Ahh… Glacier National Park. Literally one of my FAVORITE places I’ve ever been. It’s one of those place I dream about, and wish it were legal to live there.
Now, I’ve been on Going-to-the-Sun road plenty of times, which takes you straight (or very curve-ily) through the park. So many people have also done the same, so I thought I would share my favorite place in Glacier National Park on the East side. It’s located just East to Northeast of the park. Driving through the park is absolutely breath taking, but visiting East Glacier makes it feel a little more “hands on” to me. You’re surrounded by so many beautiful mountains, and there are so many places to explore.
MANY GLACIER CAMPSITE: Everytime I have stayed in East Glacier, I always find myself wanting to stay at this camp site. It’s only $23 a night, and so incredibly scenic that I’m telling you to go! You can make reservations in advance (and I recommend AT LEAST 6 months out if you are needing specific dates), or you can show up early on the same day and snag an empty spot if it’s available. Keep in mind that currently it’s an extra $30 dollars to enter the park, but that’s a one time fee that covers up to 7 days in the park.
Last time Ryley and I went was in June. It was such a rainy day, and we thought it might ruin the evening, but it cleared up and the sun started to shine. We forgot firewood, but there is a small convenience store within walking distance that had firewood for us to buy. There is also a restaurant connected to this convenience store, so no worries if you forget something or are a little hungry! There are a ton of bathrooms scattered around the campsite, so no need to worry there either.
Instead of camping out, Ryley and I decided to sleep in the back of my Jeep. It gets cold overnight in the park, and on this particular night I believe it got down in the 30’s, so we wanted as much shelter as possible. As you can see, we piled up blankets in the back of the Jeep and tried to make it as cozy as possible.
It wasn’t cozy at all, and to be honest, I barely slept! But, it was a fun experience that I’m always going to remember!
MANY GLACIER HOTEL: This hotel is located about 1 mile from the campsite, and oh my, is it beautiful. Every time I’ve tried to book this place, it’s been completely full, so all I can say to you is GOOD LUCK! Even if you aren’t able to book a room, you are more than welcome to visit, enjoy the scenes, and walk around the hotel. It feels as if you are somewhere in the Swiss Alps. So amazing!!
Similar to the campsite, this hotel has a store to get coffee, food, and souvenirs if you want them.
There are so many things to do around this area, but hiking is probably the most common. I’ll include a list of things to do here.
I’ve always just enjoyed the scenery when I’ve visited, but two years ago I hiked to Grinnell Glacier. This was the most strenuous hike I’ve attempted, so if you aren’t a season hiker (like I’m NOT haha) you might just have to take it a little slower than others.
This hike is roughly 7.6 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 1800 feet. Depending on your pace, it may take you a while, but it only took us about 4 hours to complete. We started at 7 in the morning to beat the heat and the traffic, and I’m so glad that we did!
I would highly recommend water and some sort granola/ protein bar for the trail – I stopped three different times to eat 😂😂
The trail starts out near Swiftcurrent Lake, and is relatively flat for the first mile or so. The scenery is beautiful early in the day, so I highly recommend seeing the sun rise.
You’ll be walking near trees and brush, so I highly recommend bear spray. You’ll need it anywhere in the park. I wouldn’t go anywhere without it! People have been seriously injured on this trail due to bears, so please please take it with you!
Once you hit an incline, it doesn’t stop. See that little waterfall in the distance? That’s the direction we were headed!
As you get closer to the glacier, the pathway gets a little more narrow. It’s not terrible though if you just keep looking down and watch your footing.
Once you reach the top, you’ll notice how big the rock walls are. Can you see the two people sitting down near the bottom of the picture?
Even though the hike was pretty difficult, the view was worth it! It was by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I have done. I can’t recommend hiking Grinnell Glacier enough!
All in all, Many Glacier is an area you MUST visit. It’s so worth it and SO beautiful! I can’t wait to get out there and hike this trail again!
Have you guys ever been? If so, what’s your favorite thing to do/ favorite trail to hike in Glacier??
Looking for things to do in Montana? Check out my post on Whitefish, MT here!