I’d recommend, Finish your trip to Waterton with a visit to the. groceries. You do not have to be an avid hiker or even outdoorsy in general to appreciate the raw natural beauty of Glacier. Your Perfect Glacier National Park Itinerary Day 1 of Your Glacier National Park Road Trip. An hour north of St. Mary, Waterton is a small alpine town perched on Waterton Lake, part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Two Days in Glacier National Park. mostly looking to see sights and do day hikes, any suggestions on where to go from here for popular sights and hikes? The national park service has also published audio and video tours. These towns are central to the most popular areas of the park: Logan Pass, St. Mary, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine. For all the details, check out my ultimate 7-day Glacier National Park itinerary. The 8 AM tour is typically filled with hikers beginning longer backcountry hikes, so you might be some of the only ones doing the round trip boat tour. Dine in the Great Northern Dining Room to catch the sunset behind Dancing Lady Mountain. You can drive the road from west to east and back or you can turn it into a loop tour by driving the road from West Glacier to St. Mary and heading back to West Glacier via East Glacier Park and Highway 2. The trail takes you through a forest out to Avalanche Lake. Once you make it onto the Avalanche Creek trail (about a third of a mile), crowds will decrease. The shuttle operates along Going-to-the-Sun Road and can be very crowded, with only 2-3 open spots by the time it reaches The Loop. Glacier National Park 7-Day Itinerary. View Map. It definitely did to me, after all, the prior year I visited. A popular option is to book passage on the, Bring a casual t-shirt, pullover, and shoes to change into after your hike. It’s critical that you pack the night before to ensure you’re out the door before 7 AM. The boat tour is a great way to learn more about the Two Medicine area, one of the lesser-visited areas of the park. After hearing lots of good things, we decided to make a 3-day stop in Glacier National Park! With everything from grassy mountainsides to breathtaking vantage points, this trip is a must-do in Glacier. Designated as a “dark sky park” by the International Dark Skies Association, you’ll see more stars here than almost anywhere else in the world. To experience the beauty of Waterton, guarantee yourself a seat on the top deck by lining up around 45 minutes ahead of the tour start time. Waterton Cruises’ 2-hour scenic boat tour on Waterton Lake is a must-do. If you’re traveling in a group with more than one car, the easiest thing to do is park one car at The Loop and one car at Logan Pass. Search for parking at the Trail of the Cedars trailhead, Avalanche Creek campground (just west of the trailhead), or Avalanche Creek picnic area (across the street from the trailhead). Leave St. Mary around 1.5 hours before sunrise. That was all Ben. Quality restaurants are few and far between in the St. Mary area (as is the case for most national park towns). After booking your boat tour tickets, explore the townsite. Explore Glacier National Park for indelible memories. If you ... All hiking trails mentioned below are described in the "Day Hikes" section, below. No visit to Lake McDonald Lodge is complete without seeing the crystal clear waters from the dock behind the lodge. Most of the afternoon boat tours are booked by round trip travelers, meaning its unlikely hikers will be getting off at the Lake Josephine dock. Don’t have 7 days? While the, Be sure to check night sky visibility using the, An hour north of St. Mary, Waterton is a small alpine town perched on Waterton Lake, part of the, Before the boat tour, have a quick lunch. Book the 8:30 AM or 9:00 AM Many Glacier boat tour at least 6 weeks in advance as the morning tours fill up quickly. READ THIS for the ultimate Glacier National Park Itinerary! Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, The Complete Guide to Going-to-the-Sun Road, Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Highline Trail, Ultimate List of National Parks by State (+ When to Go and What to Do! There are quite a few restaurants to choose from on the main street in Waterton. Find a spot in the park with minimal light and observe. You’ll cover 460 feet of elevation over the 1.4 miles out to the overlook, but the way back will be all downhill. Some deodorant wouldn’t hurt either! After checking out the visitor center, head back east on Going-to-the-Sun Road for the second hike of the day – Baring + St. Mary + Virginia Falls. I don’t recommend driving any further than the St. Mary Falls trailhead at night as Going-to-the-Sun Road can be dangerous to drive in the dark. Here is a travel itinerary to hit some main highlights for your time in the park. Is it worth it? Head to your accommodation and check-in before sundown. September 9, 2019 2 Comments. The Complete Glacier National Park Itinerary (1-7 Day Trips!) I’m a national park lover and avid planner on a mission to visit every U.S. national park. Parking at the Logan Pass Visitor Center can be challenging and you’ll want to arrive before 7:30 AM to secure a spot for the day. Glacier National Park is open 24 hours a day and you can enter at any time and it is open on most holidays. I visited Glacier National Park for the first time in September 2019 and I can’t wait to return. Each day you’ll explore a new area of the park and come to love all that Glacier has to offer. My mission is to provide you with super-detailed guides to the U.S. national parks and empower you with the outdoor skills you need to explore them to their fullest. After Paradise Point, head back to the car and make the return trip to St. Mary for a quick bite to eat before your afternoon hike. After the boat tour, grab a coffee or snack and souvenir shop at the Two Medicine General Store. This out-and-back trail is routinely rated as one of the top hikes in Glacier National Park. Plus, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and learn about the history of the park! We have spent months exploring Glacier National Park with our 4 kids (varying in age from 3 – 12 throughout the years) so everything we recommend is based on our time visiting the park. The entrance is staffed during normal visiting hours of 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, but you can technically enter any time you would like. If you have only one day in Glacier National Park this summer, see the Going to the Sun Road, West Glacier whitewater rafting, and more! If you’ll be flying or driving in from the eastern side of the park, modify the itinerary to fit your needs. Ptarmigan Dining Room’s menu boasts locally sourced, gourmet cuisine. The tour used to stop and disembark at Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park. If you’re coming to Glacier National Park from Billings, Bozeman, or Spokane, driving will take you anywhere from 4 - 8 hours, so plan to leave early in the day to maximize your time in the national park. My goal is to empower you to visit America’s national parks by providing super-detailed national park guides and the tools to grow your hiking and camping skillset so you can feel confident outdoors. Let our handpicked 5-day Glacier National Park itineraries guide you in creating a trip plan of your own. This one-week itinerary guides you through the best natural features of the park with visits to beautiful lakes and rivers, wildlife hot spots, and the top hiking trails. Save enough time to return your rental car and bear spray (if you rented at the airport) before boarding your flight. Thank you for supporting the free content on this site! Turn off your headlights and let your eyes acclimate to the darkness for at least a few minutes. Ya’ll, Glacier is every bit as beautiful and amazing as you’ve heard. The best part of this boat tour is the capability to do a split round trip, meaning you can take the boat out first thing in the morning, complete your hike, and use your return trip in the afternoon. Three Day Glacier National Park Itinerary. If you have some time before sunset, I recommend driving the 15 minutes from St. Mary to Wild Goose Island Overlook for sunset. This is an informative and immensely scenic tour with the potential for seeing wildlife, like bald eagles. The Garden Wall takes you up the side of the mountain range to overlook Grinnell Glacier. What to Do in Glacier National Park, Montana Travel Guide – USA, Includes Best Glacier Hikes, Photography spots and camping! Before the boat tour, have a quick lunch. Learning about their history is a crucial part of understanding Glacier National Park. This post is based on a 7-day Glacier National Park Itinerary. I also recommend picking up supplies to make dinners most nights. We are planning to take a week in mid of May. