Friday, December 1, 2023

The place to Keep Close to Glacier Nationwide Park (+ Ideas for Selecting!)

Of all of the Nationwide Parks that I’ve visited, Glacier is likely one of the tougher to plan, which makes selecting the place to remain close to Glacier Nationwide Park much more vital. While you go, whether or not or not you’ll be able to safe a allow to drive the Going-to-the-Solar Highway, and what you wish to do within the park all influence the place you’ll want to keep.

You can even select from quite a lot of lodging choices. Do you wish to go glamping? Keep in a tiny residence? Hire a cabin? Loosen up at a resort with on-site actions? Are you working with a good funds? Or would you like a traditional expertise at a historic lodge or lodge?

I’ve visited Glacier Nationwide Park a few instances (see my ideas for visiting Glacier in September) and have had the chance to remain in various lodges close to Glacier and crucial factor I can inform you is that location issues!

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park

Selecting The place to Keep Close to Glacier Nationwide Park

Earlier than I get into lodge opinions, let’s stroll by means of just a few choice elements to think about if you end up searching for lodges close to Glacier Nationwide Park. First, remember that lodging inside the park fills up very early, so listed below are issues to bear in mind when deciding the place to remain exterior of Glacier Nationwide Park.

How Lengthy SHould you Spend in Glacier Nationwide Park?

If all you wish to do is drive the Going-to-the-Solar Highway, you possibly can really go to Glacier Nationwide Park and see essentially the most scenic highlights in someday. Simply remember that most services and companies in Glacier Nationwide Park are solely open from late Could by means of early-to-mid October. The total size of Going-to-the-Solar is normally open from early July (it was mid-June in 2023, which was uncommon!) till the third Monday of October, however that may fluctuate relying on climate.

In case you are coming into from the West facet of the park, automobile reservations are required from late Could to mid-September between the hours of 6 am and three pm. From the East facet, reservations are wanted from July 1st by means of mid-September, additionally from 6 am to three pm.

If you wish to do any mountain climbing or scenic boat rides, you’ll most likely need no less than two days within the park. To discover a number of the different sections of the park, like Two Drugs or Many Glacier on the East facet of the park, you’ll want to keep even longer. If that’s the case, I’d advocate spending one to 2 nights on the west facet of the park and one to 2 nights on the east facet of the park.

Since there may be extra to do within the space than simply the nationwide park, I’d recommend planning no less than every week in Northwest Montana and splitting your time between staying in or close to the park and some days a bit of additional away to strive a number of the different enjoyable issues to do close to Glacier Nationwide Park.

Do you have to Keep on the East or West Aspect of Glacier Nationwide Park?

Glacier National Park sign West Glacier

Going-to-the-Solar Highway is the one thoroughfare by means of the park and whereas this takes lower than three hours to drive straight by means of with out stops, it isn’t a simple drive. The opposite choice is to loop across the southern part of the park to get from one facet to the opposite, however that takes virtually as lengthy. For those who solely have a restricted time within the park, the west facet of the park has extra to supply when it comes to beautiful surroundings and companies.

West Glacier is barely half-hour from the Glacier Worldwide Airport in Kalispell and fewer than 40 minutes to the resort city of Whitefish. West Glacier has extra choices for lodging and meals companies. As well as, you possibly can go white water rafting on the Flathead River from West Glacier Village with the Glacier Raft Firm.

The east facet of the park is extra distant, however extra handy if you wish to go to the opposite sections of the park like Two Drugs Lake and Many Glacier, that are solely accessible from the east. As you possibly can see, it’s useful should you can break up your keep between the 2 sides to keep away from loads of additional driving.

What’s the Greatest Time to Go to Glacier Nationwide Park?

Green fields and Mountains in East Glacier Park

Glacier Nationwide Park is technically open 12 months spherical, however you gained’t discover a lot to do there between mid-October by means of Could. The perfect time to go to is when you realize that the Going-to-the-Solar Highway might be open from July by means of mid-September. Nevertheless, July and August would be the busiest.

I’ve visited in mid-September and the climate was beautiful (see my ideas for visiting in September) nevertheless it was nonetheless fairly busy. I’ve additionally visited in mid-June and I received fortunate in that the Going-to-the-Solar Highway opened sooner than is typical, so it wasn’t as crowded as standard and it was attainable to get a final minute automobile reservation. Nevertheless, at the moment of 12 months the climate was a bit of tougher with rain and even a bit of sleet close to Logan’s Move.

Late September by means of early October may also be stunning, when the larch timber flip their stunning golden shade. Nevertheless, you gained’t discover many companies inside the park nonetheless open on the time and even lodging close by will turn out to be extra restricted.

How Early Do you have to Plan your Glacier Nationwide Park Journey?

Flathead River

Even should you select to remain exterior of Glacier Nationwide Park, lots of the higher lodges and lodges nonetheless guide up early. I’d advocate planning no less than a 12 months prematurely because the lodging reservation calendars sometimes open 13 months prematurely. After I tried to guide lodging about two months earlier than my September go to, the very best I may discover was in Kalispell, which was 40 minutes away from the park entrance. It wasn’t a nasty drive nevertheless it makes it more durable to get to the favored trailheads early sufficient to discover a spot.

