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7 Fun Things To Do in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is one of the most pristine parks in the country, filled with snow-capped mountains, subalpine meadows, and lush forests. If you’re looking for things to do in Glacier National Park, you’re in the right place. 

In our Glacier National Park guide, you’ll find all the information you need for fun and educational activities for the entire family, along with places to stay, park information, and more. Explore our list of seven Glacier National Park activities that will create lifelong memories for everyone in your group.

As the 10th-largest national park with more than 1 million acres of protected land, there are many things to do in Glacier National Park. If you’re ready to explore Glacier National Park’s must-see features and attractions, take note of our fun things to do in Glacier National Park:

Bucket-List of Things to Do in Glacier National Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Glacier National Park, look no further. You’ll find the top Glacier National Park attractions that will make your adventure unforgettable.

Glacier National Park

1. Going-to-the-Sun Road

Wondering what to do in Glacier National Park? One of the top must-see places in Glacier National Park is Going-to-the-Sun-Road. Lower elevation areas of Going-to-the-Sun-Road are open year-round, giving visitors access to a large portion of the park. Other areas of Going-to-the-Sun-Road are open depending on the snowfall level, but typically open in early July.

No matter when you visit, Going-to-the-Sun-Road will offer unforgettable memories, as you and your passengers can drive through the park and spot wildlife like elk, deer, moose, and bighorn sheep, along with views of Mount Jackson, Mount Cleveland, and Mount Stimson. 

As you drive along Going-to-the-Sun-Road, you’ll also be able to pull over at various viewing areas, such as the Jackson Glacier Overlook, The Loop, and Heaven’s Peak at mile 24.5. With 50 miles to travel, Going-to-the-Sun-Road won’t disappoint.

2. Take a Boat Tour on One of Glacier’s Lakes

There are more than 700 lakes inside Glacier National Park, thanks to the glacial runoff and past ice ages. However, there are several notable lakes where the National Park Service allows boating, including:

  • Kintla Lake
  • Bowman Lake
  • Lake McDonald
  • St. Mary Lake
  • Lake Sherburne
  • Swiftcurrent Lake

At these lakes, visitors are allowed to bring motorized and nonmotorized watercraft as long as they have a permit and pass inspection for aquatic invasive species. Boating these lakes is a great way to take in all that Glacier National Park has to offer, with stunning views of the mountains reflecting off the water. You can also fish and explore marine life, getting a one-of-a-kind experience that will form lasting memories.

If you don’t have your own boat, you can take a boat tour on several of Glacier National Park’s lakes. You can find boat tours with commentary at Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Rising Sun, and Lake McDonald. These boat tours allow you to learn about the park’s history, wildlife, and landscape. Boating tours are one of the most fun things to do in Glacier National Park.

3. Go Hiking in Glacier National Park

One of the top things to do is hiking in Glacier National Park. With more than 700 miles of trails throughout the park that can accommodate a wide range of experience levels, you can find everything from an easy or moderate day hike to an intense backpacking adventure. Below is a list of hikes based on activity level:

  • Easy: If you’re looking for an easy day hike, check out the Trail of the Cedars, Hidden Lake Overlook, and Grinnell Lake. 
  • Moderate: Hikers looking to up the intensity without spending all day on the trails can consider Piegan Pass, Rockwell Falls, or the Belly River Trail.
  • Difficult: For those up for a more grueling adventure, look at the Highline Trail, Swiftcurrent Pass, or the Grinnell Glacier.

4. Visit the Two Medicine Area

In the southeast corner of Glacier National Park is Two Medicine Valley. The Two Medicine Valley is filled with adventure suitable for all ages and ability levels. Sacred to the Blackfeet Nation, this area holds a lot of cultural significance and unrivaled beauty. If you’re looking for things to do in Glacier National Park in the Two Medicine area, you can take a boat tour across Two Medicine Lake. Along the way, the captain will teach passengers about the area’s history and the views surrounding the lake.

Another fun thing to do in Glacier National Park is hiking to Twin Waterfalls. This 1.8-mile round-trip hike brings you to Twin Waterfalls, which flow into Two Medicine Lake. After your hike, you can spend the rest of the day relaxing on Two Medicine Lake’s shores and watching the sunset over the mountains.

5. Lake McDonald Valley

Lake McDonald Valley is one of the most popular areas of the park. As one of the must-see places in Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald offers spectacular views of the sweeping landscape. With four campgrounds, you can pitch your tent and watch the stars light up the sky each night. Or, you can stay in the Lake McDonald Lodge, which offers a warm place of solitude after a long day of exploring.

Some of the top things to do in Glacier National Park in Lake McDonald Valley include hiking, spotting wildlife and native plant species, and kayaking or canoeing along the lake. Lake McDonald is also centrally located, making it easy to access other areas of the park.

