Glacier Outdoor Center Blog

Posted: December 17th, 2013 by Jeff

Country Magazine has just listed the iconic road of Glacier National Park in their “2013′s Best Scenic Roads List.” If you have not yet experienced the exquisiteness of Glacier National Park, it’s time you started thinking about it.

Located in northwest Montana, Glacier National Park is a place of beauty and makes up the center of one of the largest and most intact ecosystems in North America known as the “Crown of the Continent.” In the heart of Glacier National Park, winding 50 miles through its rugged peaks lays Going-to-the-Sun Road. This road is the marquis attraction of the park and a piece of engineering brilliance. It travels from West Glacier, through Logan’s Pass at 6,646 feet, to East Glacier and provides some of the most incredible views you will ever see. It’s the only American roadway to be designated both a National Historic Landmark and a National Civil Engineering Landmark.

Going-To-The-Sun Rd

Going-To-The-Sun Rd Glacier National Park

Going-To-The-Sun Rd Montana

Each year crews work tirelessly in the spring on Going-to-the-Sun Road plowing the snow which can get as deep as 80 feet in some places. They usually begin plowing in early April and don’t complete the entire road until mid to late June. One section of the road that is slightly longer than a mile known as the “Big Drift” can take almost a month to plow. That’s a lot of snow!

Snow Plowing Glacier National Park Glacier Raft Company

Snow Plowing Glacier National Park

Snow Plowing Glacier National Park West Glacier

If you’re headed to Glacier National Park this summer, you won’t be disappointed. There is incredible scenery and an endless amount of outdoor activities like hiking, camping, whitewater rafting, fly-fishing and bicycling. There are also a number of quaint towns a short drive from the park where you will find nice shops, restaurants, breweries and nightlife. A few of those towns are West Glacier, Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Bigfork.

If you are planning your trip to the Park, contact Glacier Raft Company and Glacier Anglers. We have modern rustic log cabins located 1/2 mile from the West Entrance to the Glacier National Park and offer whitewater rafting and fly fishing trips daily. You can visit our website at www.glacierraftco.com or give us a call at 1-800-235-6781.

Posted: October 21st, 2013 by kali

The trees begin to loose their leaves and businesses close for the season. But the fall colors are too good to miss!

West glacier fall

West Glacier Montana

Going to the sun road in fall

Posted: October 17th, 2013 by kali

The beginning of October has graced us with a heavy dusting of snow in the higher elevations.

glacier park

The peaks of Glacier National Park were simply beautiful this morning.

lake-mcdonald-glacier-park

What a spectacular show from mother nature these past few days have been!

Posted: October 4th, 2013 by kali

We were able to make it into Glacier National Park one last time before the Government Shutdown.  And what a sight it was!  Going-to-the-Sun Road has not been open this late into fall for some time because of construction.  Here is a look at the photos we took while driving up the GTTSR to The Loop.

the-loop-gnp-fall

grc-going-to-the-sun-road-fall

gnp-before-shutdown

glacier-park-fall-colors

Posted: September 30th, 2013 by kali

Check out our guest writter Alanna Sobel of The National Park Foundation! We’re honored to post her contribution to our blog.

Fall Activities in Glacier National Park

lake-mcdonald-glacier-park

Vacationing in Glacier National Park in the fall definitely has its advantages.  Summer is the peak tourist season and scheduling your vacation for September or later allows you to avoid the crowds and have many of the spectacular sights to yourself.  Traveling to Glacier National Park in the fall does require some pre-planning, but many of the destinations in the park offer gorgeous autumn palettes as a reward to those willing to brave the unpredictable weather.

When exploring Glacier National Park in the fall, self-sufficiency is very important.  It is vital to pack enough water and food for all members of your party as many of the outposts and visitor centers will be closed. Inexperienced hikers may prefer to visit during other times of the year.  However, for experienced hikers or independent travelers, autumn can offer the least amount of traffic and best opportunities to view the park’s wildlife as they actively prepare for winter.