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. #montana #glaciernps #glaciernationalpark. The total out-and-back hike from Sun Point to Virginia Falls is 6.4 miles with 535 feet elevation gain, predominantly in the last stretch from St. Mary to Virginia Falls. While some hikers prefer to do this hike as an introduction to Glacier, I prefer this hike as the finale. While you’re guaranteed a return trip on the boat tour, you may have to wait for space. Afterward, head back to the car the same way you came. They offer tours on many of the park’s lakes, including Two Medicine Lake. We left Billings at 7 or 8 am, and in retrospect, we probably should have left a little earlier. You can book the tour online in advance to ensure the 8 AM departure time. Or, maybe just sleep in after a strenuous week! Finish your trip to Waterton with a visit to the Prince of Wales Hotel. Plus, you’ll save money by cooking at home! You should carry bear spray in an easily accessible location, like a waist belt or outer backpack pocket. Although be aware, you don’t cut off any of the elevation gains. Parking can be difficult at many trailheads, so it’s important to arrive early. Glacier Park Boat Company has been offering boat tours in the park since 1938. The Going to the Sun road will be open from June 23 and the visitors can drive the entire 50-mile length of the road. There are quite a few restaurants to choose from on the main street in Waterton. Once you’ve seen enough of the shoreline, cut across to Waterton Avenue, the main street in Waterton. You have a couple of options: Say your final goodbyes to Glacier National Park as you make your last trip across Going-to-the-Sun Road. We’ve been home for a month now and I’m still on a national park high. Don’t forget to unpack your (hopefully still cold!) Revel in its rustic ambiance: immense Douglas firs in the lobby, garden walkway, outdoor swimming pool and the 9-hole golf course. Read More: Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Highline Trail. Just under 6 miles into your hike, you’ll reach the optional Garden Wall add-on. Don’t forget your passport and remove any bear spray or potential weapons from your vehicle as you’ll be going through border control. Check out the recently made itineraries for 7 days in Glacier National Park. Enter the park via the West Glacier entrance. Best things to do are: Going-to-the-Sun Road, Logan Pass, Lake McDonald, and Avalanche Lake. This itinerary combines day hiking around Banff with a side trip into the neighboring (quieter) national parks in British Columbia. I like to spend time on my return trip reflecting on my favorite parts of the trip, jotting down some notes, and determining what I would have done differently. You’ll get the chance to do all the best hikes in the park and see some amazing views. Your email address will not be published. In June, daytime highs in Glacier National Park are °F, while nighttime lows are °F. If you do not want to hike the Highline Trail, split your time between East and West Glacier on the first two days of this itinerary. Book tickets for the 1 PM tour. Glacier National Park is “The Crown of the Continent” and should be on every hiker’s to-do list. Be sure to take advantage of the various pull-outs and scenic viewpoints along the way. Return to the dock at Lake Josephine to take the 45-minute tour back to the Many Glacier Hotel. If not everyone in your group is doing the Highline Trail, another easy solution is to arrange for your family or friends to pick you up at The Loop. And, dare I say, better than Yellowstone! It is a must. Please, could you help me with 7 days itinerary for GNP. While not an official hike, take a walk along the maintained trail that out to Paradise Point, about a half-mile out along the shore of Two Medicine Lake. You will want to stock up on groceries for the week at the Super 1 Foods in Columbia Falls, Montana. Almost exactly halfway along Going-to-the-Sun Road is The Loop, an excellent vantage point for views of Heaven's Peak. As you make your way across the park to your accommodation in St. Mary, you’ll get your first glimpse of the park. You’ll have time to relax and watch the sunset over St. Mary Lake instead of rushing to drive to the next campsite or hotel before sundown. You’d be missing out though if you didn’t explore some of the 700 miles of hiking trails. For more information on affiliate links and cookies, see my disclosure page for more details. Head back to St. Mary when you’re ready. From St. Mary Falls, it’s about 0.8 miles uphill to Virginia Falls. Afternoon parking at Glacier National Park can be tricky, but this area offers multiple parking options. This super-strenuous, 1-mile, straight-uphill trek is the best part of the entire hike. It passes through grassy meadows and ends at a vantage point overlooking Hidden Lake. Check our travel expert recommended itineraries for a week in Glacier National Park. Be sure to hydrate – I’m talking nonstop water