Best Time to Visit Glacier National Park to Avoid Crowds

Located in Northern Montana, Glacier National Park is one of the world’s most visited tourist destinations. Glacier is something everyone experience at least once in a lifetime. From the expansive landscapes of the pack and glistening alpine lakes to rocky mountain peaks, the 1,500-square-mile park offers its visitors great scenery to see and explore.

So, it’s not surprising that crowds of adventurous visitors keep thronging to the park. But visiting Glacier National Park during its peak seasons can be very strenuous, jam-packed, and expensive. The goal of this article is to discuss the best time to visit glacier national park to avoid crowds and the things to do in the park.

Best Time to Visit Glacier National Park to Avoid Crowds

Winter is the best time to visit Glacier Park to avoid crowds. Things like sudden road closures and low temperatures during the winter prevents many from traveling to the park. So, winter visitors have the park all to themselves. During the winter, accommodations, foods, drinks, and tours have reduced rates.

It is observed that crowds tend to reduce drastically after Labor Day in Glacier National Park. The summer months of July and August happen to be the Park’s peak seasons. During these periods, popular hiking trails such as the Highline Trails get swamped with foot traffic.

Things to Do at the Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park offers exciting activities like hiking, camping, fishing, backpacking, and boating across Lake Mc-Donald. But, it’s best to undertake these activities in the snow-free summer months of July and August. Lodging, restaurants, and boat tours are fully active throughout July and August.

Due to large crowds coming to the park especially during the summer months, logistics like lodging and parking must be planned for in advance. Ensure you make reservations beforehand for summer visits (which are the peak seasons in Glacier) 

Try embarking on a rafting trip with your kids. But your kids need to put on lifejackets and water shoes. The Whitefish Mountain Resort is worth people’s time. Hiking the Trail of the Cedars is one of the most thrilling activities in the Glacier. It’s fine for you even if you have never hiked, if you want to try something new, you can head to Lake McDonald. Driving on the Going-to-the-sun road is a fantastic experience for anyone.

The drive is a bit daunting because the road is small and you are driving along the edge of the Rocky Mountains. There are many pullouts where you can take pics, so get your camera ready. Apikuni Falls is also a must-visit. If you don’t want to drive yourself around the park, you can opt for the Red Tour Bus Tour. It’s a 3-hour drive that takes you to the nook and cranny of the park, making stops for you to take pictures or have views.

Other places you can check out are Avalanche Lake Hike, Highline Trail, Waterson Lakes National Park, Grinner Glacier, Logans Pass and Hike, Polebridge Mercantile and lake, Two Medicine Area, and St. Mary’s Area.

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Where to Eat in Glacier Park?

If you want a family pizza, go to Jammer Joe’s shop which is adjacent to the Lake McDonald lodge. The price is around $16 per person as well as breadsticks for a few dollars. They open daily from 9 am – 8:30 pm. Swiftcurrent Restaurant is a nice place with multiple dining options and local beer goes for $1.5/ beer.

Where to Stay in Glacier Park?

There are many places to stay in Glacier Park, including hotels, lodges (Lake McDonald Village Lodge, Many Glacier Hotel, and Glacier Park Lodge), campgrounds (Timberwood Resort, KOAs), and Airbnbs.

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