Where Should I Stay When Visiting Glacier National Park
With so many lodging options around Glacier National Park, its difficult to determine where to stay. Glacier National Park offers a lot of activities in and around it, but you wont want to spend all of your time driving. If possible, plan to stay in Glacier National Park. If its booked up or out of your budget, check out the surrounding towns listed above.
East Glacier Park Village
Known for its legendary hospitality and the quiet side of Glacier, the village is a paradise-like gateway to Glacier National Park. The tiny village evokes authentic mountain culture. With views of long stretches of vistas, tranquil trails, and wide-open skies, the village will melt your stress away.
Landmarks and Sights: Many Glacier, Sinopah, Twin Falls, Cut Bank trail, Two Medicine Valley and River, Wild Goose Island, and Medicine Lake.
Activities: Relaxation, hiking, Alpine Red Bus Tour, shopping, nature and parks, historic sites.
East Glacier Park Village Best Hotels
East Glacier Park Village Best Airbnbs
Brownies Hostel E Glacier Mt Quad Room Sleeps 5 79.2 miles from Glacier Park International
Things To See And Do In West Glacier
- Glacier National Park! This is the gateway to the area of stunning natural beauty, with some of the best hiking trails in the country.
- Speaking of hiking, we love the John F Stevens Canyon Trail the first hour or so is pretty easy, and more experienced hikers can continue to Lincoln Lake.
- West Glacier River Access Boating Club is the place to go for boat rental, plus a few family-friendly activities such as river rafting.
- Just need to chill out over a round of golf? Glacier View Golf Club is one of the most scenic courses in the world!
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Things To See And Do In East Glacier
- Theres one hiking trail in East Glacier it starts on Midvale Creek Road and takes you through the outer mountains of the park to the town of Essex.
- Blackfeet Nation Sculpture is a monument dedicated to the indigenous population from the region built entirely out of scrap metal.
- Serranos Mexican is an excellent restaurant on the main street with budget-friendly tacos and other Mexican treats.
- Need a few drinks to unwind after a day of exploring the stunning beauty of Glacier National Park? Trailhead Saloon is a popular watering hole for locals.
Budget Hotel In East Glacier Glacier Park Lodge
Just looking for the comfort of a hotel? We totally get it this cosy little lodge lets you enjoy that while experiencing some of the rustic charms of Glacier National Park! The on-site restaurant offers typical American comfort food, while the bar makes an excellent location for socialising with other guests. You can also enjoy a reasonably priced breakfast in the morning.
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Vacation Rentals Near Glacier National Park
A popular option for those who want their own space or are traveling with extended family or a group of friends is a vacation rental. Thanks to Glacier National Park being so close to a couple ski areas, there are a ton of condos, townhomes, and homes available to rent within driving distance to the park.
Though many of these are advertised as ski in ski out areas , they are also prime locations for getting away from it all while in Montana in the non-winter seasons. Like the lodge, the most popular locations and competitively priced vacation rentals get snapped up quickly, so book early. But last minute accommodations can still usually be found.
To find vacation rentals, check out homeaway.com, airbnb.com, and local rental management companies, such as Stay Montana.
Also, many convenient vacation rentals for those looking for accommodation near Glacier National Park can be found at Whitefish Mountain Resort. These are often listed on the above-mentioned sites or you can search on the Whitefish Mountain Resort website under lodging.
Glacier National Park Lodges Inside The West Entrance
Lake McDonald Lodge
Lake McDonald Lodge is a beautiful lodge right on Lake McDonald that is a short drive from the west entrance to the park.
Though its a long walk, its completely doable to walk to the Avalanche Lake Trailhead from Lake McDonald Lodge, which is nice if you sleep in and dont want to bother with trying to find a parking spot. On the flip side, its easier to roll out of bed in the early morning and beat the crowds to the parking spots and the trail!
Lake McDonald Lodge has a restaurant onsite.
Motel Lake McDonald
Just up the shoreline from Lake McDonald Lodge is Motel Lake McDonald, a good option for more budget-conscious travelers or those who like to be away from the day-tripper crowds that descend on Lake McDonald Lodge most days during high season.
There isnt an onsite eatery at Motel Lake McDonald, but youre a short 5-minute walk from Lake McDonald Lodges restaurant, or you can take the National Park Service Shuttle to the Lodge stop.
Village Inn at Apgar
This lodge is conveniently located by the little cafes and shops of Apgar Village. Its still right on Lake McDonald, but is a good choice for those who like to be able to conveniently stroll to other businesses during their stay.
Apgar Village is also close to kayak and standup paddle board rentals, which you can easily pick up if youre staying at Apgar Village and head out on the water for a lovely lake paddle.
Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins
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Staying By Glaciers West Entrance Vs East Entrance
Before we get into specific lodging options, its important to note that Glacier National Park has three main entrances.
The first is in the town of West Glacier, located on the southwest side of the park.
West Glacier is less than thirty minutes from Bigfork, Whitefish, and Kalispell, which are all popular mountain towns to stay in to explore this region of Montana.
West Glacier is considered the main entrance for the park and is where most people access the park and begin the popular Going-to-the-Sun road drive. Its also near picturesque Lake McDonald, which is a must-see site for many people going to Glacier.
On the east side of the park are the St. Mary entrance and the Many Glacier entrance, of which the St. Mary is the busiest since it connects with the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The unincorporated community of St. Mary is located on the western border of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation right off of Highway 89.
The Many Glacier Entrance is also located off of Hwy 89, about 30 minutes north of the St. Mary Entrance. The east side entrances are popular for park-goers who are looking to do some of the Glaciers more remote hikes or who want to spend a substantial amount of time by Swiftcurrent Lake and St. Mary Lake.
If you want to stay on the east side of the park, its easiest to stay in one of the park-run lodges , though there are a few motels in East Glacier Park Village and off of Highway 2.
Kalispell Best Place In Glacier Np For Families
Located 30 miles south of the parks west entrance, this town lives up to its name and will cast such a big spell on you that you wont want to leave! Home to quite a few forests, some wild animals, and surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, Kalispell is one of the best places to stay near West Glacier.
Kalispell is perfect for anyone traveling with their families. It has a wide range of activities for all age groups and numerous natural spots that you guys can explore together with the whole crew! And if you and your family enjoy spending time outdoors, I highly recommend visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Its such a wonderful place!
Before you hurry to West Glacier to visit the Glacier National Park, take a few days to explore Kalispell. The kids will probably want to spend all their time at Woodland Water Park but dont worry if you get bored of all the water. You can ground yourself by playing some golf at Buffalo Hill Golf Club.
Downtown Kalispell is a nice place to get to know the history of the town and visit some museums. That shouldnt take so long, though. I know youll be super excited to check out all the parks and the woods!
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Can You Camp Anywhere In Glacier National Park
Camping in Glacier National Park is only permitted in designated campgrounds. Fortunately, Glacier offers 13 different campgrounds with over 1,000 campsites to choose from. Most campgrounds are available on a first come, first serve basis, but you can try to plan ahead by checking the National Reservation System starting 6 months in advance. This is when the Fish Creek and St. Mary campgrounds open up reservations.
Best Glacier National Park Lodging Spots
Known as the Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park is the headwaters for many of the streams and rivers flowing to the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and Hudson Bay. Its spectacular scenery and changing seasons draw in the masses, but its wealth of activities and unique assortment of accommodations keep them coming back. Here are 25 places to stay when visiting Glacier National Park. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Where To Stay In Glacier National Park: Motel Lake Mcdonald
Motel Lake McDonald is located about 10 miles inside the west entrance of Glacier National Park, Montana. The motel is situated near the shores of the parks largest lake, giving guests a great opportunity to do some kayaking on Lake McDonald or take a scenic lake cruise with the Glacier Park Boat Company. Other park activities include hiking to waterfalls, mountain biking, mountain climbing, and horseback riding. The rooms have a mix of contemporary and Western-style log furniture, gray carpets, knotty pine ceilings, and large windows that provide ample natural light. The rooms also feature private bathrooms and modest additional amenities.
West Glacier, MT 59936, Phone: 844-868-7474
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Thelodges Located Within Glacier National Park
- Lake McDonald Lodge Near the West Glacier Entrance
- Many Glacier Lodge Near Glacier National Parks St. Mary Entrance
Glacier National Park has seven NPS-affiliated lodges in the park: four on the west side and three on the east side .
Important Note: Bookings for lodges in Glacier Nation Park open up one year in advance for each month. So, for example, July 2022 availability will open up for the entire month of July 2022 on July 1, 2021. Followed by the month of August 2022 on August 1, 2021. This is subject to change but be ready to book early!
Keep in mind if youre staying at these lodges inside of Glacier National Park that theres really nothing much around themexcept nature. And that is reason enough for most people to stay in the park.
Another important thing to note about staying in the parks lodges is that there are no TV or air-conditioning in the accommodations, but youll likely want to be outside so much while at Glacier that you wont care!
However, if you prefer luxury accommodation or having access to nightlife, then staying in Whitefish, Kalispell, or Bigfork is probably a better option for you.
Reminder: You still have to buy a park pass to stay at these lodges in the park it doesnt come with the price of your room, so add that into your Montana trip planning budget.
