Columbia Falls may actually be the closest city to Glacier National Park, so if you’re going to stay somewhere other than Whitefish, try Columbia Falls (especially Cedar Creek Lodge!)
The east side of Glacier National Park is generally drier, cooler and windier than the rest of the park. The base elevation is higher and the valleys are wider. That makes for some epic scenery and outstanding adventuring. Here are some of our favorite spots on the east side.
However, staying in Kalispell or Whitefish isn’t too bad. If I had to choose one or the other, I’d probably pick Whitefish just because it is a nice, quaint town. If that’s what you prefer, pick Whitefish. If you want more options for dining/entertainment then Kalispell might be better.
Ideally, plan on spending at least two to three days in Glacier National Park. This gives you enough time to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, hike one or two trails, and visit the Many Glacier or Two Medicine areas.
Columbia Falls definitely cuts down on the commute into the park. If you are truly only sleeping at the rental, it may be your better bet. Town wise, no brainer it’s Whitefish. Remember, the stay at homes can drive around the area and see things, while the others are in the park.
The best time to visit Glacier National Park is in July and August. This is the peak season for visitors, with daytime temperatures averaging in the low 80s and nighttime temps dipping into the 40s (pack layers, as well as a good rain jacket).
The main attraction in Glacier National Park is the Going-To-The-Sun Road. The Sun Road is 50 miles long from West Glacier on the West Side to Saint Mary on the East Side. The West Side encompasses 35 miles of this Road and will provide you with the more scenic and picturesque drive.
As the city is only about 50 miles south of Canada, visitors can find even more on the other side of the border.
Do I really need bear spray? Yes. We highly suggest that visitors carry bear spray in the park as Glacier is home to the largest numbers of both grizzly and black bear in the lower 48.
Entry reservation tickets are not required for any other portions of the park (for example Many Glacier, Two Medicine, North Fork, Cut Bank or Chief Mountain Highway) but visitors are still subject to the per vehicle entrance fee. Visitors may also reserve a ticket through Recreation. gov’s call center.
The best way to get around Glacier National Park is by car or by using one of the park’s shuttle services. If you’re arriving by car, Highway 2 runs along the southern edge of the park, while Highway 89 offers access on the east side.
The best lodging in Glacier National Park can be found in Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Kalispell, and Bigfork. However, there is camping both inside and outside of the park if you want to pitch a tent or set up your RV.
Only 27 miles from Whitefish, the park’s scenery, wildlife and history are not to be missed. The Going to-the Sun Road, a national historic landmark, can be traveled by personal car, hiking shuttle or a historic Red Bus Tour.
For comfortable Glacier National Park lodging & cabins, Glacier Outdoor Center offers modern accommodations with beautiful mountain views and easy access to Glacier National Park. … Our West Glacier cabins are your home away from home right near all the action, the perfect Glacier National Park lodging option.
Glacier National Park is open 24 hours a day 365 days of the year.
A midsized with FWD is fine. I worked there for 2 seasons and a few people had trucks but everyone has mid or small sedan type vehicles. Most roads are paved.
Alternatives. Going-to-the-Sun Road is the only route through the heart of Glacier National Park. If you wish to avoid driving Going-to-the-Sun Road, particularly after dark, you can take Highway 2 south of the park between Apgar and St. Mary.
|Glacier National Park|
|Per Vehicle||Per Person|
|Current Summer Rates||$30||$15|
|New Summer Rates as of June 1, 2018||$35||$20|
|Current Winter Rates||$20||$10|
The 3 glaciers in glacier national park that are accessed by trails are 1) Grinnell, 2) Sperry, and 3) Jackson (and blackfoot). Grinnell is by far the most accessible from a day hike. To do either sperry or jackson/blackfoot as a day hike are pretty huge days for most.
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