6. Red Bus Tour

One of the best Glacier National Park activities is taking a Red Bus Tour. These vintage 1930s buses can be found driving throughout the park, allowing visitors to learn and view the park in an intimate way. While on a Red Bus Tour, you can learn about the heritage and human history of Glacier National Park. Red Bus Tours can be found on the east and west sides of the park and fit up to 17 passengers and one driver.

7. See Wild Goose Island

Arguably the top Glacier National Park attraction is Wild Goose Island. Similar to how a walking tour in Yellowstone brings you to the iconic Old Faithful geyser, a stop at Wild Goose Island gives you unrivaled views of St. Mary Lake, Goose Island, and the row of mountains that dot the landscape. Wild Goose Island is where most photographers set up shop to get snapshots of the park, making this one of the most fun things to do in Glacier National Park.


Glacier National Park Activities

Along with the top Glacier National Park attractions, there are many activities you and everyone in the family can enjoy. Take a look at our list of recommended Glacier National Park activities:

  • Horseback Riding: What better way to explore Glacier National Park’s wonders than on horseback? Horseback riding offers a great opportunity to see the park’s features and learn about the horses you’re riding and how early settlers roamed these lands in a similar fashion.
  • Boat Tours: There are several water features in Glacier National Park that define the landscape, such as Lake McDonald, Avalanche Lake, Saint Mary Lake, Flathead River, and Stillwater River. Some of these waters can be explored via boat with commentary from guides on key attractions like Rising Sun and Many Glacier.
  • Rafting: Up for an adventure? An exciting Glacier National Park activity is to go rafting down the Middle Fork or North Fork of the Flathead River. There are several rafting companies with permits that you can choose from to take you and your group on an experience of a lifetime.
  • Stargazing: A Glacier National Park must-see feature is the Milky Way and Northern Lights. Children and adults will never forget the extraordinary sights of the lights that brighten the night sky.
  • Visitor Centers: There are three visitor centers located throughout the park, including the Apgar Visitor Center, St. Mary Visitor Center, and Logan Pass Visitor Center. In these visitor centers, you can find exhibits that tell the story of life in the park, geology, the effect of climate change on the park, Native American history, and more. You can even talk with park rangers to find more things to do in Glacier National Park and visit the gift shops to bring a token of remembrance back home.
  • Wildlife Viewing: When visiting Glacier National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to see rare and unique wildlife firsthand. Some Glacier National Park must-see wildlife includes moose, bighorn sheep, black bears, mountain lions, elk, mountain goats, beavers, and more. When viewing wildlife, always keep your distance and stay on designated paths and trails. 

Where to Stay in Glacier National Park

With so many things to do in Glacier National Park, you can have peace of mind knowing there are plenty of places to stay to ensure you have a comfortable place to return to after a day filled with activities. When visiting Glacier National Park, you can stay at one of these unique hotels or lodges:

  • Many Glacier Hotel
  • Cedar Creek Lodge
  • Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins
  • Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins
  • Lake McDonald Lodge
  • Village Inn at Apgar
  • Sperry Chalet
  • Granite Park Chalet

In addition to these historic and well-kept lodges, you can also take the adventurous route and go camping in Glacier National Park. There are numerous Glacier National Park campgrounds where you can pitch a tent and stargaze as you doze off, such as:

  • Apgar Campground
  • Avalanche Campground
  • Bowman Lake Campground
  • Cut Bank Campground
  • Kintla Lake Campground
  • Logging Creek Campground
  • Quartz Creek Campground
  • Rising Sun Campground
  • Two Medicine Campground
  • Fish Creek Campground
  • Many Glacier Campground
  • St. Mary Campground
  • Sprague Creek Campground

Opening Hours and Fees

Convinced that Glacier National Park might be one of the most exciting adventures you’ll take? If so, start planning your trip now. But before you go, keep their opening hours and fees in mind:

  • Hours: Open 24/,7 365 days a year
  • Fees:
  • Entrance fee by car (7-day permit): $35
  • Entrance fee by single entry: $20
  • Motorcycle entrance fee: $30
  • Glacier National Park annual pass: $70

Visiting Glacier National Park With Road Scholar

At Road Scholar, we have an expansive collection of Glacier National Park tours that you can join to gain privileged access to the park. Led by local experts educated on the history, landscapes, and biodiversity of Glacier National Park, you and your cohort will be able to learn and discover the story of these protected lands.

For example, you can sign up for our experiential learning program, The Best of Glacier National Park, which brings you rafting down the Flathead River, teaches you about the role glaciers had in forming the park, carries you along alpine paths, and more. 

There are endless things to do in Glacier National Park, and our adventure tours highlight the top features this park has to offer, so you return with newfound knowledge and memories.

Don’t worry. If you’re not sure that you’re ready to visit Glacier National Park or are unable to explore at this time, you can discover the wonders of this area through our online lectures on Glacier National Park that you can learn from in the comfort of your home. Our goal at Road Scholar is to open the world to everyone, which is why we offer National Park group tours and online learning adventures. Explore all of Road Scholar’s Glacier National Park trips and book your next adventure today.