Traveler's Test

8 top experiences in Gracier National Park

8 top experiences in Gracier National Park

Explore these national parks around the world from home
Inspiring travelers: Rob Erwin exploring the American backcountry
Tuolumne bucket list: 12 unique and unusual things to do

Glacier National Park is the undisputed “Crown of the Continent.” It’s a place where the earth’s forces have left their imprints on the landscape with jadded aretes, red pinnacles, and glacier-carved basins. Acres of lush green parkland plunge from jagged summits. Waterfalls roar, ice cracks, and rockfall echoes in scenery still under the paintbrush of change.

Glacier preserves some of the nation’s wildest country. Welcome to this rugged slice of nature’s best.

1. Cruise Going-to-the-Sun Road: Whether by car or iconic red bus, this stunning road cuts through immense cliffs and glacier-carved mountains dripping with waterfalls. For avid cyclists, the climb rates as one of the best in the country, especially if you go in spring when the road is closed to vehicles.

2. Touch the Continental Divide at Logan Pass: While you-re there, you can climb the boardwalk to Hidden Lake Overlook or watch for wildlife and admire the wildflower meadows.

3. Go Backpacking: Explore the rugged, remote backcountry over Boulder Pass or the Northern Circle. For a shorter trip, try the Dawson-Pitamakin Loop.

4. Paddle the Park’s Lakes: Canoe, kayak, or paddleboard in remote solitude at Kintla Lake or Bowman Lake. For easier access, float Lake McDonald.

5. Stay at Granite Park Chaler: It’s rustic and simple, but Granite Park Chalet perches on a knoll above the treeline with a 360-degree mountain view. Reach it by hiking the Highline Trail.

6. Relish Summer Wildflowers: See meadows of wildflowers blooming in Preston Park on the Piegan Pass and Siyeh Pass trails, along Many Glacier Road, and in many other places throughout the park.

7. Watch Wildlife: See mountain goats, bighorn sheep, bears, and moose. Two of the best places are the Hidden Lake Overlook Trail at Logan Pass and Many Glacier.

8. See the Park in Winter: Even when snow buries and closes park roads, you can still snowshoe or cross-country ski to Bowman Lake, McGee Meadows, Rocky Point or on Going-to-the-Sun Road.

See more in Moon Glacier National Park by Becky Lomax