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Current Search Destination:Glacier National Park, Montana
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Overview
Overview
Essentials
Attractions
Restaurants
Insider Information
Recreation
Places in the Vicinity
Mark Smith / flickr

Introduction
Boasting some of the best mountain scenery in the country, Glacier National Park's more than 1 million majestic acres invite a closer look. Do so on foot or horseback by way of hundreds of miles of trails, by car along curvy Going-to-the-Sun Road, or through your camera lens.
Loco Steve / flickr
Scenic overlooks bring into focus a few of the slow-moving glaciers and the awe-inspiring valleys left in their wakes, sparkling turquoise alpine lakes and massive snow-topped mountain peaks. Hikes through the vast preserve follow boardwalks and steep paths through quiet, darkened cedar forests, past trickling streams, rustic lodges, green meadows strewn with colorful wildflowers, glimpses of wildlife and pools formed by drizzling or plummeting waterfalls.
iStockphoto.com / Bkamprath
Before the construction of Going-to-the-Sun Road and the shuttle and packed cars of rubberneckers that cruise along it, the park was home to Native Americans and wildlife. The Blackfeet lived on the prairies east of the Continental Divide, while the Salish and Kootenai Indians hunted and gathered in the western valleys. French, English and Spanish trappers hunted beaver here in the early 1800s, and Lewis and Clark trekked very near the park boundaries during their groundbreaking exploration. What they saw is similar to what you'll see, thanks to George Bird Grinnell and his efforts to secure the lands as a protected national park. Together with Waterton Lakes National Park, its sister park in Alberta, Canada, the parks form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the world's first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Depth
Glacier National Park is in northwestern Montana. Geologic processes formed and sculpted the peaks, leaving about 25 glaciers and 750 lakes. The mountains are a result of an overthrust of the Earth's crust. Rock layers about a billion years old lie above layers millions of years younger. Some of the finest mountain scenery in America is within this million-acre national park.
The U-shaped valleys, as well as most of the lakes, are the legacy of the last ice age. Most glaciers are accessible only by trail; a few can be viewed from the road. Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, in Alberta, together form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, although each is administered separately. Scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road connects the east and west sections of Glacier National Park.
Though Glacier is a refuge for many large mammals, most of the animals seek the undisturbed areas, and few are seen along the roads during the travel season. The park also is a haven for more than 260 species of birds.
The brilliance and diversity of its floral life is one of Glacier's outstanding features; July marks the height of bloom for many of the alpine species of vascular plants. In the valleys on the east side are dense stands of Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir and lodgepole pine. The western valleys present a different picture with their many dense stands of western red cedars, hemlocks and other conifers.

