It’s the middle of winter but if you’re like us, then you’re probably dreaming of the summer heat, bikinis, and all things outdoors! Why not start making your summer travel plans now before all of your bucket list adventures book up for the season? One of our top places to visit (and one that books up really fast) is Glacier National Park – a favorite of brand ambassador Becca. Imagine jagged peaks reaching towards the Heavens, turquoise water inviting you to take an alpine dip and hiking trails zigzagging every which way you could want to explore. Check out Becca’s #GetOutThere Guide to Glacier National Park for more!
Glacier National Park is an incredible landscape for many different reasons. The park is quite literally changing before our eyes. The glaciers have been melting at an unprecedented rate so much so that they could be entirely gone by the next generation. This video put out by National Geographic shows physical evidence of the glaciers melting in a period of less than 100 years. Take a look!
If you need further persuasion to visit this iconic National Park, read on as I share my favorite spots in the park.
The Best Hikes
Hiking in Glacier National Park should not be taken lightly. Unless you are used to hiking at a high elevation, start gradually to avoid elevation sickness. Also, grizzly bears are quite common so be sure to carry bear spray and hike with a buddy. Please stop at the Visitor Center upon arrival to know about recent closed areas due to bear activity and talk to the rangers about any concerns you may have. It’s a WILD park, be sure to grant it the respect it deserves and you’ll have a great time!
P.S. Just starting out with hiking? Check out our guide to hiking, Hike Like a Girl by brand ambassador Ashley B.
St. Mary Falls/Virginia Falls (3.6 miles round trip) – This is a great hike to start with leading you past thundering waterfalls and along turquoise pools.
Grinnell Lake (a very flat 7.6 miles round trip) – The hike to Grinnell lake is a great beginner hike simply because it is so flat and the scenery just keeps on painting gorgeous landscapes at every turn!
Highline Trail (11.8 miles one way, requires free shuttle) – My favorite hike in the entire park, the Highline Trail begins at the Logan Pass Visitor Center and stretches along a ridgeline of jagged peaks with 360 degree views at all times. If you do not want to go the full 11.8 miles, turn around at any time to get back to your vehicle.
Mt. Oberlin (a very steep 4 miles round trip) – If you’re dreaming of being on top of one of Glacier National Park’s famed peaks, this is the summit for you! In the realm of peaks, this summit is fairly easy because you do not need any mountaineering experience. However the trail is very faint, sometimes nonexistent. Stop at the Logan Pass Visitor Center for more information.
Best SUP and Kayak Locations
Apgar Village on Lake McDonald is the hub for all things water. There are reasonably priced rentals for kayaks, paddleboards, rowboats, and even motorboats. Many Glacier and Two Medicine also offer a boat rentals but their fleet is much smaller than Apgar.
Whitefish, MT just outside Glacier National Park has many whitewater rafting outfitters to get you your adrenaline fix. Plan this as a full day activity to stop in town and grab ice cream afterwards at the world famous Sweet Peaks!
Lodging and Good Eats
Glacier National Park is a huge area spanning a couple hours drive. It’s a good idea to stay in one location for the entire trip and plan activities where you stay to avoid spending half the day driving.
If you’d like to camp, I suggest snagging one of the coveted sites at Rising Sun Campground or Apgar Campground. Both of these campgrounds offer amenities nearby while being close to day hikes.
If you’d like to stay in a hotel, the historic lodge at Many Glacier is beautiful beyond words. Lake McDonald Lodge offers rustic rooms with dining accommodations and stellar views! If you aren’t one of the lucky ducks to snag a reservation, there are lodging options in West Glacier, Whitefish, the town of St Mary and Columbia Falls.
You can’t miss the mouth-watering eats in Whitefish. If you’re visiting in summer, don’t miss out on the Farmers Markets in Columbia Falls and Whitefish. Both are markets offer great food as well as very talented artists.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Glacier is during the heat of the year – July through September. The Going-to-the-Sun Road doesn’t open until it is cleared of snow, typically opening late June, early July. Be sure to make your reservations in advance as things book up quickly! Yes, even though it’s still winter (right now), start making your plans now!
Happy Travels Mermaids! Live well, travel well.