Places to Visit: Glacier National Park
If you’re someone who enjoys exploring our national parks, adventuring on long hikes, and appreciating nature through a new lens, Glacier National Park in Montana should be at the top of your Must-See travel list. Although Glacier and Yellowstone are widely known, I still did not know what to expect to see and experience while there, and the countless Google searches I did were not nearly as beautiful as the actual park itself. In case any readers are looking to venture out to Glacier sometime soon, here are a few of my recommendations and pieces of advice
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If you’re someone who enjoys exploring our national parks, adventuring on long hikes, and appreciating nature through a new lens, Glacier National Park in Montana should be at the top of your Must-See travel list.
Although Glacier and Yellowstone are widely known, I still did not know what to expect to see and experience while there, and the countless Google searches I did were not nearly as beautiful as the actual park itself. I also knew it wouldn’t be possible to see the whole park in my three day stay so picking out the hikes we wanted to do had to be a wise and well-informed decision. In case any readers are looking to venture out to Glacier sometime soon, here are a few of my recommendations and pieces of advice!
St Mary's Lake
Camp Inside the Park
During Glacier’s busiest months, the campsites tend to fill up fast so it’s important to schedule your days around when you can get into the campsite, pitch your tent, and go out on your next hike.
So…how will you know if a campsite is already full? There are usually signs when you’re driving into a section of the park (it’s HUGE by the way!) that tell you how full the campsite is. You may need to drive around a few times to find a newly opened up spot. Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find one…although not ideal if you’re hiking in the park, there are a few campsites outside of the park that still overlook gorgeous Montanan scenery.
Put Iceberg Lake on Your List
If the only iceberg you’ve seen is the one on the screen while watching the “Titanic”, you may want to put Iceberg Lake on the top of your list of hikes to do while in Glacier.
The hike totals about 12 miles and is definitely one you want to start early in the morning. There’s not one moment where the landscape doesn’t amaze you. Although a 12 mile hike may seem daunting (especially if you’re a novice hiker), don’t feel deflated – the mountains are breathtaking and hug you the entire time. You’ll forget about the long distance in no time. And by the time you get to the lake, you’ll just be further impressed and appreciative of how remarkable this natural park is. This picture doesn’t even do it justice, but here’s a sneak peak of its natural beauty.
Sunset at Three Rivers
Bring a Journal, Book, and Camera
Although you’re not completely “off the grid” because you’re in a well-traveled, well-known, and mapped area, there are areas of the park that are less-traveled, quiet, and undisturbed.
At night, the campsites are quiet and peaceful and there’s nothing to distract you. Take advantage of the lack of distraction and busyness. Take a book or journal but I encourage you to not be on your phone (there’s also no service) and immerse yourself in your natural surroundings as much as you can.
Be Ready to Explore
Go on a Hike That’s Less Traveled
This recommendation is definitely to be taken cautiously and wisely – take your comfort zone, ability, and safety into consideration.
The less traveled hikes could be in more of the back-country (at least it was in my case) therefore, there could be a higher chance of you seeing a bear or other wildlife. The back-country hike my friend and I took included some of the best, undisturbed scenery I’ve ever seen. Again, this picture doesn’t even do the landscape justice…so you’ll just have to see it for yourself.
Morning at Bowman Lake
Although there are many other hikes and campsites I could recommend, one of the most important and valuable recommendations I have is to be mindful and present while experiencing Glacier National Park.
It’s incredible that something this beautiful exists on our planet – let alone, in our own country.
Although there were times I was worried about not finding a campsite, seeing a bear, or not having enough food to sustain me throughout my trip…it was important for me to remind myself to stay present, happy, and mindful while in such a unique and breathtaking part of the country. It’s a once in a lifetime experience in so many ways and it’s important to be cognizant of how extraordinary every moment in the park is. Those are moments that are nearly impossible to recreate and even a photo you take won’t be able to encapsulate the unforgettable time you had.
Take mental snapshots and breathe in the scenery around you. Visiting Glacier National Park is something you’ll want to remember forever (especially before the glaciers melt…which is currently happening…so time is of the essence!).