General Information
The park's peak travel season is roughly from mid-June to mid-September; however, the park is open year-round. Visitors can use the park's shuttle system for unlimited one-way or round-trip travel to various park locations from 7:30-7, early July through Labor Day. The last shuttle buses leave Logan Pass at 7 p.m. for both Apgar Transit Center and St. Mary Visitor Center. Check the shuttle schedule upon arrival. The shuttle is free with park admission. Canoe and motor boat rentals are available at the Apgar dock; phone (406) 257-2426. Additional docks and rentals are at Lake McDonald Lodge, Two Medicine and Rising Sun.
Note: Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors) are prohibited from traveling the section of the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Avalanche Creek picnic area and Sun Point parking areas, where they may park.
More than 700 miles of trails penetrate the park, and many points of interest are within easy walking distance of the hotels and chalets. Swan Mountain Outfitter offers guided horseback rides through the park. Tours depart from Lake McDonald Corral near Lake McDonald Lodge, Apgar Corral and Many Glacier Corral; phone (406) 387-4405 or (877) 888-5557.
There are more than 60 campsites for backpackers; backcountry camping permits are required ($5 per person per night, May 1-Nov. 1) and can be obtained at Apgar backcountry office, St. Mary Visitor Center and the Two Medicine, Many Glacier or Polebridge ranger stations. For more information about permits phone (406) 888-7857. Topographic maps can be purchased at the park visitor centers.
Mountain whitefish and cutthroat trout are the most common fish. Lake trout are taken from the larger lakes, principally McDonald, St. Mary and Waterton lakes. Grayling thrive in Elizabeth Lake. A fishing license is not required inside the park; regulations are available at the visitor centers. When fishing or participating in any activity in or near park water, watch for slippery rocks at the water's edge.
Several concessionaires within the park provide tours. Glacier Guides arranges guided backpacking trips. Glacier Park Boat Co. operates guided lake cruises on McDonald, St. Mary, Two Medicine, Swiftcurrent and Josephine lakes. Boats and canoes can be rented at Two Medicine, Swiftcurrent and McDonald lakes and at the Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake. Shuttle services are available at Upper Waterton Lake.
CCInc. Auto Tape Tours of the park are available at Glacier Gift Shop in West Glacier or St. Mary's Lodge in St. Mary; phone (201) 236-1666.
Trail rides ranging from 1 hour to all day depart from Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel. Daily schedules of ranger-led hikes, junior ranger activities, boat trips and campfire programs are printed as a supplement to the Waterton-Glacier Guide, the park's newspaper, which is handed out at the visitor centers.
Note: Although the animals in the park might appear tame, they are wild and potentially dangerous. Do not approach, feed, molest or tease them in any manner. Bears and mountain lions especially should be avoided; if one approaches, stay in your closed vehicle. Sightings should be reported to park rangers.

ADMISSION
ADMISSION May-Oct. is $30 (per private vehicle); $12 (per motorcyclist or person arriving by other means). Admission rest of year is $20 (per private vehicle); $10 (per motorcyclist or person arriving by other means). The above fees permit entrance to the park for 7 calendar days from date of purchase.

PETS
PETS are permitted in the park only if they are leashed, crated or otherwise physically restrained at all times. They are not allowed on park trails or in the water.

ADDRESS
ADDRESS inquiries to the Superintendent, Glacier National Park, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936; phone (406) 888-7800.
GEM Description
Some 1 million acres of woods, lakes, glaciers and mountains offer refuge to nearly every large mammal found within the country.
Lee Coursey / flickr

Essentials
Hit the popular Avalanche Trail, beginning at the Trail of the Cedars, which heads over a boardwalk and through a cedar forest and gorge to reach the shores of crystal-clear Avalanche Lake, surrounded by cliffs draped in waterfalls.
Get soaked while braving the class II and III rapids on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River along a thrilling white-water rafting trip.
Lee Coursey / flickr
Take a brief hike to St. Mary Falls, where you can stand under a thundering cascade and marvel at the rainbows; accessed from the St. Mary pullout along Going-to-the-Sun Road, the trail continues to Virginia Falls.
Hop aboard a classic wooden boat and cruise the waters of one of five lakes courtesy of Glacier Park Boat Co. ; bring a camera to capture stunning vistas amid snowcapped peaks.
Opt for an evening ascent over 6,646-foot Logan Pass to catch the sunset, which stretches across the Montana sky in watercolor hues of pink, purple, yellow and orange.
Drive yourself or take a bus tour along Going-to-the-Sun Road ; one of the best drives in the country, it twists around cliffs and affords insanely spectacular views as it crosses the Continental Divide.
Tour the snow-cloaked backcountry on cross-country skis or snowshoes via the Upper McDonald Creek Trail, affording views of McDonald Creek and McDonald Valley.
Visit the Swiss-style Many Glacier Hotel and spot bears, bull moose and bighorn sheep along the Iceberg Lake Trail while exploring the Many Glacier Region in the park's northeast section.
Rent a kayak, rowboat or canoe and ply the waters of Lake McDonald , the largest of the park's more than 750 lakes, which is surrounded by scenic, towering peaks.
Stop at the Jackson Glacier Overlook (on the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Logan Pass and St. Mary) to view the giant, frosty mountain looming from the roadway.

