A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

Glacier National park is one of the jewels of the US national park systems and if one of the must see destinations to put in your bucket list. I have heard a lot about this park, but never took the initiative to spend some time to research and plan a trip, but this has really been a great opportunity to finally visit the park on a road trip from the capital Helena which is about 2 1/2 hours south of the park entrance.

 

 

West entrance A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

 

West entrance Glacier National Park

Arriving at the west entrance, you will pass through all the tourist center in West Glacier filled with lodgings, restaurants, galleries and typical tour companies that specialize in park tours. Past the entrance, you can stop at the popular tourist information center which is always busy but has a complete center for guides and tourist information. You continue on in a world of lush greens and views to the large lake fronts the main drive, Lake McDonald is gorgeous with those glimpse of those magnificent peaks in the park.

 Lake McDonald A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

 

Stunning annual blooms throughout the park

 

Wildflowers and visit to Glacier National park in Montana

 

The views keep getting better with a combination of lake vistas, little ferry boats and stunning mountain peaks in the background. Driving through the valley floor is filled with so many ooohs and aaaaahs passing through rushing streams, mass meadows of blooming wildflowers and the start of an incline drive up the mountains of Glacier park.

 

Ferry at Lake McDonald Glacier National park in Montana

 

Framed wildflower blooms with river views

 

Road to the Sun at Glacier National Park

Driving the famous Road to the Sun

One of the highlights of visiting Glacier National Park is to drive the entire length of the Road to the Sun. One of the most scenic road trips in the National Parks systems, the Road to the Sun is about 50 miles in length traveling from the valley floor and Lake McDonald up through the high peaks of the park. Along the way you will see some amazing vistas and will practically stop at every overlook point to see another exciting vantage point to enjoy and photograph. It’s easy to see why this road is one of the most popular and spectacular drives of the national parks in the US, there’s just too many amazing views and panoramas worth stopping and enjoying those breathtaking landscapes.

 

 

Here are some highlights of that gorgeous drive up to the peaks of the national park

 

Road to the Sun at Glacier National Park

 

Beautiful views looking up from the valley floor

 

Stunning views at Glacier National Park

 

Scenic panoramas of Glacier National Park

Around the summit area is a multitude of lookout points and when you see the entire valley floor and mountain range, it just takes your breath away. Pictures really cannot do it justice and you definitely have to visit this park to witness the amazing landscape and vistas driving through the summit road.

 

Stunning panorama view at Glacier National Park

Selfie time with my niece at an overlook

 

Selfies and view at Glacier National Park

 

Along the drive, you will pass through many waterfalls and some that you will actually drive above like the image below of Haystack waterfalls. With the flush of melting snow, it seems like waterfalls are tumbling everywhere and on your drive there are so many varieties of waterfalls including: Bird Woman falls, Lunch Creek and the famous weeping falls which passes directly on the road with water gushing directly from the rock walls onto the road and creating an awesome spectacle to drive through.

 

Driving across a waterfall at Glacier National Park

More gorgeous waterfalls

 Waterfalls at Glacier National Park

 

The Big Bend scenic lookout

 

Gorgeous wild flowers at Glacier National Park

 

Views at the visitor center Glacier National Park

 

 Visitor center at Logan Pass

At the summit of the Road to the Summit is the Logan Pass Visitor Center which is the highest point you will pass along the Road to the Sun Drive. This is a worthwhile visit not just to the information center, but also for the spectacular views, exhibits and the wonderful alpine trails above the center. The hike to the Alpine areas include the two popular trails: the Highline trail and the Hidden Lake Trail. In the spring and summertime, the trails are filled with wonderful wildflowers in the meadows going up to the mountain peaks. Along the way on this hike you can also wildlife including Big Horn Sheep Rams that frequent all the meadows of the Alpine trails.

Marmot at the visitor center Glacier National Park

 A furry Marmot greets you at the Visitors center

vistas at the visitor center Glacier National Park

Alpine blooms above the visitor center

 

Alpine hike at the visitor center Glacier National Park

Alpine hike above visitors center

Right above the visitor’s center at the summit is a fantastic alpine hike and the views are spectacular.  You can hike the Highland loop trail approximately 11.2 miles to the top peak or just go as far as you would like. Or if you want try the Hidden Lake trail which is one of the most popular hikes in the park,  the hike is approximately 5.4 miles roundtrip.  Along the way are magnificent wildflowers that are blooming this time of the year (Visited in July) throughout the meadow areas and up to the mountain peaks.

 

A magnificent hotel to stay

Lake McDonald Lodge located on the shores of McDonald lake is one of those iconic national park hotels to stay and experience the history and elegance of these historic inns while visiting the park. Of course you do need to book a reservation months in advanced especially during the peak and short visiting season to the park. Here’s what you will see when you enter the hotel and the grounds around the lakefront property.

 

Lake Mc Donald Lodge Glacier National Park

 

Rustic interior elegance

 

Lake Mc Donald Lodge interior Glacier National Park

 

A rustic and elegant entrance leads to this stunning interior of the lodge with these huge lanterns and wooden posts and beams that create a stunning presence.  If you do visit  the park, try to book a stay at Lake McDonald Lodge, it really adds to the entire park experience. For more information and details about staying at the Lake McDonald Lodge check this website for current prices and availability.

