Traveling to Glacier National Park during a Pandemic was oddly satisfying. Like many people, GNP has been on my bucket list for years. Given current circumstance, instead of flying, my boyfriend and I decided to road trip. We drove about 40hrs from Georgia to Glacier NP in three days. On the way there we spent the night in Kansas City and Denver. It was a good opportunity to see old friends. From Denver we drove 15hrs straight to Glacier.
The road trip consisted of a lot of Podcast, audio books, and talks about the Universe (thanks to Star Talk Podcast by Neil deGrasse Tyson). It kept us entertained and gave us great many things to talk and ponder about.
Now for the itinerary.
We stayed at the same Airbnb for the duration of the trip. We had initially planned to camp a few nights but there were no available campgrounds, mainly due to the park closing all of its camping sites but three. We also wanted to do backcountry, however, no advance reservations were allowed and it was first come first serve. We ended up not doing that either. The airbnb was very close to the park, so it wasn't a bad drive in and out of the park. Backcountry in GNP is still on my bucket list when the Pandemic is over and the whole park is open. More details on that later.
We stayed in Coram, Montana. The Airbnb was a cabin like home that had a deck facing Flathead River and it was absolutely beautiful. We had our own private room & bath. The owner built the entire house himself and the level of detail was stunning. You can find the link here: Airbnb
I really like this airbnb for a few reasons, it was clean, comfortable, and very homely. However, the outdoor deck facing the river and seeing millions of star at night takes the cake. You could see the Milky Way when it's not cloudy!
Our main activities were hiking everyday and whitewater rafting.
The entire East Glacier portion of the park was closed to hikers due to the Pandemic. The Blackfeet Indian Reservation that borders East Glacier closed their entrances to tourism for all of 2020. Therefore, GNP closed all of their trails from Many Glacier. That made the trail options a lot simpler since we had to stick to just West Glacier and it gave us the chance to thoroughly explore this area.
Day 1: Mt.Brown
Day 2: St.Mary’s Lake and Virginia Falls
Day 3: Hidden Lake
Day 4: Granite Park Chalet
Video coming soon.
Day 5: Piegan Pass
Video coming soon
On the drive up, we listened to Podcasts about how Glaciers were formed, about the park, must do hikes, and food to try. One of the food recommendations from people who have visited the park was trout. We've been cooking our own dinner at the Airbnb, but one of the days when we were especially exhausted from hiking, we decided it was a good day for take out. We went to Josephine's Bar & Kitchen and got Smoked Trout Cake Po' Boy which was delicious. It came with a side of fries and a spicy pickle slice which amazing. Click here for their full menu.
We went rafting our second to last day at Glacier to switch it up a bit and give my legs a break. There are about a dozen different rafting companies around the park. After talking to our Airbnb host (who is a full time rafting guide) and looking at reviews online, we went with Wild River Adventures. They 5stars on google and facebook and tons of great review. The rapids on Flathead River are most class 2, and a couple that maybe considered class 3. It is a great experience for families with children, nothing too crazy. I had a great time, however, my boyfriend who is also a raft guide in Georgia where we have class 4 and 5, he wasn't too impressed with the rapids. We were in a raft with a family of six, and it was their first time doing white water rafting. Overall, everyone had a lot fun and competed with the other rafts down the river.
The company Wild River Adventures is great. The guides were funny, easy going, knew how to do their job well. No issues with the gear or equipment. If you visit Glacier, I recommend white water rafting.
Hope you found this blog useful and makes it easier for you to plan your own trip to Glacier National Park.