The United States National Parks including Glacier National Park are amazing, each in their own right. I recommend adding each one to your bucket list! But…it’s totally fine to have a few favorites.
I have visited 25 of the 63 U.S. National Parks, and Glacier National Park in Montana is definitely ranked in my top 5.
Glacier National Park is located in Northwestern Montana about 3 hours from Missoula Montana where we originated this trip. It was established in May of 1910 as America’s 10th National Park.
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#1 Reason, Big Sky Country with Majestic Sights
Montana is referred to “Big Sky Country” for a reason. The hills, valleys, mountains, and ravines create amazing vantage points. These points seem never ending in Montana. Get ready for a visual overload of majestic sights.
#2 Reason, Wildlife at Each Turn
During this 5 day trip we saw so much wildlife from a safe distance. Imagine seeing a Mother and baby grizzly foraging in a field, a baby and Mother mountain goat bopping along a trail, a herd of bighorn sheep relaxing on the hiking trail, bald eagles in a pine tree, a moose taking a sunset dip. The list continues.
#3 Reason, The Beautiful Historic Buildings & Landmarks
The historic architecture and sights in Glacier National Park are incredible. Glacier National Park has been referred to as “America’s Switzerland”. Many of the lodges are built in the traditional Swiss style. Other breathtaking sites include “Going to the Sun” Road completed in 1932. This hairpin turn road is a must drive and see, just be careful as you navigate it.
#4 Reason, to Hike The Highline Trail
The Highline Trail is a day hike and originates from The Logan’s Pass Visitor’s Center. It can be hiked in several ways. We chose the option to hike the trail for 10 miles in and out, opting not to hike to the Granite Park Chalet. The Granite Park Chalet is a historic chalet approximately 7.5 miles in on the Highline Trail. It is a rustic lodge for hikers to stay overnight.
The Highline Trail offers some of the most epic sites including wildflowers, wildlife and vistas. Use great caution at the start of the hike with its cliff-like drop off. This trail is not for people with a fear of heights. The altitude gain on the portion of the trail we hiked was about 1200 feet. A shuttle hike is an easier option if you would like to see the Granite Lodge and opt not to hike back for a total of 15 miles. You will need to park a vehicle at the ending location and another vehicle to the Logan’s Pass parking lot.
#5 Reason, to Take Guided Boat Rides on The Pristine Lakes
Taking a boat ride in one (or all) of the historic park tour boats is a wonderful & educational experience. The knowledgable boat captains narrate the trips, and educate you on the park’s history, stories and natural disasters.
The rides last about 1 hours and can be taken at St. Mary’s Lake, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine Lake, and Many Glacier. Each boat ride offers breathtaking views upon the pristine blue lakes. Click here for more information and tickets.
A visit to any of our National Parks is a special experience. We are so lucky to have these treasures filled with nature, beauty and pure Americana located all around our beautiful country.
During COVID, the National Parks offered us safe ways to recreate responsibly. They also helped with our physical and psychological health during the pandemic.
As a reminder, please remember to take care of our National Parks by heeding fire warnings, not feeding the wildlife, staying a safe distance from the wildlife, and most importantly “Leaving No Trace”. We want to preserve the Parks for future generations to come.