Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is a spectacular setting for an adventure-filled honeymoon trip, with its rugged mountain peaks, clear streams, forests, glacial lakes and alpine meadows. Located in the Rocky Mountains in the northwest part of the state of Montana, it is home to variety of wildlife, including bears, moose, bighorn sheep and eagles. Its location and breathtaking scenery have earned the Park the title of the Crown of the Continent.
You can visit Glacier National Park any time of the year, though summer is the peak season. Activities include hiking, horseback and boat trips to view the scenery, paddle boating and biking. The best time to see the wildlife is in the spring, when the young are born and all are in high spirits. Fall colors are spectacular in the mountains. Winter is a quieter time, but there are cross-country skiing and snowshoe trails to explore the snowy wonderland.
The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road with knuckle-whitening bends and loops and spectacular views of the scenery and wildlife is a must-do. The 50-mile stretch of Highway 191 runs across the park east to west, climbing from the valleys, past glacial lakes and cedar forests, to arctic tundra at the heights. It crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass at a height of 6,646 feet.
There are a variety of accommodations within the park boundaries and in the nearby towns like Whitefish and Kalispell. Tourism is one of Montana’s leading industries, and you’ll have a wide choice of places to stay, from the famous luxury ranches to cozy cabins and campsites. Within the park, there are romantic settings like historic chalets and lodges, or you can go camping for some quiet time.
About Glacier National Park
At a Glance
- Along with Yellowstone, Glacier National Park is one of the largest remaining areas of untouched wilderness in North America. Guided tours with naturalists, with hikes, boat trips and informal talks, will introduce you to the geological history of the area, the mountains, and the flora and fauna. In the winter, you can take guided cross country skiing and snowshoe trips.
- The landscape of jagged peaks, high valleys, waterfalls, meadows, rivers and lakes, is the product of glacial activity two million years ago. The Park is a designated biosphere reserve as well as an international heritage site and peace park.
- The Park covers one million acres, and is home to wildlife such as grizzlies, black bears, moose, deer, goats, bighorn sheep and more. The mountain cats are shy but you may spot a lynx or mountain lion.
- Going-to-the-Sun Road is open from mid to late June to September. Its scary hairpin bends and incredible scenery are legendary, as is the major plowing operation it takes every year to clear the deep snow on Logan Pass. In the spring, before it is fully plowed, the cleared sections are opened to hikers and bikes for a car-free experience.
- Favorite hikes such as the Highline Trail, the Grinnell Glacier Trail, the backcountry Iceberg Lake Trail, Siyeh Pass and more take you through stunning landscapes. Must-see spots include the alpine lakes – Lake MacDonald, Avalanche Lake, and St. Mary Lake – that reflect the surrounding mountains in their clear waters and waterfalls like Virginia Falls.
- For a full wilderness experience, pick lodgings within the park boundaries. There are mountain lodges, campsites, and everything in between.
- Remember to make some time for star-gazing in the evenings, for an unforgettable romantic experience. Glacier National Park is an officially designated International Dark Sky Park, which recognizes its preservation of outstanding night skies.
- Cozy cabin stays offer comfort and romance in a convenient package for honeymooners. Enjoy special touches of luxury like hot tubs and decks where you can sit out in the moonlight.
- Take a day or two to visit the surrounding towns and communities like Whitefish and Kalispell for a taste of genuine and friendly Montana hospitality.
- GETTING AROUND: A car is the easiest way to get around the area and to visit the parks, but it may be difficult to find parking at popular spots during the busy season. Also, winter driving in the snow can be challenging if you’re nor used to it. There are specially operated bus tours at Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, which let you enjoy the scenery and spot wildlife without the hassles. Most resort areas and nearby towns have shuttle bus services to take visitors to the parks.
- WEATHER: Daytime temperatures vary from 30F to 60F in the spring, and remain in the 70s and 80s in the summer. Winter temperatures vary between 0 to 20F, and there is heavy snowfall. Mountain weather can be unpredictable and you should be prepared for rain or snow at any time of the year.
- WHEN TO GO: You can visit Yellowstone and Glacier National Park in any season, depending on your favorite activities. In winter, the best months are November to March. Late spring and summer are the peak season. Remember, it can snow in the mountains any time of the year, and bring along some warm and weatherproof clothing and shoes.
- RESPECT THE WILDERNESS: Keep a safe distance of at least 25 yards from wildlife. Make that a hundred yards for bears. This is as much for their safety as yours. Don’t feed the wildlife, as they should not become habituated to humans. Remember to carry bear spray if you’re camping or hiking in the backcountry.