How to Pick Your Glacier National Park Lodging
2010 Centennial Year
The year 2010 will be Glacier National Park’s centennial year; one hundred years of being designated as a National Park. There are many choices for lodging inside the Park. I would suggest reserving your rooms at least 6 months in advance; especially if you want to visit in the most popular months of July and August. But because it is their centennial next year, you might want to reserve earlier. For my July 2008 trip, I waited until April to call. I wanted to stay 3 nights. I was lucky to reserve the last room in the entire Park for only 2 of the 3 nights. The first night I had to stay outside the Park. So book early.
Many Glacier Hotel
This hotel is a National Historic Landmark and is the largest in the Park with 214 rooms. Prices for 2010 range from $150-$289. Built in 1915 by the Great Northern Railroad, this Swiss-style hotel is located in Many Glacier Valley on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake and at the base of Mt. Grinnell. It is the hub of the largest trail system in Glacier. There are five major valleys that will lead you to glaciers, passes and lakes. And the scenery is gorgeous. Three glaciers are visible from its location.
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cottages
Built in 1933 as a rest stop for car travelers, it is a mile from Many Glacier Hotel. It has 88 rooms and private cabins with 2010 prices ranging from $65 to $137. Right outside its doors are many trailheads for some of the most popular hikes in the Park. This is where I originally wanted to stay but was unable to get a reservation. I was sort of glad I didn’t get the room here because the road for Many Glacier and Swiftcurrent dead-ends at Swiftcurrent so the parking lot is always busy with people turning around to get back on the road. But the location next to the trailheads is this one's advantage, not to mention fantastic scenery.
Glacier Park Lodge & Resort
Built in 1912, it is located just outside the park in East Glacier at the base of Dancing Lady Mountain. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has 161 guest rooms with prices for 2010 ranging from $129 to $449. It has a fascinating lobby lined with enormous Douglas fir trees. The Blackfeet called it “The Big Tree Lodge”.
Lake McDonald Lodge and Complex
Built in 1914 in the SW region along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, this Swiss Chalet sits on the shores of Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the Park. George Snyder built the first hotel and hunting lodge in 1895. Huge logs support the lobby’s high ceiling and it is still decorated today with animal trophies. It also has a huge stone fireplace. The complex has 100 guest rooms split between the main building, cabins and a motor inn. Prices for 2010 range from $124 to $177.
Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cottages
Built in 1940, this Inn is located next to St Mary Lake and is surrounded by red mountain peaks. It is on the east central side of the Park just off the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It has 72 cottages and motor inn guest rooms with prices for 2010 ranging from $121 to $137. It is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. This was my lodging for two nights. I had a motor inn room. It was an adequate room, but never leave the door open as you are taking your luggage in….the place filled up with mosquitoes! Fortunately I did get rid of all of them before I went to bed that night! The restaurant has very good food. This was a nice central location to visit Many Glacier Valley, the Two Medicine Lake area and of course St Mary Lake.
Village Inn at Apgar
Built in 1956, it sits on the shores of McDonald Lake in Apgar village on the western side of the Park. It is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It has 36 guest rooms with great views of the mountains forming the ‘Crown of the Continent’ or the Continental Divide. Prices for 2010 range from $137 to $205.
Prince of Wales Hotel
Finished in 1927 this hotel is located in Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. It is seven stories high and the lobby has huge windows with a spectacular view of the mountains that surround the lake. It was named after Great Britain’s Prince Edward who was the Prince of Wales at that time. It has 86 guest rooms with a British atmosphere that includes afternoon tea. It is a National Historic Site in Canada. I wanted to visit this hotel and gaze at the beautiful scenery but I forgot my passport which is needed now to cross the border and get back into the states. I did see it from the air from the helicopter ride I took over Glacier National Park.
Granite Park and Sperry Chalets
Built from 1912-1914 by the Great Northern Railway, these two backcountry chalets are both National Historic Landmarks. Sperry can be reached by hiking or by horseback. Granite Park can only be reached by hiking in. It is a self-service hiker shelter.
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn is just down the road from Many Glacier Hotel.
Glacier National Park Lodging Contact Information
Glacier Park Inc.
P.O. Box 2025,
Columbia Falls, Montana 59912
Village Inn Motel, Lake McDonald Lodge, Rising Sun Motor Inn, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Glacier Park Lodge, Prince of Wales Hotel and Many Glacier Hotel.
Prices for 2010 are suggested and have not been approved yet by the National Park Service.
The Chalets: Call (800)-345-2649 or go to their websites:
There are a limited number of rooms inside Glacier National Park and a variety of prices to fit most any budget. Even if you don’t stay inside the park, put them on your list of places to visit. They are all a part of Glacier’s history and each has its own special ambiance. Remember to plan your trip early.
Some Great Glacier Activities
- The First Must-Do Adventure in Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park in northern Montana is one of the gems of the national park system. But if you want to see the glaciers, you need to go soon. There used to be around 150 glaciers in the park but it is...
- Exploring Glacier National Park by Boat and Your Own Two Feet
An excellent adventure at Glacier National Park is to take the boat cruises/hikes. I managed to work in two of them. The first one was on St. Mary Lake. This lake is on the eastern edge of the park and is the...
- Going-to-the-Sun Road: A Drive You Will Never Forget
An excellent adventure at Glacier National Park is a journey by car across the Going-to-the-Sun Road. First, a little bit of background about the road. It was first considered in 1910 but construction was not...