Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (2022)

When I see the gourmet salted caramel cookies in the Pig & Olive Sandwich Shoppe display case for just 50 cents each, right next to the 75-cent mini chocolate raspberry cupcakes, my eyes light up. Fifty cents?! These treats would cost $4 each in Chicago!

Between the bargain-priced sweet treats and the adjacent gift shops featuring locally-made goods, the indoor Stumptown Marketplace is winning me over just minutes after I arrive in Whitefish, Montana, one of the coolest towns near Glacier National Park.

Later, I will soak in the surrounding mountain scenery, discover the quirky sights around town (moose statue in front of the credit union!) and then enjoy a Glacier Gimlet and some live acoustic music at the Tupelo Grille.

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (2)

“Charming” is an overused word in the travel world, but it’s an apt description of Whitefish, which blends the best elements of big cities, like a walkable downtown and high-quality bars and restaurants, with the laid-back, uncluttered vibe (and those cheap baked goods!) of smaller communities.

If you’re looking for lodging in the area, scroll to the end of the article for some recommended Whitefish, Montana accommodations. We also have a section on other towns near Glacier NP, including Polebridge, Columbia Falls, and Kalispell.

UPDATE: Stumptown Marketplace’s multi-vendor mini-mall-style atmosphere no longer exists. But the market has been reimagined as a ski-themed restaurant.

(Video) WHITEFISH MONTANA TRAVEL GUIDE 4K

Note: Seeking a cool outdoor activity near Whitefish? This half-day rafting tour meets in West Glacier:

Getting to Whitefish, Montana

Cool businesses aside, the real selling point of Whitefish is its location. The town (technically a city, population roughly 6300) is situated near both Glacier National Park and the popular ski resort at Big Mountain, making it a good launching point for vacations in the area.

If you’re looking for the closest city to Glacier National Park, this is basically it. There are other cities in the region, but Columbia Falls isn’t as cool, Polebridge doesn’t have electricity, and Kalispell is a bit too far. Whitefish is less than an hour from the western entrance of the park.

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (3)

Whitefish is only 16 miles from Glacier Park International Airport, but one of the best ways to reach it is via the Amtrak Empire Builder line from Seattle to Chicago. The train station is right in the heart of downtown, so you can get off and wheel your suitcase right to your hotel!

A motivated individual can experience this beautiful part of the country without a vehicle by taking the train to Whitefish, then grabbing one of the $10 shuttles to Apgar Visitor Center, right at the start of Going-to-the-Sun Road, where there are additional free shuttles that travel deeper into the national park.

Backpackers may view Montana as difficult to get to, but the train makes it very accessible. There’s plenty of lodging within walking distance, from the condo-style Whitefish Downtown Suites to TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Unfortunately, the Whitefish Hostel, which had beds for around $35/night, is no longer in business.

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (4)

Discovering the Coolest City Near Glacier National Park

What is there to do in Whitefish, Montana? One of the things I like about the town is the wide range of activities. It’s possible to spend the day antique shopping and eating refined cuisine like duck and toasted couscous at Latitude 48.

(Video) Top Things You NEED To Do In Glacier National Park

Or, head for the mountain to tackle the bike trails, then refuel with a bison bratwurst from the “all natural Montana meat” food truck.

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (5)

Not a lot of small towns have activities that run the gamut from sophisticated to rugged, and that’s a cool thing for people like me with varied interests. If you’re in town on a summer Tuesday, stop by the Whitefish Farmers Market, which reveals a distinct Montana flair.

During my market visit, a fossil booth sold pieces of rock embedded with turtle fossils while an acoustic musician urged people to try the bubble tea in between verses of “No Woman No Cry.”

A local company sold huckleberry pies and cherry jam made with cherries from nearby Flathead Lake. Other booths sold intriguing foods like avocado chocolate pudding (a little too earthy tasting) and bacon smoked almonds (yum!)

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (6)

Whitefish also has a noteworthy ski resort, which makes it one of the few towns near Glacier National Park that is worth visiting during the winter. It gets very cold and snowy in the part of the country!

I was only in Whitefish for a short time but it was long enough to convince me that it’s worth spending a couple nights here if you’re coming to the Glacier area. When I returned to Glacier NP last year to see mountain goats, I stayed in Whitefish again and once again had a fantastic time.

(Video) #169 Whitefish Montana Lakes, Mountain Streams, Waterfalls and Mountains Day 6 Glacier National Park

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (7)

Recommended Whitefish Montana Accommodations

TownePlace Suites by Marriott. Extremely modern and clean hotel with a gym, pool, and other nice amenities. Should be at the top of your list of places to stay in Whitefish.

Whitefish Downtown Suites. This collection of five suites sits on the second floor right above Abruzzo restaurant in the heart of town. They are fancy but cozy and have cool balconies attached. I greatly enjoyed my stay here.

Stumptown Inn of Whitefish. Located right by the Whitefish River, the Stumptown Inn offers comfortable rooms at prices that are quite affordable for this expensive part of Montana.

