One of the first steps to planning a trip to any location is determining the gateways to your destination. This usually means finding the nearest airports to your destination so you know which flights to book for the trip. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1.Airports

Airports
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For Glacier National Park, there are a couple of choices that might be ideal for you depending on your circumstances. Here are some of the airports closest to the place:

Glacier National Park International Airport (FCA)

Among the airports on this list, this is the closest to Glacier National Park. Making your way to the national park can be complicated, but Glacier Park International makes everything a lot easier with the help of rental cars and shuttles that can take you from the airport to the park. The entire drive to the center would be approximately be an hour.

Lethbridge Airport (YQL)

This is an ideal starting point for Canadian visitors. Lethbridge Airport is just sitting across the border. But more than the Canadians, this gateway could be a more adventurous choice because of all the scenery you’ll be exposed to with the longer journey. Just be sure that you’re ready for the long haul by booking rental cars in advance.

Missoula International Airport (MSO)

This one is roughly three hours away from Glacier National Park, so it’s a great alternative for some American travelers as well. Much like the Lethbridge alternative, this gateway will treat travelers to a scenic drive on the way to the destination.

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2.Getting to the Park

Getting to the Park
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Glacier National Park is just northwest of Montana along the Canadian border. Southwest (29 miles) of the park is its closest city neighbor, Kalispell, followed by Missoula from the south (150 miles), and Great Falls from the southeast (200 miles). The quickest route to the park for cars is to take the U.S. 2 and U.S. 89.

There are a couple of entrances to the park:

- West Glacier

- St. Mary

- Many Glacier

- Camas Road

- Polebridge

- Two Medicine

Access is mainly at both ends of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, namely the West Glacier and St. Mary. If you’re coming from the western boundary of the park, you can go in Polebridge and make your way to Bowman and Kintla lakes. You can also take the Camas Road to get to the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

As for the east side trails, they’re meant primarily to be hiking trails that grant access to particular spots, although they don’t necessarily lead you to the center of the park. These trails are the East Glacier, Essex, Two Medicine, Many Glacier, and Cut Bank.

You’ll want to get visitor entrance passes as well. These can be purchased at the West Glacier, Polebridge, Many Glacier, and St. Mary entrances. Unfortunately, the place is closed during the winter. Most of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed as well.

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3.Alternative Transportation

Alternative Transportation
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You already know that you can get to the Park via plane. But you can also take the rail. There is a train by Amtrak’s Empire Builder that travels between Chicago to Seattle which stops at East Glacier between May to October and Essex and West Glacier all year round.

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4.Need Information

Need Information
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- You can directly contact the superintendent of Glacier National Park via the following contact information:

Address: P.O. Box 128 West Glacier, MT 59936, Phone: 406-888-7800

- The Glacier Association also publishes a number of materials for the public. You can get a hold of them via the following information:

Address: P.O. Box 310, 12544 U.S. 2 E., West Glacier, MT 59936, Phone: 406-888-5756

- You can also approach the park’s visitor centers. They’re located at Logan Pass, Agpar, and St. Mary. Park information is also provided at Polebridge, Mary Glacier, and Two Medicine.

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5.Necessary Fees and Permits

Necessary Fees and Permits
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If you’re driving a car, you’ll need a vehicle pass. One pass costs $25 and is good for seven (7) days. For those who are walking in and taking their bikes or motorcycles, they’ll need to get an individual pass worth $12, also good for seven (7) days.

Winter rates are different. Vehicle passes are worth $15 and individual passes are free. There’s also an annual park pass that’s worth $35.

If you’re planning on camping, you also have to get a permit which requires a $10 to $23 camping fee per night. This will give you access to the park’s drive-in camping grounds. For hikers and bikers, they share one campsite and need to pay fees of either $5 or $8 pax.

Backpacking overnight? You’ll also have to secure a backcountry permit before you travel.

Note: If you’re going to Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada, you’re going to pay a separate fee.