Attractions
In a national park with dozens of points of interest, you may have trouble deciding where to spend your time. Here are the highlights for this destination, as chosen by AAA editors. GEMs are “Great Experiences for Members.”
If you came to take in extraordinary natural features, Glacier National Park won't disappoint. Spectacular points of interest abound within the park boundaries. Begin with a drive along celebrated Going-to-the-Sun Road , a AAA GEM attraction and arguably one of the most scenic highways in the country. The 52-mile, east-west road cuts through the heart of the park, ascending the Continental Divide and affording views of deep forests, alpine tundra, waterfalls and lakes. The steep, winding, cliff-hugging (and sometimes intimidating) route has a number of pull-offs from which to take in the scenery and snap photos. Since it's the park's main roadway, it leads to many trails and visitors centers. Points of interest and overlooks to glimpse Heaven's Peak and Jackson Glacier are marked along the highway. Don't miss Bird Woman Falls, which drops from a high valley above the road, and the Weeping Wall, where waterfalls cascade off steep, dramatic cliffs and splash onto the roadside.
Beginning at the park's western boundary, Going-to-the-Sun Road climbs 6,646-foot Logan Pass , which received its name from the park's first superintendent. In this alpine section, you may spot mountain goats and bighorn sheep grazing on the peaks. The Logan Pass visitor parking area offers limited parking; it is recommended that hikers use the park shuttle. Two major trails begin here.
The road also follows the shore of the largest of the park's 762 lakes, Lake McDonald , the starting point for many trails leading into the surrounding wooded mountains and to plummeting cascades. You can also rent a boat here or opt for a scenic cruise along its clear blue waters. Rustic Lake McDonald Lodge is a great spot to take respite. Also along Going-to-the-Sun Road is Avalanche Creek , a rushing stream set in a mossy gorge. It's a fantastic spot from which to hike to an even more scenic lake strewn with waterfalls.
Two other lakes of note are Red Eagle Lake , set in a mountainous valley and accessed by trail, and incredibly scenic St. Mary Lake , amid steep mountains on three sides and rolling prairie and forested hills on its eastern shoreline. It's the home base for numerous trails, and Glacier Park Boat Co. departs its shores. Hop on board a boat trip that plies St. Mary's windy waters while a narrator points out glaciers, waterfalls and other picturesque or significant sites.
On the park's eastern side is the Many Glacier Region . Considered one of Glacier's most scenic areas, it encircles Swiftcurrent Lake and includes craggy, snow-covered peaks, rushing creeks and plummeting waterfalls. From this area, you can backpack through the Belly River Country , which will take you into adjoining Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada in Alberta, Canada. Crooked Two Medicine Valley , the park's southernmost glacial valley, rests amid sharp peaks and clear Two Medicine Lake. Trails for hikers and horseback riders begin in the valley and lead to waterfalls and rushing creeks. Aptly named Granite Park is a rocky valley encircled by snowcapped peaks. Accessed only by trail, Granite Park Chalet offers primitive accommodations.
Man-made park features include the Many Glacier Hotel , built in 1915 for the Great Northern Railroad on the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake in the Many Glacier Region. Sperry Chalet sits on an alpine ridge overlooking Lake McDonald and the distant Whitefish Mountains. Reached only by trail, it's surrounded by craggy peaks and cascades. Just southeast of the park, giant Hungry Horse Dam lies in the shadows of the Great Northern Peak.
Just outside the park in the town of Kalispell , you'll find the Conrad Mansion Museum , a Victorian mansion built by the town's founder and reflecting the late 1800s. Also in town is the Hockaday Museum of Art , filled with paintings, writings, photographs and vintage maps. Exhibits explore the history of the park.
Head to Browning for a day trip to visit the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, due east of the park. Peruse the Museum of the Plains Indian and explore the cultural heritage of the Blackfeet, Crow, Northern Cheyenne, Sioux, Assiniboine, Arapaho, Shoshone, Nez Perce, Flathead, Chippewa, and Cree tribes. On display are traditional costumes, art and crafts.
See all the AAA recommended attractions for this destination.

