Glacier National Park in the United States: top 10 best sights
Glacier National Park in the United States beckons connoisseurs of landscape photography with impressive panoramas of glacial lakes. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the most remote corners of Montana.
Mountain climbers are drawn to the top of the continental divide, where they can marvel at the vast Pacific Ocean in the west and the waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the east. Below are ten of the most scenic spots and interesting sights worth seeing on a trip to Glacier National Park in the United States.
Lake St. Mary’s
Where the Great Plains of Montana end and the Rocky Mountains begin is Lake St. Mary. It is the second largest lake in Glacier Park.
Travel Tip! The best way to get to the northern edge of the lake is to walk from the highway down the mountainsides to the shoreline.
Located in the center of the body of water islet Wild Goose is a kind of calling card of this landmark Glacier. It is by it that it is easy to recognize the beautiful photos of Lake St. Mary taken in this national park in the United States.
This is the largest lake in Glacier Park. The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road mountain trail runs near its southern edge. At the western end of the lake is the village of Apgar, where the visitor center is located.
There you can find souvenir stores and purchase maps showing popular trails in Glacier Park. You can also eat here and stock up on supplies for your next trip.
It is definitely worth renting a boat for a fascinating walk on Lake MacDonald. This body of water impresses with its incredibly clear waters and colorful pebbles that can be seen at the bottom even through the water column.
The ridge with this poetic name lies north of Logan Pass and west of the continental divide. The Garden Wall is a popular hiking route that is 8 km long. On the way you can make a stop in a chalet.
In the warmer months, this ridge impresses with the abundance of flowering plants, which gave rise to the name Garden Wall. It’s a great place to take pictures in Glacier Park, with a scenic backdrop.
This pass runs along the continental divide. Nearby is a highway and visitor center where visitors can get information about the park and travel through its areas.
There are also boardwalks in this corner of Glacier Park that allow access to viewing platforms from which the most scenic views can be seen.
Logan Pass is usually the starting point for most hikes in Glacier Park, including the trail along the Garden Wall.
In 1932, the Going-to-the-Sun Road highway was laid out for the convenience of hikers traveling through Glacier National Park. It connected the eastern and western edges of the reserve.
View from the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, USA
Regardless of the starting point, hikers have the opportunity to ride the trail by car or bicycle. It is possible to cross Logan Pass and the continental divide.
Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier Park, Montana
This trip allows you to admire the park’s many spectacular scenery.
Backpacker Tip! When choosing this route, be sure to consider the weather forecast, especially when planning a trip in early summer.
A layer of snow up to 24 m accumulates over the Logan Passage during winter. When it melts, it can provoke landslides and rockslides, making it difficult to travel along the route. This threat persists through July.
The Cedars Trail is a three-kilometer hiking trail that provides access to a section of the highway between McDonald Lake and Logan Pass. The trail follows a paved road and wooden paths through a cedar forest, with trees often up to 24 meters tall.
Cedar Trail in Glacier Park
From here, you can walk back to the parking lot or take a two-week hike along Avalanche Creek. Here you can admire the scenic waterfall, with water cascading from the cliff.
Izaak Walton Inn.
Built in the late 1930s the Izaak Walton Hotel originally housed the working men who built the railroad. The hotel welcomes guests all year round. Some of the rooms are still located in the railway cars.
The hotel has a restaurant and a game room with a bar that plays live music at weekends. Nearby the Izaak Walton Hotel is the Flathead River, which is popular with rafting enthusiasts.
Mount Grinnell and Swift Carrent Lake
On the eastern shore of Swift Carrent Lake is the popular Glacier Lodge, the largest hotel in the Glacier area. Many hiking trails begin in this area.
Glacier Lodge Hotel on the shores of Swift Carrent Lake in Glacier Park
View of Mount Grinnell from the shore of Swift Carrent Lake
From here, you can get the most impressive view of Mt. Grinnell, which towers over the lake. An even taller peak can be spotted in the distance behind it.
The famous Polebridge Mercantile is located a little over a kilometer off the highway, near the west entrance to Glacier Park.