Downtowner Inn. The name says it all. You won’t find a more centrally located hotel. This one has a green, brown and beige exterior that fits right in with the forest environment in this part of Montana. Average amenities and pretty good prices.

Whitefish Hostel. UPDATE: This hostel was sold and ended up closing in 2019, which removes Whitefish’s only super cheap lodging. That is a shame. I stayed here on a few occasions. It was the cheapest lodging you could find in Whitefish, with beds starting at around $35/night. The vibe was fun and relaxed.

Check out a few more sights from Whitefish:

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (8)

(Video) 12 MUST DO things in GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (9)

Discovering Whitefish, Montana, One of the Best Towns Near Glacier National Park - Quirky Travel Guy (10)

If you come during the winter, you’ll see Whitefish in another light, a beautiful town covered in a dusting of snow. I consider Whitefish one of the best Christmas getaways in America.

Other Towns Near Glacier National Park

You should definitely stay in Whitefish! But if you want to understand the full scope of towns near Glacier NP, here are a few others to consider:

Polebridge. As mentioned earlier, Polebridge is one of the last remaining American towns without electricity. That makes it quaint and old-fashioned. It’s also super-small. They do have a few cabins and a hostel, but otherwise, the only reason to stay here is because of the novelty.

Columbia Falls. I did enjoy Columbia Falls. I went ziplining here and had lunch at a cute little sidewalk cafe. It’s a fun area for outdoor recreation, but the town itself is small. They do have a handful of eateries, coffee shops, and drug stores. Columbia Falls may actually be the closest city to Glacier National Park, so if you’re going to stay somewhere other than Whitefish, try Columbia Falls (especially Cedar Creek Lodge!)

Kalispell. Glacier is a popular destination for road trippers, but if you do fly here, you’ll likely fly into Glacier Park International Airport near Kalispell. This town has around 20,000 residents and a main street with a business district.

Babb. Located on the eastern side of Glacier NP, Babb is a very rural area with a couple of restaurants and a hotel. I stayed there for a night when I was trying to explore the northeastern section of the park and get a spot at Many Glacier Campground. This area is close to Blackfeet Outfitters, which provides off-roading tours of rarely-seen parts of Glacier NP and meals with local native families.

(Video) 6 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park

Overall, even though there are only a few towns near Glacier National Park, they are all interesting in their own way and each can make for a great homebase for exploring the park!

Note: I was a guest of Glacier Country Tourism and Explore Whitefish. As always, all opinions are my own.

Last updated on: Saturday, February 19, 2022

FAQs

Is Whitefish Montana worth visiting? ›

Whitefish may not be at the top of one's Montana bucket list if they aren't looking for a skiing vacation or trip to Glacier National Park. However, it is one of the hippest places to visit in Montana and deserves to be more than just a base for the surrounding area and activities.

What town should I stay in when visiting Glacier National Park? ›

For travelers who want to stay far off the beaten track in Glacier National Park, there is just one place to stay – Somers. Situated on the banks of Flathead Lake and just a stone's throw away from Bigfork, Somers is home to just over 1,000 people.

How far is Glacier National Park from Whitefish? ›

Only 27 miles from Whitefish, the park's scenery, wildlife and history are not to be missed. The Going to-the Sun Road, a national historic landmark, can be traveled by personal car, hiking shuttle or a historic Red Bus Tour.

What is the best time of year to go to Whitefish Montana? ›

In general, spring and summer are the best times to visit Whitefish if you're not looking to spend time skiing or participating in other winter recreation. Whitefish has long and cold winters, with winter-like weather lasting in some years from October to May. Summers in Whitefish are short but delightfully pleasant.

Why is Whitefish Montana so popular? ›

Local Flavor Like No Other: Whitefish isn't only known as a fantastic ski destination. Among foodies, the town has a sky-high dining reputation too. You won't find much for chains here.

How many days do you need in Glacier National Park? ›

How Many Days Do You Need in Glacier National Park? Ideally, plan on spending at least two to three days in Glacier National Park. This gives you enough time to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, hike one or two trails, and visit the Many Glacier or Two Medicine areas.

Is it better to stay on the east or west side of Glacier National Park? ›

You'll also be near the Many Glacier area of the park. In fact, if you stay in West Glacier, it will take you over 2 hours one-way to get to Many Glacier! This makes staying on the east side of the park the best option if you are visiting the area solely for Glacier National Park.

Where is the luxury to stay in Glacier National Park? ›

Inside the northeastern part of Glacier National Park, an area known for its scenic mountain views, lies the Many Glacier Hotel. The property is the largest hotel within the park, with over 200 rooms, a mountain chalet feel, and a history that dates back to 1915.

Are there shuttles from Whitefish to Glacier National Park? ›

There are cheap ($5-10) shuttles that travel from Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Kalispell to Glacier National Park. It's advisable to research ahead of time. Tickets must be purchased in advance for the Whitefish shuttle.

What is the biggest city near Glacier National Park? ›

Missoula. Missoula is the largest city in all of Western Montana, and the second largest in Montana.

