glacier national park
When you’ve got 1 million acres of jaw-dropping landscape and Mother Nature throws a splash of fall color over it, you run out of words to describe that next-level beauty. That’s what autumn does to Glacier National Park. Open year-round, every season in the park is stunning, but fall is uniquely magical. The Crown of the Continent’s glacial-carved valleys and mountainsides are painted with the golds of autumn against blue skies and snowcapped peaks. Plus, fall brings moderate temperatures, abundant opportunities for wildlife watching and fewer visitors, making it one of the best times to enjoy a quiet and extraordinarily beautiful trip to this natural stunner.
Sled the best of the West in the unreal landscapes and premier small towns between Glacier and Yellowstone national parks. Plan ahead, play it safe and tread lightly.
A major Glacier National Park highlight is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The road winds 50 miles across the park from West Glacier to St. Mary, reaching 6,646 feet and crossing the continental divide at Logan Pass.
Set up camp at one of the park’s front-country campgrounds: Apgar, Bowman, Kintla, St. Mary, Two Medicine or Many Glacier. Glacier National Park is a designated Dark Sky Park, so you’ll find some of the best stargazing in the world right from your campsite. Please note that each campground has its own reservation requirements and closing dates, and they are all at “primitive” status this time of year.
Our waters make up some of the wildest and some of the most serene parts of our region, and there's no shortage of ways to play in almost any of these sparkling rivers, lakes and streams.
Swan Mountain Outfitters is honored to be carrying on a nearly century long tradition of trail riding in and around Glacier National Park. We don't think there could be a better way to experience Glacier, so we invite you, your family and your friends to come and join us on a horseback adventure through this unspoiled and awe-inspiring national treasure. Please note, trail rides end in mid-October.
Good old-fashioned hiking is one of the most intimate ways to explore Glacier National Park. Touring the terrain by foot allows you to get up close and personal with nature—feel the ground, explore the flora and fauna, spot wildlife tracks and guess who made them, stop at a creek and hear the trickle of the glacial water or the tune of a songbird, and breathe in the crisp alpine air. All this and more, not to mention the beauty of the vast landscape beyond what's right in front of you.
You don't even need to see what's around the next bend to be stopped in your tracks at Glacier National Park. The sheer beauty is jaw dropping from every angle. With over 1 million acres of towering, jagged peaks, cascading waterfalls, wild meadows and sparkling waters, plus wildlife watching and recreation opportunities, it is, quite simply, the vacation of a lifetime.
Take an epic, fall-color road trip on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Then loop around the park for more captivating views on U.S. Highway 89 and U.S. Highway 2. Stretch your legs and stop for a snack in the charming little town of East Glacier Park.
Day One: If the Going-to-the-Sun Road has closed to vehicles for the season, bike this beautiful roadway and cross that off your bucket list.
Please note: Most lodging in the park is closed for the season by mid-October.
Day Two: Take a guided fly-fishing trip on the Flathead River. The pristine emerald waters and autumn colors provide the quintessential setting for casting flies and reeling in trout, and the experienced guides will make sure you're fishing all the right spots.
Day One: Fall is the perfect time to fish a quiet lake or a stream in the park. No license is required, the colors are epic, the fish are biting, and other anglers are few this time of year.
Please note: The Belton Chalet closes for the season mid-October.
Day Two: Drive up to the tiny, off-the-grid and off-the-beaten-path community of Polebridge and fill up on baked goods at the famous Polebridge Mercantile. Then, drive to Bowman lake (down a windy and narrow dirt road). Take a picnic lunch to enjoy at the lake, and, if you're up for some water play, bring your stand-up paddleboard or kayak.
Day Three: Take a scenic float trip down the gorgeous Flathead River or hike the Highline Trail. The Highline Trail begins at Logan Pass and offers spectacular scenery as it follows along the Continental Divide, aka the Garden Wall.
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