With more than 1/2 dozen trips into Glacier National Park, Brad is passionate about sharing the experience with family. I asked him to share why he loves GNP and here’s his list:
- A Backpackers Park. Many National Parks are built for a drive through in a large RV, not Glacier National Park. Here you are encouraged to get out and walk a trail or even get a back country permit and hike to a place of pristine beauty. Glacier is one of the few parks left in the lower 48 where you can get into the back country and not compete with hundreds of people for your private space.
- Going to the Sun Road with a Stop at Logan’s Pass. This unique road will challenge your driving skills and your stomach at the same time. Climbing to Logan’s Pass you are on the edge of the world, at every turn you are gauging the distance to the wall and the cliff edge, no mistakes allowed! A natural thrill! No RV’s allowed! When you get to the continental divide you can get out and hike through alpine tundra and see many species of animals and tundra flowers.
- Historic Lodges Nestled along Beautiful Lakes. Glacier National Park is home to Lake McDonald Lodge, Many Glacier Hotel and Swiftcurrent Lodges. The lakes all lie at the bases of impressive glacier covered mountains. Affordable boat cruises are offered for a fantastic guided tour of the history of the park and beautiful views of the peaks. The Lodges were constructed of massive logs by the Great Northern Railway and have huge rock fireplaces with open guest lobbies. The Lodges offer great dining, clean rooms and a place to relax and read a good book. Well worth a visit to treat yourself away from the tent or RV.
- Wilderness and Wildlife. GNP is one of the last parks where nature is your equal and demands respect. Grizzlies and other large mammals thrive in the park and must be treated in a knowledgeable manner. The wilderness areas go on for miles and provides a chance to experience the life of the early mountain men in the Northwest. One of my favorite quotes: “Montana IS what America WAS”. Outside of Alaska it is one of the last, great, wild places. Get out of your car with a good pair of binoculars or spotting scope and set up for an afternoon of wildlife viewing. Hike to a tundra or scenic ridge for a picnic lunch and enjoy the alpine tundras, glaciers and wild areas that surround you.
- Polebridge and the West Side. This is the side of the park where few people visit. Drive up the West side and stop in at Polebridge Mercantile. The store is unique with the same ambiance it would have had over a century ago. Here you’ll find just your basics for the survival of a Montana winter, or a long backpack trip. Many of the Glacier National Park’s backpack trail-heads are out of this area and are missed by most visitors. Watch out for the logging trucks as many operations use this road to transport timber to the mills. Also if you get a chance try one of the many whitewater raft trips down the Flathead river that are offered just outside the park. Water flow varies from season to season but this is a must if you want some cooling adventure.
Enjoy your experience in Glacier!
Yours in Outdoor Adventure, Brad Stork