What is the best time to visit Glacier National Park? ›

For most people, late June through mid-September is the best time to visit Glacier, because they want to drive the Going to the Sun Road, raft and fish the rivers, hike the trails, visit the backcountry Chalets, and explore several areas of the park, on both sides of the Continental Divide.

Can you swim in Whitefish Lake? ›

Bring the family to camp and play on the beach. Boating, swimming, water-skiing and fishing are popular activities on this lake with beautiful mountain views.

Do I need a car in Glacier National Park? ›

There is only one main road that runs through Glacier N.P. and it's known as Going to the Sun Road. It's responsible for getting the park's 3 million annual visitors from one end of the park to the other.

What entrance to Glacier National Park is closest to Whitefish? ›

Near the communities of Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls, the West Entrance is just past the West Glacier Village and provides access to Apgar Village Lodge, and Motel Lake McDonald. It is also the west entry point to Going-to-the-Sun Road.

What is the coldest month in Whitefish? ›

Average Temperature in Whitefish

The coldest month of the year in Whitefish is December, with an average low of 18°F and high of 29°F.

What should I wear in Whitefish Montana? ›

Visiting Montana in winter means you need to be prepared for cold temperatures, snow and ice. Essentials for winter include snow boots, a winter coat/down jacket, snow pants, wool socks, sweaters, puffy vests, beanies, scarves, gloves, chapstick, sunglasses, lotion and SPF.

What airport do you fly into for Whitefish Montana? ›

Whitefish is conveniently located only 11 miles from Glacier Park International Airport. You are only minutes from the airport to town. In the winter, you can be on the lifts within the hour after landing. Use airport code FCA for Glacier Park International Airport.

Why is Whitefish Montana so expensive? ›

Final Verdict: Why is Montana so Expensive? Due to increased demand and reduced supply, the housing market in Montana is experiencing a significant boom. These high prices trickle down into the rest of the economy, resulting in a higher cost of living than the national average.

Is Whitefish Montana expensive? ›

The total cost of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other necessities for a single adult in Whitefish is $36,108 a year — about the same as the annual cost of living for Montana of $36,457 and less than the national figure of $38,433.

Who lives in Whitefish Montana? ›

'' Two of the areas most in vogue are Whitefish and Flathead Lake (where property buyers include comedian Shecky Greene; actors Dirk Benedict, John Lithgow, Jan-Michael Vincent and Charlie Sheen; golfers Craig Stadler and Lon Hinkle; Phoenix Cardinals quarterback Timm Rosenbach; and Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson.

Do you need bear spray in Glacier National Park? ›

So, do you need bear spray if you are traveling to Glacier National Park? The short answer is “yes”. The National Park Service recommends that visitors carry bear spray in the backcountry because it has been proven to be the most effective deterrent of bear attacks.

How long does it take to drive through Glacier National Park? ›

Wrapping up your complete Glacier National Park drive is the 56 mile, 1-hour jaunt from East Glacier Park Village to West Glacier on US Highway 2 East.

Can you see Northern Lights in Glacier National Park? ›

You can see aurora borealis any time of year in Glacier National Park, of course. But in the spring, the nights are a bit longer and darker than in summer, and so it is prime time to catch an incredible light show!

What is the most beautiful part of Glacier National Park? ›

1. Going-to-the-Sun Road. Going-to-the-Sun Road is not only the most scenic drive in Glacier National Park, it's also one of the most beautiful drives in the United States. For 50 miles, this road twists and turns through the mountains and over the Continental Divide.

What is the most scenic drive in Glacier National Park? ›

Looking Glass Road offers a beautiful scenic drive on the east side of Glacier National Park. This curvy road (Highway 49) is located on the Blackfeet Reservation and provides beautiful views looking into Two Medicine.

Which is better Glacier or Yellowstone? ›

Which is better Yellowstone or Glacier? Glacier is much more rugged than Yellowstone. Hiking will demand much more physical ability and skill. The whole park is much higher than Yellowstone, so animals and plant life will be quite a bit different than what you find in Yellowstone.

What airport do you fly into for Glacier National Park? ›

Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is the gateway to northwest Montana and the closest airport to Glacier National Park. The airport is in Kalispell, just 12 miles from the town of Whitefish and 30 miles from the West Entrance of Glacier National Park.

Can you do Glacier National Park a day? ›

If you have one day to take in the highlights of Glacier National Park, drive Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) in its entirety. GTSR is a 50-mile long, two-way road that cuts through the center of the park between the West Entrance and the St.
...
A Whole Day in Glacier for a Sightseer.
DurationFull Day
ParksGlacier National Park
3 more rows
Oct 7, 2020

How do I get a room at Many Glacier Hotel? ›

For same day reservations or to reach a lodge guest, call the property direct:
  1. Many Glacier Hotel (406) 732-4411.
  2. Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins (406) 732-5531.
  3. Rising Sun Motor Inn and Cabins (406) 732-5523.
  4. Lake McDonald Lodge and Cabins (406) 888-5431.
  5. Village Inn at Apgar (406) 888-5632.

