Glacier National Park
Our goal is to visit all of the United States national parks in our lifetime and we recently checked Glacier National Park off our travel list! Included in that list was capturing this photo. The fishing boat was a bonus. When I saw the boat leaving the dock, I was so excited because I knew it would add perspective to the rugged glacier mountains. I wasn’t sure if I would have the opportunity to see this iconic view of Lake McDonald due to the new ticketed entry system. But, we found a way, and I share our entry hack below. I also share our favorite things about Glacier National Park and this trip, like the ever-changing colorful rocks, the refreshing scent of pine, and West Glacier KOA.
Glacier National Park, also referred to as the Crown of the Continent, was established in 1910, making it the 10th National Park in the United States. It is also part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park along with Waterton National Park in Canada. This designation makes it the first international peace park in the world. The park offers grand rocky mountains, over 700 lakes (only 131 are named), tall pine-filled forests, and beautiful meadows. There are endless things to do and see with so many lakes, trails (700 miles), and the scenic Going-To-The-Sun-Road. This road is specifically what you will need an extra ticket for when entering the park.
West Glacier KOA
During our visit, we lodged at the West Glacier KOA. I have to say, our stay was an unexpected, delightful surprise. I’ve always enjoyed our KOA experiences, but the West Glacier KOA goes above and beyond. The staff at the front desk was so helpful at check-in and when asked any questions during our visit. After the first night, we decided to extend our stay. We had to move cabins to extend, and the KOA team made it so easy. The layout of the campground gives ample space, so it doesn’t feel overcrowded.
There are so many amenities beyond the regular KOA standards, including ice cream served every night at Scoops (of course, I list the priorities first), espresso bar, hot breakfast and dinner, a children’s pool and separate adult pool, dog-friendly cabins and two dog parks, a walking trail, basketball court, and live entertainment plus other planned activities. I suggest the huckleberry ice cream! In fact, check out the Huckleberry Patch store filled with everything huckleberry when you enter Glacier National Park at the west entrance. I couldn’t get enough. 🙂 Speaking of the west entrance, it is only a short 3.9-mile drive from the KOA.
The deluxe cabins include linens, have a fire ring and propane grill, full bath and shower, partial kitchen, lofts, and are pet-friendly.
The grounds are impeccable with beautiful views in every direction.
Glacier National Park’s New Ticketed Entry System And More
From what I’ve read online, it seems many people are frustrated with the Glacier National Park new ticketed entry ticket reservation system. Your best bet for getting a ticket to Going-To-The-Sun-Road is planning ahead. Tickets go on sale 60 days before your date of arrival. They also sell a small number of tickets 2 days ahead, but it’s hard to snag one of those. The other option, which is our hack, is arriving before 6 am or after 5 pm. We loved going during these times because the park is less crowded and the sunrise/sunset is fantastic!
The rocky beaches are amazing! The rocks change based on the time of day. The sun, shadows, and water dance together creating so many different colors. We also enjoyed the fresh cool mountain air during the morning and evening especially after leaving the Minnesota heat.
Going-To-The-Sun-Road was actually closed while we were there in June due to snow, so it’s good to stay flexible and have a backup plan. There are so many other things to see and do in the area, including at West Glacier KOA. We could have stayed at the campground all day and been just as happy. Whitefish, Montana is an easy 20-minute drive, and Bigfork, Montana is 45 minutes. This whole area of northwestern Montana offers tons of adventuring, wildlife, delicious restaurants, unique shopping, live theater, breweries, and so much history. We were there for two weeks and barely scratched the surface.
Cheers KOA! We appreciate the awesome service and can’t wait to visit again.
Learn more about one of our other favorite parks, Grand Teton National Park by clicking HERE.
Life is short, never stop searching for what stirs your soul. ❤️
© Tracy Blowers