U.S. Park Lodging is a private service that can help you find accommodation in some of our country's most popular tourist destinations.  Check here often for updates and specials on lodging and activity opportunities in and around America's National Parks!

Glacier Park Chalets

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

Come explore the unforgettable Glacier backcountry without having to tote along all your heavy hiking and camping gear! Glacier National Park is home to two historic chalets, the Glacier Park Chalet and the Sperry Chalet. These remote accommodations are perfect for the experienced hiker wanting an authentic, backcountry experience. Here, you can learn all about the area’s best hiking trails and see which chalet is right for you- or better yet, plan a visit to both!

Granite Park ChaletGoing to Sun Road

Located in the heart of Montana’s Glacier National Park, Granite Park Chalet was built in the year 1914. Sitting at almost 7,000 feet above seal level, this chalet was constructed by the Great Northern Railway and is one of five structures that make up the Great Northern Railway Buildings District.

Before 2003, the surrounding areas, including Granite Park Trail, was covered in woods. However, after lightning struck the woods, a wildfire swept across almost 20,000 acres of the surrounding mountainside, clearing much of the area. Today, though the forest has already begun to regenerate, the area is heavily populated with vibrant wildflowers.

Staying at Granite Park Chalet

The chalet can only be reached through a hiking trail available to those on foot or horseback. Granite Park Chalet has no electricity and offers basic accommodations for an authentic, backwoods experience. Visitors can sign up for a time to use the full-service kitchen as meals are cooked on your own. The stagg keeps boiling water on the stove and warm water to wash your hands in. Granite Park Chalet encourages guests to make “water runs,” which requires you to fill a plastic jug with water from a nearby stream where the park has set up a water filtration system.

Getting to Granite Park Chalet…

Going to the Sun Road (Highline Trail)

Length: 7.6 mile hike

Elevation: 2k ft elevation gain

Sights: This route takes hikers along the Crown of the Continent Highline Trail as well as passing through the Garden Wall where there are beautiful sites to behold. Gaze upon breathtaking vistas and pass by wildlife as you march along the trail. You can see ground squirrels, marmots, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and more. Watch the sun peak through the low clouds from out of the deep blue sky, hitting the mountaintops and drawing long shadows across the green valleys.

Difficulty: The trail is a good challenge for hikers as you will face shear drop offs in many places along the way.

Loop Trail

Length: 4 mile hike

Elevation: 2.2k ft. elevation gain

Sights: Take The Loop up to Granite Park Chalet, beginning off Going-To-The-Sun Road. You can find the trailhead about 13 miles east of McDonald Lodge. This trail provides spectacular views of Heavens Peak, towering almost 9,000 feet above you. Below, stretched out across the valley, you’ll find McDonald Creek, glistening in the afternoon sunlight.

Difficulty: Loop Trail is the shortest and easiest trail leading to Granite Park Chalet, but with a steep elevation gain, it is still recommended only to experience hikers.

Glacier RiverSwiftcurrent Trail

Length: 7.5 miles
Elevation:
2.3k ft. elevation gain

Sights: Start up Swiftcurrent Pass from Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead in Many Glacier, at the far end of the parking lot for Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Don’t forget to take some time to stop and enjoy stunning views of Fishercap Lake, tall, alpine mountains and gushing waterfalls. In the mornings, the lake is a great place to spot moose and other animals.

Difficulty: A flat, easy hike through wooded area for the first few miles, this hike becomes steeper once you reach the series of switchbacks.

Sperry Chalets
Built in 1913 by Glacier National Park developer, James J. and his son, Louis Hill of the Great Northern Railway. Now a Historic Landmark, the pastoral buildings of Sperry Chalet, built from native rock, have withstood the elements, remaining almost entirely unchanged for nearly a century.

Sperry Chalet consists of a 2-story hotel building filled with private rooms with accompanying kitchen and dining room with another, newer separate building that holds the restrooms. Sperry Chalet also has no lighting or electricity, but the dining room is still equipped with a wood stove and propane lights. Three full meals are served each day for guests.

Getting to Sperry Chalet…

Gunsight Pass Trail
Length: 13.5 miles

Elevation: 3.3k feet elevation gain
Sights:
An all day hike, Gunsight Pass Trail leads visitors through a forests, alpine climbs, sparkling lakes, and rushing waterfalls. Gunsight Pass Trail crosses the Continental Divide and a multitude of gorgeous views of Glacier National Park.
Difficulty:
Gunsight Pass Trail is for advanced hikers. Typically a 9-hour hike, this hike requires an early start. Those who begin too late will miss dinner at Sperry Chalet.