How do I get from Whitefish to Glacier National Park without a car? ›

There are 3 ways to get from Whitefish to Glacier National Park by train, taxi or car
  1. Take the train from Whitefish Amtrak Station to West Glacier Amtrak.
  2. Take a taxi from West Glacier Amtrak to Glacier National Park.
5 days ago

Is there taxi service in Whitefish Montana? ›

24 hour Taxi transportation throughout Flathead County, including Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls. We also do Charters so we can pretty much go anywhere. We have 6 passenger vans and 10 passenger vans, we can accommodate groups as big as 40 people.

How often do Glacier shuttles run? ›

Shuttles operating between Apgar Visitor Center and Avalanche Creek run approximately every 30 minutes. Travel time is an estimated 45 minutes.

How far is Bozeman from Glacier? ›

Yes, the driving distance between Bozeman to Glacier National Park is 347 miles. It takes approximately 5h 58m to drive from Bozeman to Glacier National Park. Which airlines fly from Bozeman Airport to Kalispell Airport?

What is the cheapest airport to fly into Glacier National Park? ›

Considering the value of time, I'd say Kalispell, MT is the best choice. Alaska, Delta, and United all fly there. Kalispell is closest.

What is the closest Canadian city to Glacier National Park? ›

Revelstoke, British

What is the best month to visit Montana? ›

The best times to visit Montana are in the summer months between June and August, when the weather is sunny and warm, and between December and March when it's ski season. As Montana is a destination that is all about outdoor fun, these are the times where you can play in nature with an optimal climate.

What do I need to know before going to Glacier National Park? ›

Here are our top tips for how to plan your trip to Glacier National Park.
  1. Come for at least five days. A weekend trip just won't do. ...
  2. Bring your car. ...
  3. Stock up on supplies while you're in town. ...
  4. Sign up for activities. ...
  5. Get out on the trails. ...
  6. Eat lots of ice cream. ...
  7. Make new friends.

How much does it cost to visit Glacier National Park? ›

Glacier National Park
Per VehiclePer Person
Current Summer Rates$30$15
New Summer Rates as of June 1, 2018$35$20
Current Winter Rates$20$10
1 more row
Apr 17, 2018

Can you swim in Glacier water? ›

We all know that swimming is great exercise but there are some extra benefits from doing it in a glacial lake that you just won't get from a warm wade in a summer lake. Swimming in cold water will make your body work twice as hard to keep you warm and burn more calories in the process.

Is Whitefish Lake clean? ›

Whitefish Lake was rated as being " crystal clear" 24% of the time in Upper Whitefish and 29% of the time in Lower Whitefish (Figure 5).

Can you swim in lakes in Glacier National Park? ›

The water at Apgar Village in Glacier National Park is relatively shallow, so the sun really warms it up so you can enjoy a good swim without nearly freezing to death. This is really the only comfortable place to swim in the entire Glacier Park area, and families have a terrific time here.

Can you get into Glacier without a reservation? ›

Visitors entering the park on foot or bicycle do not need reservations, nor do those coming through the Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Cut Bank, Chief Mountain Highway and North Fork entrances. Tribal members and people who own property within the park's boundaries are also exempt from purchasing a ticket.

What is there to do in Whitefish No car? ›

In the summer, there are inexpensive shuttle buses to Glacier National Park. Whitefish Mountain Resort offers skiing, while nearby activities include ice skating, horse-drawn sleigh rides, dog sledding and more. Downtown Whitefish offers dining, shopping, theatre, and a choice of places to stay.

Which is better Glacier or Banff? ›

Banff National Park is better if you prefer fewer crowds but with numerous activities. The park is adjacent to Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks. On the other hand, if you're into backpacking and have no problem with a busy place teeming with visitors, go for Glacier's National Park.

What is better Whitefish or Kalispell? ›

However, staying in Kalispell or Whitefish isn't too bad. If I had to choose one or the other, I'd probably pick Whitefish just because it is a nice, quaint town. If that's what you prefer, pick Whitefish. If you want more options for dining/entertainment then Kalispell might be better.

Is Whitefish a cool town? ›

The business district of Whitefish, one of the coolest towns near Glacier National Park.

How long is the gondola ride in Whitefish? ›

In the 6-person enclosed gondola, visitors make their way to the top of Whitefish Mountain in about a 15-minute trip. In the summer months, riders can view a vast stretch of wildflowers in bloom in the mountain meadow, the deep forest of old growth pine and even spot some local wildlife.

Can you drive around Whitefish Lake? ›

No worries! The road around Whitefish Lake is one of the most-loved rides for locals. The combination of minimal car traffic and ever-changing views make this 20-mile ride a must-do.

Should I stay in Columbia Falls or Whitefish? ›

Re: Stay in Columbia Falls or Whitefish for August 2018 trip? Stay in Whitefish as there are far more accommodations, restaurants of all flavors that can meet your needs, watering holes and FAR more activities (plays, music, etc). Both are conveniently located to Glacier National Park.. 3.