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6.Want to Avoid the Crowds

Want to Avoid the Crowds
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The simplest answer to this problem is to stay away from the park during peak season, which is marked from mid-June to the first of May. July has also been pegged as the busiest month all year. The less busy seasons span from late September to October, which is when the colors of fall start to cover the entire park. This also happens to be the best opportunity to see all the larch trees by the west side of the park. The hills also turn bright yellow, fading into orange as October ends.

Want to avoid the crowds even at peak season? There’s still a way. You’ll want to look for a trail head that’s of equal distance from to major spots and go for the woods. This method will get you a considerate amount of privacy since most people head towards the hotels. If you need to drive, head to the Going-to-the-Sun Road before 8:30 AM. This will also give you a chance to enjoy the beautiful morning mountain view, as well as the wildlife you’ll otherwise not see later in the day.

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7.Don't forget to take pictures

Don't forget to take pictures
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No matter your strategy for the travel, Glacier National Park is definitely filled with great photo opportunities. Try to catch the mountains in different colors and have your photo taken with the blossoming wildflowers. You’re sure to come home with tons of memorable photos.

Where to stay near Glacier National Park

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Airports near Glacier National Park



More Ideas in MT: Moss Mountain Inn

Located on the western border of Glacier National Park in Montana on six acres of pristine woodlands, the Moss Mountain Inn is a homey eco-guesthouse in a chalet-style building with warm and welcoming accommodations and gracious hospitality.

Situated seven miles from the entrance of the Glacier National Park and half a mile from the North Fork of the National Wild and Scenic Flathead River, the charming three-story cedar inn features four well-appointed guest rooms with rustic décor, partially wood-paneled walls, en-suite bathrooms, modern amenities and private balconies with spectacular views.

A sumptuous cooked breakfast in the bright, country-style kitchen every morning, a glass-enclosed sunroom with exercise equipment is ideal for staying fit, and a cozy lounge and beautiful gardens offer tranquil spots in which to relax. On-site massages and beauty treatments are available, and a short drive takes guests to charming outpost village of Polebridge, the Glacier National Park, and the quaint resort town of Whitefish.

Guest Accommodations

Moss Mountain Inn features four well-appointed and individually decorated guest rooms with rustic décor, partially wood-paneled walls, en-suite bathrooms, modern amenities and private balconies with spectacular views. All accommodations have king or queen-size beds with pillow-top mattresses, high-quality linens and comforters and plush pillows, and en-suite bathrooms with walk-in showers, and soaking tubs, fresh towels, bathrobes, and branded toiletries. Sitting areas have comfy armchairs and working fireplaces, and modern amenities include flat-screen televisions with cable channels, hairdryers, and complimentary wireless Internet.

Located on the main floor of the inn with an entrance through the solarium, the Camas Room features a queen-size bed with pillow-top mattress, high-quality linens and comforters and plush pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower, and soaking tub, fresh towels, bathrobes, and branded toiletries. This room also has a private patio area with table and chairs for relaxing.

The Apgar Room is located on the second floor of the inn and features a queen-size bed with pillow-top mattress, high-quality linens and comforters and plush pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with shower/bath combination, fresh towels, bathrobes, and branded toiletries. Two private decks with café seating are available for guest staying in this room relaxing and soaking up the beautiful views.

The Highline Room is newly remodeled with a queen-size bed with pillow-top mattress, high-quality linens and comforters and plush pillows, and an en-suite bathroom with walk-in shower, fresh towels, bathrobes, and branded toiletries. A private balcony has comfy seating and breathtaking views of the Glacier mountains beyond.

The newly remodeled Grinnell Room is located on the third floor and is equipped with a queen and a twin bed that converts into a couch, and an en-suite bathroom with shower/bath combination, fresh towels, bathrobes, and branded toiletries. A private balcony has comfy seating and breathtaking views of the Glacier mountains beyond.

Dining

A complimentary country-style breakfast is served every morning and includes freshly baked bread and pastries, seasonal fruit, cereals and yogurt, a variety of signature dishes, and freshly brewed coffee, tea, and juices.

