resort- Location: 12127 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Cedar Creek Lodge- Location: 930 2nd Ave W, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, USA.
- Glacier Basecamp Lodge- Location: 7285 Hwy 2 E, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, USA.
Glacier National Park Cabins:
- Brownstone Cabin- Located on the Abbott Valley Homestead.
- The Ridge at Glacier.
- Abbott Valley Quinton – Located on North Abbott Creek on the edge of a meadow.
- Spotted Bear.
Glacier National Park Cabins Pet-Friendly:
- San-Suz Ed RV Park & Campground,
- West Glacier KOA,
- Lake Five Resort,
- Glacier General Store and Cabins.
Glacier National Park Camping:
- Swan Lake Camping,
- Glacier National Park Campgrounds,
- Two Medicine Campground.
Glacier National Park Restaurants:
- Russell’s Fireside Dining Room- Location: Going-To-The-Sun Road Lake McDonald Lodge, Glacier National Park, MT 59936.
- Many Glacier Hotel– Location: Many Glaciers Hotel, Glacier National Park, MT 59411.
- Ptarmigan Dining Room- Location: Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park, MT.
- ‘Nell’s- Location: Many Glacier Valley, Glacier National Park, MT.
- Two Dog Flats Grill at Rising Sun Motor – Location: 1380 Wisconsin Ave, East Entrance Of The Park, Glacier National Park, MT.
- Lucke’s Lounge- Location: 288 Lake Mcdonald Lodge Loop Road Lake McDonald Lodge, Glacier National Park, MT 59936.
- Glacier Village Restaurant- Location: 304-308 Highway 2 East, Glacier National Park, MT 59434.
- Eddies Cafe & Gifts- Location: Apgar Village, 236 Apgar Loop, West Glacier, Glacier National Park, MT 59936.
- Belton Grill Dining Room & Tap Room- Location: 12575 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Jammer Joes Grill and Pizzaria- Location: West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Serranos Mexican Restaurant- Location: 29 Dawson Ave, East Glacier Park, Backpacker’s Inn, MT 59434, USA.
- Sunflower Cafe & Catering- Location: 12070 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Two Medicine Grill- Location: 314 US-2, East Glacier Park, MT 59434, USA.
- The Trap Line Cafe & Grill- Location: 10045 Hwy 2 E, Coram, MT 59913, USA.
- Carolyn’s Cafe- Location: US-2, Hungry Horse, MT 59919, USA.
- Elkhorn Grill- Location: 105 Hungry Horse Blvd, Hungry Horse, MT 59919, USA.
- Rising Sun Motor Inn- Location: Going-to-the-Sun Road, East Glacier Park, Glacier National Park, MT 59434, USA.
- Lake McDonald Lodge- Location: 288 Lake Mcdonald Lodge Loop, West Glacier, Glacier National Park, MT 59936, USA.
- Firebrand Food & Ale- Location: 20629 US-2, East Glacier Park, MT 59434, USA.
- West Glacier Restaurant- Location: 190 Going-to-the-Sun Rd, West Glacier, MT 59936, USA.
- Whitefish Restaurants- Location: 1200 U.S. 93 N, Whitefish, MT 59937, USA.
Glacier National Park Tours Facts:
- Mountain goat is a symbol of the park.
- ‘Jammers’ are the transportation of choice.
- The park is home to 26 glaciers, but that number is shrinking.
- Going-to-the-sun road is an award winner.
- The park is a water lover’s delight.
- More than 350 historic structures abound like chalets, hotels, visitor centers, barracks, and more, all of which appear on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Plants and animals are plentiful with 71 species of mammals, 276 species of birds and 1,990 total species of plants.
- There is in a total of 175 mountains in Glacier National Park and the tallest is Mt. Cleveland at 10,448 feet.
- The train takes you to the park’s doorstep.
Best Things to Do in Glacier National Park:
It’s quite tough to explore the 1-million-acre park in a short Glacier National Park Trip. It takes completely 5 days for enjoying and adventuring the visit. But if you are on a 1-day trip plan then you’re well-advised to spend it driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road. In 3 days summer tour, you can travel The Going-to-the-Sun Road, The North Fork, and West Glacier. You can also plan your winter vacation time for Glacier National Park Visit by The Izaak Walton Inn, The Going-to-the-Sun Road, The North Fork, Columbia Falls, etc among 3 days. Here, we presenting the best itineraries to help in your traveling plan.
Best Way To See Glacier National Park-
Apgar Nature Center
In 1929, the Apgar Nature Center has been built like a small cabin that stands on a grove of cedar trees. It is one of the official park visitor centers and features interactive activities for kids: children can feel a grizzly bear’s fur, listen and identify birds by their “songs” or create their own puppet show.
At present, tourists recommended this visitor center as your first stop in the park to get vital information on road and weather conditions, bear sightings and trail closures.
The center is free to access and open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from mid-June to late August.
It is the largest lake in the park and one of the major hubs of activity on the west side. The area offers an array of activities including bus tours, boat tours, horseback riding, ranger presentations and access to two of the park’s popular day hikes, the Avalanche Lake Trail and Trail of the Cedars. There are some campgrounds situated around Lake McDonald, as well as the Apgar Visitor Center. Reserve online in advance of your visit.
Trail of the Cedars
Trail of the Cedars is a short loop hike, less than a mile that begins and ends on Going-to-the-Sun Road, which means you can hike it in either direction. The hike features a raised boardwalk that passes through a fragrant, old-growth red cedar forest, but the highlight is at the midway point where you’ll reach a footbridge with sweeping views of the gorge and a stunning waterfall surrounded by rainbow-colored rocks.
Drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road is a scenic drive in America and breathtaking. It’s a paved two-lane highway through Glacier National Park, divide the park into east and west regions and crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Going-to-the-Sun Road is both a National Historic Landmark and a Civil Engineering Landmark and passes through almost every type of terrain the park offers, from glacial lakes, waterfalls and cedar forests to alpine peaks. All the part of the 52-mile route are open year-round, but the alpine sections do close due to snow.
Logan Pass is situated in the middle of the park of the Going-to-the-Sun Road less than 20 miles west of the St. Mary visitor center and about 30 miles north of the Apgar Visitor Center. The visitors recommended taking the free shuttle service to the visitor center in Logan Pass. Many of the hiking trails start here including the Highline Trail and the Hidden Lake Trail.
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the world’s first International Peace Park which is jointly created with Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada, and Glacier National Park.
This peace park is biosphere reserves, featuring spectacular scenery and a wide variety of plant and animal species. Though the park has minimal facilities, nearby Waterton Village is a charming small town filled with restaurants, hotels and gift shops. Travelers can also rent bikes and book boat tours in the village.
Reviewers were blown away by the stunning scenery and abundance of wildlife, including bighorn sheep. Many recommended the boat tour offered by Waterton Shoreline Cruise and almost all say a visit to the charming Waterton Village is a must.
Iceberg Lake Trail
Iceberg Lake Trail is favorite to experienced hikers. In this trail way, you will get stunning views of Mount Wilbur, Iceberg Peak, and the Continental Divide upon reaching the snow and ice-filled lake. This trail hike begins behind the cabins at Swiftcurrent Lake and shares the Ptarmigan Tunnel Trail for the first few miles, splitting off just past the Ptarmigan Falls.
According to visitors commentary, the trail is well-suited for avid hikers and may be too difficult for casual travelers who are unfit, as the trail is mostly uphill. Tourists also enjoyed seeing grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats along the way.
Late spring and early summer are the best time to see the floating icebergs on the lake and prepared that even in the summer, it can be cold or rainy.
Glacier National Park Tours Boat Company
In 1938, historic and family-owned Glacier Park Boat Company was the first tour concession in the park. Handcrafted wooden boats of this Company take visitors on narrated tours of Lake McDonald, St. Mary’s Lake at Rising Sun, Two Medicine and Many Glacier.
Many recent hikers heading for the Dawson/Pitamakan Pass trails used the GNP boat as a shuttle across Two Medicine Lake to cut a few miles off the trek, while others combine boat tour of Swiftcurrent and Josephine Lakes to reach the Grinnell Lake trailhead.
Grinnell Glacier is one of the most photographed attractions in the park that named after anthropologist and conservationist George Bird Grinnell. Grinnell Glacier hike is about 10 miles round-trip and, at the viewpoint, reaches 1,600 feet in altitude.
Highline Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the park and one of the most strenuous and so park service has installed a hand cable along this stretch of the ridge for safety. This Trail follows the Continental Divide and features stunning scenery of glacial valleys, alpine meadows and a famous ledge called the Garden Wall. Garden Wall is located a quarter mile from the trail-head for those who prefer the shorter hike.
Glacier National Park Hikes:
Here we gather the best hikes in Glacier National Park Tours-
- Grinnell Glacier Glacier National Park,
- Highline Trail Glacier National Park,
- Ptarmigan Tunnel Glacier National Park,
- Iceberg Lake Glacier National Park,
- Swiftcurrent Creek and the Lakes,
- Scenic Point,
- Piegan Pass,
- St Mary and Virginia Falls,
- Hidden Lake Overlook,
- Swiftcurrent Pass.
Getting Around Glacier National Park Tours:
The best way of getting around Glacier National Park is by car or by park’s shuttle services. If you’re getting by car, Highway 2 runs along the southern edge of the park, while Highway 89 offers access on the east side. Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), located half an hour from the park and about 10 miles northeast of the city of Kalispell, is serviced by Delta, United, Alaska and Allegiant airlines and offers rental cars from several major companies. Glacier Taxi is a taxi company available at the airport.
Glacier National Park Shuttle
The national park offers a different type of shuttle services, like a free hop on, hop off shuttle service system that runs point-to-point along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Apgar Visitor Center and St. Mary Visitor Center. Xanterra operated a fee-based shuttle service which runs from the St. Mary tourist center and Many Glacier Hotel/Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and connects to the Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle. You can also take the fee-based shuttle ($10 for adults and $5 for children) from west side locations, including the Lake McDonald Lodge, Village Inn or West Glacier train station. Parking at the shuttle hubs is free and all shuttles are air-conditioned and offer educational narration along the route via a free downloadable audio app. Some shuttles feature bike racks. This shuttle service system runs during peak season from July to Labor Day.
Glacier National Park Tours Car
Driving is the best way to get around the park and the best way to take advantage of the spectacular scenery, but be aware that road closures are common, especially during the winter. Check the park’s website or stop at a visitor information center for real-time updates on road and hiking trail closures, as well as important safety information. Also make sure to fill up your gas tank and pack snacks, water, and additional clothing, as facilities along the park roads and trails are minimal.
Glacier National Park Bus Tours
Red Bus Tours depart from both the east side and the west side of the park, perfect for viewing the mountain scenery. On the east side of the park, tours leave from Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Many Glacier Hotel and Rising Sun Motor Inn, as well as from various locations outside the park including the town of St. Mary’s, Johnson’s Hotel and at the Glacier Park Lodge. On the west side of the park, you can hop on a tour at the Apgar Visitor Center, Village Inn at Apgar and Lake McDonald Lodge. Eastside tours run from early June to late September and west side tours operate from late May to early October. Each of the fleet’s 33 vehicles seats 17 passengers, so tours sell out quickly.