Imagine as many scenic landscapes as you can. From glacial lakes, mountains, flower-laden meadows, and forests, Glacier National Park is a place from where all those too-good-to-be-real Windows wallpapers were sourced.
Located in the backyard of Montana, USA, Glacier National Park is nature’s one of the most brilliant creations. Known as the ‘Crown of the Continent’, the iconic national park preserves carved-out glaciers and valleys, turquoise glacial lakes, and dense forests which makes it worthy of the entitlement.
Right from the first appearance, its raw beauty and exquisite wilderness stupefy your senses. The park straddles between the Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberton, Canada and Glacier National Park in Montana, US posing a great example that nature unites us all.
Glacier National Park: Information
With 700 km of hiking trails and innumerable glacial lakes, Glacier National Park provides nature lovers and hikers with an amazing backcountry experience. Take your RV, drive through the forests, and pitch a camp by the most precious campsites. Beware of the bears and wild goats which are the primary dwellers of the park. The best time to visit glacier national park is during the months of July, August and September when the weather is pleasantly warm.
Address: Montana, USA
Established: May 1910
Area: 4,100.77 km2
Elevation: The highest point in the park is Mt. Cleveland with a height of 10,466 ft. The highest motorable point in the park is Logan Pass located at an altitude of 6,646 ft. Siyeh Pass Trail at 8,100 ft is the highest maintained trail in the park.
Longitude & Latitude: 48°41′48″N 113°43′6″W
Geography: Glacier National Park displays a tremendous range of topography. The park is flanked with forests, alpine meadows, lakes, rugged peaks, and glacial-carved valleys in the Northern Rocky Mountains. There are three different mountain ranges in the park; Lewis Range, Clark Range, and the Livingston Range.
Permit & Entry Fee: In summers: $35 per vehicle, $30 per motorcycle, $70 for an annual park pass
In winters: $20 per motorcycle, $25 per vehicle
Glacier National Park: Weather
Since it is a glacier park, the weather in Glacier National Park is unstable and extreme. The temperature fluctuates as and when there is a shift in the weather pattern. Hikers should be prepared to face a wide range of temperatures while they are in the park.
While the east side of the park experience strong winds and sunny days, the west side receives the maximum precipitation. In winters, the park is covered under a sheen of snow.
During the day, you can expect temperature as high as 32 degrees Celsius, while it drops to -6 degrees Celsius in the night. If you are at a higher elevation in the park, expect to drop the temperature even lower.
Glacier National Park: Best Time To Visit
July, August, & September: These three months are considered to be the best time to visit the park. You get clear HD vistas of nature. The weather is optimum for the adventure activities like hiking and camping.
Winter: Come November, the park is covered with snow, most of the hiking trails become inaccessible. Yet it is a great time to enjoy activities like skiing, snowshoeing, and camping.
June & October are also a good time to visit the park. But if you are planning to visit Logan Pass, it might be blocked with snow during this time.
Spring season is a strict no-no as the cold and wet conditions make it difficult to explore the region.
Suggested Read: 10 Best USA Hotels For A Relaxing American Vacation
Glacier National Park: Things To Do
While you’re wondering what all you can try at this soothing national park, make sure you don’t miss out on these activities that’ll let you experience the unique landscapes that this place offers!
In Glacier National Park, hiking is the most popular adventure activity among the visitors. There are plenty of trails to choose from and each trail provides you with unique views and experiences. The best part is these trails are for all hiking abilities including physically handicapped. While the visitors can explore most of the trails on their own pace, some of these trails are even wheelchair accessible.
Note: Visit the visitation center to get all the information and maps for the hikes in case you want to plan on your own. You can also join the guided tours arranged by the park rangers.
If you are visiting this beautiful place, Glacier national park camping is a highly recommendable experience in the summers. Pitch a tent beneath the open sky dotted with gazillion stars and wake up to the enthralling views of mountains and glaciers. After all, it is not every day you get to wake up to such unbelievable scenery? There are 13 different camping grounds and more than 1,000 campsites to choose from where you can park your RV or pitch a tent.
Note: Though camping is free, the sites are available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Make sure you book yours in advance.
3. Glacier National Park Webcams
Get a glimpse of the mountains and glaciers through webcams which have been installed at various locations inside the park. These webcams provide you with real-time weather conditions and scenery footage to give you thrills. You can access the enthralling views of Apgar, Lake McDonald, and Logan Pass right through these webcams. Who knows if you tune in at the right place and at the right time, you might also be able to spot a Black Bear peeking from its tree den.
4. Skiing & Snowshoeing
Winter in Glacier National Park offers a variety of recreation for adventure seekers and snow lovers. The park is covered with tons of snow in March and create perfect conditions to enjoy the recreational activities of skiing and snowshoeing. Experience the thrill of skiing on snow in the wilderness. You can even enjoy guided snowshoe walk organized by the park rangers over the weekends.
5. Scenic Boat Tour
Hop on to a wooden boat to have an interesting tour to the mystical lakes in Glacier National Park. Thanks to many picturesque lakes in Glacier-Waterton, boat tours to each of the five lakes are organized by the Park Rangers. The lakes are set in the spellbinding settings surrounded by snow-capped mountains and charming flora. Each tour is unique in its own and provides an eclectic learning experience about the region. You can also rent a kayak, canoe, or motorboat if you wish to be your own captain.
Tour Price: INR 700
Rental Price: INR 1000
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Glacier National Park: Places To Visit
Thinking of what all to cover on your thrilling visit to this charming national park? Scroll down to know what awaits you in this land that you ought to visit with your loved ones!