Amenities and Recreation

Facilities and guest services at the Moss Mountain Inn range from on-site massage and beauty treatments and a complimentary country-style breakfast to solarium with exercise equipment and comfy seating. Other guest services include a hot and cold beverage bar with drinks and snacks available throughout the day, breakfast and snacks-to-go on request, a business center with Internet-enabled computer and printing and copying services, trekking poles and bear spray for use, a pole barn for bicycle and motorcycle storage, and complimentary wireless Internet throughout the property. There is a guest refrigerator for guests to use with compliments, along with a washing machine and tumble dryer (on request), and additional amenities include a picnic area and a year-round spring fed pond with excellent wildlife and bird watching spots.

Local Attractions

Located on the western border of Glacier National Park in Montana, the Moss Mountain Inn is ideally situated for enjoying a wide range of activities and outdoor recreational adventures throughout the year. Summer offers hiking, mountain biking, backpacking, kayaking, river rafting, fishing, golf, downhill biking, and zip-lining. Winter activities include skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling and more.

4655 N Fork Rd, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, Phone: 406-381-8931

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More Ideas in MT: Bad Rock Bed & Breakfast

Nestled among towering evergreen pines on ten acres of beautiful rolling landscapes, Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast is a delightful bed-and-breakfast style inn that offers a quintessential Montana getaway. Located a few minutes from Glacier National Park in Flathead Valley, the Inn is ideally situated for exploring the area which is home to many attractions and activities, including Kalispell, Whitefish, and several championship golf courses.

Guest Accommodations

Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast features nine well-appointed and individually decorated guest rooms and cabins with comfortable country-style décor and furnishings. The Main House boasts three distinctly different guest rooms, two of which are located on the upper level of the Inn and one on the lower level. All three guest rooms are air-conditioned and have plush queen-size beds dressed in luxury linens and down comforters, en-suite bathrooms with bath/shower combinations, hairdryer, fresh towels and branded toiletries. Private balconies or patios have spectacular mountain views, and one of the rooms has a sitting area with two daybeds that can accommodate up to four guests.

A short walk from the main house is Bad Rock Junction, which comprises four western-style log cabins for guests wanting extra levels of privacy. All cabins feature rustic, hand-crafted log furniture, spacious living areas with sofas and armchairs, fireplaces and dining areas with tables and chairs for up to six guests. Bedrooms have king or queen-size beds dressed in luxury linens and down comforters, and en-suite bathrooms with bath/shower combinations, hairdryer, fresh towels and branded toiletries, and private porches, patios and balconies have breathtaking views of the Swan and Whitefish Mountains. Cabins also feature fridges, microwaves, coffee makers, and air-conditioning.

Dining

A hearty and healthy breakfast is served every morning, along with snacks throughout the day. Breakfast is served in the dining room and includes fresh fruit, cereals, yogurts, freshly baked pastries and bread, cheese and meats, egg dishes, and chef specialties, along with coffee, tea, and other hot beverages.

Amenities and Recreation

Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast boasts inviting communal spaces in which to relax, including a fully stocked library with over 1,300 books, a games room with a pool table, air hockey and board games, a guest laundry, and a formal dining room where breakfast is served. Other amenities include bicycles, kayaks, and snowshoes for hire, a variety of outdoor games such as badminton, horseshoes and volleyball, and complimentary high-speed Internet around the property. An outdoor firepit is ideal for evenings under the stars.

Weddings & Events

Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast is available to hire for special celebrations such as weddings, vow renewals, anniversaries and more, along with business and corporate meetings and gatherings. The Inn can accommodate up to 30 guests for outdoor weddings and 20 guests for indoor affairs, ranging from intimate ceremonies to lavish receptions under the stars. A modern conference room caters for 15 delegates and features audiovisual equipment, file charts and markers, efficient lighting and climate control, and there is complimentary high-speed Internet around the property. Guests have access to all of the Inn’s facilities and amenities, including a fully stocked library, a games room with a pool table, air hockey and board games, and a formal dining room.

Local Attractions

Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast is situated just 20 minutes from Glacier National Park and offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities and adventures to enjoy, including hiking, mountain biking, river rafting adventures, fishing, and kayaking.

480 Bad Rock Drive, Columbia Falls, MT 59912, Phone: 406-892-2829

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