Air Tours

Outfitters and Expeditions

Glacier Heli Tours. See the park's glaciers and lakes on 60-minute tours. On the headsets, you'll hear classical music and the pilot's brief narration. 12205 U.S. 2 E, ½ mile south of West Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana. 406/387–4141; From $260. May–Oct..

Kruger Helicopter Tours. This outfitter offers one-hour and half-hour tours of Glacier for up to four people, weather permitting. The half-hour tour covers the park's major glaciers and lakes, while the one-hour tour encompasses the entire park. Headsets allow you to hear the pilot's narration. Per person prices vary depending on the number of passengers on a flight. West Glacier, Montana. 406/387–4565; 800/220–6565; 406/857–3893; From $125. May–Oct..


Cyclists in Glacier must stay on roads or bike routes and are not permitted on hiking trails or in the backcountry. The one-lane, unpaved Inside North Fork Road from Apgar to Polebridge is well suited to mountain bikers. Two Medicine Road is an intermediate paved route, with a mild grade at the beginning, becoming steeper as you approach Two Medicine Campground. Much of the western half of Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed to bikes from 11 am to 4 pm. Other restrictions apply during peak traffic periods and road construction. Many cyclists enjoy the Going-to-the-Sun Road prior to its opening to vehicular traffic in mid-June. You cannot cycle all the way over the pass in early June, but you can cycle as far as the road is plowed and ride back down without encountering much traffic besides a few snowplows and construction vehicles. You can find thrilling off-road trails just outside the park near Whitefish. There are no bike-rental shops inside the park, but there are two in the town of Whitefish.


Glacier Cyclery. Daily and weekly bike rentals of touring, road, and mountain bikes for all ages and skill levels are available here. The shop also sells bikes, equipment, and attire and does repairs. Information about local trails is available on its website and in the store. 326 E. 2nd St., Whitefish, Montana, 59937. 406/862–6446; From $30.

Great Northern Cycle & Ski. You can rent road bikes and mountain bikes from this outfitter that also services and repairs bikes and sells cycling and skiing attire and gear. The shop's website has trail and ride information. 328 Central Ave., Whitefish, Montana, 59937. 406/862–5321; From $39.

Boating and Rafting

Glacier has many stunning lakes and rivers, and boating is a popular park activity. Many rafting companies provide adventures along the border of the park on the Middle and North Forks of the Flathead River. The Middle Fork has some excellent white water, while the North Fork has both slow-moving and fast-moving sections. If you bring your own raft or kayak—watercraft such as Sea-Doos or Jet Skis are not allowed in the park—stop at the Hungry Horse Ranger Station in the Flathead National Forest near West Glacier to obtain a permit. Consider starting at Ousel Creek and floating to West Glacier on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.

Tours and Outfitters

Glacier Park Boat Company. This company conducts tours of five lakes. A Lake McDonald cruise takes you from the dock at Lake McDonald Lodge to the middle of the lake for an unparalleled view of the Continental Divide's Garden Wall. Many Glacier tours on Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine depart from Many Glacier Hotel and provide views of the Continental Divide. Two Medicine Lake cruises leave from the dock near the ranger station and lead to several trails. St. Mary Lake cruises leave from the launch near Rising Sun Campground and head to Red Eagle Mountain and other spots. The tours last from 45 to 90 minutes. You can rent small watercraft at Apgar, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. 406/257–2426; Tours from $12.50, rentals from $10 . May–Sept..


Within Glacier there's an almost unlimited range of fishing possibilities, with catch-and-release encouraged. You can fish in most waters of the park, but the best fishing is generally in the least accessible spots. A fishing license is not required inside the park, but you must stop by a park office to pick up a copy of the regulations. The fishing season runs from the third Saturday in May through November. Several companies offer guided fishing trips in the area. Fishing on both the North Fork and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River requires a Montana conservation license ($10) and a Montana fishing license ($15 for two consecutive days or $60 for a season). They are available at most convenience stores, sports shops, and from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (406/752–5501


There is only one golf course close to Glacier National Park, but there are nine championship golf courses within a one-hour drive of the west side of the park in the nearby Flathead Valley.