Restaurants
Our favorites include some of this destination's best restaurants—from fine dining to simple fare.
The Back Room/Nite Owl Restaurants in Columbia Falls is unassuming and low-key. This two-for-one restaurant is where locals have gathered for years for coffee and conversation during the day, but it's the back room that has made a name for itself. Come early or prepare to wait because this place is usually packed with people looking to dig into large, meaty barbecue pork spare ribs, chicken and pulled-pork sandwiches. Not often found in restaurants, the hot fry bread with honey butter that accompanies the meals is nearly a meal unto itself. And while the ribs may arrive in wax paper-lined plastic baskets, and linens consist of oil cloth-covered tables with a roll of paper towels serving as napkins, no better food was ever served on fine china.
You may not think of sushi when visiting Glacier National Park, but maybe you should. From its opening day, the area's first sushi restaurant, Wasabi Sushi Bar & The Ginger Grill , was wildly successful, proving that beef was not the only dish in Montana. Of course, the influx of tourists and part-time residents from more urban areas has helped support this spot in Whitefish . However, it's still Montana, and many locals consider raw fish bait, so the Ginger Grill evolved to offer non-sushi lovers dishes with a higher comfort level—now you can opt for a steak instead of raw fish, although it might be marinated in teriyaki.
If gourmet burgers and local microbrews are more your style, mosey on over to Hops Downtown Grill in Kalispell for a satisfying dinner in the Flathead Valley. But don't let the unassuming storefront fool you—the gastropub's menu is bursting with local, organic ingredients and a variety of burgers, salads and seafood options. Try the calamari salad for something different, or stick with classics such as the black bean burger with roasted red pepper or a teriyaki burger with grilled pineapple and onions.
Longtime favorite Nickel Charlie's Casino & Eatery in Kalispell is a warm, welcoming establishment that's also very family friendly. The portions here are huge, so no one walks away feeling hungry; in fact, you will probably see more plates being shared here than in most other restaurants. Since the eatery is attached to a casino, you'll dine with the notes of poker and keno machines singing in the background as well as the occasional whoop from a lucky winner. (It's those machines that keep prices low and portions large.) In truth, most patrons find a few quarters to donate to the electronic bandits while waiting for their meals in hopes that the soup and sandwich might be “on the house.”
Widely known as one of the best places for breakfast for miles, the casual Buffalo Cafe in Whitefish has been a local favorite for many years, providing the huge breakfasts necessary to fuel up for a day of skiing on Big Mountain or mountain biking. Although not strictly a vegetarian restaurant, there are enough bean sprouts, yogurt and granola on the menu to give vegetarians some options while their companions dine on eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros or any of the café's unique breakfast pies. Casual is the word of the day here, and you need to fill up early because the café is closed for dinner.
If you're craving Italian food, Cìao Mambo in Whitefish is the only restaurant to consider. Just a couple of blocks off the town's main street, it has become a haven for carbo-loading skiers and pasta lovers of all types. Dishes range from traditional to very inventive, and while sauces can be rustic tomato-based or rich and creamy, one thing you won't find is a fear of garlic.
El Topo Cantina in Bigfork has become a near mecca in the area for lovers of Mexican food. According to most, this unassuming establishment has no equal, and we agree. The quality is evident as soon as you sit down to the freshly made uncooked salsa and house-made chips. And, if you really want to treat yourself, get an order or two of the freshly made mango salsa (if it's available). Then comes the difficulty of actually ordering dinner, because the menu is large and everything tempts. We recommend the fish tacos, which are superb and can be ordered with two different types of fish.
Whitefish Lake Restaurant in Whitefish allows you to combine two vacation activities: dining and golf. It occupies a building on one of the oldest golf courses in the valley, so you can play 18 holes and then have dinner. The building itself is constructed of large logs and was built during the depression by WPA workers. The history and ambience of the building are complemented by the excellent menu, which includes such Montana staples as prime rib, steaks and barbecue ribs as well as interesting daily specials and seafood.
