There are 59 total national parks in the United States. Each one is a place of natural beauty that has been protected and preserved as a result of its own natural splendor,
for the world to enjoy without worry of it disappearing. Glacier National Park is located in Montana, right on the border of Canada, and is unrivaled for pure breathtaking beauty.
It is because of this amazing scenery that the park is visited by almost 2 million people every year.
If it is your first time to Glacier National Park, you want to make sure that you are getting the best experience possible.
Here is a traveler’s guide to help you to make the most out of your visit to Glacier.
What to Do and See
The number one highlight of the park is the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The 50 mile road stretches through the entire park, allowing you to enjoy all of the best views of Glacier National Park along the way.
Before you depart, make sure that you check for any closures along the road. Along this road, you can gain access to some of the most spectacular sights in North America.
At the Lake McDonald Valley, you can take part in multiple activities such as hiking, horseback riding, picnicking,
and boat tours and rentals. St. Mary Valley has similar activities, and Logan Pass also has many hiking trails.
Where to Stay
There are a lot of options for Glacier National Park lodging. The flagship hotel is the Many Glacier Hotel.
It is a pricier option, but if you are looking for a grand experience and good location, it is the right place to stay.
Rooms fill up fast however, and reservations should be made well in advance. For a unique experience, try the Sperry Chalet.
It is right in the heart of some of the most beautiful and secluded hiking trails in the park.
There are also 13 different campgrounds located within the park, and over 1,000 sites from which to choose.
Most of the campgrounds are first come, first served, but reservations can be made in advance for Fish Creek, St. Mary, and some sites in Agpar.
When to Go
Because of its location, it is difficult to visit Glacier National Park in the winter.
However, if you are a fan of snow shoeing and cross country skiing, it might just be the best time to go. But keep in mind that some of the roads and trails may be closed.
The busiest times to visit Glacier are July and August. May and June can be great times to see spring wildlife without the crowds,
and September is a good time to camp while it is still warm and there are less crowds.
What to Know Before You Go
- There is a shuttle system that can get you from point to point if you do not have a car.
- Be wary of wildlife around the park, and make sure that you are aware of the right way to deal with bears and mountain lions before you go.
- Whether you are staying in a hotel or camping, make sure you have made the necessary arrangements.
- Make sure you know the areas in which your pets are welcome.
- Be aware that cell phone service will be limited.
Vincent Stokes is a freelance writer and amateur traveler. His goal is to help families this year as they seek to visit some of our nation’s national parks.