FOR THE FULL STATE-PARK EXPERIENCE
Glacier National Park, MT
The Plan: Begin your trip to this 1,583-square-mile wilderness area in Montana’s Rocky Mountains by spending a day hiking at West Glacier. On day two, travel west to east on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and stop by Logan Pass—the highest elevation you can reach by car in the park— which offers views of Reynolds Mountain and Clements Mountain and fields of wildflowers. You might even spot bighorn sheep! Other must-sees include Jackson Glacier Overlook and Sunrift Gorge. On your final day, start at Many Glacier Hotel and hike to Grinnell Lake (6 miles round-trip). On the way, you’ll pass Gem Glacier and Salamander Glacier and see more wildlife. At the lake, you’ll be rewarded with views of the turquoise waters. For some fine dining, plan a drive to Belton Grill Dining Room in West Glacier— it’s worth the trek. If you’re looking to stay near the west entrance to the park, rent a cabin with Glacier Raft Company. To be near the east entrance, try the Cottages at Glacier. Both are top-rated, convenient lodging options for access to the park.
Why We Love It: Glacier National Park offers plenty of easy trails for youngsters and first-time hikers. On the east side of the park, at St. Mary, there’s the trail to Virginia Falls that’s just 3.6 miles round-trip, and on the west side, there’s the hike to Rocky Point on Lake McDonald, just 1.9 miles round-trip. To get to Grinnell Lake, you can join the two-part Glacier Park Boat tour (you’ll ride two boats to cross Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine) to shorten the hike to 1.8 miles round-trip.