Northwest Montana Golf Association. Reservations for 10 area golf courses can be made through the Northwest Montana Golf Association, which also arranges packages that include golf and accommodations. Montana. 800/392–9795; From $50.

Glacier Park Lodge. The lodge has the oldest grass greens course in Montana, a 9-hole, par-36 course built by the Great Northern Railway in 1928. There's also a 9-hole pitch-and-putt course. Watch out for moose on both. U.S. 2 and Hwy. 49, East Glacier, Montana. 406/226–5642. From $20. Closed Oct.–late May.


With more than 730 miles of marked trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise. Trail maps are available at all visitor centers and entrance stations. Before hiking, ask about trail closures due to bear or mountain lion activity. Never hike alone. For backcountry hiking, pick up a permit from park headquarters or the Apgar Backcountry Permit Center (406/888–7939) near Glacier's west entrance.


Glacier Guides. The exclusive backpacking guide service in Glacier National Park can arrange guided day hikes or multiday hikes. Guided hiking tours are customized to match the skill level of the hikers, and include stops to identify plants, animals, and habitats. 11970 U.S. 2 E, West Glacier, Montana. 406/387–5555; 800/521–7238; From $85.


Avalanche Lake Trail. From Avalanche Creek Campground, take this 3-mile trail leading to mountain-ringed Avalanche Lake. The walk is relatively easy (it ascends 500 feet), making this one of the park's most accessible backcountry lakes. Crowds fill the parking area and trail during July and August and on sunny weekends in May and June. Easy. Glacier National Park, Montana.

Hidden Lake Nature Trail. This uphill, 1½-mile trail runs from Logan Pass southwest to Hidden Lake Overlook, from which you get a beautiful view of the lake and McDonald Valley. In spring, ribbons of water pour off the rocks surrounding the lake. Easy. Glacier National Park, Montana.

Sun Point Nature Trail. This 1.3-mile well-groomed trail, closed in 2016 for renovation but reopening in 2017, allows you to walk along the cliffs and shores of picturesque St. Mary Lake. A stunning waterfall awaits at the end of the hike. You can hike one-way and take a boat transfer back. Easy. Glacier National Park, Montana.

Trail of the Cedars. This wheelchair-accessible, ½-mile boardwalk loop through an ancient cedar and hemlock forest is a favorite of families with small children and people with disabilities. Interpretive signs describe the habitat and natural history of the rain forest. Easy. Glacier National Park, Montana.


Highline Trail. From the Logan Pass parking lot, hike north along the Garden Wall and just below the craggy Continental Divide. Wildflowers dominate the 7.6 miles to Granite Park Chalet, a National Historic Landmark, where hikers with reservations can overnight. Return to Logan Pass along the same trail or hike down 4½ miles (a 2,500-foot descent) on the Loop Trail. Moderate. Glacier National Park, Montana.

Iceberg Lake Trail. This moderately strenuous 9-mile round-trip hike passes the gushing Ptarmigan Falls, then climbs to its namesake, where icebergs bob in the chilly mountain loch. Mountain goats hang out on sheer cliffs above, bighorn sheep graze in the high mountain meadows, and grizzly bears dig for glacier lily bulbs, grubs, and other delicacies. Rangers lead hikes here almost daily in summer, leaving at 8:30 am. Moderate. Glacier National Park, Montana.


Grinnell Glacier Trail. The strenuous 5½-mile hike to Grinnell Glacier, the park's largest and most accessible glacier, is marked by several spectacular viewpoints. You start at Swiftcurrent Lake's picnic area, climb a moraine to Lake Josephine, then climb to the Grinnell Glacier overlook. Halfway up, turn around to see the prairie land to the northeast. You can shortcut the trail by 2 miles each way by taking scenic boat rides across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine. From July to mid-September, a ranger-led hike departs from the Many Glacier Hotel boat dock on most mornings at 8:30. Difficult. Glacier National Park, Montana.

