One of the nation’s most pristine and magnificent natural wonders, Glacier National Park–the Crown of the Continent–encompasses a vast landscape of snowcapped mountains and turquoise glacial lakes along the Continental Divide. One of the top reasons folks often visit Glacier National Park is to travel along the Going-to-the-Sun Road,
With 1,489 square miles (3,856 square kilometers) to explore, crisscrossed by some 740 miles of hiking trails, guided bus tours or narrated cruises are a popular way to explore the massive landscape and numerous lakes of Glacier National Park, including Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, Two Medicine Lake, and the lakes around Many Glacier. The waters from the park’s melting glaciers form the headwaters of rivers flowing to the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Gulf of Mexico.
For independent travelers, the park operates a free shuttle service throughout much of the summer season along Going-to-the-Sun Road, a 50-mile (80-kilometer) drive through the interior of the park. The 20 stops throughout the park offer countless memorable views..
Things to Know Before You Go
- The national park is a must-see for adventure travelers and outdoors enthusiasts.
- Dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes suitable for walking over uneven surfaces.
- Cell service is limited within the park, so be sure to plan ahead.
- Park lodging is available in Glacier National Park at Apgar Village and on the shores of Lake McDonald and Swiftcurrent Lake.
- Glacier National Park is home to hundreds of animals, including bears, beavers, elk, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and wolverines. Keep a safe and respectful distance from all wildlife.
How to Get There
Glacier National Park is situated in Northwest Montana, 29 miles (47 kilometers) from Kalispell and 200 miles (322 kilometers) from Great Falls. Most visitors travel to the park by car or RV.
When to Get There
Glacier National Park offers magnificent views no matter the season, but travelers who prefer to have the natural scenery more to themselves would do well to avoid peak season from mid-June to Labor Day. Some roads and park facilities are closed during the winter.
International Peace Park
Glacier National Park, along with Waterton Lakes National Park across the Canadian border in Alberta, make up what is known as Waterton Glacier International Peace Park. The first park of its kind in the world is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, distinguished for its diversity of flora and fauna.