An Asian restaurant in Kalispell, The Alley Connection is wildly popular with locals and is nearly always on the itinerary for entertaining out-of-towners. Although many of the dishes have names that may sound similar, the food has just a slightly different take. Dishes seem somehow fresher, the vegetables look brighter and the taste is just a little lighter. Add to these facts that the prices are extremely reasonable, and you'll see why people return. Even though the place is always packed for lunch, the specials are fairly priced, and you can still get in, get a great lunch and get out in an acceptable amount of time. If you're on vacation, dine a little later to miss the crowds. This is a family-owned and -operated restaurant, and family is very important to them—so much so that they close the restaurant, pack up the entire family and return to China to visit relatives for the month of November.
Include a stop at Bojangles' Diner in Kalispell simply because it's fun! The entire restaurant is chock-full of 1950s memorabilia from movies, TV, rock ‘n' roll and other pop culture. You may even spot the waitresses wearing poodle skirts and bobby socks. On the menu, find good, wholesome American burgers-and-fries-type food: Chocolate malts find space along with such comfort foods as meatloaf and PB&J. Desserts are made in house, and the pies are almost as good as mom used to make. Missoula is about 200 miles south of the park but still serves as a gateway for many travelers.
Another sushi restaurant, Nara Korean Bar-B-Que & Sushi in Missoula serves very fresh, very well-presented fish. A perk that makes it a favorite is the fact that Tuesday and Thursday nights are Dollar Sushi nights, where most sushi servings are just a buck. Sushi is wonderful but always a little pricey, so these nights present an opportunity for the sushi lover to truly indulge in a big way and not risk damaging his or her credit rating.
The Depot in Missoula has been the place to go in town for steaks, prime rib and seafood for more years than anyone can remember—it has almost moved from the realm of tradition to that of legend. Set in an old railroad hotel building and close to the now defunct train depot at the head of the main street, it's easy to find. For many locals, entertaining out-of-town guests at the depot has become a near ritual, and it seems to always find its way onto the list of restaurants in answer to the question, “Where is a really good place to eat in this town?”
When you think of fine dining, you don't usually associate it with alley entrances and a lack of parking, but at Red Bird in Missoula that's exactly what you'll find. Down that same alley, you'll also find some of the most interesting food served in town. Offering very creative preparations with fresh ingredients, the chef/owner changes the entire menu seasonally so there's always something new to tempt the palate.
The Shack Café in Missoula has been around forever and therefore has tailored itself to the needs of a wide clientele over the years. Nearly a half-century ago it made a name for itself thanks to its fried chicken, a logical food to serve in a university town. It was inexpensive, filling, very tasty and fit the bill for the many poor, “starving” students of the University of Montana just across the river. It still might be the only restaurant where you can order a big plate of fried chicken gizzards, but now the menu has expanded dramatically, featuring a wide array of vegetarian dishes for the health-conscious student or traveler. The Shack is also one of the premier breakfast establishments in town, with large, satisfying platters. And—oh, yes—they still have great chicken.
Scotty's Table in Missoula is a hip, comfortable, laid-back restaurant with jazz wafting through the air, blending with delightful aromas. Because Scotty owns not only the table but the entire restaurant and he just happens to be the chef, he's free to be as experimental and eclectic as he chooses. That freedom makes for a wonderful dining experience. Offerings on the menu may wander the globe from France to Italy to North Africa to Greece, depending on Scotty's mood, but it never strays off course. Flavor and texture combinations are often unique but always exciting, and one meal leaves you wondering when you might be able to return for another.
See all the AAA Diamond Rated restaurants for this destination.
GlacierNPS / flickr

