Our final night in Glacier NP was spent back on the eastern side, at the Rising Sun Motor Inn, located near the shore of Saint Mary Lake. We arrived in mid-afternoon after finally being able to get into the parking lot of the Logan Pass Visitor Center as we came over the continental divide. While there, we slipped in one last hike, to Hidden Lake, before continuing onward to the Rising Sun. Once there, we had a very late lunch and just chilled out for the rest of the day, including some internet time in nearby St. Mary. Sue had bought a book to identify wild flowers, so she also took a stroll to check out the hillside.
Unique Quality: Our little cottage (each was divided into two units) on the hillside above Saint Mary Lake was one of the original nineteen that had been erected for the 1941 opening of the East Glacier Auto Camp as it was then known (not long after the Going-to-the-Sun Road was opened in 1933). At that time, a separate building contained the Camp Store and a coffee shop. However, because of confusion with the facilities at East Glacier Park, the Parks Service changed the name to Rising Sun in 1950. Business alongside the GTTS Road was good, so a new restaurant/office block (now called Two Dog Flats) was built in 1956 and the previous coffee shop was converted into a few more rooms. Our costs were dropping with each stay, the Parks reservations listed this one at only US$105 ($130 when the extras were added on) so I thought maybe we will soon be making money if we keep this up!
We actually enjoyed our rustic little cabin on a hillside in the middle of nowhere, very relaxing, cool and not noisey at all compared to the previous night (2nd photo - inside shot). When we left for Canada in the morning, we saw small clouds actually hugging the nearby mountains for the first time in our trip (3rd photo).
Directions: On the Going-to-the-Sun Road, about half-way along the north shore of Saint Mary Lake
Rising Sun has its own restaurant and gift shop and is one of few campgrounds in the park to have showers. For the benefit of other campers, if you are going to stay for some time, please use them.
Unique Quality: Rising Sun sits near St Mary Lake and is therefore accessible to Logan Pass, trailheads on the east side, and access portals on the east edge of the park: Many Glacier, Cut Bank, Two Medicine, etc.
While not particularly scenic or attractive, it enjoys a good location and offers a trailhead near its edge that rises into the mountains.
Directions: seven to ten miles in from the St Mary entrance
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Address: Montana, United States