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A Guide to Glacier National Park in Montana

A Guide to Glacier National Park in Montana

Taking the kids to Glacier National Park will certainly be the experience of a lifetime. Heck, it will likely be the experience of your lifetime as well!Guide to Glacier National Park

The cost to Enter Glacier National Park:

There are a wide variety of options when it comes to purchasing passes for a visit to Glacier National Park. Here is what you need to know.

7-day pass – $30.00
Winter Rate: $20 (November 1-April 30)

One day pass – $15.00
Winter Rate: $10 (November 1-April 30)

Motorcycle Pass – $25.00
Winter Rate: $15 (November 1-April 30)

Glacier National Park Annual Pass – $50.00

2018 Fee-free Days

No entrance fee will be charged on these days:

  • January 15 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • April 21 – First Day of National Park Week
  • September 22 – National Public Lands Day
  • November 11 – Veterans Day

The Junior Ranger Program at Glacier National

In sticking with the traditional set up of the National Parks Programs, Glacier National Park offers their Junior Ranger program at Glacier National as well.

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.

Things to do in Glacier National Park

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.

In the Summer months Blackfeet, Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreille tribe members share their knowledge of the history and culture of Native America in conjunction with the Glacier National Park visitors as part of the Native America Speaks program. These programs are offered in campgrounds, lodges, and at St. Mary Visitor Center.

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 with children in Glacier National Park:

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
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. The 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!”

Swinging bridge

Hiking tip:

Bring some sweet treats and pass them out to little hikers as rewards for keeping the hike moving.  I don’t know about your kids, but with mine, the mention of candy gets a move on.

Pack your spirit of adventure:

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.

Lodging Options at Glacier National Park:

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, snowmobiles, and skiing in the winter.  We would love to stay here one day soon 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!

Glacier National Park with Kids