Exploring Glacier National Park

This article may contain referral links. Read our DISCLOSURE

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

Alan and I are lucky to have plenty of 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.

What you'll learn about Glacier National Park travel on this page

  • How to plan a Glacier National Park trip?
  • Where is Glacier National Park?
  • When is the best time to visit?
  • Where to stay in Glacier National Park?
  • What are the best things to do in Glacier National Park?

Boomer Travel Tip

Visiting Glacier National Park will be complicated in 2024. Between May 24 and September 8, 2024 (from 6 am to 3 pm), you will need a vehicle reservation to drive Going to the Sun Road from the West side or visit the North Fork (Bowman Lake). In addition, from July 1 through September 8, 2024 (6 am to 3 pm), a vehicle reservation will be required to drive to Many Glacier on the East side. In case you weren’t counting, that’s 3 vehicle reservations in addition to your National Park Pass. Apply here.

How to plan a Glacier National Park Trip?

With its ever increasing popularity, a Glacier National Park trip requires planning. I recommend starting at the source: the Glacier National Park website. Trip alerts are located at the top of the page, including road closures plus links to the vehicle registration system.

When it comes to reading up on Glacier NP, Alan Leftridge’s, The Best of Glacier National Park, is a handy guide that’s small enough to fit into your backpack. He also has published the very popular, Day Hikes of Glacier National Park Map that’s printed on waterproof and tear resistant paper.

I also recommend the Benchmark Montana Road and Recreation Atlas for exploring roads and trails that are close to Glacier National Park. It’s also a great resource for mapping out your road trip between Glacier and Yellowstone.

Where is Glacier National Park?

Nicknamed The Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park offers stunning mountain vistas, prolific wildlife, and beautiful hikes set in northwestern Montana 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.

When is the best time to visit Glacier National Park?

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. You’ll need a reserved ticket to drive into several areas of the park including Going to the Sun Road. Find out more here, including how to apply for the reservation..

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.

I recommend visiting early to mid-September for a better experience, although there will still be plenty of visitors.

Boomer Travel Tip

Our reviews (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 our National Parks Newsletter to be the first to know!

Where to stay in Glacier National Park?

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.

What are the 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.

Avalanche Lake Trail in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Hikes

When it comes to Glacier National Park hikes, boomer travelers will discover trails ranging from easy to difficult. Glacier National Park offers some of the most scenic hiking trails that we’ve experienced.  Some of the links on this page are referral links. Read our Disclosure. Glacier National Park Hikes for Boomer Hikers Discover our favorites […]

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A Many Glacier Hotel Review for Your Trip to Glacier National Park

In this Many Glacier Hotel review  I’ll show you why the historic national park lodge that sits on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake is the best place to stay in Glacier National Park. But I’ll give you a hint—location, location, location. I originally wrote the review in July 2015 but have updated it to include […]

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Picnic at Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park

How to Visit Polebridge, Montana: Going off-the-beaten-path in Glacier National Park

Would you like to visit a corner of Glacier National Park that’s not quite so crowded with tourists but has the same beautiful scenery? And wouldn’t it be fun if there was a bakery where locals and tourists compared Montana adventures over bear claws, huckleberry macaroons or gooey cinnamon rolls? You can do that in Polebridge, […]

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Snowcapped mountains reflected in a lake with rocks at the edge of the lake and trees to the right

A Winter Trip to Glacier National Park

If you’re looking for things to do on a Glacier National Park winter trip, you’ll be surprised at how much there is to do. Inside the park, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and winter hiking provide a beautiful winter experience. Or you could just admire the scenery. Winter is a fine time to visit this lovely […]

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Coloring Glacier National Park, A Grayscale Coloring Book for Travelers

Coloring Glacier National Park

When it comes to exploring unforgettable Montana scenery, Glacier National Park ranks at the top of our list. Alan and I are lucky to live about three hours away from this gorgeous park, which means plenty of opportunities to photograph and explore Glacier’s beauty. What’s the next best thing to being there? Creating your own […]

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Photo Essay: Exploring Glacier National Park

Waterfalls, scenic views, lakes, glaciers and hikes. Discover our favorites in this Glacier National Park photo essay. Glacier is one of the last remaining wild places in the United States. Let us show you why: Waterfalls Alan took this waterfall photograph while on a photo workshop with Marc Adamus. He can’t remember the exact location, but says that […]

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