Glacier National Park is the undisputed “Crown of the Continent”. Its glaciers ascend steep peaks where you’ll hike with mountain goats. Acres of lush green meadows plunge down jagged pinnacles, exposing some of the world’s oldest stones. Waterfalls roar, ice cracks, indigenous grizzly bears and wolves roam the landscape, while bighorn sheep graze in the meadows. Two wild and scenic rivers splash along the park boundaries at 3,150 feet in elevation, making the six peaks over 10,000 feet appear to soar into the sky.
We truly believe Glacier National Park is the most spectacular place in the lower 48 states. If you haven’t been to Glacier National Park yet, let us share with you Ernie Pyle’s words from a 1935 Home Country story.
“I wouldn’t trade one square mile of Glacier for all of the other parks put together. The vast valleys that you look down into, and the unbelievably great peaks and ridges rising above you, and the hidden passes and the surprising banks of snow, and the incongruous meadows on the high flats and the tumbling white streams, and the flowers and the silent little lakes around a bend – all have an isolation and a calm majesty that to me make Glacier Park more than just a place.”
Slicing through the heart of Glacier is the infamous “Going-to-the-Sun Road”. As the park’s biggest attraction, this road leads drivers on a skinny cliff shimmy into the craggy alpine, complete with wildflower wonderlands dancing with glaciers, waterfalls, mountain goats and top-of-the-world trails.
More than 700 miles of trails wind through Glacier’s remote wilderness, making it a hiker’s paradise as well as home to countless other activities. As the Crown of the Continent, the park’s glaciers fuel North American’s major rivers, with water from Glacier tumbling to Hudson Bay, the Gulf of Mexico and to the Pacific.
Glacier National Park has more than one million acres of wilderness, yet it contains fewer than 124 private parcels, together comprising less than 300 acres, for the ultimate in privacy. Glacier Bear Retreat is the first private in-holding in Glacier to have been sold in more than 24 years. We feel incredibly fortunate to have been in the right place at the right time, and due to that privilege, we also feel an obligation to share this little slice of heaven with other like-minded nature lovers who are looking to create a tradition for their families too.
You’ll see lots of wildlife in Glacier National Park, both on the trails and at home at Glacier Bear Retreat. Bears, mountain lions, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, hoary marmots and more, you never know who might be around the corner!
We love sharing Glacier with the wildlife who also call this land home, but it means we must always be aware and respectful. Please exercise extreme caution and respect when you encounter bears (or mountain lions), as this is their home. If you do see a bear – and you’re safe inside the house – please make a bit of noise to frighten him or her away, as we don’t want the bears to become habituated in our area. Although they’re such fun to watch, bear/human interaction never ends well for the bear. And always bring the bear spray we provide when you’re on hikes or even when you’re just relaxing outside at Glacier Bear Retreat. We hope you never need it, but it’s good for you AND for the bear if you always carry it with you.
For more details on what to do if you encounter wildlife, please visit the National Park Service’s official website for Glacier National Park.
Spring, Summer or Fall Activities
Our guests often share that a week in Glacier National Park is far too short to do all of the things they want to experience. Regardless of the season, you’ll find there are more things to do than there will be the time to do them. We tried our best to share our top 10 things to do…
10 Things You Must Do in Glacier National Park
- Drive the Going-to-the Sun Road for a host of photographic opportunities. And, if you’re not interested in driving, you’re only a short walk from the Apgar transportation center where you can enjoy a ride on the historic Glacier Red Jammers or take the free shuttle bus throughout the Park.
- Hike one of the many trails in Glacier National Park. There are more than 700 miles of trails, from beginner to expert, each with its own beauty.
- Tour Lake McDonald by boat. We have two kayaks available for your use, plus rentals are available for additional kayaks, stand up paddleboards, rowboats, speed boats for water skiing or pontoons for touring.
- Go horseback riding. What a great way to see the Park!
- Enjoy whitewater rafting. Various levels/classes are available seasonally.
- Take a helicopter tour of the park. This will give you a sense of perspective that will help you see the forest for the trees.
- Spend time fly-fishing in McDonald Creek, minutes from Glacier Bear. Guides and equipment rental are available.
- Go for a bike ride on the Park roads or bike trails right from your vacation home. There are two bikes for your use and additional bike rentals are available.
- Swim in refreshing Lake McDonald and enjoy the mountain vistas and sunshine from the beach.
- Stargaze into the night sky and enjoy the peace that comes from feeling so small, surrounded by such grandeur.
Okay, we couldn’t pick just 10, so here are some more….
- Enjoy learning at the Ranger-led activities or through an educational class at the Glacier Institute
- Wildlife watching. Bring your binoculars!
- Full moon bicycle ride to Logan Pass. What a great way to see the Park at night, in the glow of the full moon.
- Visit one of the local whisky distilleries, micro breweries or wineries in the Flathead area.
- Zipline down the mountain at nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort. Alpine Slide and a Walk in the Treetops are also available at the resort.
- Rope some cows on a cattle drive in East Glacier.
- Enjoy a live play at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse in nearby Bigfork, MT.
- Bask in a massage or pampering treatment at a nearby spa or in-house massage.
- Participate in one of the local seasonal festivals, from Winterfest, art festivals or music venues, to skijoring, antique shows or farmers markets.
Wintertime in Glacier is simply spectacular. From January 1st-March 15th when Grist Road is closed, take the 1/4 mile walk down the snowy lane to reach Glacier Bear Retreat and enjoy the solitude and beauty of this easily accessible, yet extremely private and secluded home. Most days you will have the park to yourself. Your private vista… watching the falling snow while sitting in front of a roaring fire… is simply incomparable.
From the house, there’s plenty to do:
- Cross country skiing
- Wildlife watching
- Snow play (snowman building, snow fort, etc.)
Within a short drive from Glacier Bear, you’ll find:
- Dog sledding
- Sleigh riding
- Alpine skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort
Imagine spending a week at a warm, cozy “Currier and Ives” storybook cottage in the woods surrounded by snow and silence… writing your next novel, brainstorming your next business idea, or just relaxing by the fire reconnecting with friends and family. Glacier Bear Retreat can give you a winter experience to remember.