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HomeTravel15 Finest Issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park in 48 Hours

15 Finest Issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park in 48 Hours


Montana’s Glacier Nationwide Park had been on my bucket listing for a while. Rumors of Montana’s magnificence had swirled in my outdoorsy-person 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 plentiful, the celebs are unbelievable. And the place else do you could have glaciers that accessible within the decrease 48?

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

The next are the perfect issues to do in Glacier Nationwide Park. I solely had two days to discover, and there’s much more right here than one can do in 48 hours, nevertheless it ought to make it easier to choose and select your must-sees.

There are a number of completely different areas of the park, with a number of east and west entrance choices. For the needs of this publish I’ll begin within the west (West Glacier entrance) and transfer east, starting with the aspect that I explored extra of, and what you’ll be nearer to in the event you fly into Kalispell or are coming in from Idaho. 

1. Lake McDonald

glacier national park things to do lake mcdonald
Beautiful at sundown and dawn

Maybe Glacier Nationwide Park’s most well-known lake, Lake McDonald is the biggest within the park, at roughly 10 miles lengthy. Like most otheres, it’s characterised by its 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; in the event you’re coming in from the West Glacier entrance, it’s more likely 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; in the event you arrive at dawn or sundown, you’ll be able to keep away from the crowds.

2. Avalanche Gorge and Lake

glacier national park things to do avalanche gorge
Could be extra spectacular within the spring, however nonetheless cool!

Avalanche Gorge and Avalanche Lake are two of the extra accessible issues on this listing. The Path of the Cedars loop that results in the gorge is wheelchair accessible, completely flat, and fairly brief. It’s additionally one of the crucial well-liked trails within the park for that purpose.

You’ll be able to add on one other mile to get to the lake, in the event you really feel so inclined, which is able to take you uphill. That mentioned, the following lake on this listing is price a go to as a substitute in the event you’re brief on time.

3. Street to Logan Go

glacier national park things to do logan pass
Going-to-the-Solar Street as taken from Logan Go

You’ll be on Going-to-the-Solar Street from the second you enter the park from the West Glacier entrance and as you go alongside Lake McDonald. This street is unbelievable when it comes to views and the best technique to see the park’s essential options. Remember that the street can also be fairly slim, and might get very talked-about within the summertime. I like to recommend heading out proper at dawn in the event you plan on parking at Logan Go, which is the place the next trailheads depart from.

4. Hidden Lake

glacier national park things to do hidden lake
Insane for stargazing

I used to be amazed by Hidden Lake. I had it virtually all to myself after I went stargazing there after darkish. On condition that Glacier Nationwide Park is a dark-sky park, and since I used to be there throughout the confluence of a number of meteor showers, I simply needed to expertise it after darkish. After a lot analysis, I discovered that the Milky Approach could be completely located for simply the suitable {photograph} of the lake.

To get there, park at Logan Go. You’ve got 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, then has just a few steep components resulting in the lake.

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

5. Highline Path

glacier national park things to do highline trail
This hike was extremely stunning

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

glacier national park things to do highline trail
Perfection

The hike can start on the loop or at Logan Go. You’ll be able to both hike it out and again, or go all the way in which to the loop and take a bus again. Remember that the buses could be full in the summertime — in the event you end late, you may need to hitchhike again (not an enormous deal — I picked up a hitchhiker myself!).

glacier national park things to do highline trail
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 last mile on an in any other case fairly mild path, the perspective on the finish was price it. My journey complete was 15 miles (it might have been 13 if I’d gone to the loop as a substitute). Remember that this path is usually uncovered, will get extremely popular noon in the summertime, and could be very well-liked. There are just a few steep drop-offs, which can hassle these with a worry of heights. Nonetheless, in the event you begin early or go within the low season, you will get a lot of all of it to your self. 

6. Many Glacier

glacier national park things to do many glacier
Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier

Many Glacier is a valley that many take into account to be probably the most stunning a part of the park. It’s accessible from the St. Mary entrance within the east, after which additionally, you will discover the well-known Grinnell Glacier trailhead.

glacier national park things to do many glacier
“Many” glaciers to see on this space

When you’re heading there from Going-to-the-Solar Street, make sure to cease by St. Mary Lake as effectively, significantly to catch dawn or sundown with a view of Wild Goose Island.

