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Most people will arrive at Glacier by car, bus or even airplane. There is, however, an Amtrak station right at the front door of GNP. The Empire Builder runs from Seattle to Chicago and stops at both East and West Glacier.
Written Dec 6, 2007
This incredible park can be reached by train. Very few wild and isolated places in the USA can be reach by train. There are three Amtrak stations in the park, West Glacier, Essex, and East Glacier. These are on the nothern Amtrak route from Chicago to the Portland or Seattle.
Written May 12, 2007
A shuttle runs throughout the park which makes stops at various trailheads as well as hotels, visitor centers, and other major sites, e.g., Apgar Village. The great thing about the shuttle is that you don't have to do an out-and-back hike as you can hike to a spot with a shuttle stop and take it back to where you parked your car! There is also shuttle service to Waterton National Park, Glacier's sister park in Alberta, Canada a few miles north.
The shuttles vary from passenger vans to the much-loved Red Buses! It's not free however and fees vary depending on how far you need to go ($8-$40). They also aren't on a real frequent schedule so check before you decide to take advantage of this service.
Updated Dec 3, 2006
All of the major lakes in the Glacier/Waterton Lakes International Peace Park have tour boats plying them. During our 4-day stay in Glacier we took a short cruise on two of them and also saw a third one at anchor.
The idea of boats on the lakes made a lot of sense in the early days of Glacier NP when the road system was not so developed. The present fleet owes its existance to the Great Northern Railway, which had several of them constructed to ferry park visitors from various trailheads where horse rides delivered the wealthy tourists. We saw the 'deSmet' at anchor on Lake McDonald while we were staying at the Lake McDonald Lodge (2nd photo). This 57-ft vessel was built in 1930 and carries up to 90 passengers.
While staying at Many Glacier Hotel, we boarded the 'Chief Two Guns' (built 1961, 45-ft and 49 passengers) for a short ride down the length of Swiftcurrent Lake. A short overland trek later, on our hike to Grinnell Glacier, and we climbed aboard the 'Morning Eagle' (built 1945, 45-ft and 49 passengers) for the next stage of the trip, down Lake Josephine. We paid US$13.50 each for this combined excursion, which also included pick-up when we returned from the hike. The boats are very comfortable and would be a great way to tour around one of the major lakes if you have the chance!
Updated Aug 29, 2006
Phone: (406) 257-2426
We boarded the train at 4:30am with only our backpacks bound for Glacier Park, MT. The train was late, which we discovered is typical. Two coffees and two muffins cost about $8.50. We had a 2 hour layover in Chicago. People looked at us funny as we walked around downtown wearing our 50 pound packs.
We arrived in East Glacier the next evening, nearly on time. The East Glacier Motel and Cabins offered a shuttle from the station to the motel. After 36 hours on the train we hiked it. Only a 10 minute walk. The next morning we took the shuttle from the East Glacier Lodge to Two Medicine Campground.
After a night in the campground we were off to the backcountry for 3 days. It was supposed to be 5 days but the bears altered our itinerary. We ended up hiking out at Cut Bank Campground, spending the night, then hitching a ride to the main highway where we waited for the shuttle to pick us up.
We headed off to St. Mary campground where we spent the night. The next morning we took the shuttle back to East Glacier Park. A trip to the laundromat and a fine steak dinner at the Thimbleberry Restaurant finished off our week. We stopped by the Spiral Spoon for some gift shopping on our way to the train station.
The train arrived about a half an hour late and by the time we got to Chicago we were two hours behind. Since then I've found that the 5:30pm train fom Chicago tends to leave closer to 7:00pm.
We arrived back in Sandusky, Ohio around 2:30am
It is now mid-December and we are planning our return trip for summer 2006.
Updated Dec 14, 2005
If you want to cut some miles off of hikes in the Many Glacier and Upper Two Medicine areas, you can take a short and pleasant ride on the vintage boats that operate on Swiftcurrent Lake, Two Medicine Lake, and Lake Josephine. Taking the Chief Two Guns on Swiftcurrent and the Morning Eagle on Lake Josephine will cut a couple of miles (one way) off the hike to Grinnell Glacier and put you within 0.6 miles of Grinnel Lake. Ditto the Sinopah on Two Medicine Lake which will cut off a several miles on the hikes to Upper Two Medicine Lake and the hike to Dawson Pass. You'll also be within about 3/4-mile of Twin Falls.
The boats have been in operation for 80+ years and are in immaculate shape. The Sinopah is especially beautiful for its exposed wood grain finish on portions.
Updated Aug 15, 2005
Phone: (406) 257-2426
This place is so large you will have to use an auto to get your over view. However, there are buses that will also do this for you. The most intimate way to visit this or any of our National Parks is by foot, however, to get the best of the best.
Written Aug 29, 2002
This cutie was walking alongside the road. he didn't like to be followed, but from a distance, he loved to pose for pics alright! Fortunately we were at a parking lot at the time.
Written Apr 24, 2003
6 Reviews and 418 Opinions The largest of the Glacier National Park hotels. Situated near Grinnell Glacier and some incredible...