Glacier National Park in Montana’s Rock Mountains is 1,583 square miles of natural paradise. Known for its magnificent wildlife and spectacular views, it’s no wonder that Glacier Park attracts around three-million visitors every year. But to truly appreciate everything this World Heritage Site has to offer, you’ll have to spend at least a few days here.
Honestly, it’s difficult to find accommodation in most of North America’s national parks, and Glacier Park is no exception. So, although it has nine internal lodges, some visitors may struggle when searching for where to stay in Glacier National Park, especially during its busy seasons.
If you’re anything like me – and want to spend the most time exploring the great outdoors and taking on the best national park hikes, this list of the best places to stay near Glacier National Park (and within the park) is the perfect guide.
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Where to Stay When Visiting Glacier National Park – Sides of the Park
Glacier National Park is split down the middle by the continental divide, creating East Glacier National Park and West Glacier National Park. Whichever side you choose, you are guaranteed an unforgettable experience in the North American wilderness.
Here’s a closer look at what you can expect to see on the east and west sides of Glacier National Park:
East Glacier National Park
If getting up close and personal with the wildlife is what you’re after, the East Glacier National Park is where you want to be. The forests of the east side are considerably less dense compared to the west side, which means the chance of spotting the park’s animals is much greater over here.
From the east side, you can soak up the unforgettable views of Saint Mary Lake, hike the popular Sunrift Gorge and Saint Mary Falls trails, check out the Grinnell Glacier, and visit Iceberg Lake.
Tip: Bears are abundant. Always carry bear repellent or a bear horn when hiking in Glacier National Park.
West Glacier National Park
On the west side of Glacier National Park, you’ll find the Lake McDonald area. This includes the West Glacier, as well as the Highline region and North Fork Valley.
From the park’s West Glacier entrance, you can access the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is 50 miles of stunning scenery. It’ll take you around two hours to drive this route. On the way, you’ll cross the continental divide and visit the route’s highest point, Logan Pass.
Booking Accommodation at Glacier National Park
Although there are many Glacier National park hotels and inns, finding availability at the park’s accommodations is very difficult. Glacier National Park lodges are almost always fully booked. So, if you want to secure your place, make sure to book your Glacier hotel rooms well in advance.
The best time to visit Glacier National Park is from June to September. If you’re visiting the park during these months, you’ll have to book your accommodation at Glacier National Park at least six to thirteen months in advance.
So, without wasting any more time, here are the best places to stay in Glacier National Park.
Where to Stay – Glacier National Park
If you want to stay inside the national park, these accommodation options provide a comfortable stay.
Tip: To check availability and the latest rates for these properties, you can visit the official Glacier National Park Lodging website.
Mid-Range: Apgar Village Lodge
Set in one of Glacier National Park’s best locations, Apgar Village Lodge offers charmingly rustic accommodation and easy access to the park’s best outdoor activities. This lodge is located close to Lake McDonald in Apgar Village and a few of the park’s hiking trails.
Like most of the places to stay in Glacier National Park, rooms here are simple but clean and well-equipped with the necessities. While the motel-style rooms are smaller, each private cabin has a kitchenette with a refrigerator. All rooms at Apgar Village Lodge have heating for the colder months.
Mid-Range: Lake McDonald Lodge
If you’re looking for historic places to stay, Glacier National Park has a few. And this lodge is an excellent option. Known for its history and its picturesque surroundings on Lake McDonald’s east shore, the available rooms at this historic lodge are hard to come by.
Lake McDonald Lodge is best suited for outdoorsy adventurers who don’t mind having modest amenities. Unless you book a suite at Lake McDonald Lodge, your room won’t have a TV or air conditioning. It’s the perfect setting for a technology detox.
It’s important to note that accessibility is limited at this Glacier Park lodge as there are no elevators and only a few ADA-accessible rooms.
