Glacier National Park.
It’s a must see: stunning vistas, more than 200 lakes, 175 named mountains and 40 glaciers, tucked within one million acres of natural beauty. That’s Glacier National Park.
Among my favorite visits was a multi-generational outing - my Dad, my son and my niece and it was a great destination for all of us.
Established in 1910, by an act of Congress, this extraordinary recreational playground is also home to more than 350 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
With so much to see, if you go, it is important to plan in advance. (And rooms book well in advance.)
Here are a few suggestions to jump start your visit:
Ride the Red Bus.
The historic red buses are a symbol of another age, providing a commanding overview of the park’s magnificent history and scenery. The vintage vehicle carries 17 passengers. Tours range from three hours to a full day. Children under 12 are half price.
Contact: Glacier Park, Inc. ; www.GlacierParkInc.com; 406.892.2525.
Explore on foot.
With more than 800 miles of maintained hiking trails, there are plenty of opportunities for families to learn about the flora and fauna. A favorite among families, we enjoyed the beauty of the Avalanche Lake trail. Within four miles round trip, and a gain of just 500 feet in elevation, trekkers will enjoy a rich forest environment, tumbling waterfalls and a majestic lake with more waterfalls at the turnaround point. Take a picnic and enjoy. Easily accessible, the trailhead is five miles beyond the Lake McDonald Lodge.
Scenic Boat Tours.
Step aboard historic boats and glide across the pristine alpine lakes nestled amid majestic peaks. Enjoy the colorful commentary provided by the skilled crew. Available from four locations. Fares under $20. Children under four are free. Children 4-12 are half price.
Contact: www.GlacierParkBoats.com; (406) 257-2426.
Float the River.
Venture down the wild and scenic middle and north forks of the Flathead River with professional guides who will share their knowledge of the river. Half and full day scenic floats or whitewater adventures. Paddle a raft or up the adventure quotient in an inflatable kayak.
Don't Miss Many Glacier
Considered by many as the heart of the park, the Many Glacier region is stunningly beautiful. Expect sparkling lakes, abundant wildlife, great hiking and a bounty of nature-based options. For great views (like the one above) stay at the historic Many Glacier Lodge.
Glacier Outdoor Center’s log cabins provide a comfortable and well-located retreat just outside the gates at West Glacier. One and two bedroom cabins sleep from six to fourteen people. Enjoy full kitchens, covered decks, a gas grill and full guide services on site.
Contact: www.GlacierRaftCo.com; 1(800) 235-6781.
For reservations inside the park contact: www.GlacierParkInc.com; (406) 892-2525 and Xanterra www.Xanterra.com.
For additional information about Glacier National Park contact: www.nps.gov/Glac; 1 (406) 888-7800.