As in many of the U.S. national parks, there is a great junior ranger program. Badges are given to kids who attend a ranger-led educational program and complete the activities in the booklet. You can enroll in the junior ranger program at any of the parks visitor centers.
There is a lot to see and learn in the park whether your family is just there for the day or a weekend of camping. Discovery Cabin in Apgar Village is a great learning center where kids can look at various animal skins and skulls and learn about the native wildlife.
You will without a doubt want to do some hiking. If you are traveling with kids or hauling a baby on your bike, you will want to stick to some of the easier trail options. Popular hikes for children include: Trail of the Cedars, the Rocky Point Trail, the Oxbow Trail, sections of the John’s Lake Loop, Avalanche Lake, Hidden Lake Nature Trail, Barring Falls, The Swift Current Nature Trail, and Running Eagle Falls at Two Medicine.
One hike that we really like is the Hidden Lake at Logan’s Pass. You will want to get there early as this popular destination parking lot fills up quickly. You can also shuttle there from Lake MacDonald Lodge or the Avalanche campground. This trail usually has a lot of wildlife like mountain goats and rams. Once you get to the top you will begin to see beautiful little streams before arriving at Hidden Lake, which is just picture perfect and one of the most beautiful sights. Best part is – even if you are there in August you will see SNOW! This trail also takes you across the continental divide which makes for a great story when your kids’ teachers ask what they did this summer, “I crossed the continental divide!”
There are many swinging bridges around the park. These are nailing biting scary for anyone afraid of heights, but are thrilling fun too! Seeing these immediately make me think of Indiana Jones, but what fun they are!
Other fun ideas for your trip include boat rides on several of the lakes in the park, horseback riding, campfires, fishing, and of course there is no better place to do some star gazing. You should also look into the Red Bus Tours. These are vintage buses from the 1930’s and is one of the best options to see everything this gorgeous landscape has to offer.
If camping isn’t your thing you might want to check out Lake McDonald Lodge or the Many Glacier Hotel, but be aware these lodging options are only open in the summer. The Grouse Mountain Lodge also looks like a super option and is one of the only hotels that is open year round. Grouse Mountain Lodge also offers dog sledding, snow mobiles, and skiing in the winter. We would love to stay here some day and experience a sleigh ride through the forest.
Glacier Mountain Park is the cornerstone of America the Beautiful and it’s a trip that every American should have on their bucket list. Have you been? We’d love to hear about it!