Glacier Outdoor Center Blog

Posted: October 25th, 2013 by kali

You may have noticed the hillsides turning yellow.  Thankfully, it is not the bark beetle in action, and the trees are not dying.  These yellow-needled trees are Western Larch trees, otherwise known as Tamaracks.

western larch needles

Tamaracks are the only deciduous conifers in the west.  They are related to the Eastern Larch which is East of the Mississippi. The largest Western Larch is actually located in Seeley Lake, MT.

western larch in the fall

Western Larch are one of the only deciduous cone-baring trees that lose their needles.  They are also highly sought out for firewood because they burn hotter and they are easy to split.

glacier park

During the spring, Western Larch are a lighter green and eventually turn a dark green so they are hard to distinguish from the rest of the forest. In the fall, after the aspens and cottonwoods have lost their leaves, Western Larch needles lose their chlorophyll and turn yellow. Eventually all the needless fall to the ground and they are left bare for the winter.

cabin and larch

So, this fall take a moment to view these magnificent Western Larch colors. They are quite a sight and cover many mountains around Glacier Park and the Flathead Valley.

western larch in montana

Reference -

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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.


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

Posted: September 24th, 2013 by kali

old bridge fall

With cooler mornings and shorter days, we can already tell that fall is in the air. This is one of our favorite times of the year in Glacier Country. There’s great wildlife viewing, diminishing crowds and more time to enjoy the natural beauty all around. It’s a great time to see Glacier National Park before it gets ready for winter. Our beautiful log cabins are discounted to low season rates starting September 16 and there are still plenty of activities including fishing with Glacier Anglers. Plan to join us!

Posted: August 15th, 2013 by kali


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.



May 25, 26 2013

Two-day shoot in West Glacier at Glacier Raft Company (12400 US Hwy 2 West, West Glacier, MT). Guaranteed to be a shoot you will not want to miss!

  • 2 – 25 target courses each day (100 total targets!)
  • Money division ($20 buy in – 75% payout)
  • Saturday contests, games, raffles and prizes (and some for the big kids too!)
  • Great food from a variety of vendors
  • Live music
  • Great camping experience
  • Divisions: Adult, Senior, Young Adult, Youth, Cubs (gender divisions in each)
  • Styles: Freestyle, bowhunter, bowhunter limited, traditional
  • Awards for placers in each classification

Click HERE to download an informational flier for the shoot.

Adults: $50 for weekend, $35 for single day

Kids: Age 7-12 – $25($15), Under 7 FREE

Family: $100 for the weekend

* Pre-Register by April 30 and receive 10% off entry fees. Registration form available HERE.

CAMPING: Click HERE to see a road map to the shoot.

For Cabin Rentals @ Glacier Outdoor Center call: 406-888-5454 or 800-235-6781 check them out at or contact them by email There will also be raft trips available with wetsuit rentals to top off your Memorial Day weekend.

Posted: April 24th, 2013 by kali


Just to sweeten the deal, we are offering 2-for-1 rafting!  Mention that you’re traveling with Alaska Air when you book a raft trip with us. Then, present your boarding pass at check-in and you’ll get two half-day whitewater raft trips for the price of one!

For further details on this great offer please visit our Specials and Promotions page.

We look forward to you joining us on the river!


Posted: April 17th, 2013 by kali

Fly into Savings!

alaska airlines

Receive 20% Off Flights to Kalispell!

Glacier Raft Company is pleased to announce a special offer for travelers using Alaska Airlines on their next summer trip to Montana.

Fly Alaska Airlines to Kalispell, the gateway to Glacier National Park, and save 20% off any available fare. Simply enter EC6086 in the discount code at

Travel is valid May 1 – June 20, 2013 on Monday-Thursday and Saturday. Hurry, travel must be booked by May 6, 2013! Other terms and restrictions apply. See site for details.

Visit Glacier on Alaska Air and Receive Two for One Rafting!

Mention that you’re traveling with Alaska when you book a trip with us, present your boarding pass upon check-in, and you’ll receive Two Half-Day Whitewater Raft Trips for the Price of One!

For further details on this great offer please visit our Specials and Promotions page.

Posted: April 16th, 2013 by kali

Spring can be a magical time of year in Glacier National Park.  There are no crowds and the scenery is amazing.  Check out our list of things to do in and around Glacier during the spring.

Bike Camas Road.


Plow crews cleared Camas Road which runs parallel to the Inside North Fork Road and is fully paved.  This time of year the traffic is minimal which makes biking the road a great option.  You will pass Huckleberry Mountain and see great views of the park’s mountains through the Roberts Fire burn.  Camas road eventually leads to the North Fork Road where your journey can lead you either south to Columbia Falls or north to Polebridge.