Many Glacier is the ideal location to view the stunning glaciers the park is known for.  Given scientific predictions and the current state of climate change, many people expect the famous glaciers to disappear within the next 30 years.  Many Glacier is a refuge for those who wish to see the impact of these ancient glaciers before they are only a memory. It is also a good spot for viewing black and grizzly bears who are preparing for winter by feasting on the lush fauna.

For kayakers and canoeists that brave the park in fall, the crystal lakes of Two Medicine beckon for a dip before winter.  Once the heart of the park, this area is significantly less traveled now that most visitors focus on the Going-To-The-Sun Road.  This area is a favorite for birders and photographers thanks to its panoramic vistas.  Its thunderous waterfalls are a sight to behold and temp boaters and kayakers to explore Two Medicine’s pristine waters.

For history buffs, St. Mary Valley offers the opportunity to explore ancient homelands of the Kootenai, Blackfeet, and Salish tribes.  When the visitor’s center is open, tribe members perform drumming and dancing events for visitors and many tribal elders participate in speaking events highlighting the rich history of the tribes.  After the center closes for the season, intrepid explorers can take it upon themselves to set out and explore these ancient forests. The diverse habitat highlights the ingenuity of the tribes who have carved out a homeland and rich lifestyle in this vast alpine valley.

Persistence pays off for visitors willing to brave Glacier National Park in the latter half of the year.  The decrease of visitors and the stunning seasonal change is a treat for travelers willing to march to their own beat.  Beautiful and uncluttered valleys, as well as wide-open waters await travelers visiting the park in the fall, before they settle under the next season’s snowfall.

old-bridge-fall

Alanna Sobel is a writer for the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks. In partnership with the National Park Service, the National Park Foundation enriches America’s national parks and programs through private support, preserving our country’s heritage and inspiring generations of national park enthusiasts. To learn about our national parks or to find out how you help, visit www.nationalparks.org

Posted: September 20th, 2013 by kali

haystack butte glacier park

Sunday, September 22 will be the last day to drive the entire 50 miles of Going-to-the-Sun Road. Beginning September 23 the road will be closed to vehicular traffic between Logan Pass and the foot of St. Mary Lake (adjacent the St. Mary Campground entrance) for the remainder of the season to facilitate accelerated road rehabilitation.

This weekend’s weather looks like it will hold up for one last drive across the road. Logan Pass will still be accessible from the West side until October 20. Of course, that is weather dependent. This time of year is the perfect time to beat the crowds and come see Glacier in all of its beauty.

Check the park’s Road Status before you head this way.

Posted: August 23rd, 2013 by kali

Glacier National Park entrance fees will be waived on August 25 to celebrate the 97th birthday of the National Park Service.

glacier park fee free day

Posted: August 15th, 2013 by kali

red-bus-jammer-shuttle

Looking to hit all the stops in Glacier Park for your family vacation?  Glacier Park Inc. has you covered.  Check out their Great Glacier Adventure Tour which will have you staying at many of the Park’s lodges, enjoying day hikes and traveling around in an iconic Red Bus.  And not to mention you have a day full of casting and rafting with Glacier Anglers and Glacier Raft Co!  You start with a 2 hour fly fishing lesson from one of our great guides and then hit the river for a half day of whitewater rafting.  This tour is a great way to experience what Glacier Park has to offer without having to plan everything separately.

whitewater-rafting

 

Posted: June 19th, 2013 by kali

Going-to-the-Sun Road opened on the East Side of Glacier National Park on Saturday, June 15th.  Here are a few shots from our driver over there.  If weather cooperates, the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road should open this Friday, June 21st.

logan pass visitor center

view from gttsr

sidewalk

 

Posted: April 19th, 2013 by kali

Glacier National Park will celebrate  National Park Week  starting April 20 through April 28! Glacier Park will be offering  free admission April 22-26, there is no better time to check out your local park!  Check out the Glacier National Park Webcams to see what you are missing and hopefully motivate you to come join us in Glacier Park. On your way, be sure to stop by the Glacier Outdoor Center to stock up on sunscreen, outdoor gear and get information on what to do this week in Glacier Park! This is a great time to get the family outdoors and enjoy our crown jewel. Here are a few photos to get you excited about next week -

wild-goose-island-glacier-park

Camas Road Glacier Park