drinking in the afternoon to help you recover and prepare for the rest of the week. How often can you say you’ve hiked 10 miles by the early afternoon? Settle in to your home for the week and make dinner before heading out to see the sunset. Featured Trip Guides; 48 Hour City Guides; Created by Coach-Net - May 11th 2016. Yes. You’ll be tired after your first day of hiking as you adjust to jet lag and elevation change. Take the free park shuttle. Stop at the top of Virginia Falls, eat your picnic lunch, and then begin your trek back to the Sun Point parking lot – a little over 3 miles. Take the rest of the afternoon off and make a delicious dinner. I love Glacier National Park so much that I wrote an entire post about when, why, and how you should visit. Glacier National Park is “The Crown of the Continent” and should be on every hiker’s to-do list. Enjoy a home-cooked meal or treat yourself to dinner out in St. Mary. Profile. If you have an afternoon departure, spend your time checking out shops and restaurants in downtown Whitefish. While the Ptarmigan Dining Room is “hiker casual”, you’ll appreciate having clean clothes to change into after a long, strenuous hike. How late in the year is the Going to the Sun road open, in 2018? Logan Pass Visitor Center is around 35 minutes from St. Mary. But the sunrise at Two Medicine Lake is well worth the early morning. You can only buy tickets in person at the marina, so be sure to do this first thing when you arrive in Waterton. 110%. Days 6 & 7: Glacier National Park—Many Glacier Return to the American side of the ecosystem, enter one of the park's iconic valleys at Many Glacier. In my opinion, the Highline Trail is much less impressive without the Garden Wall add-on. Depending on when you’re visiting, sunset can be anytime from 8 PM to 10 PM. With over 700 miles of trails, one could really spend a whole summer here without running out of new routes to try. Depending on when you’re visiting Glacier, sunrise could be anywhere from 5:30 AM – 7 AM. My passion is exploring America’s national parks and I’m so happy to be able to share that passion with you! The closest thing to a grocery store here is a gas station convenience store. Most mornings at Glacier will be early departures. This is why I recommend staying in a place with a kitchen. The Highline Trail perfectly ties together everything you’ve seen over the last week. See kid-friendly attractions. Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana and spills into Canada, creating the world’s first international Peace Park. Share. You’ll start the hike by navigating along the rocky cliffside before the trail opens up into grassy terrain. If you do encounter wildlife, slowly back away and wait for the animal to leave. This post may contain affiliate links, where I make a small amount if you choose to purchase. Sitting atop a hill, overlooking Waterton Lake, the Prince of Wales Hotel has a grandeur view of the Canadian Rockies. Tomorrow, you’ll be traversing the park to spend one final night in West Glacier after completing the Highline Trail. The itineraries will help you effectively cover all the worth-visiting attractions. It’s the perfect place to spot quietly feeding deer and other wildlife. Created on Inspirock. Create an itinerary to Glacier National Park using our Free Trip Planner and check all the attractions off your list. If you’re an avid photographer, this could be your chance to capture stunning Milky Way photos. From hiking to scenic driving – there’s something for everyone at every ability level. But prepare for a warm hike in the afternoon sun on the way back down. I visited Glacier National Park for the first time in September 2019 and I can’t wait to return. Break up your drive to St. Mary by stretching your legs at Lake McDonald Lodge. Parking at the Logan Pass Visitor Center can be challenging and you’ll want to arrive before 7:30 AM to secure a spot for the day. Here is an itinerary to see some of the best scenery in the park in just 7 days, including where to stay. Free itinerary planning templates for Glacier National Park. Start your hike at the trailhead across the street from the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Check out some of my other resources to help you plan your trip to Glacier National Park! Learn how your comment data is processed. You literally cannot miss it – it’s the only road through the main section of Glacier National Park. It definitely did to me, after all, the prior year I visited all 5 Utah national parks in a week. The Ptarmigan Dining Room is Many Glacier Hotel’s main eatery. Reward yourself