In July 2016 we made an epic roadtrip arriving in Jackson Hole (near Grand Teton) driving all the way op to Jasper in the Canadian Rockies.
One park we saw too little of was Glacier NP: we just had too little time. Which is a real pity, because the park stole our heart away.
We splurged and stayed at the Glacier Park Lodge: a unique hotel in its own. It looks like an oversized wooden cabin and is located east of the national park. We had a real nice stay here, although the rooms were a bit old.
But let’s get down to business: our top 4 things to do in Glacier NP, USA.
- Going-to-the-Sun-Road: you’ve probably seen this one in your guidebook. And rightfully so. It certainly was the most breath-taking road we drove in the USA. Vertiginous drop-offs on one side, waterfalls right next to you on your other side. The glacial water melts, creating beautiful little waterfalls right where you’re driving. This also means wildlife comes to drink here (or lick the asphalt) so two perks for the price of one.
- Two Medicine Lake: It seems tourist haven’t yet discovered Two Medicine Valley. Or rather: they have forgotten about it. Once a popular entrance point to the park, now a quiet colourful lake. We hiked from Two Medicine Lake up to Upper Two Medicine Lake: a beautiful and peaceful hike. But remember: you’re in bear country so don’t make it too peaceful and make enough noise.
- Lake McDonald: This huge lake can be accessed on some stops on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, yet not many seem to have discovered this. Which means we had the lake almost to ourselves. It’s ideal for a picnic or paddling in the water.
- Wildlife spotting: It’s often said Two Medicine Valley is the way to go if you want to see the wildlife. We didn’t see any on our hike, but we did come across a grizzly bear on our hike to Sunpoint. Make sure you know what to do when you encounter a bear during your hike. We were lucky the bear didn’t see us (or just wasn’t interested) and it started walking away. FYI: Sunpoint is a touristy area, so don’t think you can only encounter wildlife during remote hikes.
What did we miss?
Due to lack of time we didn’t get to see Iceberg Lake in Many Glacier Valley. It took us some time to decide wether we’d go to Two Medicine Lake or Iceberg Lake. We choose Two Medicine Lake because of the peace and quiet. We hiked all the way up to Upper Two Medicine Lake, but you can also take a boat (enquire for tickets during high season) cutting your time in half. That way you can have more time in the park (but you get to ‘feel’ it less).
If you’re planning on going to Iceberg Lake do allow enough time (about 5-6 hours).
We also skipped the neighbouring Waterton Lakes (Canada). Apparently the Carthew-Alderson Trail is really worth visiting in Waterton.