Autumn Road Trip: Exploring Glacier National Park, Montana
Autumn was the perfect time for our ladies’ glamping road trip exploring Glacier National Park in Montana. The leaves were in the process of changing from green to yellow, orange, and red, which created a spectacular drive throughout the Park. I haven’t visited Montana in a few decades and had forgotten how stunning Glacier National Park is. There is so much to explore that I’d recommend spending at least a week and experiencing as much of the Park as you can.
Where to Stay Near Glacier National Park
Of course one of the major decisions when planning your road trip is where to stay. St Mary Village is the perfect location in East Glacier National Park with the mountains as your backdrop, and West Glacier RV Park & Cabins in the west — both are located right near Park entrances. You can’t get any closer than that!
Tiny Home Village at St. Mary Village
I can’t get enough of the colourful cottages and matching bathhouses in St Mary Village. Each tiny home sleeps about 4 people, with plenty of indoor and outdoor space to enjoy the surroundings and mountain views. There are 10 colourful homes with energy-efficient appliances and comfortable beds, as well as jetted tubs in the matching bathhouses.
Glacier Park Lodge
For those who prefer to stay in a hotel-style accommodation, the Glacier Park Lodge is the perfect place. This the first hotel built by the Great Northern Railway and has stayed with its rustic roots and boasts the oldest golf course in Montana on the grounds. The rooms are free of televisions and instead have a stunning view of Montana’s mountains. The Lodge has a beautiful stone fireplace where guests can visit, enjoy conversations, and play board games while meeting new people. I’ll never forget tasting buffalo ribs for the first time in the Northern Dining room! Delicious.
West Glacier RV Park & Cabins
I could easily live in one of the gorgeous new cabins at West Glacier RV Park & Cabins! Each spacious cabin is well-stocked with everything you need for your stay, just bring the food! They thought of every detail from the fun yellow accents throughout to the matching dishes and a very comfortable bed. I was pleasantly surprised to find a full bathroom…something I typically look for and love to have a bubble bath…remember I’m glamping… after a day outdoors!
What to See
Depending on the time of the year, the accessible areas vary. In the off-season, roads will be closed and some of the amenities will also be closed for the season. I’ll need to go back and drive the full Going-to-the-Sun Road and see more than I was able to on this September road trip.
Trail of the Cedars
I highly recommend getting out and stretching your legs on this gentle walk through the forest to the waterfalls along a boardwalk. You can hike up above the waterfalls for another view, if you choose, or continue the loop back to the parking lot. The wheelchair-accessible trail that begins not far from Lake McDonald and just the smell of fresh cedar is enough to put a smile on your face! Some of these trees are 4 to 7 feet in diameter and estimated at over 500 years old. Definitely worth the visit. We came across a fallen tree with an amazing roots system that looks like something out of Game of Thrones. My photo doesn’t do it justice as to how large it actually is.
Logan Pass Visitor Center Hike
Even though it was a foggy day, we were able to explore a few trails around the Logan Pass Visitor Center and the beautiful drive up. We weren’t able to see much of Renolds Mountain and Clements Mountain on this visit, so another road trip will be added to my list! Inside the Center, you can’t miss the educational subalpine ecosystem exhibit, souvenir shopping, and large fireplace to warm up beside.
Where to Eat
You must visit the Belton Chalet for unique and delicious locally-sourced dishes created by Chef Earl Reynolds. Most memorable for me was the crème brûlée with huckleberries!
Seriously…the mac and cheese is a MUST! For beer lovers, there is a variety of handcrafted beer to taste.
Let me know if you have questions about any of these locations, or send me an email. In planning your road trip check the Park’s website to make sure that the areas you’d like to access are open. In the off-season, roads may be closed due to weather or maintenance. On our trip this time, we were not able to access the full Going-to-the-Sun Road route for this reason.