after a long upward journey by peeling off those merino wool hiking socks and dipping your toes in the near-freezing glacial melt. Glacier National Park This is why I recommend parking at Sun Point and including Baring Falls in your hike. Will you be out of breath and questioning yourself the whole haul up the mountainside? To launch your trip, aim for tiny East Glacier, where mountains jut up from the prairie. Due to challenges with US National Park Service funding, the region is no longer staffed or maintained so the tour can no longer stop at Goat Haunt. The visitor center will be closed when you arrive in the morning, so stop in after your hike to look around, talk to park rangers, or buy souvenirs. Getting To Glacier National Park. But a week in one national park can seem like a lot, right? Our travel experts have sorted it out for you with the Glacier National Park itinerary of 7 days. Since you’ll be back at the Logan Pass Visitor Center later in the week, there’s no need to stop there on your drive across the park. This 7-day Glacier National Park itinerary lets you experience it all. Have your camera and binoculars ready! The hike-in, hike-out Granite Park Chalet provides a place for a nice snack and restroom break before beginning your downhill trek to The Loop. Hike through the shaded forest to Avalanche Lake and sit on the shore for an afternoon snack. But don’t worry if you’re running short on time, you’ll be back on Going-to-the-Sun Road many times throughout the week. Stay in West Glacier or St. Mary. Created by a user from United States. Aside from the Garden Wall, the elevation change is gentle and isn’t very strenuous for seasoned hikers. The Loop is 30 minutes further along Going-to-the-Sun Road. But for all your detailed-oriented planners, I’ve also put together my ideal itinerary. If you’d like to stay in one of the historic lodges inside the park, plan to make reservations 13 months in advance. If you’re lucky and in Glacier near a new moon, you’re chances are greatly increased. If you’re not back at the dock by 5:15 PM, you’ll need to walk the rest of the way back to the hotel. Moderate hikes are good... Glacier National Park. Plan to stay for two nights at the railroad-built inn. My goal at Well Planned Journey is to help you plan epic national park adventures with detailed guides and itineraries! My account; Log out; Log in + 7 days in Glacier National Park Itinerary. Feeling overwhelmed by which places to visit in Glacier National Park ? If you’re in a group, have one person board if there isn’t space for the whole group and return to pick everyone else up after retrieving the car from Logan Pass. Park at the Two Medicine General Store and walk mere steps to the shore of Two Medicine Lake for sunrise viewing. We designed the perfect 2-day Glacier National Park itinerary for folks with limited time to explore the park. Once you’re back in St. Mary, pack up and prepare to check out of your accommodations. This 7-day Glacier National Park itinerary lets you experience it all. For a century, that scenery has impressed many first timers upon arrival at Glacier Park Lodge. I wholeheartedly believe that you need at least a week to see the different areas of the park and truly immerse yourself in Montana’s beauty. Be prepared to see some of Glacier’s renowned wildlife up close and personal on this hike. If you have some extra energy, proceed to the far side of the lake for a different vantage point. It’s the closest and saves significant drive time compared to other major airports. But after spending a week in only Glacier National Park, I’m sold on slowing down and pacing out my national park adventures. Includes suggested Itineraries for Glacier Park, Glacier Park Itineraries if you only have one day to spend in Glacier National Park. If you’re particularly trusting, you can also arrange to do this with other groups of hikers. Head back to the marina and line up for the 1 PM boat tour. This means earlier wake-up calls for those visiting in months with earlier sunrises. Drive into the park at least as far at Wild Goose Island Overlook and stop at a pull-off. It’s critical that you pack the night before to ensure you’re out the door before 7 AM. Today you’ll be making the strenuous hike up to Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint. Travel Aug 01 - Aug 07. Travel Itinerary: 7 Family-Friendly Days in Glacier National Park. At this point in the afternoon, you should be able to find a parking spot, or a pull off, to get out and view the highest peak in the park, Heaven’s Peak.
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