Highway to the Sun
Constructing a two-lane highway up the steep slopes of the Continental Divide over 6,646-foot Logan Pass was not a simple task.
Early tourists came to Glacier National Park in the 1890s by train, taking a stagecoach ride to Lake McDonald and traveling by boat to Lewis Glacier Hotel (now Lake McDonald Lodge). But by 1910, many visitors were arriving by private buggy or auto, and the only roads were rough wagon trails and dirt paths. After the Going-to-the-Sun Road was completed in 1932, a fleet of red buses—nicknamed “jammers” because the drivers constantly jammed the gears on the rough roadways—operated guided tours of the park via these same primitive trails.
Determining that a decent road would allow visitors to access the park's interior (at that time reached only by horseback), the superintendent proposed a new road bisecting the park. Various routes crossing the Continental Divide were suggested, but officials chose the present route in part because it included only one switchback, at The Loop. Surveying the route identified the obstacles of building such a thruway—steep cliffs, short construction seasons, 60-foot snow drifts and tons of solid rock. But once spring arrived, crews went to work building the road, now a National Civil Engineering Landmark.
The most difficult section, the 12-mile stretch from Logan Creek to Logan Pass, was built into almost vertical cliffs using masonry bridges, tunnels and arches made of recycled native materials. Manual labor was essential. Horses assisted in hauling supplies up dusty hiking trails, and workers built cabins to house supplies and food (which often attracted bears). Laborers removed trees, stumps and roots by hand, then used small explosives to break up the rock. In some instances, power shovels cleared debris, placing it on “dinky” railroads (small, gas-powered trains) for disposal, but in more remote locations, supplies were shipped by barge, and workers carried out the rock by hand. Station gangs completed the masonry work.
After more than 20 years of planning and construction, the first car traversed the entire road in the fall of 1932. Taking its name from a nearby mountain, Going-to-the-Sun Road was dedicated on July 15, 1933.
Andrew Kalat / flickr
With thousands of cars traveling the road per day for more than 50 years, normal wear and tear and damage caused by rockslides and avalanches, the route is now in serious need of repair. One of the largest road rehabilitations in the National Park Service's history, it aims to mend damaged and deteriorating retaining walls, guard walls, drainage systems, crumbling pavement, tunnels and bridges. With a requirement that the road stay open during construction and a short working season due to heavy snow, the project began in 2007 and is still under way. Construction is occurring in several phases.
Established to help alleviate traffic issues, a free shuttle system offers visitors an alternate way to visit the park. The Apgar and St. Mary visitor centers offer parking, and buses stop at various points of interest and overlooks along the roadway.

