Glacier Park: A National Treasure
7 days with Natural Habitat Adventures Rating:
Day 1: Kalispell, Montana
Arrive in Kalispell and transfer to our hotel in nearby Whitefish, where our Glacier National Park tour begins with a welcome dinner this evening.
Days 2 & 3: Glacier National Park—Two Medicine Valley
This morning we drive east to Glacier National Park, commencing our foray into one of the United States' most treasured natural landscapes, where glacially carved valleys and dramatic mountain peaks beckon. Glacier boasts the most intact natural ecosystem left in the lower 48 states, and we'll have abundant opportunity to view many of the species that call it home, including the mountain goat, the park's emblematic animal. Along the way, learn about the Lewis Overthrust fault and the region's tumultuous geological history, studied by scientists from around the world.
A boat cruise on Two Medicine Lake reveals Glacier's sweeping grandeur as we glide across the jade-green waters to reach the trailhead for our hike into Two Medicine Valley. Situated on the eastern edge of the park, the valley borders the Blackfeet Indian reservation. As we walk through the winding valley, once an important site for sacred Native American rituals, we admire the multicolored rock layers on the mountain walls. While our hike is moderate in grade, the breathtaking beauty of the sheer cliffs and mountain peaks surrounding us offers scenic rewards usually reserved for more strenuous efforts. At every turn of the trail, we look for the great array of wildlife frequently seen here. Moose,
This evening, retire to majestic Glacier Park Lodge, one of the country's most famous national park hotels. Built by the Great Northern Railway in 1913 to attract visitors to the park's wonders, the hotel's grand lobby features log pillars more than 40 feet high and 40 inches in diameter, crafted from Douglas fir trees hundreds of years old. The Blackfoot Indians, awed by the size of the timbers, called it Omahkoyis, or "Big Tree Lodge."
Days 4 & 5: Glacier National Park—Many Glacier Valley
This morning we drive through the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and stop to learn about the tribe's rich culture and history. We then enter Many Glacier, one of the park's iconic valleys.
Day 6: Glacier National Park—Going-to-the-Sun Road / Lake McDonald
An engineering marvel completed in 1932, Going-to-the-Sun Road twists and climbs around Glacier's granite spine all the way to the Continental Divide. Waterfall spray creates rainbows as streams pour off rock precipices, while serrated peaks poke the blue sky. On the summit
Day 7: Kalispell / Depart
This morning our Glacier National Park trip concludes as we get an early start back to Kalispell for flights home.
All This Included
When naturalist John Muir visited Glacier in 1901, he wrote, “Get off the tracks at Belton Station [now West Glacier] and in a few minutes you will find yourself in the midst of what you are sure to say is the best care-killing scenery on the continent.” Muir’s words are still valid today in this beguiling landscape of peaks, meadows, wildflowers and meltwater lakes fed by rills tumbling down off the park’s namesake ice shelves. Subalpine forests and granite ridges are home to grizzly bears, mountain goats, elk and more. This rare small-group foray into the natural bounty of Glacier—plus Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park, which shares a border and an ecosystem—will refresh and energize contemporary spirits just as it did a century ago.
Whitefish: Grouse Mountain Lodge
Glacier National Park: Glacier Park Lodge
Glacier National Park: Many Glacier Hotel
Glacier National Park: Lake McDonald Lodge
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