7. Grinnell Glacier Path

glacier national park things to do many glacier
One of the crucial stunning trails within the park

This 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 Lodge boat dock, the place there’s an choice to take a ship for a part of the way in which.

It’s a 7.6-mile out-and-back path with an 1,840-foot elevation achieve. When you hiked to the overlook on the Highline Path, this shall be an opportunity to see the glacier up shut, and from one other standpoint.

8. Two Drugs Lake

glacier national park things to do two medicine
Two Drugs, one other dawn and sundown favourite

Two Drugs Lake is excessive on my listing to go to subsequent time. One of the simplest ways to get there’s by way of the East Glacier Park space off of Freeway 49. There’s a campground and a number of other mountain climbing trails branching off from the lake as effectively.

A Few Extra Issues…

9. Rafting

Glacier Guides presents guided hikes of the park, in addition to rafting adventures, together with dinner. Although the rapids are fairly tame (principally Class II), it’s superb for a soothing afternoon, and presents an opportunity to raft on tremendous clear water.

glacier np things to do rafting

Whereas I didn’t get an opportunity to examine these out, the next are nonetheless excessive on my listing:

10. The Triple Divide Go Path 

The Continental Divide runs proper by way of this a part of Montana, as you’ll see in the event you go to Logan Go. The Triple Divide Go Path, a 14.6-mile out-and-back path with a 2,400-foot elevation achieve, begins at Minimize Financial institution within the East Glacier space. It’s identified for spectacular views because it weaves out and in of forests and previous meadows.

11. Bowman Lake

When you’re on the lookout for one thing extra secluded, do this lake, which is meant to be superb. The street in could be troublesome, which retains most individuals out, except you could have a 4×4 car.

12. Backcountry mountain climbing 

When you’re extra into backcountry, multiday hikes, learn extra on the Nationwide Park Service web site. Apply for permits prematurely.

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

13. Snowshoeing

When you’re visiting Glacier within the wintertime, positively take into account renting some snowshoes to discover. You’ll be able to hire snowshoes in West Glacier; ask about which trails close by are in the perfect situation.

14. Hire an ATV in Whitefish

You’ll be able to discover Whitefish by renting an ATV, supplying you with extra freedom in the event you’re in a time crunch. Go at your personal tempo, having fun with the journey of driving your personal ATV.

15. St. Mary Falls

This hike is 1.7 miles and begins on the small automotive park on Going-to-the-Solar Street. Attending to St. Mary Falls is a reasonably simple trek, because it’s principally downhill. The waterfall itself has two distinct streams and is very plentiful within the spring and early summer season, after the snow has melted.

Leaving No Hint

Please endeavor to depart no hint when having fun with nature in Glacier Nationwide Park (and wherever it’s possible you’ll go). Meaning packing out all of your trash, all the time staying on the path, not choosing any flowers, and solely tenting in designated spots.

Avoiding Crowds

bob marshall wilderness
Black Leaf in “the Bob”

One of the simplest ways to keep away from the crowds in Glacier is to go there throughout a shoulder season. September is seemingly probably the most stunning time within the park, offered there aren’t fires that shut it for the season. You can even snowshoe within the winter, and benefit from the heavier water move and better lakes within the spring.

In the summertime, I used to be in a position to keep away from the crowds by heading out at sundown, catching the celebs, and making it in round 5am, earlier than the solar had risen. Most individuals aren’t keen to try this, however if you’re, then you definately’ll see the park in its greatest mild and are certain to get parking!

The Bob Marshall Wilderness can also be an ideal possibility. Locals seek advice from this because the “native” Glacier Nationwide Park since there are so few individuals and the views are spectacular as effectively. It’s much more expansive, and is greatest for multiday hikes, because the solely technique to entry many of the wilderness is by horse or foot. Dropstone Outfitting is a neighborhood women-owned, women-run firm that took me out for a day hike and left me wanting an extended, multiday expertise!

➵ Hire a automotive in Montana right here

The place to Keep

The West Glacier Village was so good! It appeared fairly new, had a sitting space, and a full kitchen. I’ll positively keep there once more subsequent time I go to Glacier.

I hope this publish helped you to seek out some superb locations in your journey to Glacier Nationwide Park. There are such a lot of issues to do there, however then once more, it’s all so stunning that you may’t actually go mistaken.

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

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