If you know me, you know that traveling sets my soul on fire. My love of photography and exploring has taken me to the most incredible places; I am so excited to share my travels with you. It is safe to say that Montana has my heart (and will soon be the place that I call home). If Montana is calling you, my friends, you’ve come to the right place to prepare for your own travels. Montana houses 7 National Parks/sites, but today I’m sharing with you my favorite hikes and things to do in Glacier National Park as I walk you through my past trip with my boyfriend. This is a good one, so grab a warm beverage, sit back, and get ready to Wander with Me: Glacier National Park, Montana edition.
Highline Trail – This trail is a 12 mile round-trip with a riveting cliff-drop trail. During our Glacier trip, we knew we wanted to explore the Logan Pass area, so we parked at the Logan Pass parking area (and circled for like 20 minutes), but were unable to do those hikes due to bear activity (be prepared for wildlife delays and sightings). We ended up hiking 5 miles of the Highline Trail, as we weren’t originally planning on this hike. Pro-tip: Always make sure you plan ahead and only do what you are prepared for. We were only prepared for a few miles, so that is what we did. Wear proper clothing, have proper gear, and ample food/water. The wind was gusty, but the mountain goats made up for it with their licks and curiosity.
St. Mary Falls – Another backup hike due to our original plan, Avalanche Lake, being closed due to bear activity. But wow, what an incredible backup. Even though there were a ton of people, this short & easy trail had incredible views, waterfalls, and trees that were burned from wildfires.
Bowman Lake + Polebridge Mercantile – A less populated/visited area of the park due to rough roads and the longer drive. Polebridge Mercantile was a “must” on this trip – the mercantile was built in 1914 (4 years after Glacier became a National Park)! We stopped for a famous bear claw pastry. After our sweet treat, we drove the rest of the way and then walked a trail along Bowman Lake. We walked for a few miles before we decided to fly fish in the crystal clear waters of the lake. Fun fact, we were the only ones fly fishing while everyone else were using spinning rods – they were in awe that we were only ones catching any fish! Because there weren’t very many people around, my boyfriend and I dressed up for some photos with the tripod. Despite being drenched in sweat, we got some sweet photos that I will forever cherish.
Going to the Sun Road – Stunning views everywhere you turn. This road takes you from the West Entrance to the East Side. The route is super curvy and narrow, but worth the views. We drove this road every night at sunset.
Lake McDonald– One of the first stops when you get into the park, and it was our last before we departed. We put our camping chairs and feet into the clear water and relaxed here on our last day after miles of hiking. The colored stones at the bottom of the lake were beautiful, and it was so serene to just stare at the mountains while enjoying the lake. There were also lots of people paddle boarding; there are plenty of water activities!
We plan to head back to Glacier in the summer of 2022 and you can bet we will explore: Avalanche Lake, Hidden Lake Trail, Grinnel Glacier, Two Medicine Area, Many Glacier area, and the East Side of the park on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.
Uff. I know that’s a lottt of information to throw your way, but researching before visiting this ‘bucket list’ destination is so incredibly helpful. Knowing ahead of time that this park is BUSY will help you prepare for what to expect. Always have a backup plan incase a parking lot is full – sometimes, the park entrances even close if there are too many people + cars in the park. And as if I haven’t stressed this enough, be bear-aware. Although we only saw half of the park, I am confident that even if we spent a month in Glacier National Park, it wouldn’t be enough time. Feel free to check out our highlight video from the trip for more GNP content.
I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you – stay tuned for the next Wander with Me edition! What National Park is on your list?! If you’ve been to Glacier, what was your favorite part?