Is Kalispell worth visiting? ›

Kalispell and its surrounding area is one of our favorite parts of Montana and it places you right between gorgeous Flathead Lake and Glacier National Park. You're also close to other beautiful places like Swan Lake and Hungry Horse Dam. But it's Kalispell you're looking for!

Which is better Whitefish Lake or Flathead Lake? ›

Whitefish has it all...it is a fabulous upscale, fun place with breweries and great places to shop, eat, get coffee or just kick back. The town of Big Fork on the north east end of Flathead Lake is the best place there. It is an "arts" town full of galleries and places to shop and eat.

What is Whitefish known for? ›

In Flathead County in northwest Montana, Whitefish is a popular ski and outdoor town with enormous Rocky Mountain appeal. The aptly named Big Mountain backdrops Main Street, home to the world-renowned Whitefish Mountain Resort.

What should I wear in Whitefish Montana? ›

Visiting Montana in winter means you need to be prepared for cold temperatures, snow and ice. Essentials for winter include snow boots, a winter coat/down jacket, snow pants, wool socks, sweaters, puffy vests, beanies, scarves, gloves, chapstick, sunglasses, lotion and SPF.

Is Whitefish Montana walkable? ›

Downtown Whitefish is known for being extremely walkable. There aren't many towns in Montana that don't require a car, but if you're staying in downtown Whitefish, you can get around on foot just fine.

Does Whitefish Mountain have a gondola? ›

Ride the Scenic Lift on either an open chair or gondola to the Summit for the best views around of the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park.

Is there a gondola in Glacier National Park? ›

Passengers can choose an open chair or an enclosed gondola, both of which offer breathtaking views on the 14-minute ride up. Once at the top, 360-degree views await, including the Northern Rockies, peaks of Glacier National Park and the Flathead Valley.

How long is Danny On Trail? ›

The Danny On Trail extends 3.8 miles one way from the base area of Whitefish Mountain Ski and Summer Resort to its summit. Most of it winds through forests of Douglas fir, western larch, spruce, and fir while crossing grassy ski trails full of summer wildflowers.

Can you swim in Whitefish Lake? ›

Bring the family to camp and play on the beach. Boating, swimming, water-skiing and fishing are popular activities on this lake with beautiful mountain views.

What big city is near whitefish Montana? ›

Kalispell, MT. Polson, MT. Cardston, Canada.

What is the temperature of Whitefish Lake? ›

Today. Whitefish Lake's current water temperature is 61°F.

When I see the gourmet salted caramel cookies in the Pig & Olive Sandwich Shoppe display case for just 50 cents each, right next to the 75-cent mini chocolate raspberry cupcakes, my eyes light up. Fifty cents?! These treats would cost $4 each in Chicago!Between the bargain-priced sweet treats and th...

Between the bargain-priced sweet treats and the adjacent gift shops featuring locally-made goods, the indoor Stumptown Marketplace is winning me over just minutes after I arrive in Whitefish, Montana, one of the coolest towns near Glacier National Park.. We also have a section on other towns near Glacier NP, including Polebridge, Columbia Falls, and Kalispell.. The town (technically a city, population roughly 6300) is situated near both Glacier National Park and the popular ski resort at Big Mountain, making it a good launching point for vacations in the area.. Whitefish is only 16 miles from Glacier Park International Airport, but one of the best ways to reach it is via the Amtrak Empire Builder line from Seattle to Chicago.. A motivated individual can experience this beautiful part of the country without a vehicle by taking the train to Whitefish, then grabbing one of the $10 shuttles to Apgar Visitor Center, right at the start of Going-to-the-Sun Road, where there are additional free shuttles that travel deeper into the national park.. What is there to do in Whitefish, Montana?. Whitefish also has a noteworthy ski resort , which makes it one of the few towns near Glacier National Park that is worth visiting during the winter.. When I returned to Glacier NP last year to see mountain goats, I stayed in Whitefish again and once again had a fantastic time.. (Video) #169 Whitefish Montana Lakes, Mountain Streams, Waterfalls and Mountains Day 6 Glacier National Park. You should definitely stay in Whitefish!. Columbia Falls may actually be the closest city to Glacier National Park, so if you’re going to stay somewhere other than Whitefish, try Columbia Falls (especially Cedar Creek Lodge !). Glacier is a popular destination for road trippers, but if you do fly here, you’ll likely fly into Glacier Park International Airport near Kalispell.. Overall, even though there are only a few towns near Glacier National Park, they are all interesting in their own way and each can make for a great homebase for exploring the park!

A classic mountain town with a few twists...