Check out Polebridge.


Polebridge is the only little town that can be found anywhere up the North Fork Road.  On your way up there look off to your right every once and a while and see some amazing views of the most northern mountains in the park and the beautiful waters of the North Fork of the Flathead River.  Once you make it to Polebridge, be sure to check out some of the delicious baked goods of the Mercantile which opens April 26th this year and can be visited 7 days a week from 8am – 6pm.

Drive to Lake McDonald Lodge and Bike Going-to-the-Sun Road.


The park has cleared the road from Lake McDonald for hiker and biker access.  During the week, Going-to-the-Sun Road is open for hiker/biker access to the Avalanche parking lot.  During the weekend there are no hiker/biker restrictions on the Road.  Get out there and experience Glacier on your bike with no view restrictions and no traffic!

Drive to the St. Mary entrance of Going-to-the-Sun Road.


Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to Rising Sun Motor Inn on the East side of the park, about 5.5 miles.  Take Highway 2 to Browning and head north on 89 which will take you all the way to St. Mary.  From West Glacier this drive should take about 2 hours and offers plenty of sightseeing on a  sunny day!  Once you reach Rising Sun you can park your car and walk Going-to-the-Sun Road to Wild Goose Island.  It is a quick half mile walk on the road but still has a little snow cover so be sure to wear your boots and bring your bear spray.  Here is driving directions on Google - 

Take a Fly Fishing Clinic.


Need to spruce up your cast or just want to learn?  Come join us at the Glacier Outdoor Center for a casting clinic.  We have fully stocked ponds that are ready to fish.  This time of year we are all thinking about fly fishing and can’t wait to get back into it.  Currently the rivers are blown out, but our ponds are ready to rock.  A one hour clinic, for 2 people is just $45.



Keep an eye on Glacier’s Trail Status Report for openings.  Clearing of trails will start around the 1st of May so stay tuned to  for updates.



Spring is a great time to catch the spring snow runoff on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.  Some of the rapids may be a little washed out but others are class III+.  Our half day whitewater trip is only $55.64 per person and lasts about 2 hours in the spring.  We have wetsuits and neoprene booties to keep you warm on the river.

Posted: January 31st, 2013 by kali

glacier park cabins in june

June can be magical at Glacier National Park. Before the crowds descend on the Park and before tourists and vehicles take over Going-to-the-Sun Road, take some time to embrace our very special corner of Montana. Glacier National Park is open year-round and as our winter snow melts, the Going-to-the-Sun Road slowly uncovers its 52-mile length. Before cars are permitted on the Road, however, it opens to hikers and bikers wanting to explore its alpine reaches, and Avalanche Lake is one of the hiking trails to open early. Whitewater rafting is thrilling as the rivers swell with snowpack melt, and we have all the gear to make your Class II-III trip comfortable. Wildlife reappears after a long winter in hiding and is often seen along the Camas Road and the North Fork Road towards Polebridge, Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake. It’s a great time of year for a horseback ride in the forest looking out on to the snow-capped mountains of the Park. Fishermen wet their flies on the waters of the Two Medicine, and our stocked ponds offer plenty of opportunity to perfect your cast. Nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort offers alpine slides, ziplines, mountain biking, hiking and scenic lift rides. Take advantage of our shoulder season discount through the month of June at Glacier Raft Company’s cabins. Cabin guests receive a 10% discount on all rafting and fishing trips.

As you start to ponder your vacation destinations for 2013, be sure to check out Lonely Planets Top 10 US Travel Destinations.  With so much to see and so much to do, you can’t beat Glacier National Park.

Lonely Planet, the world’s largest travel guide book and digital media publisher, has named Glacier National Park “One of the countries wildest, most remote and pristine national parks, Glacier is everyone’s favorite national park who’s been. Its jagged, snow-blanketed ridges and glacier-sculpted horns tower dramatically over aquamarine lakes and meadows blanketed in wildflowers. Most visitors stick to the drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, so it’s easy to escape crowds by venturing beyond it. A relatively new shuttle system offers an eco-friendly alternative. But go soon. The park’s 25 glaciers are melting – and could be gone altogether by 2030 if current climate changes continue!”

Glacier Raft Company’s deluxe log cabins are a great base camp for exploring Glacier’s many wonders.

Check out Lonely Planets article here and be sure to contact us with any questions on things to do in and around Glacier National Park.

Lake McDonald Glacier National Park

Wise choice.