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Our most recommended West Glacier Outdoor activities

Montana: Glacier National Park Whitewater Rafting Trip

1. Montana: Glacier National Park Whitewater Rafting Trip

Enjoy an exciting half-day Glacier National Park whitewater rafting trip on the middle fork section of the Flathead River. Manoeuvre the raft through 9 different rapids by following the simple paddle commands of the guide. The trip winds about 8 miles through the John F. Stevens Canyon. The rapids are rated class 2 and 3, making for a fun and splashy family-friendly whitewater rafting adventure. Arrive 30 minutes prior to departure and check-in at the office before meeting your friendly river guides. Leave your belongings in your car and your car keys for you at the front desk. Next, take a short 10-minute bus ride to the river. Your guide will launch the boat there, give you safety instructions, and you'll begin floating down the beautiful river. The journey starts on a 4-mile mellow section of the river, giving you plenty of time to learn to paddle and to adjust to being on the water. The rapids come on the second 4 miles of the trip and photographs of each boat are taken in the rapid named Bonecrusher. The raft will stop periodically to let you jump in and experience a dip in glacial water if you choose. You'll float under Glacier National Park's historic Belton Bridge towards the end of the trip. At the end of the trip, it's a short walk back from the river to the local partner's office in the village of West Glacier. The length of the trip depends on the river flow. In June through early July, it lasts about 2.5 hours, from mid-July to early August, about 3 hours, and from mid-August through the end of the season, approximately 3.5 hours. Safety and fun are the top priorities. Guides undergo training in river rescue techniques, first aid, and more. Many guides return year after year. If conditions call for wetsuits, fleece, and river shoes, or if you would prefer to wear splash gear, it is always available at no extra cost. Helmets and life jackets are mandatory and provided.

West Glacier: Glacier National Park Scenic Raft Trip

2. West Glacier: Glacier National Park Scenic Raft Trip

Feel the excitement of this adrenaline-fuelled river rafting trip on the Flathead River. Soak in the picturesque surroundings while you splash your way through the Glacier National Park accompanied by a guide. Start your trip with a 5-minute bus ride down to the West Glacier. From there, you will pass through a steep, walled canyon and admire stunning views of Glacier National Park. Arrive at the path where the middle and north forks of the Flathead River converge to form the southern tip of Glacier National Park. Learn about the flora, fauna, and history of the area while escorting you down one of the most pristine rivers in the world. You may get the chance to see eagles, osprey, deer, and maybe even an elusive bear or moose. Your guide will take the raft out of the water near the Blankenship Bridge. Get immersed in the spectacular beauty of the area during the scenic rafting tour.  Finally, take a 15-minute bus ride back to your base where you can take pictures.

Glacier National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

3. Glacier National Park: Self-Guided Driving Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Purchase one tour per car, not per person. Everyone listens together! Once downloaded, your tour begins at either Saint Mary on the park’s eastern end or West Glacier on the park’s western side. From Saint Mary, you’ll cruise alongside Saint Mary Lake and discover why it’s so clear. You’ll also get acquainted with the park’s distant past, from the Blackfoot Confederacy to early colonization. A couple of overlooks offer spectacular views of the lake and the tiny Wild Goose Island within—one of the park’s most popular spots for photos. Beyond that you’ll hear about a disastrous gold rush before arriving at Sun Point Nature Trail, a super short walk leading to an amazing vista. Then there’s another trail to Saint Mary Falls, a sparkling waterfall with a distinctive turquoise hue. Jackson Glacier Overlook waits ahead, offering your first good look at one of the park’s five active glaciers. After that, you’ll hear all about how these glaciers have impacted the landscape, as well as the man who decided they were a resource worth protecting. Hidden Lake Trail is next, perfect for those seeking a little seclusion. Then you’ll reach Paradise Meadow, one of the best vistas in the entire park (and one you’ll definitely want to remember with a few photos)! Next, you’ll pass the strange, not-quite-waterfall of the Weeping Wall, before reaching Bird Woman Falls Overlook, which is named for the famous Native guide Sacagawea. You’ll learn all about the local fauna as you head toward the West Tunnel, which boasts observation windows featuring incredible views of Heaven’s Peak. Then, cross the continental divide and hear how wildfires have impacted the park over the years. The Trail of the Cedars is next, offering an easy, accessible hike that’s a favorite among visitors for good reason. As you pass Lake McDonald Lodge, next, you’ll get to know the park’s marine wildlife and find out how some reptiles and amphibians survive in such a cold climate. Finally, you’ll arrive at Apgar Village on the park’s western end, where your tour will conclude. The tour starting in West Glacier follows the same route in the opposite direction.