One of our favorite mountain towns is Whitefish, Montana, which is located 26 miles from Apgar Visitor Center in Glacier National Park.. Whitefish makes a perfect home base for all of your outdoor adventures, whether you want to ski at the iconic Whitefish Mountain Resort, hike the mountain trails in Flathead National Forest, or head into Glacier National Park each day.. Historic Whitefish Depot Whitefish Depot: Yes, it’s a train station, but historic Whitefish Depot is a gem of a building, whether you arrive via Amtrak or just want to check it out during your visit.. Unidentifiable skiers going down from the summit at Big Mountain in Whitefish, Montana, west of Glacier National Park, USA.Skiiers and snowboarders are already in the know about how awesome this mountain town is.. Photo credit Whitefish Lake is a gorgeous glacial lake that can be accessed from various points in Whitefish and the surrounding communities.. If you want to pitch your tent or park your RV somewhere as a home base, but still want all the benefits of staying close to Whitefish, check out Whitefish Lake State Park .. Logan Pass (in the summer), Glacier National ParkAs we’ve already mentioned, the town of Whitefish is just 26 miles from the west entrance to Glacier National Park, a 1,583-square-mile wilderness with endless opportunities for hiking, photography, and wildlife viewing.. Beautiful Lake McDonald in Glacier National ParkWhen you enter Glacier National Park at the Apgar Visitor Center, you’ll be at the western tip of Lake McDonald.. Map of Lake McDonald Trails courtesy of National Park ServiceThe National Parks Service lists 18 day hikes just in the Lake McDonald Valley.

I took a whirlwind trip to Glacier/Whitefish at the end of summer. Here’s what I did, what I’d do differently. If you’d like to check out my recommendations for what to do with your long weekend itinerary in Whitefish Montana, check it out here . Day 1 I arrived early in the day into the very lov

From there, I drove a short distance for lunch and a wine tasting at Glacier Sun Winery, about 10 minutes south of the airport.. I got up bright and early to drive to and park at the Apgar Visitor’s Center at Glacier.. After destroying my joints on the trail, I ate an early dinner at Eddie’s Cafe in Apgar village, which was both surprisingly good and had a decent beer selection for a National Park restaurant.. Heading back to the Visitor’s Center on a crowded shuttle, I drove down to Kalispell to check out that town and have a late lunch prior to my flight.. ItinerariesKristen Lem May 28, 2018 Solo Travel , My Itineraries , Montana , Glacier , Whitefish , Wine , Restaurants , Dining , Food , Hiking

A guide to the top things to do in Whitefish MT, whether it's summer or winter. Biking, hiking, Glacier National Park, where to eat, where to stay, and more

Whitefish, MT draws many visitors to its popular ski resort, and for its proximity to the stunning Glacier National Park (and rightfully so.). Whitefish Trail With 10+ trailheads and 42 miles of natural surface to walk, bike, or hike on right next to town, there are enough scenic views and forested paths to keep any nature-lover happy.. Whitefish Bike Retreat Located just outside town, the Whitefish Bike Retreat is a lodge, hub, and training center created especially for bikers.. They’re uniquely equipped to help with any and all biking needs, so it’s a good spot to know about if you plan on doing any mountain biking while in town.. Whitefish Lake The glacial lake bearing the same name as the town is a favorite for visitors and locals alike.. Whitefish Mountain Resort is the biggest draw (and you can also do mountain biking, hiking, and zip-lining here in the summer.). If you’re hiking or biking, you can grab the Whitefish Shuttle from town.. Yoga at Yoga Hive I loved the class I took with Yoga Hive Montana, which has locations in downtown Whitefish and nearby Kalispell.. The Best Whitefish Restaurants I’ve got an upcoming post with more details about where to eat in Whitefish.. Whitefish, MT’s closest airport is Glacier Park International , which is a short 15-minute drive to downtown.. The well-established Lodge at Whitefish Lake is popular and so lovely, but so are many of the smaller B&Bs and apartments in town.

A gateway to Western Montana’s Glacier National Park, Whitefish is a friendly, close-knit community that’s used to welcoming visitors and outfitting them for all their park adventures. However, it’s also very much a destination in and of itself.

Whitefish is a year-round destination for outdoor enthusiasts.. Skiing, hiking, cycling, paddling, and snowshoeing are all hugely popular here, but there are some unexpected finds as well!. Consider these activities on your Whitefish vacation.. Alexander Oganezov / Shutterstock.comThis beautiful location is also popular in the summer, when guests can ride a gondola up the mountain to enjoy the spectacular views and then hike back down at a leisurely pace.. Sea Me Paddle offers a wide variety of options, even winter kayaking tours!. The Marina at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake provides kayak, canoe, and stand-up paddleboard rentals in central Whitefish, plus private boat tours of the lake.. It’s the perfect activity for a cloudy day!. Led by the team at Swan Mountain (about 1 hour and 45 minutes outside Whitefish), the llama excursions range from short day activities to complete overnight adventures.. These are some of my favorite shopping spots.. On the book side, there’s a particularly strong selection of outdoor adventures, nature books, Westerns, and local guides.. On the chocolate side, you’ll find lots of huckleberry (look for the huckleberry lemon cheesecake truffle dipped in dark chocolate).. These are two of the places I’d recommend again and again.. As Montana’s only AAA Four Diamond resort, The Lodge at Whitefish Lake offers a long list of amenities for travelers, from valet parking and charging stations for electric cars to heated pools, hot tubs, and private beach areas.. The Lodge is Whitefish’s most luxurious accommodation, but despite this, it retains an air of old-fashioned hospitality.

