Montana’s Glacier National Park
Big Sky Country
Visiting America’s national parks can be a heady experience, and nothing better meets expectations than Glacier National Park in northwest Montana. More than one million acres of alpine meadows, rainforests, rugged mountains, and stunning lakes await your exploration. The park is home to grizzly bears, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife, and contains 25 active glaciers that move due to thawing and melting. With over 700 miles of hiking trails that lead to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet and plenty of outdoor activities in the mountains and on the water, you’ll be sure to discover great adventures.
Spend two nights inside the park at Lake McDonald Lodge & Cabins and two nights in the eastern area of the park at Many Glacier Hotel, both National Historic Landmarks. Take a delightful narrated tour of the park in a vintage Red Jammer Bus traversing the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road as it winds through the interior of the park, and ride through rapids on a half-day whitewater rafting adventure. And there will be plenty of time to partake in your own activities. Hike, swim, try your hand at fly-fishing, or spend quality time surrounded by wilderness and solitude in the rainforest or mountains.
Due to the historic nature of the lodges there are no elevators and rooms will not have bathtubs (showers only), TV, radio, Internet access or A/C. Guest rooms are rustic yet comfortable with modest amenities. Cell phone coverage is sparse, at best, in and around Glacier National Park. Very limited wireless internet is available for overnight guests in the front desk and lobby areas at all in-park lodges. Satellite internet connection is shared among all guests and its limited bandwidth cannot support social networking sites, uploading or downloading of documents or photos, streaming videos, VoIP applications or consumer/retail/news websites with heavy photo and video content.
This itinerary covers areas of higher altitudes and includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required.
Thu, July 7: Depart Indianapolis for Kalispell, Montana and transfer to Lake McDonald Lodge & Cabins in spectacular Glacier National Park. Get settled into your accommodations for the next two nights along the shores of Lake McDonald. (Meals: Dinner)
Fri, July 8: Enjoy a half-day guided whitewater adventure through John Stevens Canyon of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Class II and III rapids will provide some excitement as you negotiate the numerous waves, narrow passages, eddies, and bends. If you prefer, the rafting can be substituted with a less strenuous float trip. Return to the park and explore Glacier National Park on your own. Shuttle transfers will be pre-arranged for some options. The park preserves over one million acres, with 700 miles of maintained trails. Lounge on the lodge’s lakeside veranda, fish for lake trout, tour the property, book an excursion on the historic wooden boat DeSmet, or just laze around in the incredibly scenic setting. Don’t miss the very informative evening Ranger/Naturalist programs. (B,D)
Sat, July 9: Check out of the lodge and embark on a narrated tour aboard a historic 1930’s Red Jammer Bus. Travel Going-to-the-Sun Road along a glacially formed arete to Logan Pass, 6,664 feet high on the Continental Divide. Regarded by many as one of the most scenic drives in the world, this famous highway is a national treasure, and undoubtedly a highlight of the park. See impressive glaciers, beautiful valleys, cascading waterfalls, towering mountains, and colorful wildflowers. Enjoy an included lunch before arriving at Many Glacier Hotel for your final two nights in the northeastern part of the park. (B,L,D)
Sun, July 10: Today is yours to explore the park at your leisure. Wildlife watching, relaxing, and hiking are the primary activities enjoyed around Many Glacier Hotel. The large, wrap-around lakeside balcony offers 180-degree views of Swiftcurrent Lake, surrounding rugged hillsides, three glaciers, and incredible serrated peaks. Join a ranger for a tour of the historic hotel and learn about its history and restoration. Get up close to a glacier by booking an optional excursion aboard the historic wooden boat Chief Two Guns across Swiftcurrent Lake, then board the Morning Eagle to cross Lake Josephine. It is just a two-mile round-trip hike to Grinnell Lake for an incredible outdoor adventure experience. (B,D)
Mon, July 11: Check out of the hotel and transfer to Kalispell for your flight to Indianapolis. (B)
Lake McDonald Lodge & Cabins, Glacier National Park. Built in 1914, the property is surrounded by towering cedars and cottonwood trees and is the most requested facility in the park. Main lodge rooms are located on the second and third floors and cabin rooms are located along a tree-lined pathway adjacent to the lodge. Highlights: rustic yet comfortable rooms with modest amenities • telephone • fan • hairdryer • coffee maker • three restaurants • bar/lounge • gift shop • camp store • evening ranger programs • boat cruises • WiFi hotspots (very limited). Fees apply for some activities.
NOTE: As this is a historic property, there is no elevator access and rooms will not have bathtubs (showers only), Internet access, TV, radio or A/C, and there is no cell phone service.
Many Glacier Hotel, Glacier National Park.
Located in the northeastern part of Glacier National Park on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake, this secluded, five-story historic hotel was built almost a century ago by the Great Northern Railway, and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Highlights: rustic, yet comfortable guest rooms with modest amenities • telephone • fan • hairdryer • coffee maker • gift shop • three restaurants • evening ranger programs • boat cruises • WiFi hotspot (very limited). Fees apply for some activities.
NOTE: As this is a historic lodge, there is very limited elevator access and rooms will not have bathtubs (showers only), Internet access, TV, radio or A/C, and there is no cell phone service. A limited number of ADA-accessible rooms are available.
* Subject to change due to increase in exchange rate or fuel surcharge