Things to do in Glacier National Park:
Glacier National Park is one of the most visited national parks in the United States. It is known for its gorgeous scenery and accessible nature. The park is located in northwestern Montana, about 300 miles west of Great Falls. The park was established in 1910 and covers 646 square miles. It is the fourth most visited national park in the country with over 5.9 million visitors in 2017. The park is home to several interesting things to do when visiting Glacier National Park. From hiking, to wildlife viewing and exploring old ghost towns, there’s something for everyone in this park. This article covers some of the top things to do in Glacier National Park.
Hike the Cathedral Lake Trail:
One of the most popular things to do in Glacier National Park is the Cathedral Lake Trail. The trail, which is 2.6 miles long and takes around 2 hours to complete, takes hikers up to the top of Cathedral Peak at 10,735 feet. It is a moderate hike with an elevation gain of 750 feet over that two-hour period. This moderately difficult hike gives hikers a glimpse of beautiful scenery and wildlife along the way.
Go on a Horseback Riding Tour:
Horseback riding tours are an excellent way to explore the park while enjoying a leisurely ride through the countryside. The tours are open from early May to late September and offer guided horseback rides, which take about four hours. These tours are recommended for those who have experience riding horses or don’t mind being in a group of people with similar experience.
There is also a self-guided horseback tour option that lets you decide where you want to go on your own schedule. This tour offers an opportunity to see the backcountry roads that aren’t accessible by car and enjoy solitude for up to six hours each day. It is recommended for beginners who aren’t comfortable in groups but still want to enjoy the scenery and nature of Glacier National Park.
Summer Schedule: July to September:
The summer is one of the most popular times to visit Glacier National Park. This is because there are more visitors in the park during this time and it offers a variety of things to do. Some of the top things to do in Glacier National Park during the summer include camping, hiking, fishing, sightseeing, and visiting old ghost towns.
Camping: Camping is a great way to enjoy nature while staying at one location for a long period of time. In Glacier National Park, there are several different types of campsites available with varying features such as electric hookups and fire pits. There are also designated backcountry sites that offer some solitude from other campers. The entrance fee for camping ranges from $6-$20 per night depending on the type of site you choose.
Fishing: Fishing is another activity you can enjoy in Glacier National Park during the summertime when there are fewer people exploring the park. Fish species found in the park include brown trout and walleye as well as cutthroat trout and chinook salmon. You’re allowed to fish without any permit or license so there are no fees associated with fishing here.
Summer Activities: Anyone who visits Glacier National Park during its high season will find plenty to do throughout the summer months including sightseeing, hiking, visiting old ghost towns and exploring various natural areas within the park itself as well as surrounding communities like Whitefish which has world-class shopping, dining and art galleries just six
Fall Schedule: September to June:
One of the best things to do in Glacier National Park is to explore the fall foliage. The park’s trees change colors from green to golden yellow and red. The fall foliage in this park is one of the most picturesque places to see in all of Montana.
Another thing worth doing when visiting Glacier National Park is taking a hike. There are several popular hikes that range from easy to difficult, or even some that are accessible for those with mobility impairments. Some of these hikes include St Mary Falls, Grinnell Point, and Mount Gould.
The third top thing to do in Glacier National Park is wildlife viewing. The animals living here include black bear, bison, elk, moose, coyote, and mountain lion. Visitors will find lots of wildlife activity around the park during different times of day and year. If you want a good view of wildlife while hiking your favorite trail, head up high into the mountains or stay on the shoreline at lakes such as Grinnell Lake or Swiftcurrent Lake in order to spot wildlife easily through binoculars or spotting scopes
Go Bear Watching:
If you love wildlife, then bear watching is one of the top attractions in Glacier National Park. A recent study showed over 300,000 people visit the park annually to watch bears. You’ll be able to see black and grizzly bears with this activity.
See the Northern Lights:
The northern lights are a phenomenon that can be seen in the night sky. This natural light show occurs when charged particles from the sun interact with earth’s atmosphere. These particles are known as solar winds and their sequence of colors is called the aurora borealis. According to NASA, “the Northern Lights can be seen year-round, but they tend to be at their brightest in March and April and September through November.”
Glacier National Park is one of the best places to view these lights. The park has a high density of dark skies which make it easier for people to see the Northern Lights. Not only do you have a chance at seeing them, but you also have a chance at watching them from an awesome vantage point. One place where this vantage point is located is on Mount Oberon, which has been designated as an official Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association (IDA).
Visit the Old Town of Saint Mary:
Saint Mary is an old mining town that was once the center of the mining industry in Montana. It was founded in 1887, and it is now a ghost town. There are several things to do here including walking through the old buildings, seeing the mines and talking to historical interpreters.
Whether you’re visiting for the first time, or you’ve been there hundreds of times, there’s always something new to do in Glacier National Park. From exploring the park on foot, to seeing the Northern Lights, to taking a horseback riding tour, there are so many fun activities and the park has so much to offer.
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