Discover information to help you plan your trip to Whitefish, Montana, the western gateway to Glacier National Park.

The O'Shaughnessy Cultural Arts Center is the Whitefish venue for productions from the Whitefish Theatre Company and the Alpine Theatre Project.. Craig Moore/Getty Images Glacier National Park and Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain aren't the only places where Whitefish visitors can play.. Whitefish Lake Golf Club's two 18-hole courses Meadow Lake Golf Course (Columbia Falls) Glacier View Golf Course (West Glacier) Big Mountain Golf Club (Kalispell). Craig Moore/Getty Images. Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain is a popular destination for all kinds of warm-weather recreation.. While you're up there, you'll enjoy fabulous views of Glacier National Park peaks, Whitefish Lake, and the Flathead Valley.. Big Mountain hiking trails run from the village to the top of the mountain; shorter loop trails can be accessed from Summit House.. More summer activities available at Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain:. Danita Delimont/Getty Images. The Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain Resort in Whitefish, Montana, is a premier destination for snow sports enthusiasts .. The free SNOW Bus loops between the town of Whitefish and Big Mountain Village.. Whitefish, Montana, located just a short drive from the park's west entrance, is the perfect base for a Glacier National Park visit.. If you only have one day to visit Glacier National Park, a driving tour over the Going-to-the-Sun road is a great way to enjoy the park's glaciers, lakes, peaks, and valleys.. Courtesy of Lodge at Whitefish Lake. The friendliness and hospitality so common around Whitefish are especially evident at their hotels and lodging.. Whitefish Mountain Resort at Big Mountain rises over the community, providing year-round recreation, as well as a variety of lodging and dining options.. After spending your days outdoors, hiking or touring the park, you'll be happy to return to Whitefish's comfortable accommodations and fantastic food, wine, and beer.

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Whitefish is by far one of the most beautiful locations to visit in Montana.. Last, but not least, it's right by Glacier National Park!. Whitefish Lake and City Beach Depot Park Hiking Whitefish River Trail Art galleries Les Mason State Park Glacier National Park. Keep reading for a comprehensive travel guide for your trip to Whitefish, Montana!. You’ll encounter friendly locals who are eager to welcome you into the town and share their stories and recommendations.. The town has something for everyone.. Boat rentals are available along the lake.. Lion Mountain Trail is a 2.6 mile looped hike near the lake.. Check out Alltrails.com to discover more hiking trails around Whitefish!. This specific trail is 1 mile, but does connect to other trails if you wish to go further.. One of the most popular galleries is Sunti World Art Gallery.. During the open season, park hours are 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.. This park has over 700 mountain lakes, 37 glaciers (of course you'd expect glaciers!

Whitefish, Montana is an outdoor adventure portal and a camping destination located just 30 minutes from Glacier National Park's west entrance.

Monica Prelle. Located just outside of town, Whitefish State Park Campground has 25 sites for RV , trailer, tent, and bicyclist camping.. Situated next to Spotted Bear and South Fork Flathead Rivers, Spotted Bear Campground is a small 13-site campground overlooking the river.. Just outside of Glacier National Park and about 20 miles north of Columbia Falls is the Big Creek Campground in Flathead National Forest.. Tally Lake Campground is located 20 minutes west of Whitefish.. Camping areas are located near alpine meadows, rugged peaks, and pristine rivers and lakes.. Avalanche Campground - On the west side of the Continental Divide, Avalanche campground is located near popular hiking trails and 15.7 miles along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.. There are 48 campsites.. There are 14 campsites.. Fish Creek Campground - The second largest campground in Glacier National Park, Fish Creek Campground is located near the west entrance, only 2.5 miles from Apgar Village.. The camping area is located west side of the park.. There are 99 campsites; 13 sites can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35-feet.. From Whitefish Lake to the Flathead River and Glacier National Park, there is no shortage of adventure.. With its 700 miles of trails and rugged wilderness, Glacier National Park is a top destination for hiking.