In the old wooden bar building, you can listen to retro music and enjoy local cuisine with traditional drinks. The Polebridge complex also includes a store, post office, gas station and bakery.
Part of this river represents the southwest boundary of Glacier Park. Part of it runs parallel to Highway 2, which offers scenic views of the river.
It’s a great place to go rafting (for beginners and pros alike). Fishing is also popular, especially in spring, late summer and fall. The main catch is rainbow trout.
Some tips for tourists
The ideal time to visit Glacier Park is from May to September. In July, there is the peak tourist season. But keep in mind that even at this time, the weather can be very unpredictable.
During the tourist season, you can go rafting, fishing, and climbing here. Summer and early fall are the perfect time to take in the sights of Glacier Park and do some exciting hiking.
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Top 15 things to do in Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana, on the border of British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. This park of over 16,000 square miles is a nature lover’s paradise and one of the few places left in the United States where you can enjoy pristine wilderness and perhaps not see another human being for days at a time. It also offers more developed areas for those who want to take advantage of outdoor adventures along with modern amenities. If you’re planning a visit, these top things can help make your trip especially memorable.
Grinnell Glacier Trail Grinnell Glacier Trail
Take a walk
While you can see plenty of amazing scenery from the road and your car, if at all possible, you should really get out on foot to experience nature firsthand. Hikes in Glacier National Park range from flat, easy, interpretive ranger-led hikes that are wheelchair accessible, to challenging backcountry hikes that only those who are well prepared and experienced should do. A few favorite hikes here include the Highline Trail, a high-mountain trail accessed through Logan Pass, which offers great views of the 20-mile one-way trail (most visitors just try the first few miles or so); the three-mile return Hidden Lake Trail, which goes both ways, also accessed from the Logan Pass Visitor Center; and about a 3.5-mile hike to two stunning waterfalls, St. Mary and Virginia Falls.
The Road to the Sun The Road to the Sun
Drive one of the most scenic roads in the world
If you have very limited time and only one thing to choose from, you must drive one of America’s most scenic trails, the Road to the Sun. A spectacular 50-mile highway divides the park east and west, spanning its width and crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. Along the road, there are many drop-offs and scenic lookouts where you can stop and admire stunning views of the diverse terrain, which includes large and glistening glacial lakes, cedar forests and wind-proof alpine tundra at the top. Here, on a pass nearly 6,700 feet high, you’ll find a visitor center that offers more spectacular vistas and is also the starting point for the Highline Trail.
Wildlife can often be seen from almost anywhere along the road, including mountain goats and snow rams, which can almost always be seen on Logan Pass, lounging in the sun right along the highway.
Grinnell Glacier Grinnell Glacier
See the glacier before it disappears
Since 1850, the park’s glaciers began to melt, although there were periods before 1980 during which they expanded. Since 1980, they have been retreating faster than in the past. Just over a century ago, there were about 150 glaciers, but today only 26 remain, and they are all projected to disappear by 2030, if not sooner. Part of the reason is that a warmer climate encourages plants to bloom too early — and then pollinator birds arrive too late for the insects and plants they rely on, disrupting the cycle. Grinnell Glacier is one of the largest in the park, but between 1966 and 2005 it lost nearly 40 percent of its area. In 1859 it was 710 acres, but today it is only 152 acres. If you want to see it, a walk on the 6-mile-long Grinnell Glacier will reward you with great views of the carved glaciers.
Sperry Glacier is located on the northern slopes of Mount Ganzait and has retreated 75 percent since the mid-19th century. It once covered 930 acres, but a recent estimate found an estimated 216 acres. Even though it has retreated significantly, you can still see magnificent but minor glacial features such as large moraines, streams, and milky aquamarine lakes. Many of those who want to visit Sperry prefer to spend the night at Sherry Chalet, a 1913 mountain cabin, before hiking the steep trail.
Two Medicine Lake Two Medicine Lake.
