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Wild and Pristine Glacier National Park

Wild and Pristine Glacier National Park

My husband and I went to Glacier National Park, Montana last August to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. My husband grew up in Lethbridge, Alberta, and frequently went to Glacier to hike, bike, and camp. It had been a few years since the two of us had been to Glacier National Park and my husband really wanted to return.  A day’s drive from Calgary, and less commercialized than Banff National Park, this park shares part of its border with Waterton National Park in Alberta.  Both parks been designated World Heritage Sites and International Peace Parks.

We stayed at Glacier Campground in our RV. Glacier Campground is a beautiful campground with 175 treed sites, some with power and water hook ups.

Typical campsite

Typical campsite

Our first day there, we hiked to Avalanche Lake. It’s an 8 kilometer (round trip) moderately difficult hike that took us approximately 3 ½ hours to complete. We are kind of slow pokes when it comes to hiking, though. We rested frequently and my husband, who had gone on this hike a number of years ago,  remarked that he didn’t remember it being quite this challenging. My response? “You were also in your twenties then.” (We are both in our 50’s now).

The next day, we took a drive along Going to the Sun Road to Logan’s Pass. This is a popular scenic drive and destination. So popular, in fact, an early start is required to secure a parking spot at Logan’s Pass. Another option is to take one of the many free shuttles available. While we enjoyed the scenery, our start time wasn’t early enough to find parking. We were disappointed as we also wanted to hike to Hidden Lake, which is about a 4 km easy hike from Logan’s Pass.

Oh well, it’s not like the mountains are going anywhere.

There are many guided boat tours offered on various lakes in the area. The one we chose was the boat tour of McDonald Lake. It’s the largest lake in the area. The boat tour offers a great opportunity to learn more about the region without the pain of hiking (yes, we were stiff and sore after our 8 km hike)! Taking this boat tour was the perfect antidote to the hike plus,  I enjoyed taking pictures and being on the water.

McDonald Lake

McDonald Lake

The weather turned cold and rainy thereafter. Nights got a bit frosty in the RV but we doubled down on the blankets and avoided having to turn on our RV’s noisy heating system.

A short walk around the Trail of the Cedars (one of several accessible walks/hikes in Glacier) was nice in the cool, misty weather.  I’m always on the lookout for nature photo ops and this Trail didn’t disappoint.  Between the boat tour and walk on this Trail, I was pretty relaxed. I find water and being in nature very calming.

Trail of the Cedars

Trail of the Cedars

The food claim to fame in Montana is the Huckleberry, which is very similar to the Canadian Saskatoon berry. There is huckleberry “everything” including pies, cakes, milkshakes, jams, mustard, and fruit gummies. Huckleberry stands and outlets abound just outside the park.   We enjoyed some huckleberry dessert at a local restaurant.

Nearby towns offer shopping and other pursuits. However, with the exchange rate for Canadian dollar into US dollars these days, we were very judicious in our spending. We did get some awesome deals at JC Penney in Kalispell. I paid $8 for a pair of sweats, $9 for a T-shirt and $35 for a pair of jeans. So if shopping is your game, there are deals to be had.

Overall, it was a great trip and the perfect way to celebrate our anniversary. Great food, good hiking, a bit of time on the water, and a chance to photograph nature.

For more information, here is a link to a fact sheet on Glacier National Park, Montana.

Glacier National Park – a great way to enjoy a  #MontanaMoment.  To find your #MontanaMoment, enter our giveaway to win Montana State park passes, camping fees, gas cards, spending money and more.

Wild and Pristine Glacier National Park

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Cathi Crismon

Thursday 20th of July 2017

Oh my gosh! Isn't Glacier National Park gorgeous? It was on our itinerary a long time ago when we took our kids on a 3 week National Park vacation. But when we got to Glacier NP it was snowing. In July! We drove on through and I've always regretted it. Your story has me all excited to plan a holiday there again. Big smile!