General Information
The park's peak travel season is roughly from mid-June to mid-September; however, the park is open year-round. Visitors can use the park's shuttle system for unlimited one-way or round-trip travel to various park locations from 7:30-7, early July through Labor Day. The last shuttle buses leave Logan Pass at 7 p.m. for both Apgar Transit Center and St. Mary Visitor Center. Check the shuttle schedule upon arrival. The shuttle is free with park admission. Canoe and motor boat rentals are available at the Apgar dock; phone (406) 257-2426. Additional docks and rentals are at Lake McDonald Lodge, Two Medicine and Rising Sun.
Note: Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors) are prohibited from traveling the section of the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Avalanche Creek picnic area and Sun Point parking areas, where they may park.
More than 700 miles of trails penetrate the park, and many points of interest are within easy walking distance of the hotels and chalets. Swan Mountain Outfitter offers guided horseback rides through the park. Tours depart from Lake McDonald Corral near Lake McDonald Lodge, Apgar Corral and Many Glacier Corral; phone (406) 387-4405 or (877) 888-5557.
There are more than 60 campsites for backpackers; backcountry camping permits are required ($5 per person per night, May 1-Nov. 1) and can be obtained at Apgar backcountry office, St. Mary Visitor Center and the Two Medicine, Many Glacier or Polebridge ranger stations. For more information about permits phone (406) 888-7857. Topographic maps can be purchased at the park visitor centers.
Mountain whitefish and cutthroat trout are the most common fish. Lake trout are taken from the larger lakes, principally McDonald, St. Mary and Waterton lakes. Grayling thrive in Elizabeth Lake. A fishing license is not required inside the park; regulations are available at the visitor centers. When fishing or participating in any activity in or near park water, watch for slippery rocks at the water's edge.
Several concessionaires within the park provide tours. Glacier Guides arranges guided backpacking trips. Glacier Park Boat Co. operates guided lake cruises on McDonald, St. Mary, Two Medicine, Swiftcurrent and Josephine lakes. Boats and canoes can be rented at Two Medicine, Swiftcurrent and McDonald lakes and at the Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake. Shuttle services are available at Upper Waterton Lake.
CCInc. Auto Tape Tours of the park are available at Glacier Gift Shop in West Glacier or St. Mary's Lodge in St. Mary; phone (201) 236-1666.
Trail rides ranging from 1 hour to all day depart from Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel. Daily schedules of ranger-led hikes, junior ranger activities, boat trips and campfire programs are printed as a supplement to the Waterton-Glacier Guide, the park's newspaper, which is handed out at the visitor centers.
Note: Although the animals in the park might appear tame, they are wild and potentially dangerous. Do not approach, feed, molest or tease them in any manner. Bears and mountain lions especially should be avoided; if one approaches, stay in your closed vehicle. Sightings should be reported to park rangers.

