Glacier National Park
Just For Kids
Glacier and Waterton are teeming with activities for children of all ages. Here are some ideas to make their time in the parks even more memorable.
Become a Junior Ranger
Several programs aimed at the younger set are offered at Glacier's visitor centers. Check with ranger staff for information about how to become a Junior Ranger—there's a new activity booklet this year. Waterton's Heritage Center also offers kids' programs, and loans out kids' backpacks that are filled with games and nature journals.
Fish for trout, whitefish and grayling. Rent boats and fishing gear at Lake McDonald, Apgar, Many Glacier, Cameron Lake and St. Mary Lake at Rising Sun. Pick up a copy of the park fishing regulations at a visitor center or entrance station.
Take a Hike
Ranging in length from 0.25-mile to two miles, self-guiding trails are perfect for families. Let your child be the tour guide who leads the way and reads the exhibits. Nature trails in Glacier include Trail of the Cedars near Avalanche Campground, Huckleberry Mountain north of Apgar on Camas Road, Sun Point along St. Mary Lake, Hidden Lake Overlook at Logan Pass and Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier. In Waterton, there are Linnet Lake, Red Rock Canyon, Bear's Hump and Lower Bertha Falls trails.
Glacier's Lake McDonald or Waterton's Emerald Bay are great places to swim on a hot, sunny day. Swimming (under parental supervision), rock-skipping and exploring are never-ending children's pastimes along these shores.
Go on a Ranger-led Tour
Take advantage of naturalist-led day programs and evening campfire talks, which are offered June through September. Pick up a schedule at a visitors center or from a park ranger.
Take a Boat Tour
The Glacier Park Boat Company offers guided tours from several locations within the park. Kids will love this method of seeing the sites—it's more fun than sitting in the car.
Learn about Local Customs and Cultures
Stop at the Apgar visitors center to see the education cabin, which has exhibits designed especially for kids. You can also check out a "Ranger Naturalist" backpack at the visitor centers. These packs are filled with a variety of tools and have suggested activities. Teach children about American Indians at the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, east of the park, and go to the Museum of the Plains Indian.
Give Peace a Chance
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park highlights the long friendship between the United States and Canada. Discuss the concept of an International Peace Park with your kids. Talk about peace among the nations of the world and how the park is symbolic of this.