Plan Your Visit - Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
Our cabin for the next three nights is in Apgar Village , a small community of lodgings, restaurants, and outfitters at the southern shore of Lake McDonald. We also notice that the rocks along Lake McDonald are multi-colored, reflecting the grinding of the glaciers against the mountains for thousands of years. Here, I point out to my older daughter, Clara, is the perfect vacation spot for a rising 8th grader who will be studying earth science in September.
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One of the things that make national parks such amazing vacation experiences is that the natural wonders are complemented by the presence of knowledgeable, friendly rangers. Our first day in Glacier is made even more special by our chat with a ranger manning a telescope in Apgar Village. My younger daughter, Rosalie, especially enjoyed the experience and it inspired us to pick up a Junior Ranger activity book for her at the Apgar Visitor Center. For the next three days, Rosalie would record our activities in hopes of receiving a Junior Ranger badge.
She succeeded, with a ranger signing her book and presenting her with a badge at the Apgar Nature Center a few days later. Dinner that first night in Glacier is home-made burgers in our little kitchen, and that suits us just fine. The drive from Apgar Village to Logan Pass, at the Continental Divide, is less than an hour, but the Going-to-the-Sun Road offers such an array of views tree-filled valleys below, granite peaks and the Big Sky above , you can actually spend half a day just getting to the pass.
We arrive at the Logan Pass Visitor Center right on time, and, sure enough, we nab one of the last available parking spots. In sweatshirts and jeans in mid-July, we hit the trail to the appropriately named Hidden Lake Overlook. My kids were briefly terrified, then merely embarrassed for me as I got to my feet and brushed the snow from my s. Adults and kids are awed by the white, bearded mountain goats that clip-clop their way over the rocks, across the boardwalk overlook, and up the sides of the mountains. Sure, Logan Pass may be the high point, both literally and figuratively, of Glacier National Park, but we are by no means done with all the park has to offer.
Where Should I Stay in Glacier National Park?
We picnic by St. Rangers are eager to point out that fire is an essential element of forest ecology, not a catastrophe but a means to clear out underbrush and for certain trees, including lodgepole pine, to spread their seeds via pine cones that open up only when exposed to extreme heat. We briefly exit the park on our way to the Two Medicine area, where two lakes Upper and Lower Two Medicine await, and one of our favorite waterfalls enthralls us: Running Eagle Falls is impressive both from the creek bed at its base and also from an easy overlook above, and as temperatures climb in the afternoon sun, we happily splash one another with the icy water.
Built in the glory days of the Great Northern Railroad, the lodge dazzles visitors with a cavernous lobby whose pillars are actual tree trunks.
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Rather than return to our cabin at Apgar Village via Going-to-the-Sun Road, we opt for the perimeter of the park, which takes about the same amount of time minus the switchbacks and vertigo. We sleep like stones. Next morning, after another of my pancake breakfasts, we are determined to conquer Lake McDonald in canoes. They do more than survive: They thrive on the thrill of SUP, and watching them take to it reminds me to savor these days when both girls navigate that border between needing me and, um, not so much.
One of their rewards for trying something new and tricky? BBQ ribs in our cabin kitchen, of course. After dinner, we go back to the lake to watch the shadows fall on the water.
He plays simple folk melodies, sending low, resonant notes out over the lake to bounce off the surrounding mountains. The melancholy echoes are the perfect soundtrack for our last evening in the park. Next morning, we resolve to enjoy our final hours in Glacier at the iconic Trail of the Cedars. An easy hike along a boardwalk, the trail takes us past ancient cedar trees, including downed stumps with roots in the air, hollow trees perfect for photo ops, and the beautiful Avalanche Falls. Our next two night are at the gorgeous Bridge Street Cottages in Bigfork.
With lots of room, a full kitchen, a front porch!
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Glacier National Park is in the northwest corner of Montana, on the Canadian border. The closest cities with airline service are Kalispell, 29 miles southwest of the park; Great Falls, miles southeast; and Missoula, miles south. If you're driving, the easiest ways to reach the park are from U.
Mary on the east. The following east-side entrances are primarily hiking trails designed to access specific places and do not necessarily take you into the heart of the park: Essex, East Glacier, Two Medicine, Cut Bank, and Many Glacier.
Mary Park entrances. Entrance is restricted during the winter, when most of Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed. Avis, Budget, Hertz, and National have counters at the airport. The airports in Missoula and Great Falls are within a relatively easy drive of Glacier as well. By Rail -- Amtrak's Empire Builder tel.
Contact the superintendent, Glacier National Park, P. Box West Glacier, MT tel. A vast array of publications is available from the Glacier Association, U. Box , West Glacier, MT tel. For up-to-date information on park activities, check in at visitor centers at Apgar, Logan Pass, and St. Mary; Travel Alberta staffs a center at West Glacier. Cast away stress, while Ranch outfitters take care of all the details: rafts, gear, guides, transportation and a relaxing break for a creekside lunch from the Granite Lodge kitchen. Discover the full breadth of the Montana fishing experience with casting lessons, a fly tying workshop, a float trip and an off-Ranch fishing excursion, in addition to miles of Blue Ribbon trout fishing on Rock Creek.
A Ranch Ambassador will assist in designing a bespoke itinerary for any non-angler travel companions. Read more. RT visitmissoula: This view never gets old. Stroll along the Riverfront Trail and see for yourself. Directions Email Visit Website Learn more. Offer valid on new reservations only for travel between September 6 and November 24, , subject to availability.