Top Glacier National Park Activities For Families
If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park in the near future, consider these great outdoor activities that will bring your family closer together. Our best picks for the Top Glacier National Park Activities for Families!
Glacier National Park in Montana is a park filled with majestic beauty and tranquility. The mountain ranges that meet the beautiful lakes give an equally amazing reflection. Not only is there so much beauty to see, but there are also equally exciting activities that will make a well-rounded trip.
#1. Driving the “Going to the Sun Road”
Driving the Going to the Sun Road is an experience unlike any other road you’ve trekked across. Traveling the entire road is just shy of 50 miles with the most stunning mountain views, waterfalls, and glaciers. It’s truly a magnificent view.
Depending on the time of day you will witness wildlife along the mountainside. Use extreme caution as the road is narrow, winding, and drastic changes in elevation at times. The road opens seasonally, depending upon the weather.
Many visitors (including our family) drive the road multiple times in order to see different points of interest with each trip.
#2. Go on a Float Trip
If you’ve never gone on a float trip down a river before, now is the time to cross that baby off your family’s bucket list. There are several Float Guides and Whitewater Rafting companies at Glacier National Park that have experienced guides that guarantee your family’s safety.
We booked a half day float trip with Glacier Guides Montana Raft and it was one of the best things we did on our trip. The float trip was super safe and relaxing… perfect for kids. The water was gorgeous and the length was just long enough to have a blast but not so long kids got bored.
#3. Take a Boat Tour Across One of the Lakes
There are also great boating tours in Glacier National Park, where you can rent a boat for several hours with your family on Lake McDonald. You can also get tickets to take a guided tour of the lakes. A favorite (that we did and loved) was to book a Many Glacier Boat Tour and a guided nature walk to Grinnell Glacier. It was super kid-friendly and we got to see the amazing Grinnell Glacier without hiking for miles!
#4. Swim in a Glacier Lake
Yes. It will likely be very cold, but you won’t regret dipping your toes into the glacial waters. Lake McDonald is one of the best places to take a dip. We were mesmerized by the beautiful colored rocks and probably collected a large bags worth of them!
You can also dip your toes into the water at other areas around Glacier National Park as well. The Two Medicine Area has a great lake, as does Many Glacier Area’s Swiftcurrent Lake.
#5. Wildlife Seeing Opportunities
Make sure you grab your binoculars, wildlife is flourishing within Glacier National Park. There are so many different species that you will come across during your visit. Moose, mountain goats, big-horned sheep, and bears are among the most common wildlife you will come across in the park.
There really isn’t a ‘best place’ to see wildlife because you could (and will) literally see bears, goats, moose, and more anywhere throughout the park. We saw bears on the road to St. Mary’s, as well as near Lake McDonald Lodge AND the Many Glacier area. We saw goats on the Going-To-The-Sun Road, and Moose near Logan Pass.
#6 Check Out The Historic Lodges
You don’t have to stay at one of the Glacier National Park lodges to enjoy them. If you have the time I would highly recommend dipping into both Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel.
Lake McDonald Lodge is rustic like a massive hunting lodge. Your kids will get a kick out of all the taxidermy animals sprinkled around the great room. You can grab take-out at the lodge and eat inside the main lodge area. Afterward, go down to the shore of Lake McDonald… it’s gorgeous!
Many Glacier Hotel is the largest hotel at Glacier National Park. It has a Bavarian Chalet theme and it is incredibly grand. If you time your visit right, you might even get treated to live music!
#7. Camping at Glacier National Park
If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park, make sure you reserve your camping site for a more intimate experience. Teach your kids to be careful that you leave any trace of food or wrappers behind, as this can bring unwanted guests.
Because of the lack of civilization to light up the sky, the stars are incredible, and you even can see the hazy milky way. There are 13 campgrounds available to camp at. There are around 1,009 different sites to camp at, which is great!
Here are some of the best camping options at Glacier National Park.
You can make reservations at the following campgrounds:
Other campgrounds at Glacier National Park are first come first serve.
- Two Medicine
- Cut Bank
- Logging Creek
- Kintla Lake
- Sprague Creek
- Rising Sun
- Fish Creek
You can view all of the campgrounds right here and make reservations.
#7. Hiking Options at Glacier National Park
Hiking a few of the trails at Glacier National Park will have beauty and excitement around every corner. Be aware that hiking trails can be closed at any time due to snow or the presence of bear activity in the area.
Make sure you check-in at the visitor center to make sure the trails you are planning on hiking are open. Below are some of the best kid-friendly hiking trails you will come across in the park.
- Trail of Cedars – The Trail of Cedars is an easy walk, as it has a paved road and a boardwalk that takes you around the trail. You will come across some massive trees and cross suspension bridges. The Avalanche Lake Trail junctions on this path, where you can explore more of the gorge and Avalanche Lake.
- St. Mary’s Falls and Virginia Falls – What obviously makes these trails so special is the falls themselves cascading hundreds of feet, and cooling off the temperature around you. These trails are moderate in difficulty and both around 3-3.5 miles round trip.
- Running Eagle Falls- Located in the Two Medicine Area, this short hike takes you to the gorgeous Running Eagle Waterfall.
These are several activities you can enjoy while visiting Glacier National Park. If you plan on visiting in the near future, tell us what you plan on doing with your family. If you’ve already visited, what was your family’s favorite activity in the park?