The Best Things to Do at Glacier National Park

Written by EJ Ray

August 23, 2022
Home >> Travel >> National Parks >> The Best Things to Do at Glacier National Park

Montana’s Glacier National Park is massive, spanning over one million acres. Here are our suggestions for the best things to do at Glacier National Park so you can make your list before you go.

Glacier National Park is one of the most popular parks in the US, and with good reason. It is gorgeous, with stunning vistas, tranquil lakes, and lots of lovely animals to watch, from beavers to bears and everything in between. Glacier is huge, too, spanning more than a million acres. Glacier is close to a few other notable parks, like Yellowstone and Grand Teton, making it the perfect stop on a larger journey.

If you’re planning a trip to Glacier National Park, you’ll need to plan a serious itinerary before you go. After all, you won’t want to miss any of the important stuff! Here are our suggestions for the best things to do at Glacier National Park.

Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road

Glacier National Park’s most iconic thing to do has to be the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This winding two-way road is more than just a marvel of engineering—it’s the perfect way to see a little bit of everything the park offers. Going-to-the-Sun Road starts in West Glacier and snakes through nearly the entire park, taking you by some of its most famous landmarks, including a certain lake we’ll discuss in a second.

Glacier National Park Going to the Sun Road

View of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. Photo by WillEye via iStock by Getty Images

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Driving this gorgeous scenic byway takes a bit of planning. Make sure you go mid-summer, as the road is prone to snow closures. The highest point in the park accessible by a vehicle is more than 6,000 feet above sea level. You’ll also want to take provisions and ensure your vehicle is safe, as things can get pretty remote on this road. You don’t want to be left high and dry in the mountains! For example, if you’re hauling a camper, you’ll need to look into some safety features like the tow mirrors F150 owners often get. Thinking these things through can make your trip so much easier.

Ultimately, the planning you have to do for this drive is worth it. Going-to-the-Sun Road is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Take a Boat Out on Lake MacDonald

At the beginning of the Going-to-the-Sun drive, you pass by one of the park’s most beautiful and serene lakes: Lake MacDonald. Lake MacDonald provides an incredibly peaceful experience that does not require much effort. You can practically drive right up to the shore!

Glacier National Park Lake MacDonald

Striking reflections at sunset at Lake MacDonald in Glacier National Park. Photo by saurabh13 via iStock by Getty Images

A lake boat tour is a perfect way to spend an afternoon. The tours set out from the rustic lodge (another fun destination, if you have the time) and take you all around this huge glacial lake, which extends for nearly 10 miles along the main road. These tours also provide lovely views of the land, including the renowned western shore of Lake MacDonald, which is famous for its rainbow rocks.

Enjoy the Breathtaking Logan Pass

A bit further along Going-to-the-Sun Road from Lake MacDonald, Logan Pass is the gateway to some of the park’s most beloved treasures. Logan Pass marks the highest elevation on the road, at 6,646 feet above sea level. It’s also along the Continental Divide, which separates the rivers and other bodies of water that drain into the Pacific Ocean from their Atlantic counterparts. Therefore, this pass offers a unique viewpoint, straddling the line between two huge parts of the world.

Logan Pass provides gorgeous views and lush scenery, but it is perhaps best known as a jumping-off point for hikers and backpackers. You can access some of Glacier’s most popular trails, including the Highline Trail, from Logan Pass. As a result, the parking on the pass can get a bit rough, so be prepared to wait a little while for a spot. However, you won’t begrudge the wait once you get a spot and see the huge mountains scraping the sky.

Escape the Crowds at Two Medicine

Two Medicine is a smaller section of the park on its east side. Don’t let its size and relative obscurity fool you, though. Two Medicine is an absolute gem and a microcosm of the whole park. From boat tours to beautiful hikes, Two Medicine offers everything that the more famous parts of Glacier National Park do, but without the huge crowds that other parts of the park often attract.

Glacier National Park

Two Medicine Lake in Glacier National Park, Montana. Photo by pabradyphoto via iStock by Getty Images

It’s also worth noting that Glacier sometimes requires you to reserve a spot in the park, especially on Going-to-the-Sun Road, but not Two Medicine. So, if you forgot to plan for your Glacier experience, you can still enjoy much of what the park offers at Two Medicine.

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When You Go to Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is one of the country’s most pristine and gorgeous parks. It’s a must-see for anybody of any age. However, there’s so much to do and see there that it can be tough to prioritize what you want to do effectively. So, before you go, examine what you want from Glacier National Park and how to get it. You won’t regret taking the time to plan out your trip so it lives up to your expectations of what a national park can be. Check out Wander for more national parks for your travel list and other things to see and do when you visit Montana.

Montana's Glacier National Park is massive, spanning over one million acres. Here are our suggestions for the best things to do at Glacier National Park so you can make your list before you go. 


The Best Things to Do at Glacier National Park

Written by EJ Ray

EJ Ray is a traveler at heart. It is part of her soul and she loves to share her travels through her words. She has traveled the world, seeking great food, wine, and experiences. EJ was born in the Eastern US but has lived across the country and in Europe and Mexico. She also took to the road for a while, exploring from her RV. EJ always seeks the next great sip, bite, and adventure.

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