As someone who has made the journey to Glacier many times, there are a few things you should be aware of to make the most of your trip.
Travel is something I prioritize not just for myself but for my family too. For years now, we’ve visited Glacier National Park in Montana. There are several reasons we’ve made it an annual tradition. The park is massive, full of activities, and has some of the most beautiful scenery you could ever imagine. As someone who has made the journey to Glacier many times, there are a few things you should be aware of to make the most of your trip.
Come Prepared: Peak season for the park is late summer, which makes for gorgeous 80 degree days but chilly nights. Pack accordingly!
Dress in Layers: Those temps I mentioned? You’re going to want to have options when you’re out and about hiking, canoeing, or enjoying a boat tour. It’s better to overpack than to be uncomfortable the entire time.
Plan Ahead: This one is especially key if you plan to visit during the peak season. Camping spots and lodging can fill up quickly, so it’s important to make reservations in advance.
Shuttle: The park offers a shuttle beginning July 1st through Labor Day. It makes several stops throughout the park, but keep in mind that it’s first come, first serve.
Red Bus Tours: These tours are so much fun, especially with kids! The buses themselves are from 1933 and such a cool way to learn more about the history of the park while getting transported from one point to the next. At the end of the tours, kids earn a junior ranger badge which is a fun added bonus. Seating is very limited, so plan accordingly!
Mountains, lakes, and picturesque views fill the area, and you really can’t go wrong with any of them. However, there are a few specific spots you should definitely prioritize.
Johns Lake Loop: This is the area seen in the photos I’ve shared from Isabel’s senior photos with the purple dress. While it’s beautiful for pictures, it’s a sight to behold in general.
Lake McDonald: This lake is stunning! They offer guided boat tours with great views of the mountains as well as the vibrantly colored rocks at the bottom of the lake. The water itself is so crystal clear, it’s like looking through glass! I was able to get some really unique swim photos for a senior session here as well. The background of those photos showcases the natural beauty there. The nearby lodge is an attraction in and of itself as well with tons of activities around it.
Trail of the Cedars: This trail is perfect for families with littles! It’s very stroller friendly. However, if you want to have a bit more of a challenge, the trail extends (past the stroller-friendly point) uphill to another lake. It’s a gorgeous view and worth the effort, but be advised that it truly is up-hill the whole way.
Jackson Glacier Overlook: Here, you get to view a glacier from Going-to-the-Sun Road. You’ll need to bring your own water along for this one since drinking water isn’t available. This is one of the stops along the shuttle route too!
St. Mary Falls: If you want a hike without a ton of commitment, this is a great option. One of the shorter hikes in the area, this trek includes the falls but also breathtaking views of the mountains.
With some planning and flexibility, Glacier is such a fun and beautiful destination away from the hustle and bustle of cities or beaches. Whether it’s for a family vacation or a getaway for a couple, it truly is a beautiful, memorable park worth visiting time and time again!
Contact me here to schedule your own session in Glacier! (I’ll be there in August of this year.)
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