Glacier National Park: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

4. Glacier National Park: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Make the most of your time at Glacier National Park with this self-guided audio driving tour. Hit all the main spots of the park and learn all about this incredible natural landscape at your own pace. Embark on an iconic route through Glacier National Park, created specifically for visitors to drive over the Continental Divide. While it's a short, steep 50 miles, make sure you spend most of a full day or longer taking in the numerous beautiful viewpoints including mountain views, alpine flower filled meadows, and waterfalls. Choose how your day unfolds. Either follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full, or multi day sightseeing trips using the audio guide on the app. Hit the major highlights of the park, including Haystack Falls, Logan Pass, Oberlin Bend, among many others, and get your fill of nature during your stay in Montana.

From Whitefish: Glacier National Park & Polebridge Day Tour

5. From Whitefish: Glacier National Park & Polebridge Day Tour

Explore the areas of West Glacier, Polebridge, and Glacier National Park with a private guide on this day tour from Whitefish. Enjoy panoramic views of Hungry Horse Reservoir, get a photo with the iconic Glacier National Park sign, and stop at Lake McDonald Lodge. Begin your day with a pickup at your Whitefish hotel or accommodation and head out of town. Stop at Hungry Horse Reservoir and walk across the Hungry Horse Dam. Admire the view of the Rocky Mountains reflected in the still water of the reservoir. As you walk, hear the history of the dam, reservoir, and the town of Hungry Horse from your guide. Next, continue to West Glacier to reach Glacier National Park. Stop at the entrance sign for a quick photo op. Drive past the shores of Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the park. Stop at the Lake McDonald Lodge and look over the still water to the towering Rockies. As you take photos from the dock, hear about the founding of the national park and fascinating tales of its bears. Continue to Apgar Visitor Center and this historic area of Apgar Village at the edge of Lake McDonald. Stroll around the area and explore the visitor center to learn more about the park. Next, leave the National Park and travel up the North Fork road, enjoying the sights of the mighty North Fork river. Stop to take pictures next to roaring waterfalls before arriving at Polebridge Mercantile. Take a seat in this historic cafe and outpost, just 20 miles south of the Canadian border. Grab a Huckleberry Bear Claw, a traditional pastry, or enjoy a delicious lunch (not included) and enjoy the views before returning to Whitefish.

West Glacier: 1-Hour Fly Casting Lesson

6. West Glacier: 1-Hour Fly Casting Lesson

Join your guide and learn all about fly fishing, a must-do activity for everyone in Western Montana. Learn the basic skills to be able to fish effectively on your own. You'll receive a brief overview of assembling a rod and reel and tying a fly onto the line before spending the remaining clinic helping perfect the art of fly casting. Your professional instructor will guide you along the way to make sure you're ready to start fishing. Enjoy your class in a beautiful and secluded natural setting. After your class our instructors can suggest places to take your newly improved skills on local rivers and lakes.

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What people are saying about West Glacier

I signed up for the 2 1/2 hour scenic float. There were five people in our raft plus the guide. We rarely had to paddle. The river was low because it was the end of the season, so a couple times we scraped bottom. The whole trip felt very safe and calm. There were a couple of rapids, but we navigated them easily. I wore a helmet but did not need to. Rafting was a wonderful way to see nature at the glacier area!

We had the best guide, a very knowledgeable young women that was so good about engaging 7 strangers. The views were great and the trip was very relaxing. It was shallow at times but we got through just fine.

The tour was organized very well and our guide (Vance) was patient and helpful with my mom (who has some mobility issues).

Was a fun trip with conversation, relaxation and beautiful scenery. Attended with my adult son (option not given below).

Everyone was great -pleasant and easygoing. Definitely recommend them. Izzy was our guide - a true 10