Written by Brad LaneUpdated Sep 13, 2021

Plan your next memorable Glacier getaway with our list of the top things to do in Glacier National Park.. Glacier National Park has an astonishing 700-plus miles of trails stretching throughout the park.. A few signature hikes in Glacier National Park include the Highline Trail at Logan Pass and Grinnell Glacier in Many Glacier.. Glacier has 13 campgrounds within park boundaries, and several private campgrounds are located near the park's different entrances.. In the Many Glacier region of the park, the Many Glacier Hotel exudes a natural charm that is infused with the history of the park.. Making up the second half of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park , Alberta's Waterton Lakes National Park is located directly across the border from the Goat Haunt region of Glacier.. Popular things to do in Waterton Lakes National Park include exploring Red Rock Canyon , visiting Waterton Village , and hiking the 200 kilometers of hiking trails including the iconic Crypt Lake Trail .. More to Explore in Glacier National Park: Leading to iconic spots like Iceberg Lake, Ptarmigan Tunnel, and Grinnell Glacier, the best hiking trails in Glacier National Park highlight what makes Glacier an international destination.. For additional information on the 13 campgrounds within Glacier National Park, as well as additional places to a pitch a tent or park an RV outside of the park boundaries, our guide to the best campgrounds in Glacier National Park has all the details you need.. Best Montana Cities to Discover: The mountain town of Whitefish is right at the front door of Glacier National Park and lends access to other attractions and stunning places to visit, including Flathead Lake and the Kootenai National Forest.. 15 Top-Rated Hiking Trails in Glacier National Park, MT. 17 Top-Rated Campgrounds in Glacier National Park, MT

We had an amazing long weekend in Montana, taking the overnight train to Whitefish from Everett, Washington. There are tons of things to do near Whitefish, including: Exploring Glacier National Par…

With so much to see and do in the national park and surrounding area, I didn’t spend much time researching places to stay, shop, eat, or explore in town.. We didn’t spend much time in Columbia Falls—just driving through it.. It’s easy to pop in, grab a drink and snack, and head back on your way to the park or back to Whitefish.. We were headed off to hike so we hit the drive-through on our way, grabbing a burger and fries to go.. There were a few people there—we walked through the food stands and into the winery tasting room and were greeted by a very friendly employee who helped us taste a few fruit wines and ciders.. If you’re into fruit wines and ciders, I would add this stop to your list.. Downtown Kalispell was fairly busy but we found street-side parking and set out to make a loop around main street.. I guess I’m not as into the coffee culture as them!. We stayed at the Downtowner Inn and while it was in a good location and within close walking distance to all of the shops and restaurants downtown as well as the train station, we didn’t get to take advantage of those benefits.. That evening we were able to explore and while the shops were already closed, we did stumble upon some great places to eat.. When we walked by, a couple was standing nearby and told us it was their very favorite restaurant and that they come back to Whitefish just so they can eat there!. I can’t personally recommend it, but it’s certainly staying on my list for next time based on their commitment!. Everything was good, especially the gnocchi—I definitely recommend this as a snack/drink stop, especially given the flexibility of sitting inside or out.. There are endless things to see and do in and around Whitefish—whether you want to spend your time indoors or outdoors, hiking or shopping, there is definitely something for everyone!

Nearby Towns West Glacier, MT. East Glacier Park, MT. Whitefish, MT. Kalispell, MT. St Mary, MT. Hungry Horse, MT. Columbia Falls, MT. Bigfork, MT. What town should I stay in

Nearby Towns West Glacier, MT.. Whitefish, MT.. Kalispell, MT.. Places to stay in Kalispell also feature access to the magnificent Flathead Lake.. Glacier National Park (U.S.) Glacier National Park Nearest city Columbia Falls, Montana Coordinates 48°41′48″N 113°43′6″WCoordinates: 48°41′48″N 113°43′6″W Area 1,013,322 acres (4,100.77 km 2 ) Established May 11, 1910.. The driving distance between Glacier National Park to Yellowstone National Park is 441 miles.. How many days do you need in Glacier National Park?.. Traveling from Kalispell to Glacier National Park is easy, as it’s 32 scenic miles from downtown to the park’s west entrance.. Glacier National Park is Worth Visiting!. Glacier National Park is 137.6 miles from Missoula, MT.. Columbia Falls is a city along the Flathead River in Flathead County, Montana, United States.. Many Glacier is an area within Glacier National Park which is located in the U.S. state of Montana.. The Many Glacier region is located north of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, on the east side of the park.

Videos

1. When is the Best Time to Visit Glacier National Park? || Pros and Cons of Each Season
(Mount Forge Montana)
2. Tips for Visiting Glacier National Park with an RV
(Skinner Round-Up)
3. Glacier Country Tourism + Explore Whitefish Meeting Planner Virtual FAM
(ExploreWhitefish)
4. 5 Things to Do Near Glacier National Park (Montana)
(Travel Tips by Laurie)
5. Glacier: The Hiker’s National Park: Ultimate Guide By Travel writer/photographer Steve Salis
(The West is Big! Travel)
6. Ep. 47: Glacier National Park and Flathead Lake | RV travel Montana camping
(Grand Adventure)

You might also like

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Last Updated: 05/10/2022

Views: 6242

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dean Jakubowski Ret

Birthday: 1996-05-10

Address: Apt. 425 4346 Santiago Islands, Shariside, AK 38830-1874

Phone: +96313309894162

Job: Legacy Sales Designer

Hobby: Baseball, Wood carving, Candle making, Jigsaw puzzles, Lacemaking, Parkour, Drawing

Introduction: My name is Dean Jakubowski Ret, I am a enthusiastic, friendly, homely, handsome, zealous, brainy, elegant person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.