Kayak and paddle rentals Two Medicine Lake
Two Medicine Lake borders the East Glacier and is one of the least explored regions of the park because it is not a direct artery of the popular Going to the Sun trail. Heading here, you can enjoy a particularly tranquil outdoor experience amid incredible scenery with a tranquil shoreline and the pristine turquoise waters of Two Medicine Lake, which reflects tall spires rising straight out of the ground. Visitors can rent kayaks as well as canoes and rowboats to explore the deep blue waters with striking snow-capped mountains providing a spectacular backdrop. The area also offers a diverse selection of trails, campgrounds and more.
Many Glaciers Boat Tour Many Glaciers Boat Tour
Hop aboard a scenic boat tour
There are many beautiful, long and thin glacial lakes in the park that offer scenic boat tours, which is an interesting way to learn more about the area as well as enjoy the scenery from a more unique water perspective. Lake McDonald offers hour-long cruises from the boat dock at the Lake McDonald Lodge, allowing visitors to enjoy the tranquility of this emerald lake, the largest in the park, aboard a historic wooden boat. St. Mary’s Lake, about five miles from the park’s eastern entrance, offers a boat tour that takes you from a close visit to Wild Geese Island and boasts stunning panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. Some of the highlights of the tour, which begins at the Rising Sun boat dock, include Sexton Glacier, the remains of President Louis Hill’s personal cabin on the Great Northern Railway and small islands that are scattered across the water. The narrated tour is available with or without a guided tour.
At Plenty Glacier, you can take a trip around Swiftcourt and Josephine Lakes on a boat that departs from Plenty Glacier Marina. This scenic trip requires a short hike between the lakes, and if you want a longer hike, this is also an option.
Canoeing on Lake Two Cures Canoeing on Lake Two Cures
Rent a watercraft and explore the park’s lakes on your own
If you prefer to be more independent and explore the lakes on your own, you can rent a motorboat, rowboat or canoe in both Lower Medicine Lake and Lake McDonald. In the summer, there tend to be plenty of calm, warm days that just beg to get out on the water, especially on Lake McDonald. On Two Medicine, you can walk around the area to discover remote shorelines or find that perfect fishing.
If you have your own boat, this opens up several other opportunities, such as boating and paddling on Lake St. Mary and Lake Sherburne. Just keep in mind that if you bring our own, the boat must pass a quick check for invasive species.
Fishing on Lake McDonald Fishing on Lake McDonald
Test your fishing luck
Although it is better to fish outside of Glacier National Park, you will still have the opportunity to catch species such as cutthroat, northern pike, whitefish, kokanee, rainbow trout and lake trout that can be found in lakes and streams. relaxed atmosphere and amazing scenery. You don’t need to have a license or permit needed to fish in the park, you just need to follow a few guidelines, paying attention to things like which lakes are off-limits and which species are caught and caught. release only Even if you don’t have time for dinner, this is the perfect time to enjoy some quiet time and enjoy the view.
Flathead River Flathead River.
Right on the edge of the park, you’ll find some of the best rafting in the state on the Middle Fork and North Fork on the Flathead River. Several rafting companies do commercial rafting trips, and some combine tours with other activities such as horseback riding or hiking. It’s an exciting way to experience some of the region’s best scenery, but if the water seems too heartbreaking, you can instead take a quieter, more scenic float trip down the river, with a quiet ride along the north fork of Flathead. The river, which runs along the western boundary of the GNP. No experience is required, and with day trips as well as multi-day water rides and scenic rafting for most ages, it’s a fun option for almost everyone.
Cracker Lake Cracker Lake.
Being hypnotized by Cracker Lake
Cracker Lake may be one of the most enchanting lakes you have ever seen. Its crystal-clear blue waters are displayed by the impressive Mount Sia, which rises majestically in the background. Constant low water temperatures and rock silt combine to create its striking hue. The downside is that it’s not easy to get here-you have to drive 6.3 miles there and back. When you reach the 5.8 mile mark, you get to the overlook, which offers an incredible view from the north end of the lake – even without the spectacular surrounding mountains, it would be worth the effort to get here just to see its jaw-dropping color. Another half-mile ahead, when you reach the end, you can enjoy even more spectacular views from the red rock outcrop.
