Accessing the Park
Glacier Park International Airport is located roughly 30 minutes from the west entrance of Glacier National Park. This airport is located in Kalispell and is the closest airport to the park. From here you can rent a car and head towards the park.
You will need a pass to be in the park and this will be checked at all of the entrances. You can purchase park passes for a single vehicle for the week. It costs 25 dollars for a summer pass and 15 for a winter pass. Summer rates run from May 1 to October 31 and winter rates run from November 1 to April 30.
Things to Do
1. Road to the Sun: This is a beautiful scenic drive when the sun is out. The road is about 50 miles long and takes roughly two hours to complete, but this is very dependent upon how often you stop to take pictures or just marvel at the scenery. Traffic can get very heavy as the day rolls on so getting their early would be very beneficial. The highest point is Logan's Pass at over 6,000 feet. There is a visitor center here and this is a good spot to look for sheep up on the mountain. You can either drive the road in your personal car or take a tour with Red Bus Tours. I recommended checking the parks site for information on the road because parts of it can be closed at certain times of the year and they will also provide information on any roadwork being done so you can prepare accordingly. The first day I drove the road it was overcast and socked in, but the next day was absolutely gorgeous!
2. Rafting: I went with Montana Rafting Company (Glacier Guides) on an overnight float trip. We slept at the North Fork hostel, which was very cozy. The owner's name is Oliver and he is such a nice guy! There is a full kitchen and separate rooms with bunks. You can even stay in some retrofitted train cars. The float trip started around noon and ended in the afternoon the next day. There are three forks in the river, which provides some options for rafting conditions. If you don't want to spend the night out I would recommend doing a day trip because the river and the scenery are absolutely beautiful.
3. Hiking: There are great hiking trails all over the park but I think some of the best hiking is on the East Side of the park in the Many Glacier area. There are some great trails that hike around Lake Grinnel and Lake Josephine. To get to Many Glacier you have to leave the East side of the park, drive north and then re-enter the park from Highway 89.
4. Horse Back Riding: We went with Swann Mountain Outfitters on an overnight horseback trip. They are able to take the horses into the West Side of the park, which many other outfitters are not allowed to do. The first day we spent six hours on the horse before arriving at our canvas tent site. Awesome day but the next morning our butts were not that happy. That night we had a cookout and fire. They provide other day trip options if you don't want to do an overnight trip.
5. Polebridge Mercantile (aka "The Merc"): If you do the overnight rafting trip and stay at the North Fork hostel, you will be within walking distance of the merc, which can be very dangerous to your waistline. If you aren't rafting I recommend making the drive to this hidden gem and ordering some of the fantastic baked goods and coffee. I highly recommended ordering the bear claw; one to eat there and maybe a few more to go. There is also a book lending library across the road from the merc. You can choose a new book to read and/ or drop one off if you are done.
These little berries deserve their own section. They are closely related to blueberries but I think taste nothing like them. Huckleberries are a local secret so you will have to do some legwork to find them but it will be worth your time. Keep in mind that you share the woods with bears and they also love huckleberries so I suggest avoiding early morning and late afternoon. I would also pick with a friend and talk loudly to keep "Yogi" from wandering into your picking area. As far as gear you will need a bucket and a sense of adventure.
If you don't have time to pick, you aren't there during the season or you just want to try out some goods there are always places to buy syrups, jams and other goodies. I love the huckleberry jam so if you are taking requests I recommend you pick some up. The other must try huckleberry item is huckleberry pie. Almost every restaurant has it and some places like "The Huckleberry Patch" will even bake it fresh and ship it to you in another state.
Glacier is home to both grizzlies and black bears. The east side of the park is heavily populated with grizzlies. While hiking I smelled and heard some grunting from a few bears, although I never actually saw any of them. Most attacks happen because the bear is surprised so make sure to let the bears know you are there. Check out the survival tips link for more tips and information on bear safety.