Additionally, you will wish to maintain a detailed eye on the reservation calendar and set an alert to guide your Going-to-the-Solar Highway automobile reservation as quickly because it turns into obtainable as they promote out in minutes. For those who can’t get a reservation, keep in mind that should you guide lodging within the park or an exercise inside the park, like a ship tour, it contains entry to Going-to-the-Solar Highway (however you continue to have to buy a park cross.)

The place to Keep Close to Glacier Nationwide Park: Resort Evaluations

Observe: Certainly one of my journeys to Glacier Nationwide Park was hosted by Pursuit Glacier Park Assortment, which supplied complimentary lodging on the Belton Chalet, Glacier Park Lodge, and Prince of Wales Resort. All opinions are my very own. This publish could comprise affiliate hyperlinks. For those who click on a hyperlink and make a purchase order, I’ll obtain a fee.

In case you are interested by staying in a historic property with loads of character that matches the attractive surroundings of Glacier Nationwide Park, take into account staying in one of many historic lodges and lodges constructed by the Nice Northern Railroad as a part of an effort to convey guests to the park within the early 1900s.

Belton Chalet, West Glacier

Belton Chalet

The primary of the enduring lodges constructed by the Nice Northern Railroad, the Belton Chalet opened in 1910 and has served as the unique gateway to Glacier Nationwide Park for over a century. This Swiss-style chalet is positioned simply exterior of the west entrance to Glacier Nationwide Park and inside strolling distance to the retailers, eating places, and actions (like rafting and mini-golf) at West Glacier Village.

Belton Chalet has 25 rooms and suites in the primary lodge with queen-beds which might be appropriate for {couples} or these touring alone. Some rooms additionally provide a shared balcony with views of the park and the railroad.

In entrance of the chalet, there are additionally two, three-bedroom cabins with a shared residing area, lavatory, and a fridge and microwave. The lodge rooms are cozy, however thoughtfully appointed with little touches comparable to white noise machine to masks any exterior noises and a cute writing desk. The lodge was initially constructed as a dormitory with shared hallway loos. Right this moment, every room has a small lavatory with a bathroom and bathe and a small sink is tucked into the nook of the room. Every lavatory contains facilities comparable to shampoo, conditioner, physique wash, cleaning soap, and lotion.

You’ll be able to nonetheless arrive on the Belton Chalet by prepare aboard the Amtrak Empire Builder line, which runs from Portland or Seattle and Chicago. The prepare station is correct throughout the road! Right this moment, Belton Chalet can be recognized for its eating expertise and culinary prowess, which isn’t one thing you discover typically in these distant areas round nationwide parks.

Whereas there may be loads of leisure proper exterior of the door within the nice outdoor, Belton Chalet additionally gives a ravishing stone hearth within the foyer, together with a present store and optionally available breakfast of pastries and drinks. Downstairs, there’s a shared recreation room that has lounge areas, a ping pong desk, an old school shuffle board desk, and video games to get pleasure from, which make up for the very restricted WiFi and no televisions within the room.

The Belton Chalet is good for a one to two-night keep when visiting the west facet of Glacier Nationwide Park and driving Going-to-the-Solar Highway.

Glacier Park Lodge, East Aspect of Glacier Nationwide Park

Glacier Park Lodge exterior

For an extended go to, the place you possibly can take time to benefit from the lodge services, I’d advocate a keep on the Glacier Park Lodge. Located on land bought from the Piegan individuals of the Blackfeet Nation, the Glacier Park Lodge was in-built 1913 by the Nice Northern Railroad. It’s positioned within the space generally known as East Glacier Park, simply exterior the southeast part of the park and instantly throughout from the Glacier Park Station railway depot. Friends can nonetheless arrive on the lodge through Amtrak’s Empire Builder prepare and are shuttled to the lodge through the lodge’s purple automotive.

Entering into this grand lodge, you are feeling like you’re within the west, with its hovering ceilings supported by immense timbers lower from centuries-old fir and cedar timber, giving it the nickname of “Huge Tree Lodge.” It’s precisely the atmosphere you hope to get pleasure from when reserving a room at a lodge close to a nationwide park. The workers, wearing prepare conductor uniforms from a bygone period, couldn’t be friendlier in welcoming you to the lodge.

At one finish of the foyer is a big stone hearth with a crackling fireplace, excellent for stress-free in entrance of on a cold night. All through the foyer of the unique lodge you will discover Native American art work and taxidermied representatives of the native wildlife, together with a snowy white mountain goat. On tables scattered across the giant foyer, you will discover puzzles laid out for friends to collaborate on fixing.

Within the foyer sits a espresso store, the place you too can decide up seize and go snacks to convey into the park. For an informal meal, the Empire Lounge serves up lunch and dinner with a bar menu (plus the bar has a tv to catch your favourite sports activities sport.) The Nice Northern Eating Room is a full-service restaurant providing a hot and cold breakfast buffet and a big dinner menu (don’t miss the Brussels and bacon appetizer or the Huckleberry bread pudding for dessert.)