Mountain Range in Glacier

The Sperry Trail
Length:
6.7 miles

Elevation: 3.3k ft elevation gain
Sights:
The Sperry Trail is the main trail leading to Sperry Chalet. Climb through cedar and hemlock forests through McDonald Valley providing stunning views of Glacier’s vistas. Explore spur trails to Snyder Lakes, Fish Lake, and Mt. Brown Lookout.
Difficulty:
The Sperry Trail is a challenging hike that is almost entirely uphill.

Sperry Glacier Trail
Length:
4 miles

Elevation: 1500 ft. elevation gain

Sights: Head to the bottom of Sperry Glacier, one of the largest glaciers in Glacier National Park. Pass the Sperry Headwall and Little Matterhorn as you make your way to Comeau pass, which offers majestic views of the remote peaks in the Livingston Range. Climb the colorful man-made rock cairns to reach the glacier.
Difficulty:
Regarded as a strenuous hike, Sperry Glacier Trail is for those in good physical condition.

You’re in for a fun and peaceful wilderness adventure when you come to stay at Glacier National Park’s cozy Chalets. These historic landmarks offer a true, Glacier experience with access to some of the park’s best trails and most iconic views. Get away from the chaos with a getaway to Granite Park or Sperry Chalet.

Glacier National Park

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Glacier National Park

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

Glacier National Park, nicknamed Crown of the Continent, is an ideal destination for those in need of a fun vacation and relaxing getaway. During the summer months, Glacier is home to an array of fun activities that can all be enjoyed amidst one of the country’s most beautiful national parks, while the quiet paradise of the winter season offers family fun that can’t be missed!

LODGING CHOICES

Historic Belton Chalet

When visiting Glacier National Park, there are a variety of accommodations to fit any traveller’s needs! For a historical experience, try the Belton Chalet. Enjoy a peaceful dinner at The Grill Dining Room and try out seasonal beers at their attached tap room.

Glamping with Glacier Under Canvas

For a fun, new experience, try out the trend known as glamping. Glacier Under Canvas offers a glamping experience like none other with a variety of rooming options. Sleep comfortably in King sized bed, choose tents with attached bathrooms, and cook dinner in comfort with your wood-burning stove. Conveniently located just outside of West Glacier, Glacier Under Canvas offers Safari Tents, Deluxe Tents, Suites, Tipis, and Standard Cabins.

Golf and Swim at Grouse Mountain Lodge

For a more traditional stay with a variety of nearby activities, there’s Grouse Mountain Lodge, a hotel located right across from the Whitefish Lake Golf Club. Complete with an indoor pool and 2 outdoor spas, this location also boasts a business center, wine room, tennis courts, and fully-stocked fitness room.

Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins

Stay at Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins where you can rent mountain bikes or grab dinner and drinks at the Saloon.

Ski with Whitefish Mountain Resort

For serious skiers, consider the Whitefish Mountain Resort, rated as one of the Top 10 resorts of 2016 by SKI Magazine. The resort sits on a property of 3,000 acres. Their trails are well-maintained and suitable for skiers of all ages and experience levels.

Skiing at The Izaak Walton Inn

The Izaak Walton Inn offers vacationers professional ski instruction and convenient access to the ski trails. This hotel also includes a game room and Dining Car restaurant.

Ride Horses at the Bar W Ranch

For a bevy of activities, try the Bar W Ranch which offers fishing, horse training and riding lessons, located near Spencer Lake.

Cozy up at The Cottages at Glacier

Visitors can also keep cozy and warm in a private cottage rental from The Cottages at Glacier, situated near the East Entrance of Going-to-the-Sun Road.

 

WINTER FUN

Immerse yourself in an unrivaled winter wonderland at Glacier National Park. All the beauty of nature is revealed in this quiet, peaceful season when you can enjoy clean air and wildlife free from the crowds. Winter offers a scenic experience like nothing you’ve experienced before. All day long, crisp white mountains sparkle against a dazzlingly clear blue sky as you inhale the clean, refreshing air. In the evening, a warm, orange-red glow reflects radiantly off the mountain tops and frozen lakes. Keep warm with hot cocoa as you watch a gorgeous sunset lighting the frost-covered landscape on fire. Come for fun, snowy adventures and enjoy activities like guided snowshoeing or backcountry tours.

Winter Season Skiing

Glacier in the winter is a skier’s paradise! You can experience some of the best trails in the country when you visit Glacier National Park. The area is well-known for its abundance of snow and moderate winter temperatures. Destinations like Big Mountain and Blacktail Mountain Ski Area offers skiing and snowboarding lessons with certified instructors as well as equipment rentals. Tackle over 1400 feet of vertical elevation amidst an average of 250 inches of snow every season.