Comparison Table for Lodges in Glacier National Park
Comparison Chart for Glacier National Park Accommodations: Prices and Amenities Subject to Change
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Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge
this Best Western provides Rocky Mountain appeal at an affordable value. A stylish lodge-style lobby welcomes guests the moment they walk into this hotel surrounded by mountains. The comforts continue into the rooms, with some deluxe accommodations featuring a fireplace and extra space to spread out.
A complimentary breakfast area at the hotel offers plenty of fuel to start a day. And the year-round heated outdoor pool provides a great place to soak after spending the day hiking in Glacier. Downtown Whitefish and several restaurants are also a short drive away.
Glacier National Park Lodges Inside The East Entrance
Many Glacier Hotel
This is one of the most coveted hotels in Glacier National Park due to its stunning views of Swiftcurrent Lake and surrounding mountains. You can also hike to Grinnell Glacier from the lodge.
Book as soon as reservations open if you want to get one of the lakeside rooms at Many Glacier Lodge these rooms have views of the water so close that you feel like youre practically sleeping on top of the water.
The Swiss chalet style balconies are also the perfect spot for morning coffee.
Many Glacier Lodge has an onsite restaurant with lake views: the esteemed and beautifully built Ptarmigan Restaurant. Theres also a lounge, snack shop, and gift shop.
Many Glacier Lodge is where youll also find the starting point for a number of east side excursions including horseback riding, evening ranger-led programs, boat cruises across the lake, and the famous Red Bus Tours.
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins
One mile away from Many Glacier Hotel is the quaint Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins. As the name suggests, you can choose to stay in one of the three motel-style buildings on the property inn or opt for your own private cabin.
The cabin options include one or two bedrooms that come with our without an adjacent bathroom.
Also on the property is Swiftcurrent Restaurant plus a gift shop and campstore.
Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins
Another motel-style inn with cabins also available thats on the east side of the park is Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins.
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Are There Shuttles In Glacier National Park
There is a seasonal shuttle system within Glacier National Park. Whether you are staying inside of Glacier National Park or staying in one of the surrounding towns, you can park at any of the shuttle stops and catch the shuttle further into the park.
The shuttle connects all parts of the park, including West Glacier, Apgar, Lake McDonald Lodge, St. Mary, and Many Glacier. It may be the preferred way to get around as parking becomes challenging during the peak summer season. That being said, there may also be lines to board the shuttles. Scout the options before you decide to drive or ride!
Backcountry Accommodation Options In Glacier National Park
If youre an avid hiker, there are two backcountry chalets you can hike into for accommodations. These are great options for enjoying a quiet and scenic part of the park outside of busy daytime hours. Remember that they are more rustic and you need to hike in, so be prepared!
- Sperry Chalet: Hike into a remote chalet built back in 1913, offering comfortable linens, blankets, pillows, hand towels, and meals. Note that you wont find electricity, heat, or running water, so come prepared to rough it a little bit.
- Granite Park Chalet: Stay in a rustic chalet built back in 1915. You can preorder food and linens, or bring your own!
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Lakeside Chalet In West Glacier Apagar Village
Though actually in Apagar Village, this charming abode is only a short drive from West Glacier. We chose it because of the stunning views across Lake Macdonald and the surrounding mountains. It comes with a private decked porch and a fire pit as well as access to communal outdoor sports courts and equipment. This is great for smaller families.
Welcome To West Glacier
Many of Montanas most popular adventures start in West Glacier, situated, perhaps unsurprisingly, at the west entrance to the iconic Glacier National Park. This tiny outpost serves as the main hub for professional guides and outdoor outfitters, who lead bucket-list excursions into the surrounding alpine landscapes. The areas historic chalets, cabins, and rustic homes have hosted daring travelers since the early 20th century, when the Great Northern Railway arrived at these glacier-carved peaks.
Today, it remains the jumping-off point for hikers, boaters, and whitewater rafters, who begin their outings on the widely photographed Going-to-the-Sun Road. Famous for its hairpin turns and stunning viewpoints, this seasonal two-lane highway links many of the parks most-visited trails, mountain lakes, and peaks. For much of the year, the regions infamously heavy snowfall makes the road inaccessible to any traffic, granting experienced snowshoers and cross-country skiers nearly free rein of the wintry park.
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Where To Stay West Of Glacier National Park
There are a lot of towns and cities just west of Glacier National Park, including many of the larger cities near the park and the closest airport. This makes it more common for visitors to Glacier National Park to stay on the west side of the park.
Youll also find additional perks on the west side of Glacier National Park, like hotels from large hotel chains and plenty of restaurant options. If these things are important to you, consider staying on the west side of the park.