48 Hours in Glacier Nationwide Park

Montana’s Glacier Nationwide Park had been on my bucket record for a while. Rumors of Montana’s magnificence had swirled in my outdoorsy individual circles and Instagram feed for years, tempting me. After I noticed it for myself I understood what the hype was all about. The water is crystal clear, the wildlife is ample, the celebrities are unbelievable, and the place else do you’ve got glaciers that accessible within the decrease 48?

Like many individuals passing by means of, I needed to make my time there depend since I didn’t have greater than a few days to take pleasure in Glacier Nationwide Park, although I’m already planning on a return. 

The next are the most effective issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park. There’s much more right here than one can do in 48 hours, however it ought to show you how to choose and select your must-sees:

There are a number of completely different areas of the park, with an jap entrance and a west entrance. For the needs of this submit I’ll begin west and transfer east, starting with the facet that I explored extra of, and what you’ll be nearer to in case you fly into Kalispell or are coming in from Idaho – West Glacier. 

Lake McDonald

Attractive at sundown and sunrisePerhaps Glacier Nationwide Park’s most well-known lake, Lake McDonald is the biggest lake within the park at over 10 miles lengthy. Like a lot of the lakes within the park, it’s characterised by it’s extremely clear water, colourful rocks, and the mountains that body it for an ideal sundown or dawn.

This was my first cease within the park and in case you’re coming in from the west entrance, it’s prone to be yours, too. There are a number of locations alongside the lake the place you’ll be able to pull off to take pleasure in it and in case you go at sundown or sundown, you’ll be able to keep away from the crowds.

Avalanche Gorge and Lake

Could be extra spectacular within the spring, however nonetheless cool!Avalanche Gorge and Avalanche Lake are two of the extra accessible issues on this record. The Path of the Cedars loop that results in this gorge is wheelchair accessible, completely flat, and is fairly quick. It’s additionally one of the standard trails within the park for that purpose.

You may add on one other mile to get to the Avalanche Lake, which can take you uphill, in case you really feel so inclined. That mentioned, the following lake on this record is price a go to in case you’re quick on time.

Logan Cross

Going-to-the-Solar Street as taken from Logan PassYou’ll be on Going-to-the-Solar highway from the second you enter the park from the West Glacier entrance and as you cross alongside Lake McDonald. This highway is unbelievable when it comes to views and the right option to see the park’s foremost options. Remember that the highway can also be fairly slender, and might get highly regarded within the summertime. I like to recommend heading out proper at dawn in case you plan on parking at Logan Cross, which is the place the next trailheads depart from.

Hidden Lake

Insane for star-gazingI was amazed by Hidden Lake. One other standard path within the park, I had it virtually all to myself after I went star gazing there after darkish. Provided that Glacier Nationwide Park is in a darkish sky reserve, and since I used to be there through the confluence of a number of meteor showers, I needed to see it after darkish. After a lot analysis, I discovered that the Milky Method can be completely located for the right photograph of the lake.

You may have a few choices for this hike, together with ending on the overlook a mile and a half in, or going three miles to the lake. The path is fairly flat up till the overlook, and has just a few steep elements resulting in the lake.

Remember that that is Grizzly bear nation, and it’s a good suggestion to hold bear spray, which I purchased on the Middlefork Cabins, the place I stayed. It’s additionally out there for hire at Logan Cross. Bears not often assault teams. As a solo hiker, it was a danger to hike down by myself, particularly at the hours of darkness. Simply one thing to remember!

To get there, park at Logan cross.

Highline Path

This hike was insanely beautifulThe Highline Path was my huge hike of my go to to Glacier Nationwide Park, and it didn’t disappoint! I began my hike proper at dawn, watching as the sunshine rays danced throughout the mountains.

PerfectionThe hike can start on the loop or at Logan Cross. You may both hike it out and again, or go all the best way to the loop and take a bus again. Remember that the buses might be full in the summertime and in case you end late, you may need to hitchhike again (not a giant deal. I picked up a hitchhiker myself!).

The Grinnell Glacier Overlook I did the path as an out and again, including on the Grinnell Glacier overlook. Though it’s a really steep closing mile on an in any other case fairly mild path, the point of view on the finish was price it. My journey complete was 15 miles, and would have been 13 if I’d gone to the loop as a substitute. Consider this trial is generally uncovered, will get highly regarded noon in the summertime, and may be very standard. There are just a few steep drop offs, which can trouble these with a worry of heights. Nonetheless, in case you begin early or go within the off season, you will get a lot of all of it to your self. 

