Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Sights To See

Glacier and Waterton Lakes national parks are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, but you don't have to be a trail-pounding athlete to enjoy their features. You can choose to view the scenery through the massive picture windows of the Many Glacier Hotel, off the bow of a cruise boat or from atop a windswept mountain pass. 

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

Apgar

One of the most scenic lakes in the park, Lake McDonald, is also the longest. Immense glaciers carved out the 10-mile-long, 472-foot-deep lake. The Kootenai people called it "Sacred Dancing Lake" and performed ceremonies on the shore. Guided boat tours, fishing and recreational boating are popular activities here. 

Logan Pass

Hidden Lake Overlook is a popular destination for hikers after reaching Logan Pass which straddles the Continental Divide. The 1.5-mile (one way) trail to the overlook crosses the Hanging Gardens of Logan Pass, an area filled with lush meadows of wildflowers and surrounded by jagged peaks. There is about a 500-foot increase in elevation. The walk should be within the capabilities of many children and older visitors. Note that the Logan Pass section of Going-to-the-Sun Road is usually open from mid-June through November 1.

Other popular stops near Logan Pass include (to the west) Oberlin Bend, Weeping Wall, Big Bend, Haystack Creek and Siyeh Bend, and the east side tunnel to the east.

Many Glacier

Visitors can enjoy boat cruises, treks on horseback or trails while exploring this glacial valley with its creaking glaciers and iceberg-filled lakes. 

The five and a half mile (one way) Grinnell Glacier Trail from Many Glacier Hotel brings hikers to one of the most visible glaciers in the park. Along the way, it passes beautiful mountain views and vibrant wildflower displays. Hikers can ride the Many Glacier tour boats along Swiftcurrent and Josephine lakes for part of the trail's length. 

Although Iceberg Lake's glacier disappeared long ago, it still delights visitors with a flotilla of icebergs that remain well into July and August. The lake lies at the base of a 3,000-foot sheer cliff and its freezing waters were long rumored to be home to Montana's fur-bearing trout (or so mischievous mountain men told newcomers). It is reached via a 4.8-mile (one way) trail from Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in Many Glacier. 

Two Medicine

Many believe the most dazzling colors of rock and foliage are in Two Medicine Valley, near East Glacier. Here, mountains of red, yellow and green stone encircle lakes filled with fish. 

Because of the way valleys curve and twist in the Two Medicine area, hikers often laud it for containing the most dramatic collection of trails and viewpoints. Its name comes from a time when the Blackfeet and Blood tribes agreed to hold joint medicine lodge ceremonies. The Blood didn't arrive at the designated time, however, so each tribe ended up holding separate ceremonies in medicine lodges set up near one another. 

Running Eagle Falls near Two Medicine Lake used to be known as "Trick Falls." The reason is obvious. One waterfall tumbles over a cliff and another pours out of a huge hole in the cliff wall. Later in the season, the upper fall dries up, leaving the lower fall apparently springing from solid rock. There is a wheelchair-accessible loop with both trail signs and a leaflet interpreting its significance to the Blackfeet culture.

WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK

Cameron Lake

Visit Cameron Lake in Waterton for a better understanding of the unusual aspects of this mountainous region. Trail and road signs, and a visitor center display explain how plants and animals adapt to environments that change within just a few thousand feet in elevation. 

Crypt Lake 

Newsweek magazine once rated the Crypt Lake Trail the best in Canada. The popular way to start the trip is by taking a tour boat down Waterton Lake to the trailhead. The trail then ascends 5.4 miles past waterfalls into the mountains. An enlarged natural tunnel in the cliff leads to Crypt Lake itself, hidden behind mountain walls.