Right this moment, there are 162 visitor rooms, most of which hook up with the primary lodge by means of a sun-filled passageway to the later-built annex constructing. The rooms fluctuate in measurement and magnificence, however preserve a easy decor in line with the historic setting. The non-public loos are small and the partitions are skinny (so convey earplugs!), however the primary draw is the scenic setting and the grand, but rustic, public areas. And, should you get a room dealing with the mountains, you too can get pleasure from your morning espresso overlooking the surroundings out of your shared balcony.

On property, you possibly can take a historical past tour of the property, discover the attractive grounds and gardens, or play a spherical of golf on the oldest grass greens golf course in Montana. From the lodge, you too can get shuttles to the park, or join actions with suppliers that supply rafting, horseback using, falconry, Native American story telling periods, or guided hikes.

St. Mary Village, St. Mary

St. Mary Tiny Home

I didn’t get to remain at St. Mary Village, however I did cease to check out the Tiny Homes and had lunch on the Curly Bear Cafe within the village. In case you are searching for handy entry to the east entrance to the park at St. Mary, you possibly can’t get a lot nearer then St. Mary Village, which gives the dramatic backdrop of the park’s beautiful mountains. From right here, you possibly can simply get on the Going-to-the-Solar Highway and it is just a brief drive to St. Mary Lake, the place you possibly can be part of a scenic boat tour by Glacier Park Boat Firm, or the Village gives shuttles to Many Glacier and Two Drugs.

The principle lodging at St. Mary Village is the Nice Bear Lodge, which gives trendy rooms outfitted with two queen beds, air con, a tv, and a non-public balcony with distinctive views overlooking Divide Creek. There are even rooms that characteristic a hearth, sitting space and jacuzzi tub. Funds vacationers can keep on the West Motel in St. Mary Village, however for a novel keep, strive one of many 10 Tiny Houses.

The Tiny Houses sleep as much as 4 individuals with a queen mattress and a trundle mattress and so they have a stand-alone, non-public luxurious bathhouse. The Tiny Houses are additionally outfitted with a microwave, fridge, and stovetop.

For those who additionally go to Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park in Canada…

Waterton Lake with mountains in the background

Waterton-Glacier Worldwide Peace Park is the union of Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park in Alberta, Canada, and Glacier Nationwide Park in Montana, USA. It’s lower than an hour from St. Mary to Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park, making it straightforward to mix a go to to each parks into one journey. Many individuals even proceed north in Alberta to additionally go to Banff and Jasper Nationwide Parks within the Canadian Rockies.

In case you are visiting Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park, you possibly can’t miss a keep on the iconic Prince of Wales Resort.

Prince of Wales Resort, Waterton

Prince of Wales Hotel from the back

The Prince of Wales Resort in Waterton gives magnificent mountain and lake views and is an iconic Canadian lodge. Additionally constructed by the Nice Northern Railway, the Prince of Wales Resort opened in 1927 and it retains its wealthy historical past right now by means of the historic foyer furnishings and the Prohibition-inspired cocktail menu. The gorgeous structure jogged my memory loads of Dalvay-by-the-Sea historic lodge on Prince Edward Island.

Set on a bluff above Waterton Lake and the small city of Waterton, with towering mountains within the background, I’m unsure I’ve seen a extra stunning mountain lodge. The wind sweeps by means of the valley, threatening to blow you out of your perch, however it’s price a stroll alongside the cliff to drink in these views.

From the minute you stroll into the foyer, you’re instantly captivated by the view from the floor-to-ceiling home windows. When you possibly can pull your self away, you’ll discover the workers of their purple plaid kilts and ties, including to the class and ambiance of the lodge. Although the lodge operates with a seasonal workers, they’ve been well-trained and all appear extraordinarily cheerful and useful.

The country rooms encompass the grand foyer and you may attain the higher flooring by stairs or the bell-hop operated elevator. The rooms are small and the wooden paneling provides to that historic and rustic really feel, however doesn’t provide a lot when it comes to soundproofing, so you’ll want to pack your ear plugs right here too. Like lots of the lodges constructed by the Nice Northern Railroad, the rooms characteristic renovated, small non-public loos with a sink positioned within the visitor room.

The Prince of Wales Resort gives a number of eating choices, together with the Royal Stewart Eating Room, Windsor Lounge, and Afternoon Tea, impressed by British custom. The Royal Stewart Eating Room serves breakfast and dinner, with stunning lake and mountain views. Even should you solely keep an evening or two, it’s price extending your journey to Glacier Nationwide Park to additionally expertise Waterton Lakes Nationwide Park and the beautiful Prince of Wales Resort (simply bear in mind to pack your passport!)

Discover Different Locations to Keep Close to Glacier Nationwide Park

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Where to stay near Glacier National Park in Montana and tips for how to pick a location and place right for your trip to Glacier.

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