bentoninn Destination Beginner’s Guide to Glacier National Park, Montana

Beginner’s Guide to Glacier National Park, Montana

Beginner’s Guide to Glacier National Park, Montana post thumbnail image

Located in Northwest Montana, Glacier National Park is a paradise for hikers, campers and nature lovers. It has alpine meadows, dense forests, beautiful waterfalls, over 25 glaciers and over 700 dazzling lakes.

From the popular The road to the suna two lane paved highway offering magical views a scenic hiking trailsHere you are everything you need to know to visit Glacier National Park!

Find The best places to stay in Montana, USA

Beginner’s Guide to Glacier National Park

Where is Glacier National Park located?

Glacier National Park is located at Rocky Mountains of Montana. The beautiful national park borders Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. It has parts of two mountain ranges, 131 named lakesand more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of animal species.

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The best time to visit Glacier National Park

a person hiking in Glacier National Park

The best times to visit Glacier National Park are based on several factors:

  • the best time for good weather and activities: from the end of June to mid-September;

  • the best time to travel the Strada del Sole: from July to October, when the road is generally completely open;

  • the best time to avoid gatherings: Early to mid-September after Labor Day, November to March in winter;

  • the best time for the best wildlife sightings: late summer or early fall.

What to know before leaving

kayaking in Glacier National Park

Cash is not accepted in the park! Use your debit or credit card instead. Additionally, Glacier National Park charges an entrance fee: Glacier Annual Pass (12 months) $70, Private Vehicle Pass (7 Days) $35* / $25**, Motorcycle pass (7 days) $30* / $20**, Pedestrian/cyclist crossing $20* / $15**. Rates increase from $5 to $10 from May to October. It’s best to buy passes on line.

The National Park Service waiver of admission fees on certain national park holidays and celebrations: Martin Luther King, Jr Day, First Day of National Park Week, Anniversary of the Great American Outdoors Act, National Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.

In 2023, vehicle reservation is required for four park areas: Going-to-the-Sun Road, North Fork, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. Each location requires a separate reservation!

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What to see in Glacier National Park

the famous road through Glacier National Park

If you are an adventurous individual, Glacier National Park is perfect for you. Here you are top 7 things to do and see in Glacier National Park:

1. Drive the famous Road to the Sun and visit Logan Pass, the highest elevation accessible by car

2. Take a boat ride on Lake McDonald, paddle a kayak on Swiftcurrent Lakeor go white water rafting

3. Take on at least one excursion — The Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail (a short and easy trail), Grinnell Glacier Hiking Trail (challenging), Iceberg Lake Hiking Trail (moderate)

4. Take a boat trip of Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine and the two larger lakes of Many Glacier

5. Take Instagram worthy photos of towering mountains, pristine lakes and abundant wildlife

6. Camp under the stars at one of 13 beautiful campsites

7. Take a guided horse ride and soak up the spectacular views

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Where to Stay in Glacier National Park?

Glacier National Park’s Best Lodges:

  • Many Glacier Hotel (located along the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake);

  • Glacier Park Lodge (at the eastern entrance to Glacier National Park);

  • Prince of Wales Hotel (built by the Great Northern Railway in 1927);

  • Lake McDonald Lodge (on the western side of Glacier National Park);

  • Rising Sun Motor Inn (located just off Going-to-the-Sun Road);

  • Grouse Mountain Lodge (located just along the edge of Whitefish Golf Course);

  • East Glacier Glacier Park Lodge (a historic lodge in Whitefish).

What are the most visited national parks in the US?

The top 10 most visited national parks in the United States are:

  1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee-North Carolina;

  2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona;

  3. Zion National Park, Utah;

  4. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado;

  5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming-Montana-Idaho;

  6. Acadia National Park, Maine;

  7. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming;

  8. Yosemite National Park, California;

  9. Indiana Dunes National Park, Indiana;

  10. Glacier National Park, Montana.

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