Many Glacier

Swiftcurrent Lake in Many GlacierMany Glacier is a valley within the park that many take into account to be probably the most lovely half. This a part of the park is accessible from the East St. Mary entrance. That is the place you’ll find the well-known Grinnell Glacier path entrance as properly.

“Many” glaciers to see on this areaIf you’re heading there from Going-to-the-Solar highway, make sure to cease by Saint Mary Lake as properly, notably to catch dawn or sundown with a view of Wild Goose Island.

Grinnell Glacier Path

Probably the most lovely trails within the parkThis was the path I had my sights on after I first began taking a look at choices in Glacier Nationwide Park. It has all of it when it comes to views, and finishes at an aquamarine lake and the well-known Grinnell Glacier. The path begins on the Many Glacier Resort boat dock, with an choice to take a ship for a part of the best way.

It’s a 7.6-mile out and again path with an 1840-foot elevation achieve. Should you hiked to the overlook on the Highline Path, this shall be an opportunity to see it up shut, and from one other standpoint.

Two Medication Lake

Two Medication, one other dawn and sundown favourite.Two Medication Lake is excessive on my record to go to subsequent time. One of the best ways to get there’s by means of the East Glacier Park space off of Freeway 49. There’s a campground and a number of other mountaineering trails branching off from the lake as properly.

A Few Extra…

Whereas I didn’t get an opportunity to test these out, The next are nonetheless excessive on my record:

Rafting: Glacier Guides presents guided hikes of the park, in addition to rafting adventures together with dinner. Although the rapids are fairly tame (largely class two), it’s good for a calming afternoon, and an opportunity to raft on tremendous clear water.

The Triple Divide Cross Path: The continental divide runs proper by means of this a part of Montana, as you’ll see in case you go to Logan Cross. The Triple Divide Cross path begins at Lower Financial institution within the East Glacier space and is a 14.6-mile out and again path with a 2400 foot elevation achieve. The path is thought for spectacular views, weaving out and in of forests and previous meadows.

Bowman Lake: Should you’re in search of one thing extra secluded, this lake retains most individuals out as a result of the highway in might be troublesome. When you have a four×four automobile, although, this lake is meant to be wonderful.

Backcountry Climbing: Should you’re extra into the backcountry, multi-day hikes, learn extra on the Nationwide Park Service web site. You’ll wish to apply for permits upfront.

As a bonus, from Glacier Nationwide Park you’ll be able to head all the best way into Canada’s Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park in Alberta. That may be one epic journey in case you ask me.

Leaving No Hint

Please endeavor to depart no hint when having fun with nature, in Glacier Nationwide Park, and anyplace it’s possible you’ll be. Which means packing out all of your trash, all the time staying on path, not selecting any flowers, and solely tenting in designated spots.

Avoiding Crowds

Black Leaf within the BobThe greatest option to keep away from the crowds in Glacier is to move there throughout a shoulder season. September is seemingly probably the most lovely time within the park, supplied there aren’t fires closing it for the season. You may as well snowshoe within the park within the winter, and benefit from the heavier water move and better lakes within the spring.

In the summertime, I used to be capable of keep away from the crowds by heading out at sundown, catching the celebrities, and making it in round 5am earlier than the solar had risen. Most individuals aren’t keen to do this, however in case you are then you definitely’ll see the park in its greatest mild and are positive to get parking!

The Bob Marshall Wilderness can also be an incredible possibility. Locals confer with this because the ‘native’ Glacier NP since there are so few folks and the views are spectacular as properly. The world of land within the Bob Marshall Wildnerness is much more expansive, and is greatest for multi-day hikes because the solely option to entry a lot of the wilderness is by horse or foot. Dropstone Outfitting is a neighborhood, female-owned and run firm who took me out for a day hike and left me wanting an extended, multi-day mountaineering expertise!


The West Glacier Cabins have been so good! They appeared fairly new, and had a sitting space, and a full kitchen out there. I’ll positively keep there once more subsequent time I go to Glacier.

I hope this submit helped you to seek out some wonderful picks in your journey to Glacier Nationwide Park. There are such a lot of issues to do there, however it’s all so lovely you could’t actually go mistaken.

*This submit was dropped at you in partnership with Go to Montana. All ideas on the wonderful nationwide park are my very own. How may one not be impressed, proper?

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