1. Going-To-The-Sun Road
If you want to have the most scenic drive on the earth, you ought to drive through Going-To-The-Sun Road. The spectacular 50-mile road bifurcates the east side of the park from the west and is a quintessential part of the glacier trip. The road trip takes you through all kinds of landscapes which can exist in nature. It is the road worth taking
2. Lake McDonald Valley
Lake McDonald Valley will stupefy you with its straight out of dream reality. The place is surrounded by massive glaciers which were carved out thousands of years ago. The pristine Lake McDonald, which is the largest lake in the park, is also the result of glacial carving. It is also the hub of activities in the west side of the park. While you are at it, have a good time seeking the Hidden Lake too.
3. Logan Pass
The highest elevation in the park which can be reached by car, Logan Pass is extremely popular among tourists. The pass dissects the Reynolds Mountains and Clements mountains, both of which are carpeted with flowers of variegated colors. If you want to take the postcard-perfect pictures, try visiting this place in the morning. You might also be able to spot rare wildlife.
4. Many Glacier
Considered as the heart of the park, Many Glacier offers you the most astounding views of glacier valley. The two of the famous hiking trails, the Grinnell Glacier Trail and Iceberg lake Trail radiate through the valley. Springtime attracts a lot of exotic wildlife close to the road giving you a golden opportunity to spot bears and bighorn sheep.
5. Two Medicine
Before Going-to-the-sun road was constructed, Two Medicine was the main attraction for the visitors. Rich in scenery, the area offers a true wilderness experience to backpackers and nature-lovers. Its amazing vistas, scenic waterfalls, and glistening lakes make a solid reason to come visit this side of the park.
Places To Stay In Glacier National Park
You can choose from the following accommodation options depending upon your itinerary inside the park and the level of comfort and experience you seek.
The adventure lovers and avid campers can pitch a tent in the park to have an authentic into-the-wild experience. But it is only recommendable during the warm summer months. However, there are no charges for camping, you will require a backcountry permit to camp in the park.
How to obtain a permit: Permit can be obtained up to seven days in advance via call or in person at the Headquarters Building from Monday to Friday.
If you don’t feel adventurous enough and want to stay indoors, you can check into some of the historic lodges and Glacier National Park cabins. However, these lodges are very basic and do not provide any amenities like internet connection, air conditioning, or dining options. But they provide you with a unique cabin experience and easy access to park’s recreation and activities. Apgar Village Lodge and Lake McDonald Lodge are some of the best lodges to stay in Glacier National Park.
Tariff per night: INR 3,500 to INR 12,000
Note: Lodging may not be available during winter season
For those who want a comfortable and lavish experience can stay in the hotels near or inside the park reserve. In Glacier National Park, hotels are scarce yet they provide you with outstanding service and breathtaking views. There are a few resorts and comfortable cabins which come equipped with all the modern facilities like full kitchen, private baths, Wifi, TV etc. and are perfect for large families and couples. Great Northern Whitewater Raft & Resort in West Glacier & Meadow Lake Resort In Columbia Falls are few good hotels near Glacier National Park.
Tariff per night: from INR 15,000 onwards
Glacier National Park Map
How To Reach The Park
Glacier National Park is located in the northwest region of Montana, USA. While you can take your vehicle inside the park for a nominal fee, there are also shuttle tours arranged by the park authorities.
As far as reaching the park entrance is concerned, there are a few ways to access the national park.
1. By Air
Glacier Park International Airport, located in Kalispell, Montana is just 30 miles away from the western entrance of the park and 12 miles away from the town of Whitefish. There are currently 10 airlines which offer non-stop flights to Glacier National Park. Shuttle services are available from both Kalispell and Whitefish.
2. By Road
If you don’t mind taking a cross-country trip, you might as well enjoy the scenic vistas on the route to the park. Along the southern border of the park, US Highway 2 connects you with West Glacier, Walton, and East Glacier entrances while US Highway 89 connects you with Many Glacier, St. Mary, and Two Medicine entrances on the east side of the park.
3. By Train
Amtrak’s historic builder train stops at West glacier all year round and East Glacier seasonally. Both these stations have easy shuttle connectivity to the park.
Glacier National Park: What to pack
Since the weather in the park changes in a moment, you should be prepared to fight all kinds of climatic situations. Here are few things you should add to your packing list:
Clothing & Footwear
- Rain cover
- Hiking boots
- Fleece Jacket
- Synthetic socks
- Woolen Socks
- Sun hat
- Bomber Jacket
- Hiking Pole
- Hydration Pack/ Water Bottle
- Bear spray
With 700 km of hiking trails and innumerable glacial lakes, Glacier National Park provides nature lovers and hikers with an amazing backcountry experience. Take your RV, drive through the forests, and pitch a camp by the most precious campsites. Beware of the bears and wild goats which are the primary dwellers of the park. Plan a trip to USA for a unique holiday experience that you ought to try with your loved ones here!
Glacier National Park is truly nature’s paradise. Plan a trip to USA to have a cross-country vacation in the beautiful backyard of Montana where this park has uncountable adventures in store for you.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Glacier National Park
Which is Glacier National Park airport?
The Glacier Park International Airport located in Kalispell, Montana is the most convenient airport if you wish to visit the national park.
Are there Glacier National Park boat tours available?
Yes, there are boat tours available at Glacier National Park.
Which are Glacier National Park’s best hikes?
Ptarmigan Tunnel, Iceberg Lake and Pitamakan Pass Trail are some of the Glacier National Park’s hikes.