 

Lake Mc Donald Lodge interior Glacier National Park

 

Beautiful cabins next to the main lodge and fronting the lake

Cabins at Lake Mc Donald Lodge Glacier National Park

You can rent a boat or take a steamer from the lodge boat launch 

 

Outdoor recreation at Lake Mc Donald Lodge Glacier National Park

Tips before you go

You definitely need to spend some time researching and booking hotels, car rentals and other activities when you visit because everything books months in advance due to the short visiting season at this park. Here are the top things to plan and consider when you are traveling to Glacier national Park.

Booking your hotel

The first thing to work out is where you will stay because hotels do book months or years in advance especially during the peak season. Prices due rise according to limited availability of hotel or BnB housing. You can check out reviews and the latest prices through any of your favorite booking websites below

TripAdvisor Glacier National Park lodging reviews and latest prices

Booking.com reviews and bargains of lodges and Inns

Price line current prices and promotions for Glacier National Park

 

Booking your car rental

In order to get the best prices for limited inventory, you also need to book your rental car as soon as you can. Depending on location you can book basically from where you fly into.

 

Priceline car rentals and bid up to 40% off current rental rates

Hertz Rental cars, save 40% when you pay now

Expedia Car Rentals for current prices and availability

 

 

 

Red buses at Glacier National Park

Tour activities at the National Park

You can take the Big Red Bus tours around the park on these classic buses with guides and stopping at strategic places to view the landscape. For more information on these tours, check out their website here for details and prices.

 

National parks group small van tours

If your adverse to driving through the parks and other amazing places to visit in the Northwest, why not take a small group tour of the National Parks in the Northwest. You can check out these small group tours offered by Tours4Fun here for some of the spectacular tours in the Northwest National Parks tour.

 

 

Scenic views at Glacier National Park

 

Thanks for visiting today and checking out this post on A visit to Glacier National park in Montana, hopefully you will be able to see and experience this amazing national park and drive through the spectacular Road to the Sun drive. If you enjoyed the images and post, could you please share it with any of the social media buttons located around the post.

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17 Responses to A visit to Glacier National park in Montana

  1. Dave Briggs October 4, 2016 at 8:03 pm #

    Stunning photos as always! And it looks a great place to cycle around, especially that Big Bend Scenic Lookout. Do you know if many people go cycling through the area?

  2. Kerri October 4, 2016 at 12:57 pm #

    I just love the parks of the US and have seen so much about them that I really need to add them to my travel list. We love driving on our trips too so think this would be a great way of doing it and the Road to the Sun would be awesome! Staying in a lodge is something that I think of as being quintessential American so I would definitely be staying in something like this if I were here. A fire in winter would be awesome!!

  3. John M. October 3, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

    Wow – incredible beauty! I’ve never seen a road/bridge built across a waterfall – that is really something to see!

  4. Juliette @ Snorkels to Snow October 2, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    What a beautiful place to visit! I would love to take the steamer across. It’s just so picturesque!

  5. Erika Bisbocci October 2, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Glacier is the #1 National Park on my bucket list. The Road to the Sun seems like a definite must-do. Your photos are gorgeous! I especially like the one with the wildflowers. I imagine that going when the flowers are in bloom is truly magical.

  6. Travelwith2ofus October 2, 2016 at 12:59 am #

    I have always heard about Glacier National Park, but I did not know it was so beautiful. Your photos really captured the essence of the surrounding. The lush green mountains and the blooming flowers make the place even more beautiful.

  7. Drew October 1, 2016 at 8:02 pm #

    Wow, looks amazing. Never been to Montana, let alone Glacier National Park. I have family that lives there now, so it’s on the list of place to go in the near future. Would love to spend a few days hiking through that landscape!

  8. Nisha October 1, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    It is such a lovely place that, I think, even a week will not be sufficient. Is camping allowed? The furry marmot does look funny with its two over grown teeth 🙂

  9. Monika September 30, 2016 at 10:10 pm #

    Amazing photos and location. It’s a pity you need to book everything much earlier because such places call for mor spontaneous visits 🙂

    • Noel October 1, 2016 at 6:28 am #

      Well of course you can be more spontaneous and visit at your leisure, the drawback is that car rentals, hotels and attractions are limited, so prices increase tremendously when there is too much demand unfortunately.

  10. Chrysoula September 30, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    Great guide very informative. Your pictures are stunning. The Glacier National Park looks so beautiful I would love to visit! Nature is so breathtaking there.

  11. Karen Warren September 13, 2016 at 10:29 pm #

    Glacier National Park looks fantastic – what stunning pictures. I really need to spend more time in North America!

  12. Doreen Pendgracs September 13, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

    Wonderful post, Noel. It’s been so long since I last visited Glacier National Park. Your awesome pics make me want to return real soon.

  13. The GypsyNesters September 13, 2016 at 9:41 am #

    Absolutely breathtaking! We have only been to Glacier National Park in the winter, sure looks different in the summer.

  14. Rhonda Albom September 13, 2016 at 9:20 am #

    I can see why they call it Big Sky Montana. Thanks for the wonderful photos.

  15. Photo(Geo)grapher September 12, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    What a stunning place to explore! Beautiful photos

    • Noel September 12, 2016 at 9:05 am #

      Yes, it is a gorgeous place, have you been to this wonderful park yet?

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