Luxury: Many Glacier Hotel
Stay in the “Switzerland of North America” at the Many Glacier Hotel. For unbeatable views of Swiftcurrent Lake, this is the best of Glacier National Park hotels. Although this historic hotel was built over one hundred years ago, a few modern touches were added during its partial renovation in 2016.
Many Glacier Hotel offers a variety of room types to choose from, but you still won’t find a television around here. Who needs a TV when you can soak up the stunning views of snow-capped mountains, Swiftcurrent Lake, and the lush greenery surrounding them?
Budget: Swiftcurrent Motor Inn
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn is the perfect accommodation for avid hikers that want to do some camping in Glacier National Park. Here, you’ll find ninety-five rustic motel rooms and cabins.
The main draw to Swiftcurrent Motor Inn is its proximity to Swiftcurrent Lake and hiking trails to Ptarmigan Tunnel and Lake and Iceberg Lake. But this inn is also sought-after for its views, fully-stocked camp store, and restaurant.
If staying in one of Swiftcurrent’s rustic cabins sounds like something you’d enjoy, be aware that most cabins share a communal bathroom.
Mid-Range: Rising Sun Motor Inn
If you want to experience the best of the wilderness without sleeping in a hunting-cabin-style room, Rising Sun Motor Inn is the best place to stay in Glacier National Park.
Contrary to most Glacier National Park lodges, the rooms here are bright and airy with touches of modern art. Rising Sun Motor Inn also has a gift shop, general store, and a restaurant – Two Dog Flats Grill.
Don’t worry; all this modernity won’t compromise your outdoor experiences. Many hiking trails are accessible from the premises, and it’s only 12 miles from Logan pass.
Where to Stay Near Glacier National Park
If you’re looking for the best hotels, inns, and lodging near Glacier National Park, here are a few top picks.
Hotels in St. Mary
St. Mary is a small village on Going-to-the-Sun Road’s east end. Below are a few of the best places to stay in St. Mary village on your Montana vacation.
Mid-Range: St. Mary Village Resort
Nestled on Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road, St. Mary Village Resort offers everything that you might need when visiting the area. Comfortable accommodation and proximity to the highlights of Glacier National Park are what this resort is best known for.
St. Mary Lake is less than fifteen minutes away, and if you fancy a bit of hiking, you can request a packed lunch from the resort before you set off. Cabins are rustic, but they offer more than the places to stay in Glacier National Park.
Rooms have air conditioning, heating, a TV, a desk, and a private bathroom. There are two restaurants on-site; the Snowgoose Grille and Curly Bear Cafe.
Hotels & Motels in East Glacier Park Village
While most of the accommodations here are camping grounds, these places to stay in East Glacier Park Village are worth checking out.
Budget: Circle R Motel
Circle R Motel is ideal for short, budget-friendly stays near Glacier National Park. This motel is only 10 minutes away from the park’s east entrance and 40 minutes from Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Here, you’ll find basic necessities such as a kitchenette, TV, and WiFi. Rooms at the Circle R Motel sleep up to four guests in their quadruple rooms, which each have two large double beds.
Luxury: Glacier Peaks Hotel
Glacier Peaks Hotel offers modern comfort just 20 miles from the entrance of Glacier National Park and 12 miles from East Glacier Park Village. This hotel offers guests comfortable accommodations with access to the on-site casino and fitness center.
The hotel does have a restaurant in the casino. However, there are also a few places to eat nearby, like Taco John’s and Nation’s Burger Station. Breakfast is included in your stay, so you can enjoy a hearty meal before exploring.
Glacier Peaks is one of the best hotels near Glacier National Park for families and guests requiring accessibility features. The property has an elevator and many hotel rooms that are disability friendly.
Hotels in and Near West Glacier
West Glacier Village attracts many of the park’s visitors because of its proximity to Glacier’s west entrance and Lake McDonald. Here’s where to stay in West Glacier.
