Glacier National Park was breathtaking. We stayed on the east side of Glacier in the town of St. Mary, which was a great jumping off point for the Going to the Sun Road. We were just minutes from the east entrance and Visitor’s Center while staying at the KOA. Because we arrived late in the season, we missed the park shuttle and boat ride tours.
So, we chose to take the Red Bus Tour, the bus referred to as a Jammer, and our tour guide picked us up right at our campground. The weather was perfect, so she was able to roll back the top of the tour bus, which gave us spectacular views of the Going to the Sun Road, and allowed us to stand up at designated stopping points for 360 degree views.
We had totally lucked out…the previous week they had gotten several inches of snow, which had melted, and in turn, the leaves started turning colors several weeks early! The colorful trees surrounding the bright blue water were so gorgeous. We were happy to let the driver navigate the tight and twisted roads while we marveled at the scenery.
There were not many glaciers to actually see, as they have been disappearing over the last several decades due to the climate changes find more information.
The tour went as far as Logan’s Pass before turning around. Upon arrival, we got out for a short time, had lunch, and took a short walk to admire the views. I hope to return to Logan’s Pass on a future visit, and hike the trail directly behind the Logan’s Pass Visitor Center, which is supposed to have beautiful wildflowers.
After the 4 hour tour, we drove to another part of the park, called Many Glacier, primarily because we heard about the bear activity in the area. We were a little leery about going on a hike with all the bear sightings and “scat” in the area, so we skipped the hike. However, we did see about 7 bears from the safety of our car, but they were teeny tiny dots up on the mountainside. We did make out a mother bear and her two cubs moving around behind the trees. Binoculars would have been very helpful on this trip!
We also attended a night time program at the St Mary’s Visitor Center, and were able to view the stars and solar flares coming from the sun, through some very fancy telescopes. Our eight year old was the youngest one there, but he did enjoy the program, and he especially enjoyed climbing up the ladder to look through the largest telescope I have ever seen.
We hope to return to Glacier National Park to experience it from the west side and the Canadian side.
For information about visiting Glacier National Park, click here.