My husband and I were hosted at some of the lodgings, but all opinions are mine.
Glacier National Park in northwest Montana offers breathtaking views and endless outdoor adventures. Finding the perfect lodging can be overwhelming when planning a trip to this stunning park. On my road trip through Glacier National Park, I discovered historic lodges, chalets, and other accommodations that I am eager to share.
This ultimate guide to Glacier National Park lodging will give you all the information you need to make your trip unforgettable. From luxurious hotels to cozy cabins, you’ll find recommendations here. And don’t worry about sacrificing comfort for proximity to the park. Lodging options are just steps away from the trails and just outside the park.
She Buys Travel Tip: Glacier Park International Airport, located in Kalispell, Montana, is a 47-minute drive to West Glacier. Major airlines serve this airport.
The Great Northern Railroad Influence on Glacier National Park
The Great Northern Railroad played a significant role in the development of Glacier National Park in the early 1900s. In 1910, Congress established the park, which is managed by the National Park Service. Glacier National Park and Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park share the border of Canada and Montana and preserve stunning landscapes and wildlife in the northern Rocky Mountains.
The lodges and chalets in Glacier National Park were designed by Louis Hill in the Swiss alpine chalet style. Louis was the son of James J. Hill, owner of the Great Northern Railway. The construction provided travelers coming on the railroad with comfortable accommodations amidst the park’s natural beauty.
She Buys Travel Tip: Even though you may go to Glacier National Park to relax and unplug, I found wifi access every place we stayed.
There are Seven Entrances to Glacier National Park
While there are seven entrances to Glacier National Park, three main entrances are covered here. They are West Glacier, the main west entrance to Glacier National Park; St. Mary, the main east entrance of Glacier National Park; and Two Medicine, also on the park’s east side, south of St. Mary. All three entrances allow entrance 24 hours a day. However, due to snow, St. Mary and Two Medicine are closed between mid-June and mid-October.
The Glacier National Park Headquarters is just outside the West Glacier Entrance, and the Apgar Visitor Center is just inside the west side of the park. It’s worth your time to stop by the Apgar Visitor Center to learn about the geology of the park, its mountain peaks, valleys, and lakes on displays outside the building. Restrooms are available here.
The only road in Glacier National Park that crosses the Continental Divide is Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is accessible via Camas Creek, West Glacier, and Saint Mary Entrances. Logan Pass is accessed on the Going-to-the-Sun Road at 6,647 feet above sea level.
She Buys Travel Tip: Hike to Saint Mary Falls for a stunning view of the blue alpine waterfalls. The 2.2-mile round trip is easy and worth it. Don’t forget to stop at the bridge for photos and relaxation. The trailhead is on Going-to-the-Sun Road at the west end of Saint Mary Lake.
Lodging Options on the West Side of Glacier National Park
Great Northern Resort: The Great Northern Resort offers a range of lodging options, including log cabins and hotel rooms. It provides easy access to the park and is known for its excellent amenities and friendly staff. They specialize in whitewater rafting and fly fishing, offer Stand Up Paddleboard rentals, and you can enroll in water-based training classes on kayaks.
Belton Chalet: The lodge and historic chalet date back to the early days of Glacier National Park, the Belton Chalet offers a charming and rustic atmosphere. It features comfortable rooms and a renowned restaurant.
During our stay at Belton Chalet, we were given queen guest rooms on the lodge’s first floor for easy access. Originally intended as a dormitory, the building had shared rooms and bathrooms at each hall’s end. But in the late 1990s, each room was renovated to include its own private bathroom.
We loved the lobby, which served as a gift shop, refreshment counter, and entertainment center with a large fireplace.
Lake MacDonald Lodge: Situated on the shores of Lake MacDonald, the Lake MacDonald Lodge offers stunning mountain views and a peaceful ambiance. It provides a variety of accommodations, including rooms in the main lodge and cozy cabins. (Also spelled Lake McDonald Lodge.) Amenities include two restaurants, a bar/lounge, hiking and biking trails, horseback riding rentals, canoeing, boating, and fishing.
