Everything You Need to Know About Glacier National Park
There’s something special about the wilderness in Montana. Vast expanses of land seem to have not been touched for centuries. You can experience some of the magic of our state when you visit Glacier National Park. This 1,583-square-mile wilderness area is home to stunning mountainscapes, sparkling lakes, and alpine meadows. See it all for yourself during your stay at Good Medicine Lodge!
About Glacier National Park
Whether you’re looking for adventure or solitude, Glacier National Park is an excellent stop on your next trip. Located in the Rocky Mountains, you’ll be treated to plenty of things to do with stunning views along the way. There are more than 700 miles of hiking trails here, and many lead to scenic overlooks, hidden valleys, and breathtaking alpine lakes.
Did you know that Glacier National Park is only about 40 minutes away from Good Medicine Lodge? Many of our guests will spend a day or two at the park and use our bed and breakfast as their home base.
Visitors can access the park on the southern boundary via Highway 2 and the eastern side via Highway 89.
Entrance Fees & Purchasing Your Pass
Glacier National Park has a variety of entrance fee options for visitors. If you’re visiting during your stay at Good Medicine Lodge, you have the option of a single entry or a seven-day car entry. We recommend the seven-day car entry because it will get everyone in your vehicle into the park for just $35 (or $25 during non-peak season) as opposed to a single entry for $20 (or $15 for non-peak season).
You can easily purchase a pass online before you go!
NEW in 2021 – Glacier National Park is requiring an additional vehicle entry pass $2 for anyone wanting to enter any of the major entrances and/or to travel down any of the major road corridors within the park. This ticket will be required from Memorial Day through to September 11th to help with congestion within the park. Purchasing these tickets can be difficult, so please check their website to make sure you have read through the requirements in order to reserve your ticket ahead of your trip. Go to: Glacier National Park Announces Plans for 2022 Ticket System – Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (nps.gov) for more details.
5 of the Top Things to Do in Glacier National Park
There are so many things to do at Glacier National Park that we could spend hours telling you about them all. Here are some of our top recommendations, but please don’t hesitate to ask us for more recommendations during your stay at Good Medicine Lodge. We can give you our top activities based on your time and ability!
1. Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road
You can travel across the entire park on Going-to-the-Sun Road! This scenic mountain road is about 50 miles long and spans the entire way between the east and west entrance stations. During your drive, you’ll get to see a taste of what the park offers. Mountaintops tower in the distance, waterfalls cascade along the road, and wildlife abounds. Take your time and soak in the gorgeous views as you drive!
Local tip: Even though portions of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open year-round, it is very difficult to plow during the snowy months. Always check and make sure it is open before attempting to drive it! The road is usually fully open by late June or early July.
2. Visit Logan Pass
Logan Pass is one of the most popular destinations in Glacier National Park. This particular stop can be easily reached by car from Going-to-the-Sun Road. In the summer, Logan Pass lights up with wildflowers in nearly every color of the rainbow. The Visitor Center is open mid-June to mid-September– take a look inside to learn about alpine zone plants and animals! Local tip: We recommend using one of the free shuttles in the park rather than driving to Logan Pass. The parking lot is usually full throughout the day!
3. Walk to Hidden Lake Overlook on the Hidden Lake Nature Trail
If you’re visiting the Logan Pass Visitor Center, you might as well carry on to see one of the most popular overlooks in the park! The trailhead is located right behind the Visitor Center, and it’s an easy walk. You’ll travel on an open trail through a breathtaking meadow before gaining some elevation and reaching the Hidden Lake Overlook. Take in outstanding panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains!
4. Go on a Boat Ride
The alpine lakes in Glacier National Park are so beautiful that they will take your breath away. There is a strict boating policy that includes a month-long quarantine of your boat to protect from aquatic invasive species, so it is not ideal for travelers to bring their own boats. Instead, you can make a reservation with Glacier Park Boat Company! This family-owned company will take you out on St. Mary Lake, Lake McDonald, Many Glacier, or Two Medicine. See the views from a whole new perspective as you cruise on the still water.
5. Experience a Nature Trail
If you’re spending a day or two in Glacier National Park, hiking a nature trail is one of the best ways to see the area. These trails are for all abilities, and many of them have signage that will guide you along the way. Some of our favorites include:
- Trail of the Cedars– This mile-long trail is one of the only wheelchair accessible trails in the park. The trail is lined by red cedars, some of which are more than 100 feet tall! If you’re comfortable with some steep climbing, you can walk another 1.6 miles to Avalanche Lake.
- Forest and Fire– See the rebirth of a brand new forest when you walk Forest and Fire Nature Trail. This area of the park was severely burned in 1967 and 2001, so there are many young saplings growing. One of the best parts, however, is that forest in the process of rebirthing attracts wildflowers. We recommend this hike during the summer so you can see them all!
- Running Eagle Falls– Running Eagle Falls is an excellent hike if you are looking to see waterfalls. Also known as Trick Falls, this easy, .6-mile hike has only a 15-foot elevation gain and is very easy.
- Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail– Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail is an easy, 2.7-mile loop around Many Glacier. The hike is completely flat, so you can enjoy the exceptional scenery without wearing yourself out.
Book Your Montana Getaway Today
Montana has so much to offer, and we want to be part of your travels. Use Good Medicine Lodge as a home base for all of your adventures! Spend the day exploring Glacier National Park, then come back and relax in the comfort of our cozy lodge. Treat yourself to one of our freshly baked cookies upon arrival before decompressing in our hot tub under the stars. Browse our accommodations and book your getaway today!
Check out what Social Media Influencer and Blogger, Vanessa Aguirre said about her stay at Good Medicine Lodge during her recent trip to Glacier National Park:
How to Visit Glacier National Park in Three Days, by Vanessa Aguirre
With Glacier National Park in our backyard, we don’t lack for outdoor recreation opportunities and Whitefish is ideally situated to take advantage of all that Northwest Montana has to offer. Come and experience Glacier’s pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker’s paradise for adventurous visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. Relive the days of old through historic chalets, lodges, and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. Explore Glacier National Park and discover what awaits you.
- Glacier Outfitters – for all your rental gear needs
- Glacier Adventure Guides – Hiking, Rock/Ice Climbing and Nordic Skiing through Glacier
- Glacier Guides Montana Raft – Rafting and other Summer Activity Guides
- Free ranger led hikes through Glacier (weekends only) – nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit