Exploring Glacier National Park

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Updated 06.12.2020:  Exploring Glacier National Park is on many baby boomer bucket lists. I can’t blame them. It’s a spectacular Montana destination and national park.

This article may contain referral links. Read our Disclosure.

Alan and I are lucky to have many opportunities for exploring Glacier National Park. All we have to do is hop in the car and drive about three hours north from our Montana headquarters.

Our reports (and those of hand-picked guest writers) share first-hand experiences, favorite photographs and tips for making the most of a Glacier National Park trip—with many more adventures to come. Be sure to subscribe to the My Itchy Travel Feet Weekly Broadcast to be the first to know!

Exploring Glacier National Park

A pond in the meadow at Logan Pass surrounded by stark mountains in Glacier National Park.
Logan Pass

Nicknamed The Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park offers stunning mountain vistas, prolific wildlife, and beautiful hikes set against the Canadian border. You’ll even find remnants of railroad history in the lodges and chalets scattered about the park. It would take a lifetime to explore all that Glacier National Park has to offer.

While there are many lodging choices in West Glacier, East Glacier, Many Glacier and along Highway 2 that skirts the southern end of Glacier, you’ll want to stay in historic park lodging at least once in your lifetime. Many Glacier Hotel holds wonderful memories for us of a favorite hiking trip in the Many Glacier area.

 

July to August is the prime time to visit Glacier National Park, specifically because Going-to-the-Sun Road is completely cleared of snow. It’s also a busy and crowded time. I recommend visiting early to mid-September for a better experience. 

Arriving in June has its advantages. Although Going-to-the-Sun Road isn’t completely open, hikers and cyclists are allowed on the plowed portion of the road without having to worry about car traffic.

Best things to do in Glacier National Park

At Glacier National Park, opportunities for active boomer travelers abound. Hikes range from easy walks to challenging backcountry treks (that wouldn’t be us). Raft nearby rivers on a guided trip or kayak on Lake McDonald. And then there’s the famous Going to the Sun Road—a must-drive.

A mountain lake surrounded by alpine scenery and mountain peaks.

The Best Glacier National Park Hikes

We think the hiking trails in Glacier National Park are some of the most scenic in the world. Although many of the trails are strenuous, there are also plenty of easy to moderate trails on all sides of the park. While we haven’t hiked all of them, you can read about our trail experiences (and favorites) at Glacier National Park Hikes.

Red false front of Polebridge Mercantile on the western edge of Glacier National Park

Discovering the Other side of Glacier National Park

Although not the most traveled part of the park, Polebridge certainly deserves a visit. Situated just outside Glacier National Park’s western edge, Polebridge offers access to Bowman and Kintla Lakes, inside the park plus some fun 4WD trails in the Flathead National Forest. Read more about visiting this quirky, and off-the-grid, Montana location in Tips for visiting Polebridge, Montana.

Mountain lake with rocks in the water surrounded by mountains

Glacier National Park Photo Essay

From landscapes to wildlife, you’ll find plenty to photograph in Glacier. Whether you’re using a state-of-the-art camera or clicking away with your smart phone, you’ll be happy with the results. How could you not with such stupendous scenery and wildlife? Want to see our favorites? Click on Glacier National Photo Essay. Warning! Your travel feet are going to get itchy.

Have you seen our Glacier National Park Coloring Book for grownups?

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