My husband is a big fan of the national parks, which I have barely visited. Most of my travels are out of the country, so I am woefully under-traveled in the US. And when I do travel in the US, it is typically for work or to visit friends. So this year we decided to break that trend and road trip up to Glacier National Park in Montana and Waterton National Park just across the border in Canada. Both places are amazing, but 75% of Waterton was recently burned in a wildfire, so most of the park is closed for recovery. We honestly barely scratched the surface of Glacier National Park, so I’m not going to claim that what we did is the best in the park, because that remains to be seen. I do know that Glacier is now on my list as somewhere to return to, and hopefully sooner rather than later!
- Glacier National Park is in fact named after the over 100 glaciers that used to exist in the park. Sadly, thanks to climate change, only 25 glaciers remain, and they will all disappear between 2020 – 2030. Heatbreaking. Doubly heartbreaking: this is already causing problems for the ptarmigan population that needs the snow all year in order to not die of heat stroke!
- There are several entrances on both the east and the west sides of the park, connected by the famous Going-To-The-Sun road. Turns out, early June is super early there, and the road wasn’t yet open, so we only saw the east side of the park. Something to do next time, I guess!
- We stayed in Many Glacier Lodge, built in the early 1900s. Amazing. Plenty of trailheads at the lodge, so we could hike from the hotel. Gorgeous decks and indoor lounges looking out over the lake, where people set up in the evenings with a bottle of wine and a pair of binoculars to watch the wildlife frolic (or fight!) along the banks.
- Bears abound in the park, so bring your bear spray!
- Even in the summer, come prepared for all the weather: we needed everything from t-shirts to puffy jackets.