Most of the afternoon boat tours are booked by round trip travelers, meaning its unlikely hikers will be getting off at the Lake Josephine dock. A popular option is to book passage on the, Bring a casual t-shirt, pullover, and shoes to change into after your hike. If you’re coming to Glacier National Park from Billings, Bozeman, or Spokane, driving will take you anywhere from 4 - 8 hours, so plan to leave early in the day to maximize your time in the national park. And, dare I say, better than Yellowstone! Kalispell to Glacier National Park is an approximately 1.5-hour car ride. This 72 page guide will give you three detailed custom itineraries—1 day, 3 day and 7 day—so that you can stop stressing and focus on enjoying this beautiful national park. Featured Trip Guides; 48 Hour City Guides; Created by Coach-Net - May 11th 2016. As you make your way across the park to your accommodation in St. Mary, you’ll get your first glimpse of the park. The marina is in the townsite, so park here for the duration of your Waterton visit. There are quite a few restaurants to choose from on the main street in Waterton. Purchase ice and either buy or bring your own collapsible cooler bags to keep meats and dairy cold on your drive to St. Mary. You can drive the road from west to east and back or you can turn it into a loop tour by driving the road from West Glacier to St. Mary and heading back to West Glacier via East Glacier Park and Highway 2. Save enough time to return your rental car and bear spray (if you rented at the airport) before boarding your flight. The Ptarmigan Dining Room is Many Glacier Hotel’s main eatery. This area begins the steep and winding section of the road up to Logan Pass Visitor Center, the highest point on Going-to-the-Sun Road. Check out the recently made itineraries for 7 days in Glacier National Park. If you have some extra energy, proceed to the far side of the lake for a different vantage point. Stay in St. Mary or Many Glacier. Make the 1.5-hour drive back to St. Mary and enjoy the views of Going-to-the-Sun Road along the way. Go to bed early tonight since you will quite literally be up before the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. Take a look at these customised Glacier National Park trip plans for 5 days and you will not miss out any point of interest in the city. You can plan your activities, visits, and accommodations with the help of these. . Each day you’ll explore a new area of the park and come to love all that Glacier has to offer. But after spending a week in only Glacier National Park, I’m sold on slowing down and pacing out my national park adventures. After eating lunch, it’s time to head back along Going-to-the-Sun Road to the west side of the park to complete the 4.6-mile hike out to Avalanche Lake. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, The Complete Guide to Going-to-the-Sun Road, Ultimate Guide to Hiking the Highline Trail, Ultimate List of National Parks by State (+ When to Go and What to Do! We’ve been home for a month now and I’m still on a national park high. The Going to the Sun road will be open from June 23 and the visitors can drive the entire 50-mile length of the road. Here is a travel itinerary to hit some main highlights for your time in the park. Reward yourself after a long upward journey by peeling off those merino wool hiking socks and dipping your toes in the near-freezing glacial melt. Glacier National Park is open 24 hours a day and you can enter at any time and it is open on most holidays. If not everyone in your group is doing the Highline Trail, another easy solution is to arrange for your family or friends to pick you up at The Loop. Please, could you help me with 7 days itinerary for GNP. September 9, 2019 2 Comments. The tour of Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine navigates across the two separate lakes, with a quarter-mile hike between. The climb on this trail is strenuous, gaining 1,600 feet over 3.6 miles. Since you’ll be back at the Logan Pass Visitor Center later in the week, there’s no need to stop there on your drive across the park. Once you’ve seen enough of the shoreline, cut across to Waterton Avenue, the main street in Waterton. The closest thing to a grocery store here is a gas station convenience store. Two Days in Glacier National Park. What To Do Before You Travel. I actually recommend every visitor should spend a full week in Glacier National Park! If you’re particularly trusting, you can also arrange to do this with other groups of hikers. Stop at the top of Virginia Falls, eat your picnic lunch, and then begin your trek back to the Sun Point parking lot – a little over 3 miles. Baring Falls is less crowded and only 0.3 miles from the Sun Point parking lot. Sitting atop a hill, overlooking Waterton Lake, the Prince of Wales Hotel has a grandeur view of the Canadian Rockies. This is why I recommend parking at Sun Point and including Baring Falls in your hike. But don’t worry if you’re running short on time, you’ll be back on Going-to-the-Sun Road many times throughout the week. Glacier National Park is located in northwestern Montana and spills into Canada, creating the world’s first international Peace Park. The national park service has also published, Read More: Guide to going-to-the-Sun Road, 4:15 PM – Stop at Lake McDonald Lodge & The Loop, Break up your drive to St. Mary by stretching your legs at, Read More: Best Hikes in Glacier National Park, Enjoy a home-cooked meal or treat yourself to dinner out in St. Mary. It is a must. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Expect to wait for a shuttle with space for you to board. The viewpoint at the top of this trail holds the bluest waters I’ve ever seen. You’ll have to pick your tickets up at will call at the dock behind Many Glacier Hotel the morning of, so I recommend arriving early. I wholeheartedly believe that you need at least a week to see the different areas of the park and truly immerse yourself in Montana’s beauty. How often can you say you’ve hiked 10 miles by the early afternoon? Check out some of my other resources to help you plan your trip to Glacier National Park! The national park service has also published audio and video tours. Feeling overwhelmed by which places to visit in Glacier National Park ? ITINERARY SUMMARY. This trip focuses on the eastern side of the Rockies in Glacier National Park, using the small settlement of St Mary as a base. But for all your detailed-oriented planners, I’ve also put together my ideal itinerary. Take the walking trail along the waterfront, starting near the marina. The downhill portion to The Loop is relatively unshaded due to past forest fires, so bring plenty of water and sunscreen. The Loop is 30 minutes further along Going-to-the-Sun Road. Window shop and stop in at the small craft shops and galleries along the way. But be warned, it will be windy and chilly so bring plenty of layers! 7 days in Glacier National Park Itinerary. Take mental and digital photos – you’ll want to remember this view! The first part of this hike follows the Trail of the Cedars loop – a handicap accessible, wooden boardwalk through towering trees. This is an informative and immensely scenic tour with the potential for seeing wildlife, like bald eagles. While you’re guaranteed a return trip on the boat tour, you may have to wait for space. The tour used to stop and disembark at Goat Haunt in Glacier National Park. At this point in the afternoon, you should be able to find a parking spot, or a pull off, to get out and view the highest peak in the park, Heaven’s Peak. Logan Pass Visitor Center is around 35 minutes from St. Mary. The itineraries will help you effectively cover all the worth-visiting attractions. From hiking to scenic driving – there’s something for everyone at every ability level. The shuttle operates along Going-to-the-Sun Road and can be very crowded, with only 2-3 open spots by the time it reaches The Loop. Glacier National Park Itinerary 7 Days: Get trip ideas on must-see destinations in Glacier National Park for a week! Waterton Cruises’ 2-hour scenic boat tour on Waterton Lake is a must-do. Check in to your accommodation in West Glacier, Columbia Falls, or Kalispell. With everything from grassy mountainsides to breathtaking vantage points, this trip is a must-do in Glacier. The Highline Trail perfectly ties together everything you’ve seen over the last week. Yes. This 7-day Glacier National Park itinerary lets you experience it all. Are you now ready with your Glacier National Park bucket list? My goal at Well Planned Journey is to help you plan epic national park adventures with detailed guides and itineraries! This part of the trail is family-friendly and crowded. Your email address will not be published. Although be aware, you don’t cut off any of the elevation gains. How Many Days in Glacier National Park. Here is an itinerary to see some of the best scenery in the park in just 7 days, including where to stay. But prepare for a warm hike in the afternoon sun on the way back down. If you’re a fan of keeping a daily travel journal, I recommend doing this too! Parking can be difficult at many trailheads, so it’s important to arrive early. I recommend flying into Kalispell, Montana (FCA). For anyone visiting Glacier National Park, I recommend staying in St. Mary or Babb for all but the last night of your trip. If you have some time before sunset, I recommend driving the 15 minutes from St. Mary to Wild Goose Island Overlook for sunset. Even if you have to wait until 5:15 PM (although this is unlikely), you’re guaranteed a spot on the boat back. You’ll be boarding only if the tour is not already at capacity, meaning you could have to wait. Don’t forget your passport and remove any bear spray or potential weapons from your vehicle as you’ll be going through border control. This is why I recommend staying in a place with a kitchen. The visitor center will be closed when you arrive in the morning, so stop in after your hike to look around, talk to park rangers, or buy souvenirs. If you don’t have time the first night, check it out on night 2! After checking out the visitor center, head back east on Going-to-the-Sun Road for the second hike of the day – Baring + St. Mary + Virginia Falls. After Paradise Point, head back to the car and make the return trip to St. Mary for a quick bite to