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Glacier National Park Itineraries- One Day In Glacier Park

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Glacier Park Suggested Itinereries
One Day In Glacier
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Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park
                    A view along the Grinnell Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park.                

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Glacier Park Suggested Itineraries
One Day In Glacier Park
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About Our Suggested Itineraries

What If You’re Not a Hiker?
Please keep in mind when reading through our suggested itineraries that we have certain hikes we recommend on certain days.  If you and your family are not hikers, that’s perfectly fine.  Some of the hikes we recommend are combined with a boat tour, so just leave out the "hiking part" and still take the boat tour.  Take the boat to the far dock, leave the boat and stroll around for awhile, have a picnic and then catch the next boat back.

Other hikes are close to one of the three major lodges of Glacier Park, which are Many Glacier Hotel, Lake McDonald Lodge and Glacier Park Lodge.  So if you’re not a hiker, instead of taking our recommended hikes, simply enjoy one of these great national park lodges instead.  Therefore, if you’re not a hiker you can still very much benefit from learning about our suggested itineraries... they are for everyone visiting Glacier Park.

Everything we recommend in the following itineraries has an important reason and logic behind it.  For example, we have you seeing certain highlights on certain days in certain directions on the Going-to-the-Sun Road for very good reasons. We are setting it up to where each time you go over the Sun Road you are seeing new sights and experiencing new hikes, with the sun in the right direction so as to maximize your photo opportunities.

Also, our suggested itineraries are designed to allow you plenty of time each day so you can relax and not rush.  This will greatly increase your enjoyment of the entire experience.   So pay close attention to what we recommend for each day and follow it. We have been over the Going To The Sun Road a "gazillion" times and know what you should see and when you should see it to maximize each and every day in the park.

Two Park Entrances Means Four Combinations of Itineraries
There are only two main entrances into Glacier National Park: The West Entrance at West Glacier, and the East Entrance at St. Mary.  The following itineraries are categorized in 4 sections based on the 4 possible combinations of where you're entering and where you are leaving the park. 

These Four Entrance/Exit Combinations Include:
1) Entering Glacier Park through the West Entrance (West Glacier) and leaving Glacier Park through the East Entrance (St. Mary).

2) Entering Glacier Park through the West Entrance (West Glacier) and leaving through the West Entrance (West Glacier).

3)  Entering Glacier Park through the East Entrance (St. Mary) and leaving through the West Entrance (West Glacier).

4) Entering Glacier Park through the East Entrance (St. Mary) and leaving through the East Entrance (St. Mary).

Why the Many Glacier Area?
As you look through our suggested itineraries, you will soon discover that we recommend  that visitors spend a lot of time in the Many Glacier Area.  Known as “The Heart of Glacier Park”, the Many Glacier Area is without question where Glacier Park vacationers need to spend a significant amount of time enjoying.  The scenery is magnificent, and there are several world-class hikes in the area that are a hiking enthusiast’s dream come true.

The historic Many Glacier Hotel is also located in the Many Glacier Area, which is among the top national park lodges on earth, as well as the Many Glacier Boat Tour.  In addition, there are several lodging opportunities in the area, including the Many Glacier Hotel, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins, and the Many Glacier Campground.

Quick Tip For Parking on Logan Pass
We also have you spend a fair amount of time on Logan Pass.  If the Logan Pass parking lot says "FULL", drive in anyway and keep driving throughout the parking lot until a parking spot opens up.  There are vehicles constantly coming and going, and a parking spot ALWAYS opens up, even if you have to drive around for 20 minutes.

Now if the rangers closed the entrance to the parking lot because of high traffic volume, it's usually for a very short period of time (20 to 30 minutes at the most). So keep driving and turn around at the next safest turn-around (Lunch Creek, for example) and get out, stretch your legs, take a few pictures and then get back in your car and go back up to the pass and try again. You should NEVER have to miss spending time on Logan Pass during your drive along the Going To The Sun Road.