Dogsledding

Travel across the backcountry of Montana being pulled by strong, Alaskan huskies. Keep warm in a comfortable sled as you survey sights you may never have the chance to see again. This is an adventurous ride suited for all ages where you might spot a glimpse of rare wildlife or catch a little bit of air as you zoom through the snow-covered paradise.

Sleigh Rides

For a quiet, peaceful tour, you can enjoy horse-drawn sleigh ride across a winter wonderland, bundled up in blankets, taking in the sights and sounds of nature.

Snowmobile Tours

View the pristine valleys and high rising mountain tops on an exhilarating snowmobile tour through Glacier National Park. Spend the day zooming through powdery snow and adventuring across the country trails. Later, you’ll be ready for a hearty dinner and a relaxing evening cozied up next to a warm fire.

Glacier National ParkSUMMER ADVENTURES

Hiking Trails

Explore the beauty of Glacier’s many bodies of water. See St. Mary or Iceberg Lake, a stunning lake enclosed on three of its sides by tall mountains. Experience the stunning sights of sound of gushing mountain water of the Virginia Falls up close or catch a glimpse of native wildlife as you travel through Montana’s breathtaking backcountry.

Local Activities

Head to nearby Whitefish or the larger city of Kalispell to enjoy some shopping and local restaurants. You can also bask in the glorious sounds of Kalispell’s Glacier Symphony and Chorale or enjoy live theater at the Alpine Theater Project in Whitefish.

Local Wine & Beer

If you’re visiting in the summer, make sure to check out some of the nearby brewfests where you can taste local beers from dozens of Montana brewers. Glacier County is also home to a number of wineries, all featuring premium wines that must be tried! Montana is equipped with low humidity, warm days, chilly nights and a high elevation that is favorable for producing delicious wines! Wine lovers must taste all of the sumptuous flavors crafted from the dazzling sunlight, fresh mountain air, and unique local fruits.

Zip Lines at Big Mountain

Available June through September, Big Mountain offers exciting zip line tours, the longest Montana has to offer. With seven separate lines placed 300 feet above the ground, this thrilling experience is not to be missed! There are side-by-side zip lines that allow you to race your friends and family across the Glacier landscape, the longest zip line coming to 1900ft above a valley floor.

Water Activities

Don’t miss out on kayaking or boating at Glacier National Park! Imagine trailing across one of Glacier’s sparkling lakes by boat or kayak as you gaze up at the tall, sunlit mountains. Kayaking includes guided tours and can be done on your own.

Alpine Slide

Fun for all ages, the Alpine Slide offers an exciting sled-ride down a long slide with drops and curves. Available during the summer season, you can get the exhilaration of tubing or skiing even when there’s no snow on the ground.

Big Sky Water Park

Family fun awaits at the Big Sky WaterPark! Montana’s largest water park features ten different water slides, a whirl pool, and a kid’s activity pool. Zoom down the seven story tall Geronimo Speed Slide or follow the tumultuous turns around one of four Twister Slides! Don’t forget to make time to play mini-golf and a round of bumper cars, or climbing the rock wall. There is also an antique carousel as well as water balloon wars! Family fun at the Big Sky WaterPark begins in June and goes all the way through late September.

The Amazing Fun Center

There are more good times to be had at The Amazing Fun Center as your journey through the first 3D maze ever built in North America. Discover your way around 1.5 miles of passages and overhead walkways. Travel as a team or challenge one another to a race, seeing who will be the first to get a stamp in all four corners of the maze before finding your way out. After you’ve completed your journey, ride go karts or enjoy a fun, bumper boats battle equipped with squirt guns to soak your opponents. The equipment is well-kept, containing clean motor engines for a stress-free and enjoyable experience. Then take a turn at the Bankshot Basketball, where you rotate through over a dozen different baskets with fun and unique backboards. Family fun at The Maze can be had May thru September of each year.

Helicopter Tours

For a unique and comprehensive view of Glacier that you can’t find anywhere else, schedule an unforgettable helicopter tour! Of the many different types of tours offered at Glacier, this is one that can’t be missed. On the ground, the mountains and cliffs tower above you, but by air, you get a panoramic, birds-eye view of the mountains, lakes and other natural land forms.

Glacier National Park offers a delightful experience for visitors of all ages and interests, at any time during the year! Bring your family in the winter to enjoy lots of ski trails and hot cocoa. Come in the summer for warm nights filled with local entertainment and unforgettable mountain views! Book your trip now and make memories that will last a lifetime!