eat before your afternoon hike. Visit Glacier National Park. I like to spend time on my return trip reflecting on my favorite parts of the trip, jotting down some notes, and determining what I would have done differently. Book tickets for the 1 PM tour. Be prepared to see some of Glacier’s renowned wildlife up close and personal on this hike. This post may contain affiliate links, where I make a small amount if you choose to purchase. From St. Mary Falls, it’s about 0.8 miles uphill to Virginia Falls. Spending a full week helps to avoid fatigue and burnout by spacing out more strenuous hikes. Hi, I’m Julia! While the, Be sure to check night sky visibility using the, An hour north of St. Mary, Waterton is a small alpine town perched on Waterton Lake, part of the, Before the boat tour, have a quick lunch. If there are any spots you missed on your initial trek across Going-to-the-Sun Road on Day 1, take some time to stop and check out these vantage points. Another day of hiking in the books. These towns are central to the most popular areas of the park: Logan Pass, St. Mary, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine. As this is a one-way hike, you’ll need transportation back from The Loop to your vehicle at Logan Pass Visitor Center. Bring plenty of water and snacks to re-fuel while you wait. Don’t have 7 days? Side Trips From Glacier National Park . There’s plenty of pull-offs and vantage points along the way, so feel free to stop and take in the views as you go. Once you’re back in St. Mary, pack up and prepare to check out of your accommodations. St. Mary is about an hour from The Loop. I saw a mountain goat, a ram (male bighorn sheep), and a black bear on my trip. After hearing lots of good things, we decided to make a 3-day stop in Glacier National Park! It definitely did to me, after all, the prior year I visited all 5 Utah national parks in a week. It’s the closest and saves significant drive time compared to other major airports. If you’re traveling in a group with more than one car, the easiest thing to do is park one car at The Loop and one car at Logan Pass. In the Summer, Glacier Park Boat Company offers Two Medicine Lake tours every hour starting at 8 AM. Parking at the Logan Pass Visitor Center can be challenging and you’ll want to arrive before 7:30 AM to secure a spot for the day. Your Perfect Glacier National Park Itinerary Day 1 of Your Glacier National Park Road Trip. Enjoy a home-cooked meal or treat yourself to dinner out in St. Mary. I don’t recommend driving any further than the St. Mary Falls trailhead at night as Going-to-the-Sun Road can be dangerous to drive in the dark. This itinerary combines day hiking around Banff with a side trip into the neighboring (quieter) national parks in British Columbia. Also, this is the time to use the restroom, as there’s no restroom on board. Head back to St. Mary when you’re ready. Drive slowly and stop en route to take picturesStop at Logan Pass Visitor’s Center (register for next day’s hike)Hike the first 1-2 miles of the Highline TrailOptional: Hike to St. Mary’s Falls (1.7 mil… If you have an afternoon departure, spend your time checking out shops and restaurants in downtown Whitefish. As you stand to overlook the turquoise waters, you’re also standing atop the Continental Divide (the part of the Rockies where water that flows down the west side of the mountain ends up in the Pacific Ocean and water that flows down the east side of the mountain ends up in the Atlantic Ocean). Your email address will not be published. For more information on affiliate links and cookies, see my disclosure page for more details. An hour north of St. Mary, Waterton is a small alpine town perched on Waterton Lake, part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. You’ll get the chance to do all the best hikes in the park and see some amazing views. Be sure to take advantage of the various pull-outs and scenic viewpoints along the way. You should aim to arrive in Kalispell in the late morning or early afternoon to give yourself plenty of time to settle in before sunset. Be aware of your surroundings and give any wildlife plenty of space. My passion is exploring America’s national parks and I’m so happy to be able to share that passion with you! At this point, you deserve some well-earned relaxation time. A simple trip itinerary for a visit to Glacier National Park in Montana's Rocky Mountains on the United States-Canadian border. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. To launch your trip, aim for tiny East Glacier, where mountains jut up from the prairie. We are planning to take a week in mid of May. In June, daytime highs in Glacier National Park are °F, while nighttime lows are °F. Start your hike at the trailhead across the street from the Logan Pass Visitor Center. See kid-friendly attractions. This one-way trail is often referred to as a sampler of Glacier National Park. Depending on when you’re visiting, sunset can be anytime from 8 PM to 10 PM. Unless you live somewhat nearby or are road tripping through the region, you’ll be flying to visit Glacier National Park. Day 1: Follow our one day in Glacier National Park itinerary (above).