Your Next Trip TRAVEL GUIDE

Glacier National Park

Explore the breathtaking beauty of Glacier National Park in the springtime. From the thrill of white water rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River to the rich cultural heritage of the Blackfeet, Salish, and Kootenai people, uncover the unique experiences that make this park a must-visit destination. Discover the stunning sights of the majestic mountains, and diverse wildlife. And learn about the exclusive springtime opportunity to bike the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road, free from the usual crowds of cars. 

Now, check out our recommendations featured in this episode and more!

What to do

White Water Rafting on Middle Fork of the Flathead River

Experience the thrill of Class II to V rapids amidst stunning scenery. Perfect for both beginners and seasoned rafters, this adventure offers an up-close view of the park’s natural beauty.

  • Address: Glacier Raft Company, 106 Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Daily, 8 AM – 6 PM (May to September)
  • Cost: $80 – $120 per person
  • Website: glacierraftco.com

Hiking the Highline Trail

Take in breathtaking views along this popular trail, starting from Logan Pass. The trail offers diverse landscapes and wildlife sightings, making it a must-do for hiking enthusiasts.

  • Address: Logan Pass Visitor Center, Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Trail open 24/7; Visitor Center: 9 AM – 5 PM (June to September)
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: nps.gov/glac

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road

Enjoy a peaceful ride on this iconic road, open only to bikers and hikers in spring. Marvel at the park’s stunning landscapes without the usual summer crowds.

  • Address: Apgar Visitor Center, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Biking allowed 24/7 during spring before the road opens to cars
  • Cost: Free
  • Website: nps.gov/glac

Where to stay

West Glacier Cabins

Enjoy a cozy and comfortable stay at West Glacier Cabins, located just minutes from the park entrance. These fully-equipped cabins offer modern amenities amidst a rustic setting, perfect for families or couples looking to explore Glacier National Park. Each cabin features a kitchenette, private bathroom, and outdoor seating area to relax and take in the serene surroundings.

  • Address: 355 Halfmoon Flats Rd, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Check-in: 4 PM, Check-out: 11 AM
  • Cost: $140 – $220 per night
  • Website: West Glacier Cabins

Belton Chalet

Step back in time and experience historic charm at Belton Chalet, a beautifully restored lodge dating back to 1910. Offering elegant rooms and suites with period furnishings, the Belton Chalet provides a unique blend of history and comfort. Guests can enjoy gourmet dining at the on-site restaurant and relax on the spacious porch with views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Address: 12575 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Check-in: 4 PM, Check-out: 11 AM
  • Cost: $150 – $300 per night
  • Website: Belton Chalet

And there’s tons of other fabulous places to stay during your trip.

Check out the best accommodation deals below.

What to eat

Freda’s West Glacier Bar & Grill

Relax and enjoy a casual meal at Freda’s, offering a variety of American favorites. Perfect for refueling after a day of adventure.

  • Address: 5 Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Daily, 11 AM – 10 PM
  • Cost: $10 – $25 per person
  • Website: fredas.com

Glacier National Park Pizza

Savor delicious, freshly made pizzas with a range of toppings. Ideal for a quick, satisfying meal.

  • Address: 200 Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Daily, 11 AM – 9 PM
  • Cost: $12 – $30 per person
  • Website: glacierpizza.com

Belton Grill Dining Room & Tap Room

Dine in a historic setting with a menu featuring locally sourced ingredients and classic dishes. Perfect for a relaxing dinner after a day of exploration.

  • Address: 12575 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936
  • Hours: Daily, 5 PM – 9 PM
  • Cost: $20 – $50 per person
  • Website: Belton Chalet

Travel Tips

  • Best Time to Visit

    The best time to visit Glacier National Park is from late June to mid-September. During this period, all park facilities, roads, and trails are usually open.

    Spring, from April to June, is also a great time for fewer crowds and beautiful wildflowers, though some higher elevation areas may still be snow-covered.

  • Getting Around

    While a car is the most convenient way to explore Glacier National Park, there are shuttle services available during peak season on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Car rentals are available in nearby towns such as Kalispell and Whitefish. Ride-sharing options are limited, so plan accordingly.

  • Safety Tips

    Wildlife Safety: Always keep a safe distance from wildlife, especially bears. Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

    Weather Preparedness: Weather can change rapidly. Dress in layers and be prepared for rain, snow, or sudden temperature drops.

    Trail Safety: Stick to marked trails, and let someone know your hiking plans. Carry a map, plenty of water, and a first aid kit.

  • Helpful Notes

    Currency: US Dollar

    Cell Service: Limited cell service in many parts of the park. Consider carrying a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon for emergencies.

    Park Pass: An entrance fee is required. Consider purchasing an annual pass if you plan to visit multiple national parks.

    Environmental Protection: Practice Leave No Trace principles to keep the park clean and preserve its natural beauty.

    Plug Type: Standard US plugs, type A and B
    Voltage: 120V
    Frequency: 60Hz

Packing list

Here’s our suggested items to pack for this destination. Please always consider the weather and activities you will be doing.

Clothing

  • Waterproof jacket and pants
  • Warm layers (fleece, thermal shirts)
  • Lightweight, moisture-wicking clothing
  • Hiking boots with good traction
  • Hat and gloves (for chilly mornings and evenings)
  • Swimwear (for lake activities)

Gear

  • Daypack
  • Bear spray
  • Water bottle or hydration system
  • Trekking poles
  • Map and compass or GPS
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries

Essentials

  • First aid kit
  • Snacks and energy bars
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • Insect repellent
  • Personal identification and park pass
  • Camera or smartphone for photos

Optional

  • Binoculars (for wildlife viewing)
  • Fishing gear (if planning to fish)
  • Lightweight camping gear (if staying overnight)

Get a full packing list and free downloadable template at Pack Better

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Find the perfect customizable packing list for all of your travel situations on our sister website Pack Better.

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