Update: This article was most recently updated May 2021 to reflect US road trip travel tips in 2021 amidst evolving conditions. The great American road trip is back! The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has made international travel difficult to plan in 2021, with evolving restrictions and uncertain policies from one country […]
Roaming Around the World is at Glacier National Park.
21 hours ago
If you want to see the eponymous glaciers of this national park, you'll have to get here soon. The glaciers are melting. There were over 100 glaciers at the park’s initiation in 1910, which dropped to 35 by 1966. It's now estimated the 26 remaining glaciers will be gone within the next 10 years. Climate change is the culprit.
So see them while they last! For anyone considering a trip to Glacier NP, whether this year or in the near future, there are lots of planning logistics to know about. So here are a few quick tips:
🏨 Book now. Accommodation around Glacier is nearly booked solid this summer, and reservations are already getting swept up for 2022!
☀️ Best weather is July-August, but also the busiest. June is less busy but has closures and snow on the ground. Early Sept can be a strong consideration for decent weather and less crowds.
🕑 Go early or late. Even in June, popular parking areas were filled to capacity by mid-morning. Plan accordingly to snag a spot.
🍽️ In 2021, all restaurants are takeaway only and some had long waits (1+ hour). Plan accordingly. Picnicking in Glacier can avoid delays.
🎟️ New for 2021, the main road in the park requires ticketed-entry that is difficult to reserve online in advance. But there are ways around it!
-Booking an inexpensive ($22) scenic boat tour at Lake McDonald grants access to the road without a ticket.
-You can also enter without tix before 6am and after 5pm. Since it currently doesn't get dark until about 10pm, evening entry can be productive.
-Go to alternate sections of the park. Opinion: Two Medicine area is beautiful and underrated. Yet the Many Glaciers section was our absolute favorite and where we saw the most wildlife.
🚞 Glacier is one of a few National Parks you can access by train. Amtrak’s Empire Builder, from Chicago to Seattle, has three stops around the park – with access to shuttles, tours, rental cars, and hotels.
Just go! This park is spectacular. 🏞️ ... See MoreSee Less
Well, yeah, the earth has been warming up since about 1850 when we came out of the Little Ice Age. Glaciers are simply ice. It's not like an animal that goes extinct and will never be here again. It's just water. Some day, sooner or later, there will be more glaciers there again. The Alps were once ice-free during the Roman Warm period. Now, they're not. It's just a cycle.
Wow! What a beautiful place! Photos were spectacular
Great tips, thank you for sharing. Putting this one on my bucket list. I love visiting our National Parks.
I’m so happy you got to enjoy this National treasure during your travels. We live at the northern tip of Flathead Lake which I hope you found time to explore, too. It’s the largest fresh water lake west of the Great Lakes and offers do many wonderful activities‘ year round’!
I agree. Glacier is a spectacular park. When we went several years ago, we arrived in late June, the day before the Going to the Sun Road opened. That evening we were able to spot a grizzly resting by the roadside. When we reached Logan Pass on the Going to the Sun Road, the next day, the snow banks on the sides of the road were at least twelve feet tall and the visitor's center was still being dug out of the snow. We were able to see mountain goats and big horn sheep, albeit with the aid of high powered binoculars, clinging to the craggy sides of the mountains. Definitely a national park worth checking out!
Gorgeous! So glad you posted; have yet to get there...I better start planning soon since glaciers are dwindling.