Glacier National Park is probably my favorite national park. It is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It reminded me a bit of Banff in Canada but remote and not commercialized.
We headed into the park from Kalispell. It’s a good starting point as it’s decently close to the park and gave us to spend our first full day in the park driving along the Going to the Sun Road.
The tricky thing about first time visitors to Glacier National Park is to be pay attention to your dates. For this Texas girl, the idea of roads to closed due to snow in July (or frankly anytime of the year) seems foreign. But the Going to the Sun Road, the iconic road that cuts through the park isn’t typically open until mid-July. I didn’t realize this until I had already booked my Yellowstone trip. Luckily, the road was open, but late-July or August might be a safer bet.
Once we got arrived to the park, we just kept pulling over to take pictures. It was amazing. We arrived at Logan Pass a little after 10am. The parking lot was already full, but it was still open, we drove around a bit until someone left and we found a spot. We we left later, they had closed the parking lot.
At Logan Pass, we went into the visitor center to look at the exhibits, maps and talk to the rangers. Hidden Lake Overlook was closed due to bear activity. We decided to hike along Highline Trail. I highly recommend this hike. Do as much as you can, every bit of it is worth it and even if you only hike 0.5 mile or 1.0 mile, you won’t regret it.
After we got back to the car, we continued driving down GTTSR. Our next stop was St. Mary’s Falls. Here, we ate our lunch at some picnic benches and the kids worked on their junior ranger books.
We then hiked part of the St. Mary Falls trail.
Tired, we returned to the car and drove the rest of the GTSR and then on to Many Glacier hotel.
Many Glacier hotel is a designed like a Swiss Chalet. It was built in 1914. It still has that charm. We reserved our room here a year prior. With a family of five, I called to make a reservation and was able to get a suite for one night. We loved staying here but some people might find it not as updated. It’s not a modern hotel, in the section we stayed in, there is no elevator, but we loved the character of staying in the old hotel.
After we settled in our room, we went downstairs to the hotel restaurant for dinner. Later that evening, we went to a ranger talk in the hotel. That night’s talk was called, “The Night of the Grizzlies.” It was about bears in Glacier. It was a great talk! The ranger kept the kids engaged throughout her talk.