Glacier National Park – plan your visit.

This friendly goat was spotted at Logan Pass last year.

This friendly goat was spotted at Logan Pass last year.

So you’re coming to Montana with plans to visit Glacier National Park and you want to get the most out of your trip. This blog post is all about links and tips to help you do just that. [Look for highlighted links to take you to the pages mentioned.]

OK the question on everyone’s mind at this time of year is when will the whole Going to the Sun Road be open for car traffic?  Currently it’s scheduled for June 21, 2013 – with the caveat that the spring plowing is completed.  To see the status of the plowing situation you can visit the Park’s Plowing Status page.  So much of what goes on in the park is weather dependent, so it’s always best to check out their website before heading out.  Which brings me to…

Trail conditions:  Especially in the early and late seasons it’s important to check out trail conditions before heading out on a hike in the Park.  Even in the peak times, trails can suddenly be closed due to bear activity in the area.  One year on a hike to Snyder Lake we were turned around by a Park Ranger about ½ mile from our destination by a bear that was hanging around the Lake.  Go to the Trail Status Report page on the Parks Website for up to date info… then take heed!

Road conditions: As trail conditions can change so can the road conditions, due to weather, construction, etc.  Don’t have your plans scuppered because the road you want to travel on is closed.  Check before hand on the Parks Road Status Page

Weather: This is a biggie.  Things can be calm & beautiful in Whitefish, but turbulent in the Park (or visa versa)… you just never know.  While you should always be prepared for just about any weather situation that Mother Nature can throw at you, check out detailed forecasts on the Park’s weather page.  To see for yourself what the weather is like you can view live web-cams. [There’s even an Osprey Cam.]

What’s Open: The various visitor centers in Glacier National Park have different opening dates and hours of operations, for details go to their Operating Hours and Seasons page.

Shuttle Buses:  One of the great ways of getting around the Park that’s cheap (can’t get cheaper than FREE!) and convenient is the free shuttle busses that operate in the Park, (this year July 1-Sept 2nd, 2013).  These are great for hopping on and off and for shuttling hikers from where they left their car to where they plan to end their hike.  To get all the info and a list of Shuttle stops within the Park visit their Shuttle Info Page.

Red Bus Tours: These classic vehicles are a symbol of Glacier National Park and offer a great way to see the park where you don’t have to worry about traffic, the roll back tops offer you a unique view and the knowledgeable guides can tell you all about the Parks history and sites. The Red Busses (also known as “Jammers”) are run by Glacier Park Inc. and they have various schedules and length of trips to meet your needs.  A trip on a red bus should be on your bucket list!

Since the Hidden Moose Lodge has Wi-Fi you can check out all the info on your smart phone or tablet before heading out.  Then ask Kent or any staff member for their personal recommendations, you’re sure to get a different answer from each!

Author: Sarah Stewart

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2 Responses to “Glacier National Park – plan your visit.”

  1. Pat McCauley says:

    Wow! Very informative post! I learned so much about getting around and what to see.
    Thank you!