I posted a few weeks ago about my great love of Waterton National Park. This is the other half of the Waterton-Glacier National Peace Park.
It is estimated that the glaciers in Glacier National Park will be gone by 2030 if not sooner!!! Can you believe it?! I am so glad that I was able to make it to the park before the glaciers were gone. If you are planning on visiting Banff as well I suggest going to Glacier first. Banff’s glaciers are much more intact and if you go as far as Jasper be prepared for some serious ice people.
The most popular and well known form of travel through the park is Going to the Sun Road. You can drive this road yourself, use the parks free shuttle system, or take a private tour. There is also the famous vintage 1930s red bus tour option.
Although there are many turnouts along this route in which to enjoy the beauty of the park, I highly recommend taking at least one hike. There is nothing like being enveloped by nature. You simply will not get the same experience on the side of the road as you will in the middle of a forest. It’s good to know ahead of time that Glacier has approximately 25 glaciers but only a few are visible along the road.
Some popular hikes are Highline Loop, Grinnell Glacier, Pitamakan – Dawson Loop, Swiftcurrent Pass, Iceberg Lake, Hidden Lake Overlook, Siyeh Pass Loop, Piegan Pass, Ptarmigan Tunnel, Fishercap Lake and Redrock Falls, Saint Mary and Virginia Falls, and Avalanche Lake. Of course Glacier National Park has over 700 miles of trails from short hikes to extended backpacking trips so there are plenty of other options out there.
Peak travel for the park is mid-June to mid-September. Expect heavy traffic and slow goings. Also plan on getting up as early as possible for the more popular hikes as there is VERY limited parking and the trails tend to get quite crowded. As I mentioned earlier the park does offer a free shuttle system which has multiple stops and even stops near several trail heads.
Any time you are hiking make sure you bring water and refill your container anytime you get the opportunity. Plan to hike early in the morning for a chance to see more animals and for cooler temperatures. If you do go during berry season bring bear spray and make noise along the trail. It’s also recommended that you do not hike alone for your safety.
Unfortunately we did not have much time in Glacier. We were only able to fit in a couple of hikes. St. Mary was the one I enjoyed the most. It was a very easy hike with a lovely waterfall at the end.
Some other pastime activities include camping, fishing, horseback riding, canoeing, and motor boats.
We took the Glacier Park Boat Co tour. It was a relaxing scenic float around two lakes. I got some lovely pictures and we even saw a doe lapping at the edge of one lake.
Make sure to check with the visitors’ center for policies, restrictions, and recommendations. I always enjoy stopping at the visitors’ center first. The people that work there usually have experience in the area and can give good recommendations. There are usually some interesting displays and history as well.
My family and I were lucky enough to visit during the midst of the wildflowers being in full bloom AND berry season. We saw several bears on our trip and stunning wildflowers.Although it was crowded I felt in this case it was worth it to go during peak season for the experience. Just prepare yourself accordingly.
As far as food goes here are a few recommendations I found online: The Huckleberry Patch Cannery, Restaurant, & Gift Shop, Three Forks Grille, Glacier Grille & Pizza, The Polebridge Mercantile, Eddie’s Café & Mercantile, and Ptarmigan Dining Room.
We just got quick easy lunches while in the park and ate breakfast and dinner in town where we were staying.
Well I hope y’all get some great ideas from this little post. Please don’t hesitate to ask me any questions and as always don’t forget to follow me here at The Girl and the Coconut for more travel ideas, fun, and food. If you’re interested in seeing some more photos check out my Instagram page @girlndacoconut. I’m also on Twitter and Snapchat under the same name.