Two Medicine Valley Trails. One of the least-developed areas of Glacier, the southeastern corner of the park is a good place for a quiet day hike, although you should look out for signs of bears. The trailhead to Upper Two Medicine Lake and Cobalt Lake begins west of the boat dock and camp supply store, where you can make arrangements for a boat pickup or drop-off across the lake. Difficult. Glacier National Park, Montana.

Horseback Riding

Horses are permitted on many trails within the parks; check for seasonal exceptions. Horseback riding is prohibited on paved roads. You can pick up a brochure with suggested routes and lists of outfitters from any visitor center or entrance station. The Sperry Chalet Trail to the view of Sperry Glacier above Lake McDonald is a tough 7-mile climb.

Tours and Outfitters

Glacier Gateway Outfitters. On this East Glacier company's trips, a Blackfoot cowboy guides riders on Blackfeet Nation land adjacent to the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. Rides, from an hour to all day, climb through aspen groves to high-country views of Dancing Lady and Bison mountains. Riders must be seven or older. Reservations are essential. East Glacier, Montana, 59434. 406/226–4408; 406/338–5560. From $35. June–Sept..

Swan Mountain Outfitters. The only outfitter that offers horseback riding inside the park, Swan begins its rides at Apgar, Lake McDonald, Many Glacier, and West Glacier. Trips for beginning to advanced riders cover both flat and mountainous terrain. Fishing can also be included. Riders must be seven or older and weigh less than 250 pounds. Reservations are essential. Coram, Montana, 59913. 877/888–5557; 406/381–4405; From $45. Late May–mid-Sept..

Multisport Outfitters

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft Company. Take a raft trip through the Wild-and-Scenic–designated white water of the Middle Fork of the Flathead and combine it with a hike, horseback ride, or a barbecue. Guided hikes, fly-fishing trips, and multiday adventures can also be arranged. 11970 U.S. 2 E, 1 mile west of West Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana. 406/387–5555; 800/521–7238; From $55. May–Oct..

Glacier Raft Company and Outdoor Center. In addition to running fishing trips, family float rides, saddle and paddle adventures, and high-adrenaline white-water adventure rafting (including multiday excursions), this outfitter will set you up with camping, backpacking, and fishing gear. There's also a full-service fly-fishing shop and outdoor store. You can stay in one of 13 log cabins or a glacier-view home. 12400 U.S 2 E, West Glacier, Montana. 406/888–5454; 800/235–6781; From $54. Year-round; rafting mid-May–Sept..

Great Northern Whitewater. Sign up for daily white-water, kayaking, and fishing trips. Multiday trips can also be arranged. This outfitter also rents Swiss-style chalets with views of Glacier's peaks. 12127 U.S. 2 E, 1 mile south of West Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana. 406/387–5340; 800/735–7897; From $54. May–Oct..

Wild River Adventures. Brave the white water in an inflatable kayak or a traditional raft or enjoy a scenic float with these guys, who will paddle you over the Middle Fork of the Flathead, and peddle you tall tales all the while. They also conduct trail rides and scenic fishing trips on rivers around Glacier National Park. 11900 U.S. 2 E, 1 mile west of West Glacier, Glacier National Park, Montana. 406/387–9453; 800/700–7056; From $52. Mid-May–Sept..

Skiing and Snowshoeing

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are increasingly popular in the park. Glacier distributes a free pamphlet entitled Ski Trails of Glacier National Park, with 16 noted trails. You can start at Lake McDonald Lodge and ski cross-country up Going-to-the-Sun Road. The 2½-mile Apgar Natural Trail is popular with snowshoers. No restaurants are open in winter in Glacier, but you can pop into Montana House ( for hot cider, coffee, cookies, and a little shopping. The park website ( has ski trail maps.

