Glacier National Park is one of the gems of the U.S. National Park system. Created in 1910, Glacier National Park comprises over a million acres of mountains, glaciers, lakes and wilderness. Each year, well over two million visitors journey to the park’s location in Montana, not far from the Canadian border.
The scenery in Glacier National Park is some of the most beautiful in the world. The park’s glaciers are retreating, however, and some have already disappeared. Climate-based computer models have predicted that Glacier National Park’s glaciers could disappear within the next few decades. Visit soon to take in some of these spectacular wonders.
Although Glacier National Park is open year-round, most guests enter the park during the summer months when all of the park’s facilities are open to service visitors. Roads, such as the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road, and hiking trails are popular ways to see the park. Many visitors are not aware of the park’s numerous cruising opportunities. Boat cruises on Glacier’s lakes are one of the best ways to see some of the park’s large glaciers.
Glacier National Park contains over 600 lakes. Cruises on several of the largest lakes are offered several times each day by the Glacier Park Boat Company. These boat cruises take guests into some of the far reaches of the parks, enabling views of landscapes that can be difficult to see otherwise. Some of the boat cruises also can include multi-hour guided hikes as well.
Boat cruises within Glacier National Park are available on Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, at Two Medicine, and from the lakeside dock at the Many Glacier Hotel. Many Glacier and Two Medicine are the most popular locations for lake cruises, so it’s best to make reservations as far in advance as possible. Same day reservations can be made for Lake McDonald and St. Mary Lake. If your plans are in flux, it’s still worthwhile to check on availability if you’re in the area. Last-minute walk-up tickets are offered on all cruises if there is space available.
The Glacier area of Montana offers other lakes and incredible vacation experiences for those interested in staying awhile. Nearby Whitefish Lake and Flathead Lake are lovely. With over 185 miles of shoreline, Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi. Boat cruises on both lakes are available on a regularly scheduled basis.
Families and adventurers who are interested in exploring Glacier National Park and the surrounding area might enjoy staying at Bar W Guest Ranch. Located on Spencer Lake, this destination Western dude ranch is close to everything. It’s located just a short drive from Glacier National Park and about four miles from the popular town of Whitefish, Montana. There are excellent shopping, dining and entertainment options in Whitefish and the sunsets over Whitefish Lake are legendary. Whitefish Mountain Ski and Summer Resort is also located nearby.
Guests at the Bar W can take part in a wide variety of activities including an extensive horseback riding program, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, archery, skeet shooting and more. There are over 3,000 acres available for horseback riding and exploration. The all-inclusive nature of the Bar W Guest Ranch experience makes it even easier for vacationers to enjoy their stay.
Accommodations, meals and most activities are incorporated into the price, so guests can do as much riding as they’d like. The ranch also offers whitewater rafting, rock climbing, rodeo trips, and other types of excursions. There’s something for every interest here – including leisurely boating around the ranch’s picturesque Spencer Lake.
If You Go:
* To learn more about the boat cruises offered in Glacier National Park, visit the Glacier Park Boat Company’s website at http://www.glacierparkboats.com.
* For more information on Bar W Guest Ranch, visit their website at http://www.thebarw.com.