Plan Your Ultimate Glacier Vacation

Jan 19, 2016
Get ready to plan your ultimate week in Glacier National Park. I based this itinerary on an eight night stay, which translates to a week off from work with a weekend on both ends. You can never spend enough time in Glacier but this itinerary will give you a taste of all the best parts of the Park.

Nights 1-2: West Side (Drive time from the airport: 30 minutes)
This is where your adventure begins. Here you’ll have a few choices for accommodations. Each option is different but not far from the others.

West Glacier Motel: Located in the village of West Glacier just outside the west entrance to the Park, West Glacier is place to be for helicopter rides, golfing and the starting point for almost all whitewater rafting trips. The village also has a variety of dining and drinking options. The Motel itself is very basic but economical — no frills here.

Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins: Located inside of Glacier National Park, this is my favorite choice for Lodging on the west side. Here, you and your family can rent a cabin complete with your own kitchenette. The cabins are both historic and rustic making them perfect for a family’s lakeside basecamp. Pack the bikes because Apgar is a bike friendly spot.

Motel Lake McDonald: Located on the north end of Lake McDonald, the Motel is adjacent to the historic Lake McDonald Lodge. This might be a good Lodging option for you if you want to enjoy the amenities of Lake McDonald Lodge without the high price tag. The rooms at the Motel are basic but adequate.

Night 3: Waterton, AB (Drive time from West Glacier: 2 1/2 hours)
You won’t want to miss the chance to spend the night at the luxurious and iconic Prince of Wales Hotel Alberta, Canada. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time at both the Hotel and in the Canadian townsite of Waterton which is located within the International Peace Park, Glacier-Waterton.

Nights 4-5: St. Mary & Many Glacier (Drive time from Waterton: 2 hours)
Spend at least two nights at the St. Mary Lodge and Resort. The area is a hiker’s paradise and the dramatic scenery will leave you speechless. I recommend a room in the modern and upscale Great Bear Lodge.

Night 6: East Glacier (Drive time from St. Mary: 1 hour)
Experience grand and historical Glacier Park Lodge, my personal favorite. Glacier Park Lodge is worth the experience from the garden lawn to the grand timber lobby, it’s a sight you must see.

There are also some highly coveted cottage-style lodging opportunities at Glacier Park Lodge for the family.

Night 7-8: Whitefish (Drive time from East Glacier: 1 1/2 hours)
Spend the last night of your vacation in the vibrant little mountain town of Whitefish at Grouse Mountain Lodge. Whitefish is also located conveniently close to the airport and Grouse provides complimentary shuttle service. Grouse Mountain Lodge is a full service resort with a variety of luxury room options.

I hope the first installment of this guide has helped you plan the lodging portion of your trip. If you follow this itinerary, you will find yourself in all the best corners of Glacier National Park. Please let us at Glacier Park, Inc. know if we can be of any more assistance in helping you to plan your “Ultimate Glacier Vacation.”

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