Tours and Outfitters

Glacier Adventure Guides. This organization leads one-day and multiday guided snowshoe trips on scenic winter trails. On overnight trips, you stay in igloos and snow caves. During the summer, the company conducts guided hiking and rock-climbing adventures outside the park. Glacier National Park, Montana. 877/735–9514; 406/892–2173; From $35. Mid-Nov.–May.

Izaak Walton Inn. Just outside the southern edge of the park, the inn has more than 20 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails on its property. It offers equipment rentals and lessons as well as guided ski and snowshoe tours inside the park. Inn guests can ski for free, but others must purchase a ski pass. The inn is one of the few places in the area that is both open in winter and accessible by Amtrak train, which saves you the worry of driving on icy mountain roads. 290 Izaak Walton Inn Rd., off U.S. 2, Essex, Montana, 59916. 406/888–5700; From $10. Credit cards accepted. Mid-Nov.–May.


Hill-climbing, single-track, dirt-road, or easy-cruising bike paths—northwest Montana is flush with cycling opportunities. Of the 2,000 miles of county roads, only 400 miles are paved, leaving dirt and gravel roads and innumerable trails open for discovery.

Adventure Cycling Association. This Missoula-based nonprofit organization provides maps of established bike routes in Glacier and Waterton and offers guided tours. Missoula, Montana. 406/721–1776; 800/755–2453; From $130 per day.

Glacier Cyclery. This shop rents bikes suitable to the terrain. The website has links to information about local trails and conditions. 326 E. 2nd St., Whitefish, Montana, 59937. 406/862–6446; From $30.


Dog Sled Adventures. The dogs are raring to run from late November to mid-April at Dog Sled Adventures. Your friendly musher will gear the ride to the passengers, from kids to senior citizens; bundled up in a sled, you'll be whisked through Stillwater State Forest on a 1½-hour ride over a 12-mile trail. Reservations are necessary. U.S. 93, 20 miles north of Whitefish, 2 miles north of Olney, Glacier National Park, Montana. 406/881–2275; From $110 per person.


Before lacing up your hiking boots, determine where you want to go, what you need to bring, and what you're likely to encounter on the trail. The book Hiking Montana by Bill Schneider has useful, basic hiking safety information and offers route details from several trailheads. U.S. Forest Service offices have local maps, trail guides, and safety information. If you're new to hiking, you may want to employ an outfitter that offers guided walks.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. With a regional office in Helena, Montana, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is responsible for hunting, fishing, and recreational pursuits in the state. Helena, Montana. 406/444–2535;

U.S. Forest Service regional office. The regional office in Missoula, Montana, is responsible for 12 national forests within Washington, Northern Idaho, and Montana. Missoula, Montana. 406/329–3511;

Skiing and Snowboarding

Whitefish Mountain Resort. Eight miles from Whitefish, this has been one of Montana's top ski areas since the 1930s, yet it remains comfortably small. The resort is popular among train travelers from the Pacific Northwest and the upper Midwest. Whitefish mountain has good powder skiing, nice glades, and groomed trails for all ski levels. In summer there are bike trails, an alpine slide, an aerial adventure park, and a zip line. The terrain is 25% beginner, 50% intermediate, and 25% advanced; there are two high-speed quad chairs, one quad chair, four triple chairs, one double chair, and three surface lifts. Facilities: 105 trails; 3,000 acres; 2,500-foot vertical drop; 11 lifts. 1015 Glades Dr., 406/862–2900; 800/858–3930; 406/862–7669; Lift ticket: $73. Late-Nov.–early Apr. and mid-June–mid-Sept., daily 9–4:30.


There are more than 200 groomed snowmobile trails in the Flathead region. Unless you're an experienced snowmobiler and expert at avalanche forecasting, you should take a guided trip.

Extreme Motorsports. This outfitter rents boats, wakeboats, and Sea-Doos in summer and snowmobiles in winter and offers guided snowmobile tours. 6191 Hwy. 93 S, Whitefish, Montana, 59937. 406/862–8594; From $65.