Nov 10

Top 10 Things to See or Do in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park one of the few main national parks in the continental United States that Karen and I have not yet visited, and hopefully sometime in the next two years we will be able to rectify that situation as we plan a swing through the western states. So, why I am looking forward to going to Glacier?  Glacier National Park has over 1,000,000 acres to explore, 130 named lakes, beautiful mountains, 1,000 different species, and hundreds of different types of animals.  The only problem is figuring out just what to see.  So after doing some research Karen and I narrowed it down to 10 things that we must see or do while spending time in Glacier National Park.

10. Lake McDonald

Lake McDonaldvia
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park with a length of 10 miles and over a mile wide, but what makes McDonald a must see destination is the fact that in most mornings and evenings the lake is still enough to reflect the surrounding mountains to produce a beautiful sight.

9. Hike to St. Mary and Virginia Falls

St. Mary Fallsvia
A relatively short hike at about three and half miles to two beautiful waterfalls you will probably not be alone on this hike, but the payoff is two very nice waterfalls.  If you are somebody that does not do a lot of hiking and your national park experience is mostly in a car then this hike is the one for you.

8. Iceberg Lake

Iceberg Lake - Glacier National Parkvia
Iceberg Lake is located at the end of the 4.8 mile Iceberg Lake Trail.  The Iceberg Peak towers more than 3,000 feet about the lake and offers a beautiful backstop to this wonderful lake.  Grizzlies often frequent the area so make sure if you take this hike that you are bear aware.

7. Hidden Lake Trail

Hidden Lake Trailvia
Hidden Lake a very popular destination in the park due to its beautiful landscape and the fact the lake is easily reached on a relatively flat short hike.  Wonderful views of the landscape and a good chance at spotting wildlife which is what I think a national park is all about.

6. Going to the Sun Road

Going to the Sun Road at Sunrise JN034426

A wonderful scenic drive over 50 miles through the park’s mountainous interior.  The two lane road is narrow and is very winding so try to keep your eyes off the scenery as much as you can.

5. Grinnell Glacier Tail

Grinnell Glaciervia
Grinnell Glacier Trail is a very scenic hike that gives its hikers the chance to stand on an actual glacier.  How cool is that?  And I mean that literally and figuratively.  The trail runs for six miles which will put some people off, but the effort is worth it because you will get wonderful scenic views throughout the hike.

4. Swiftcurrent Lake

Swiftcurrent Lake, Glacier National Park, Montanavia
Swiftcurrent Lake is almost a mile high at 4,878 feet and has the Many Glacier Hotel the largest hotel in the park on its east shore.  It is also a good location to start several different hikes and the lake and surrounding scenery looks spectacular.

3. Logan Pass

Logan Pass signvia
Logan Pass is the highest point on the Going to the Sun Road and is located on the Continental Divide.  The Pass is a great jumping off point for several hikes including the very popular Highline Trail.  It is also the home to the Logan Pass Visitor Center which is a great place to learn about all the wonderful things to see in this area of the park.

2. St. Mary Lake

St. Mary Lake - Glacier National Parkvia
St. Mary Lake is the second largest lake in Glacier National Park.  It like so many other things on our list is also located on the going to the sun road.  It is a stunning area that is also a good place to look for the wildlife that calls the park home.

1.Highline Loop Trail

views from The Loop Trail ~ Glacier National Parkvia
What could be argued as the premiere hiking trail in Glacier National Park the Highline Trail is about 20 miles in length but you do not have to hike the whole thing to get an appreciation for the area.  The Highline Loop portion of the trail is a good day hike but plan for it to take all day.  A more strenuous hike than some of the others in the park, but it sure seems worth the effort.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 10 things to see or do in Glacier National Park. Is there anything that you think we left off or if you disagree with our top 10 sound off by leaving a comment.  Happy Travels!

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  1. Tony Bynum

    nice work, and yes those are among the most popular places in glacier park. you might do some more research on iceberg lake, your photo is of a different iceberg lake, not the one in glacier national park . . . Have a fun trip, and if you want to know more about the park, you can follow a blog called, of all things, http://www.glacierparkphotographer.com

    Cheers, Tony Bynum

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Thanks for the advice and will have to check out that blog. I try to do as much research as possible so Karen and I can make the most of our travels. Thanks for the comment- Happy Travels!

  2. Jessica

    I would highly recommend going to Sperry Chalet! A two night stay at the chalet will allow you to enjoy the views from the “top”! When we went as a family in 2008, the chalet was booked but available if you signed up to go to Sperry Glacier with a naturalist guide. The guide helped to lead the trail even when it didn’t look like there was anywhere to go. We stopped along the way to the glacier to talk about the land, plant, and animal life. At one point we came across 2 babies and five mother mountain goats! It was incredible! It was one of my best experiences in the park on our third trip to GNP! It’s a strenuous trail, but its well worth it for the views!

    1. Kenny and Karen

      Sounds great, Karen and I will definitely have to check it out. Thanks for the wonderful information sounds like you had a really good time and thanks for commenting- Happy Travels!

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