And again, keep in mind that once you’ve driven into the Logan Pass parking lot, it may take up to 20 minutes for you to finally land a parking spot.   Just take your time and don't get stressed out because one will open up, they always do. This is the only time in Glacier that you might have to wait for a parking spot, but it is 100% totally worth it.  The busiest times on Logan Pass are from 11:00 AM to about 3:00 PM, so keep this in mind.
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If you only have one day in Glacier National Park....
If only have one day in Glacier Park, you're going to want to maximize your day.  Below are our recommended itineraries for spending one day in Glacier Park.  All four entrance/exit combinations are featured below....


Glacier Park Itineraries
ONE DAY IN GLACIER PARK
Enter:  West Entrance (West Glacier)
Exit:  East Entrance (St. Mary)

Planned Activities:
Trail of the Cedars, Hidden Lake Overlook, St. Mary Falls / Virginia Falls along the Going To The Sun Road.

Brief Sun Road Photo Stops:
Sacred Dancing Cascades (West Side), Weeping Wall (West Side), Big Bend (West Side), Oberlin Bend (West Side), Lunch Creek (East Side), Jackson Lake Overlook (East Side) Sunrift Gorge (East Side), Wild Goose Island (East Side) Sun Point (East Side)

Where To Stay That Night:
Many Glacier, St. Mary or Rising Sun

Helpful Links:
Glacier Park Lodging    
Glacier Park Campgrounds

Top Ten Things To Do In Glacier Park 


Glacier Park Itineraries
ONE DAY IN GLACIER PARK
Enter: West Entrance (West Glacier)
Exit:  West Entrance (West Glacier)

Planned Activities:
Trail of the Cedars, Hidden Lake Overlook, St. Mary Falls along Going To The Sun Road.

Brief Sun Road Photo Stops:
Sacred Dancing Cascades (West Side), Weeping Wall (West Side), Big Bend (West Side), Oberlin Bend (West Side), Lunch Creek (East Side), Jackson Glacier Overlook (East Side), Sunrift Gorge (East Side), Wild Goose Island (East Side), Sun Point (East Side)

Please Note: After arriving at St. Mary you can return back to Lake McDonald by driving back over the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Where to Stay that Night:
Lake McDonald Lodge or Apgar Village

Helpful Links:
Glacier Park Lodging    
Glacier Park Campgrounds

Top Ten Things To Do In Glacier Park 


Glacier Park Itineraries
ONE DAY IN GLACIER PARK
Enter: East Entrance (St. Mary)
Exit:  West Entrance (West Glacier)

Planned Activities:
St. Mary Falls/Virginia Falls, Hidden Lake Overlook, Trail of the Cedars along Going To The Sun Road

Brief Sun Road Photo Stops:
Sun Point (East Side), Wild Goose Island (East Side), Sunrift Gorge (East Side), Jackson Glacier Overlook (East Side), Lunch Creek (East Side), Oberlin Bend (West Side), Big Bend (West Side), Weeping Wall (West Side), Sacred Dancing Cascade (West Side)

Where to Stay that Night:
Lake McDonald Lodge or Apgar Village

Helpful Links:
Glacier Park Lodging    
Glacier Park Campgrounds

Top Ten Things To Do In Glacier Park 


Glacier Park Itineraries
ONE DAY IN GLACIER PARK
Enter: East Entrance (St. Mary)
Exit:  East Entrance (St. Mary)

Planned Activities:
St. Mary Falls, Hidden Lake Overlook, Trail of the Cedars along Going To The Sun Road

Brief Sun Road Photo Stops:
Sun Point (East Side), Wild Goose Island (East Side), Sunrift Gorge (East Side), Jackson Glacier Overlook (East Side), Lunch Creek (East Side), Oberlin Bend (West Side), Big Bend (West Side), Weeping Wall (West Side), Sacred Dancing Cascades (West Side)

Where to Stay that Night:
St. Mary or Many Glacier Area
Please Note: Upon arriving at Lake McDonald Lodge, drive back over the Going-to-the-Sun Road to St. Mary for your exit.

Helpful Links:
Glacier Park Lodging    
Glacier Park Campgrounds

Top Ten Things To Do In Glacier Park 





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ITINERARIES FOR
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