Cedar Creek Lodge: Located just outside West Glacier in Columbia Falls, this Cedar Creek Lodge offers modern, comfortable rooms. Amenities include a fitnes center, free ski shuttle, and free buffet breakfast.
Motel Lake MacDonald: Budget-friendly and family-friendly Motel Lake MacDonald provides simple and comfortable rooms. It is conveniently located near the park entrance and offers easy access to its trails. (Also spelled Motel Lake McDonald.)
The Village Inn: Situated in the heart of West Glacier on the shore of Lake MacDonald, The Village Inn offers comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere. It is an excellent choice for those who want to be close to restaurants and shops. Hiking and biking trails are nearby.
Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins: The Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins offers cozy cabins and comfortable rooms near the Apgar Visitor Center. It is family-friendly and a popular choice with outdoor enthusiasts. They have kitchenettes and refrigerators.
Lodging Options Outside of West Glacier
Whitefish Mountain Resort: While not directly in Glacier National Park, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers luxurious accommodations at Whitefish Lake and is an excellent option for those looking for a ski-in/ski-out experience. Plus, it has summer mountain biking and more. It is located in the charming town of Whitefish, which provides various dining and shopping options.
Firebrand Hotel: The Firebrand Hotel, is a boutique hotel in Whitefish providing stylish and modern accommodations. It is known for its excellent service and convenient location. There is a spa, restaurant, and bar on-site for the perfect getaway.
Grouse Mountain Lodge: Nestled in the scenic Flathead Valley and beside Flathead Lake, Grouse Mountain Lodge offers comfortable rooms and a range of amenities like an indoor pool and hot tub. It is a great choice for those exploring Glacier National Park and the surrounding area.
Lodging Options on the East Side of Glacier National Park
Many Glacier Hotel: Many Glacier Hotel is located on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake. It was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1914-15. The hotel’s rooms have old-world-style accommodations and modest amenities, such as private bathrooms and direct-dial telephones. However, there are no televisions or air conditioning.
Many Glacier Hotel is open from early June to mid-September.
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn: Situated in the heart of Many Glacier near the Many Glacier Hotel, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn offers comfortable rooms and easy access to hiking trails. It is a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts. Nestled between Fishercap Lake and Swiftcurrent Lake, the motor inn is close to the Many Glacier Ranger Station. Amenities include laundry facilities and a convenience store.
Rising Sun Motor Inn: Located near the St. Mary Visitor Center in St. Mary Village, Rising Sun Motor Inn, built in 1940, offers convenient access to the park’s eastern side. It provides rustic cabins, motel rooms, close access to hiking and biking trails, and beautiful views. They are open from mid-June to early September. Amenities include a restaurant and bbq grills.
Glacier Park Lodge: Glacier Park Lodge, a historic lodge in East Glacier, offers a unique and charming atmosphere. It features comfortable large rooms in the Annex and a range of amenities, including a golf course. The Amtrak train station is at the foot of the lodge at the bottom of the hill.
When we were there in June, Glacier Park Lodge, also known as the “Big Tree Lodge,” amazed us with the enormous Douglas fir timbers throughout the property. You have to see it to believe it.
Prince of Wales Hotel: Situated in Waterton Lakes National Park, which borders Glacier National Park, the Prince of Wales Hotel, an iconic and historic lodge, offering incomparable views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. It provides elegant accommodations and a memorable experience.
The lobby boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Upper Waterton Lake and the town of Waterton. The view is breathtaking and it’s difficult to take your eyes away.
Our visit included a stop at the Visitor’s Center in Waterton and Cameron Falls. They are both easily accessible with plenty of parking nearby.
With this comprehensive guide to Glacier National Park lodging, you can find the perfect accommodations for your trip. Whether you prefer a luxurious hotel or a cozy cabin, options are available to suit every traveler’s needs. You can start planning your Rocky Mountain escape and create an unforgettable adventure now.