Mid-Range: Great Northern Resort (Lodge)
This home-away-from-home accommodation is ideal for adventurous travelers and families. While this lodge is most prized for its location, the atmosphere and outdoor activities at Great Northern Resort shouldn’t go without mention.
The lodge offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, fly fishing, and hiking both on and off-site. In between all the action, you can retreat to a pleasantly decorated room fitted with all the bells and whistles for a comfortable stay.
Hotels in Columbia Falls
Although small, the city of Columbia Falls boasts fantastic places to stay for visitors to Glacier National Park. Here are a few favorites to consider.
Luxury: Wonderstone at Glacier
At Wonderstone at Glacier, you’ll find modern, minimalist, and convenient accommodations for every type of traveler. Outdoor enthusiasts looking for a lock-up-and-go experience will love the variety of guest rooms available at this hotel.
Guests can choose from private studios and suites – sleeping up to four guests, and a single bed in a mixed dormitory room. Each private room has key-card access, a private bathroom, a mini fridge, and a tea/ coffee station.
Wonderstone at Glacier is only 15 miles from Glacier National Park.
Mid-Range: Cedar Creek Lodge
At the Glacier entrance, Cedar Creek Lodge is an excellent option for couples and families on their Montana vacation. This lodge provides cozy and sophisticated guest rooms throughout the year.
All rooms have private bathrooms, a mini-fridge, a microwave, a TV, and free WiFi. The lodge also has a spacious outdoor area, a heated swimming pool, a fitness center, and a hot tub.
Cedar Creek Lodge offers guests easy access to the ski slopes in winter via a free shuttle to Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Hotels in Whitefish
Glacier National Park is one of the most popular parks to visit in winter, and the town of Whitefish is ideal for winter sports enthusiasts staying in Montana.
Mid-Range: Grouse Mountain Lodge
Offering spacious accommodations with magnificent surrounding mountains and natural scenery, Grouse Mountain Lodge is the ideal accommodation near Glacier National Park. Guest rooms here are tastefully decorated, inspired by traditional log cabins in the region.
This lodge is most sought-after for its fantastic facilities and proximity to Whitefish Lake Golf Course and Glacier National Park. Guests also love Grouse Mountain Lodge for its homely atmosphere and proximity to Elk Highlands, Village, and Easy Rider ski lifts.
Grouse Mountain Lodge is a 25-minute drive to Glacier National Park.
Luxury: Hampton Inn & Suites
This four-star hotel is only 30 minutes from Glacier National Park. Guests at Hampton Inn & Suites have access to many on-site amenities, such as the heated indoor pool, fitness center, and spa.
In between enjoying the amenities and exploring Glacier National Park, you can retreat to your spacious suite with a desk, a TV, and free WiFi. Breakfast, which is served every morning in the hotel’s dining area, is included in your stay. If you need a pick-me-up, make your way to the lobby for some complimentary tea and coffee.
Hotels in Kalispell
Kalispell is the best place to stay for international guests as it’s the closest town to Glacier Park International Airport.
Luxury: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson
Country Inn & Suites is the perfect place to stay near Glacier National Park for international guests. While this Inn is a little further away from Glacier National Park – 45 minutes by car, it’s less than a mile away from Glacier Park International Airport.
This two-star accommodation offers modern guest rooms, a swimming pool, a business center, outdoor recreational facilities, a fitness center, and in-room entertainment. As a guest at Country Inn & Suites in Kalispell, you can expect exceptional breakfast, wonderful service, and spacious rooms.
Best Places to Stay Near Glacier National Park – Final Thoughts
So there you have it, the best places to stay near Glacier National Park for a fun-filled and relaxing Montana vacation. Now that you know where to stay remember that when visiting Glacier National Park, you’ll need to book your accommodation well in advance.
Once you’re packed and ready to go, check out this list of awesome activities at Glacier National Park:
- 10 Awesome Things To Do In Glacier National Park
- 12 Great Tips On Biking Going To The Sun Road In Glacier National Park
- 20 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park: Trails You’ll Love