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Why go to Glacier National Park

Named after the remnants of Ice Age glaciers, Glacier National Park is located on the border of Canada
and Montana. It is often called the “crown of the continent” due to its dizzying array of natural beauty. A
favorite with hikers, the park offers a variety of trails for all skill levels, ranging from the easy Cedar Trail
(home to towering and beautiful cedars) to the challenging Grinnell Glacier (which offers stunning
views). Additionally, the park has over 700 lakes, numerous waterfalls, and two mountain ranges spread
over more than a million acres that are home to a variety of wildlife.

In addition to its stunning natural characteristics, it has a significant quantity of history. A National

Historic Landmark and technical wonder, the 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road provides access to well liked hiking paths as well as breathtaking vistas. Additionally, many of the park’s lodges, chalets, and hotels were built by the Great Northern Railway in the early 20th century and are listed on the National.
Register of Historic Places. Want to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site? You’ll find it here, too: the
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.
To restrict the quantity of visitors to the park, Glacier National Park has implemented a ticketed entry
system through September 6, 2021, for select park entrances.

Best months to visit

July and August are the best months to visit Glacier National Park. This is the peak season for visitors
due to daytime temperatures averaging in the 80s and night temperatures dipping into the 40s (pack
layers, plus a good rain jacket). You can The east side of the park is often colder and windier than the
west, with higher elevations even seeing snow in June and July. It’s also dry on the east side. due, while
the valleys to the west receive most of the precipitation. Although accommodation rates and entrance
fees are higher during peak season, most facilities will be open, and the free shuttle service will operate.
You will also encounter fewer road and trail closures than in the fall, winter, and spring. The park is open
throught year.

How to Save Money in Glacier National Park

Off-Season Visit Accommodation prices and park entry fees are highest during the peak summer season.
Plan a winter trip (November to April) for the lowest fares. Vehicle entry fees are valid for seven days
and cost $35 (or $ November 25 through April).
Take Advantage of Free Days The National Park Service waives admission fees on certain national park
holidays and celebrations (such as the first day of National Parks Week). Check the NPS website to see if
any fit your trip.

Camping fees run between $10 and $23 per night for full-service campgrounds – a fraction of the
overnight rate at nearby lodges and hotels. Glacier National Park offers 13 drive-in campgrounds, five
camping stores, and a variety of backcountry options.

What to eat

The developed areas of the park – Lake McDonald, Apgar, Many Glacier, and Rising Sun – offer
accommodation and dining options, but visitors should always bring food and drink as they may not be
accessible from many park roads and trails. Also note that the restaurants are only open in high season,
from late June to Labor Day.

Eddie’s Café & Mercantile in Apgar offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as an ice cream shop and
gift shop with camp supplies and souvenirs. The menu features classics like sandwiches and salads
alongside some regional favorites, including bison burgers, and the patio overlooks Lake McDonald. Lake
McDonald Lodge offers three dining options: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch, and
dinner, and Lucke’s Lounge and Jammer Joe’s Grill & Pizzeria serve lunch and dinner. Try the elk burger
at Russell’s paired with a Montana craft beer. Lucke’s also offers a traditional menu of soups, salads, and
sandwiches, while Jammer Joe’s is a kids’ favorite, serving up all-you-can-eat pizzas, sandwiches, soups,
salads, and buffet lunches.

The Many Glacier Hotel’s Ptarmigan Dining Room doesn’t take reservations, but it’s worth the wait to
dine on local ingredients served in the gourmet continental style, highlighted by the panoramic lake
view. The menu includes seared duck breast and grilled salmon, as well as classics like Cobb salad and
burgers. The hotel’s Swiss Lounge offers light fare from lunch until late: think Montana-style bar food,
from bison chili to sausage platters with pretzel chips. At the Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins, Two Dog
Flats Grill serves American comfort food.

Before you go, you’ll want to try some blueberries, a staple Montana treat. These little berries are
cousins of blueberries but are less sweet. In stores in and around the park, you’ll likely find a variety of
blueberry-based items like candies, syrups, and preserves. Alternatively, several restaurants in the area
offer blueberries on the menu as a sandwich spread or a drizzle of cheesecake. And if you’re up for a
drive, travelers say you can’t go wrong with a blueberry bear claw at Polebridge Mercantile in the North
Fork area.


As is typical of most national parks, the weather and wildlife are more of a threat to your safety than
other visitors’ actions.
Unless you are near a lodge or visitor center, you will find very few facilities in the parking area. You
should plan to fill up the gas tank before entering the park (there are no gas stations in Glacier). You’ll
also want to pack a map (which you can find at any of the visitor centers), as you can’t rely on cell
service in the park.

Unless you know the area very well, never hike or camp alone. Always have plenty of food and water
with you if you are hiking. You should Stay alert to avoid steep terrain and be especially careful near
park lakes or streams. In According to the National Park Service, water is the number one cause of death
in the park. Wildlife, particularly bears and mountain lions, can also pose a threat to public safety. Do
not approach animals, alw lots of noise on your hikes, carry pepper spray, and secure your food and
trash. For more information on security advice, see the NPS website.

Hike around Glacier National Park

The best method to explore Glacier National Park is by car . or using the park shuttle service. If you
come by car, Highway 2 runs along the southern boundary of the park, and Highway 89 provides access
on the eastern side. Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), located approximately 40 km south of the
park and 16 km northeast of downtown Kalispell, is serviced by a variety of airlines, including Delta,
United, Alaska, and Allegiant. The airport offers rental cars from several major companies. There are
also several shuttle and transport services that depart from the airport.

Shuttle service

The park is home to the Apgar Visitor Center and St. Mary Visitor Center offers a variety of shuttle
services, including a free hop-on hop-off shuttle system that travels point-to-point along the Sun Route.
A paid shuttle service, operated by Xanterra, departs from the St. Mary’s Visitor Center and most of the
Glacier Hotel/Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, connecting to the Going-to-the-Sun Road Shuttle. You can take
the paid shuttle from West Side locations, including Lake McDonald Lodge, Village Inn, or West Glacier
Station. One-way fares are $14 for adults and $7 for children; One must reserve. The shuttle system
operates during the peak summer season, which varies each year slightly.
Glacier National Park Shuttle


Although the car is the best way to get around the park and take in the spectacular views, keep in mind
that road closures are common throughout the year, especially in winter; check the park’s website or
stop at a visitor information center for real-time updates on trail and hiking trail closures, as well as
important safety information. Parking is also scarce, and most parking lots in the park fill up by 7 a.m.
during the busy summer season. Facilities along the park’s roads and trails are minimal, so be sure to fill
up your gas tank and pack extra snacks, water, and clothing.

Red bus tours

The park features 1930s red buses with pop-up roofs perfect for mountain views. Tours depart from the
east side and west sides of the park. Tours depart during the summer season, but exact times and hours
of operation vary each year. Each of the 33 vehicles can accommodate 17 passengers, so tours sell out
quickly. Book your tickets online or by phone at 855-733-4522.

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