Mountain Goat Mountain Goat.
A watch for wildlife.
Glacier National Park is filled with a variety of wildlife. And because of the lack of development, it’s a haven for rare and endangered species, including the largest population of grizzly bears and the Canada lynx in Alaska, though they remain fairly elusive, preferring to stay away from people. You have a better chance of seeing majestic white-headed eagles soaring overhead or perched on tree branches on the lake’s edge. Snow rams, rock ibex, elk and red foxes are common sightings, and sometimes visitors may see fish, gray wolf, elk or black bear.
Jammer Bus Jammer Bus.
Take the Jammer tour.
Glacier National Park is famous for its cherry-red buses. The historic vehicles, which date back to the 1930s, are a symbol of the park and a throwback to another era. Called “Red Jammers” by locals, a name that originated in the days when all buses had standard transmissions and you could hear the drivers “jamming” the gears as they crossed a rough mountain. This is a great option for those who don’t want to drive or don’t have a vehicle with them to experience the famous Sunshine Road and some of Montana’s most spectacular wilderness.
Backcountry Camping Backcountry Camping
Backcountry camping in the wilderness.
There are very few places left in the United States where you can truly escape into the wilderness and enjoy nature without encountering a trace of human existence. Glacier National Park is one exception. If you make at least a two-day backcountry trip and camp, you will enter a world where the air seems fresher than anywhere else, the stars shine brighter, and wild animals can kill you, and no one would know. Okay, that part may not be what you want to hear, but surprisingly, as likely as your adventure is, there are dangers you need to be aware of to reduce your risk of injury or worse.
Water, surprisingly, is the leading cause of fatalities in the park, so be extremely careful near water and be especially careful when driving down very steep slopes. Take precautions to prevent unwanted animal encounters, such as hustling on the trail, bringing bear spray and ensuring that all edibles, food containers (whether they contain food or not), kitchen utensils and trash are stored in a food locker or are hung up when not in use, both day and night.
The world’s largest purple spoon The world’s largest purple spoon
Take selfies with the world’s largest purple spoon
While that’s probably not what you came to Glacier National Park for, taking selfies with the world’s largest purple spoon is a must while you’re here. After all, how many impressive mountain views can you post on Facebook before your friends get bored? You can also shake things up a bit. A big purple spoon named Big Martha is near the park in East Glacier, across the street from Glacier Park Lodge. You can combine your visit with a breakfast filled with French toast served at the cafe next door – it’s to die for!
Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, Canada
Take a day trip to Waterton Lakes National Park
Back in 1932, Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park, both located across the border in Canada, were linked together to create Waterton Glacier International Peace Park, the first of its kind in the world. Waterton Lakes National Park is located along the eastern slopes of the Continental Divide in southwestern Alberta and boasts a unique combination of unusual geology, relatively mild climate, rare wildflowers and abundant wildlife. It is an extension of Montana’s Crown of the Continent ecosystem, with its prairie-mountain landscape and worthy of a day trip or longer. One of the most popular places to visit is the Prince of Wales Hotel. It is also one of the most photographed hotels in the world. Even if you don’t stay overnight, you can set up high on a cliff overlooking Lake Waterton and the town of Waterton, but you can take in the stunning views.
If you choose to cross the border, just remember that a passport is required for everyone entering Canada.
Horseback riding in Swiftcourt Horseback riding in Swiftcourt
Explore remote wilderness areas from the back of a horse
The park’s backcountry offers the opportunity to explore some of its most magical secrets. Since they are located in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere except for hikers, the best way to see them is on horseback. You will have many options to choose from, the hardest part is deciding which horseback adventure to take. Trips include everything from short one-hour samplers to multi-day excursions. Those looking for an unforgettable all-day horseback adventure can opt for a trip to Poya Lake, replete with panoramic views of the valley, allowing riders to immerse themselves in thousands of years of geologic history. As mentioned earlier, Cracker Lake is an all-day ride: its striking turquoise waters are something everyone should see at least once, and if the 12.6-mile round trip is too much to bear, a trip there on horseback might be a challenge.