ADMISSION
ADMISSION May-Oct. is $30 (per private vehicle); $12 (per motorcyclist or person arriving by other means). Admission rest of year is $20 (per private vehicle); $10 (per motorcyclist or person arriving by other means). The above fees permit entrance to the park for 7 calendar days from date of purchase.

PETS
PETS are permitted in the park only if they are leashed, crated or otherwise physically restrained at all times. They are not allowed on park trails or in the water.

ADDRESS
ADDRESS inquiries to the Superintendent, Glacier National Park, P.O. Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936; phone (406) 888-7800.
Loco Steve / flickr

Recreation
Biking, swimming, backpacking, fishing, hiking—whatever your interest, make sure you experience these recreational highlights, as chosen by AAA editors.
While a scenic drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road , a AAA GEM attraction that bisects the park and the Continental Divide, is spectacular, the natural assets of Glacier National Park are best experienced up close. Here are some suggestions as to how to get out of the car and into the backcountry.
Thanks to nearly 150 trails totaling more than 750 miles of exploration paths, hiking is by far the most widespread activity in Glacier National Park and is the best way to get into the depths of the park. Most trails begin at visitor centers, hotels or pull-offs along Going-to-the-Sun Road and terminate at scenic overlooks or gushing waterfalls. Find detailed trail maps in outdoor stores in Whitefish and Kalispell as well as at park visitor centers and ranger stations. Some of our favorite trails include the Trail of the Cedars, a short, easy amble along a wooden boardwalk with interpretive signs. Once through the huge cedar stands, the trail merges with the Avalanche Lake Trail to take you to picturesque Avalanche Lake. Another favorite, the Hidden Lake Nature Trail climbs 460 feet to an overlook to glimpse Hidden Lake (you might also spot mountain goats). Another top pick is the Iceberg Lake Trail, traversing through flower-strewn meadows to an alpine lake backed by a craggy cliff peppered with mountain goats and bighorn sheep. In West Glacier , you can hire a hiking guide from Glacier Guides .
Jeff Krause / flickr
If waterfalls are on your itinerary, take the Running Eagle Falls Trail through a deep forest to reach a large, splashing cascade. The Twin Falls Trail is an easy hike to scenic Twin Falls, and the St. Mary Falls Trail arrives at a thundering, two-tier cascade, then continues a half-mile to Virginia Falls.
Many trails accommodate horses, and outfitters offer guided horseback riding tours. A great trail on the western side of the park heads over a bridge to McDonald Falls. In the Many Glacier area in the eastern section of the park, opt for the Piegan Pass, which heads through alpine tundra and meadows to Josephine Lake and Grinnell.
Campers will find a good selection of sites throughout the park in which to pitch their tents. Sleep under the stars at Apgar, Avalanche, Many Glacier, St. Mary or Two Medicine campgrounds, to name a few. Sites at Cut Bank and Logging Creek are more primitive. Camping fees are required for all campgrounds and can be paid for at each campground. Reservations are required. Other lodging options for hikers include Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet , both set in spectacular mountainous settings and reached by trail only.
Glacier has more than 750 lakes as well as some 500 rivers and streams that make for great fishing spots. Hook rainbow trout and brook trout in the park's three larger lakes, Bowman, McDonald and St. Mary, or head to smaller streams to cast for arctic grayling and various types of trout (cutthroat are prevalent). State licenses are not required within the park. Forming the southern and western park boundary, the Flathead River is chock-full of cutthroat and bull trout, and the Middle Fork is also home to some of the best white-water rafting in the state. The North Fork has leisurely class II and III rapids, while the waters of the Middle Fork are more rigorous—names like Jaws and Bonecrusher attest to their difficulty. Near the park entrance in West Glacier, Glacier Raft Co. , Great Northern Glacier Park Raft , Montana Raft Co. and Wild River Adventures all offer guided trips.
Canoeing and kayaking on the park's icy waters are other popular diversions—head for Bowman and McDonald lakes in the western section of the park, and St. Mary and Two Medicine lakes near the eastern border. Rent craft at Apgar, Lake McDonald Lodge, Many Glacier and Two Medicine. Paddlers also head for the North Fork of the Flathead River to splash in the currents. If you'd rather sit back and relax, scenic boat cruises ply the waters of Lake McDonald, Two Medicine Lake and St. Mary Lakes courtesy of Glacier Park Boat Co.
In winter, Going-to-the-Sun Road is plowed only from the town of West Glacier to Lake McDonald Lodge, making the rest of the road open for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Other trails that are better with a dusting of snow are the McDonald Valley and the Autumn Creek Trail near Marias Pass. Downhill skiers head to Whitefish Mountain Resort in Whitefish , just outside of the park boundaries.
One of the largest grizzly bear populations in the contiguous United States lives in the park. You'll have the best luck spotting grizzlies and black bears in forests and alpine meadows. But these are dangerous animals deserving both distance and respect. The National Park Service has years of experience to back its tips and safety advisories for humans heading into bear country.
Other wildlife living in the park are several wolf packs as well as lynx and mountain lions, which live in forested areas; mountain goats, found on the highest slopes of the Continental Divide; moose, inhabiting lakes and slow streams; American elk, on the park's eastern prairies; white-tailed deer, in meadows and creek and river bottoms; mule deer, in alpine meadows; and bighorn sheep, in steep, open areas.
After you've explored the park by foot, hoof or raft, get an aerial overview from a hot-air balloon. Fantasy Flights in Kalispell takes passengers soaring over the Flathead Valley, with dramatic vistas of glaciers, mountains and lakes.
Places in Vicinity

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Top Hotels
Current Location: Glacier National Park, Montana
1
Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge
6510 Hwy 93 S. Whitefish, MT 59937
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Members save 10% or more and earn 10% bonus Best Western Rewards® points when booking AAA rates!
2
Hilton Garden Inn Kalispell
1840 US 93 S. Kalispell, MT 59901
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Members save 15% on weekends booked by Sept 4 for stays through Sept 30 and earn Honors points when booking AAA rates!
3
SpringHill Suites by Marriott Kalispell
250 Old Reserve Dr. Kalispell, MT 59901
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Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Rewards® points when booking AAA rates!
4
La Quinta Inn & Suites Kalispell
255 Montclair Dr. Kalispell, MT 59901
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