Plan a One-Week Glacier National Park Road Trip

Enjoy plenty of activities and exploring the outdoors with this week-long Glacier National Park road trip. Stay in motels or park lodges, or camp out.

Day 1

Launch in West Glacier or Apgar. Check out the original park entrance, the historic Belton Bridge; walk across it to the interpretive site to see photos of the bridge surviving the 1964 flood. Explore shops in the villages of West Glacier and Apgar. Stroll along the shore of Lake McDonald or rent a kayak for paddling.

Paddling on the calm surface of Lake McDonald on a sunny day.
Paddling in Lake McDonald. Photo © Becky Lomax.

Day 2

Pack a picnic lunch to drive up the rugged North Fork Road. Stop at the Polebridge Mercantile for fresh-baked cookies before heading to Bowman Lake to enjoy its idyllic beach. Tour part of the Inside North Fork Road south toward Logging Ranger Station before returning to Polebridge for dinner at the Northern Lights Saloon.

Day 3

With an early start to beat the crowds and another picnic lunch, drive up Going-to-the-Sun Road. Stop to tour Lake McDonald Lodge and walk the Trail of the Cedars boardwalk at Avalanche. Continue to Logan Pass to explore the small visitors center, tour the interpretive paved walkways, and saunter up the boardwalk. Descend to Lunch Creek to picnic on the rock wall and stop at scenic east side road sites before overnighting in St. Mary or Many Glacier.

Travel map of St. Mary and Many Glacier
St. Mary and Many Glacier

Day 4

At the St. Mary Visitor Center, tour the Native American exhibits before driving to Many Glacier. Visit the historic Many Glacier Hotel to lunch in its renovated dining room and scan surrounding slopes for bears and bighorn sheep. Walk around Swiftcurrent Lake and hop over the hill to Lake Josephine for glassy reflections of Salamander Glacier and Mount Gould.

Day 5

Drive to Canada for a day in Waterton Lakes National Park, part of the International Peace Park. Tour up Red Rock Parkway to loop the self-guided interpretive trail around Red Rock Canyon. Then aim for the Waterton Townsite to shop, eat lunch, and catch the afternoon tour boat over the border to Goat Haunt in Glacier Park.

Travel map of Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta Canada
Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada)

Day 6

Head south from St. Mary toward Browning, the center of the Blackfeet culture. Tour the small Museum of the Plains Indians to get a glimpse into the Blackfeet history and culture. Lunch in East Glacier before driving to Two Medicine Lake, where you can tour the lake on foot or by boat. Stop to see Running Eagle Falls and overnight in Two Medicine or East Glacier.

Running Eagle Falls shoots solely from underground in late summer.
Running Eagle Falls shoots solely from underground in late summer. Photo © Becky Lomax.

Day 7

Depart for Marias Pass, checking out the interpretive site that commemorates its discovery. Enjoy the roar of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, watch shaggy white goats at the Goat Lick, and stop at the historic Izaak Walton Inn for lunch. Follow the Middle Fork as it careens through scenic John Stevens Canyon back to West Glacier.


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