Welcome to Montana
Glacier National Park is located in the U.S State of Montana, on the Canada-United States border with the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Glacier National Park definitly fits well its name. I hardly imagine how cold is it during the winter! Brrrrrrr I’m already cold 😅❄
☡ Glacier National Park is also known to have a black bear and grizzly habitat. It’s EXTREMELY important for hikers to make a lot of noise, carry bear spray and hike in groups. Trails can be closed due to bear activity . It’s a better idea to check with a ranger on the status of a trail before proceeding on any hike in the park.
We spent 4 days there in September and for good reason, total of square miles 1,583 split in 5 areas :
- Lake McDonald
- Many Glacier
- North Fork & Goat Haunt
- St. Mary
- Two Medicine
Interesting facts :
- Total number of lakes : 762
- Number of named lakes : 131
- Largest lake : Lake McDonald at 9.4 miles long, 1.5 miles wide, 464 feet deep
- Number of mountains : 175
- Highest mountain : Mt Cleveland at 10,448 ft / 3,190 m
Of course, 4 days was not enough to explore the entire park. We did the boat tour at Lake Mcdonald, and some hikes at Many Glacier and St. Mary.
My favorite hike so far was Grinnell Glacier Viewpoint located at Many Glacier area. A stunning view all along the hike. Starting with Swifcurrent Lake and Josephine Lake, then on your way up to an amazing view of Grinnell Lake and ending at Upper Grinnell Lake. Absolutely breath taking.
10.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,600 ft
Trailhead : Grinnell Glacier Trailhead or Many Glacier Hotel
In the same area, we did Iceberg Lake. Known for its Icebergs, but unfortunatly we didn’t see any of them. Apparently, it still wasn’t cold enough 😅
9.6 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 1,200 ft
Trailhead : Iceberg Ptarmigan Trailhead
The boat tour at Lake McDonald was pretty cool and relaxing (it was a surprise for my boyfriend’s birthday 💝) We walked around the lake a little bit, enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and admired the incredible and famous color of the pebbles. For information, boat tours start between the end of May and the end of June and are over between beginning and the end of September depending on the tour : Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, Two Medicine Lake or Many Glacier. Prices are from $13.75 to $27.50 for an adult.
If you enter the St. Mary area at the East entrance, you can enjoy the view of St. Mary Lake from the famous “Going to the sun road”. We chose to do Hidden Lake Overlook. It’s an easy but busy trail. It’s up to you to admire the lake from the overlook or keep walking to the bottom. It was our last day after we did Iceberg Lake and we still had to drive back to Seattle during the night, which is a 9h drive. So we decided to stay at the top. What a view ! Totally happy to end the trip like this 😍
2.8 miles out and back / Elevation gain : 460 ft
Trailhead : Logan Pass Visitor Center
*Additional 2.4 miles out and back further to Hidden Lake, dropping 780 ft from the overlook