WILDLIFE OF GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
This is a wildlife nature tour of Glacier National Park that is for a small-group adventure to Glacier's best wildlife spots.
- Traverse the alpine reaches of the Continental Divide on the Going-to-the-Sun Road
- Scout for bears, including grizzlies, on secluded walks and hikes in glacial valleys
- Relax lakeside at each of the park’s grand historic lodges
- Priced at $2,995 per person. One WatertonLakes itinerary per year at $3,995 per person.
When naturalist John Muir visited Glacier, he wrote in 1901, “Get off the tracks at Belton Station [now West Glacier] and in a few minutes you will find yourself in the midst of what you are sure to say is the best care-killing scenery on the continent.” Muir’s words are still valid today in this beguiling landscape of peaks, meadows, wildflowers and meltwater lakes fed by rills tumbling down off the park’s namesake ice shelves. A foray into Glacier’s wild bounty will refresh and energize contemporary spirits just as it did a century ago.
Location of Adventure: Glacier National Park, Montana
Accommodations, meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on final day, bottled water, services of an expedition leader, most gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1 and final day, permits and entrance fees, all taxes.
Travel to and from start and end point of trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes, optional travel insurance.
2012 dates: July 7th – July 13th, July 14th July 20th, July 28th - Aug 3rd Aug 4th – Aug 10th,
Aug 11th – Aug 19th *Waterton Lakes
$3,195 per person
$895 single supplement
Day 2: Glacier National Park
Day 3: Two Medicine Valley
Days 4 & 5: Many Glacier Valley
Day 6: Going-to-the-Sun Road
Day 7: Return to Kalispell/DeparturePhysical Requirements
Moderate / Flexible
Our hikes in Glacier National Park require moderate physical exertion. Some gain in altitude is required in some locations, and hikes generally range from one to four miles. However, travelers are not required to participate in all excursions, and much of the park can be observed from roadways and our lodges. Guests who would like to participate in longer hikes may have the opportunity to take additional optional hikes at their leisure.
Important Information about This Trip
This adventure explores one of North America’s most magnificent natural areas, investigating accessible areas of Glacier National Park often missed by the casual tourist, with the same views enjoyed typically only by hardy backcountry hikers. ??Getting There & Getting Home ?You should arrive in time to join your group at 6:00 pm on Day 1 for an orientation at the Kalispell Grand Hotel in Kalispell, Montana. You are free to depart any time after 12 noon on the final day.
Arrive Kalispell, Montana
Upon arrival in Kalispell, you will be met at the airport by a Natural Habitat Adventures representative and escorted to our hotel, the Kalispell Grand, located in the heart of this charming town. This evening, we will meet at approximately 7pm with our Expedition Leader for an informal group welcome dinner and orientation at one of Kalispell’s finest restaurants.
Overnight Kalispell Grand Hotel (D)
If you are arriving prior to Day 1 of the expedition, you will need to make your own transportation arrangements to the hotel. Shuttle arrangements must be made at least 24 hours in advance and can be booked by calling Flathead-Glacier Transportation Co. at (406) 892-3390 or (800) 829-7039.
Glacier National Park
After breakfast, we drive to Glacier National Park to begin our western adventure. Within minutes of entering the park, we are offered many scenic opportunities, including wildlife encounters at “Goat Lick,” where exposed minerals attract mountain goats and other animals. Our first destination is Lewis Overthrust Fault, Glacier’s most famous geological site, which will give us an overview of the park’s geological history. Around 1pm, we will stop to enjoy a picnic lunch.
The next two nights we will stay at Glacier Park Lodge, an historic hotel located just two miles east of the park. Built in 1912–13 out of logs cut from cedar and Douglas fir trees that were 500 to 800 years old, the lodge is commonly referred to as the “Big Tree Hotel.” This magnificent property, steeped in the history and culture of the Great Northern Railway and the Blackfeet Indians, is nestled at the foot of Squaw Peak Mountain, providing a wonderful home base from which we can explore. The lodge has lovely gardens, a reading room, and a heated, outdoor pool, all with spectacular mountain views.
Overnight Glacier Park Lodge (B,L,D)
Two Medicine Valley
Today we visit Two Medicine Valley, an area rich in Native American history. The valley, situated at the eastern edge of the park, borders the Blackfeet Indian reservation to the east. Our exploration begins with a scenic boat ride across Two Medicine Lake to reach the trailhead for our hike.
While our hike is moderate in grade, the breathtaking beauty of sheer cliffs and mountain peaks will surround us, placing us amidst awe-inspiring scenery usually reserved for the highest altitudes. We will keep our eyes peeled for the spectacular array of wildlife that is frequently seen here. Moose, elk, and deer graze on tall green grasses and wildflowers in sunny meadows, while grizzlies, black bears, coyotes, wolves, and mountain lions seek refuge from the summer heat in shady aspen groves. We may also spot majestic bald eagles, which share intensely blue skies with a wide variety of other bird species. In fact, up to 230 distinct bird communities call this mix of aspen, prairie, and coniferous forest home, and their many different calls and songs provide a magical backdrop to our day in the valley.
Overnight Glacier Park Lodge (B,L,D)
Days 4 & 5:
Many Glacier Valley
With cameras ready, we venture to Many Glacier Valley, which reveals a pristine wildlife area filled with lush meadows, green forests, cascading waterfalls, and habitat replete with animal life. Keep an eye out for brown and black bears feeding in the bushes of avalanche chutes, mountain goats and bighorn sheep perched precariously on the cliffs, and elk grazing in the wildlife-filled meadows. Grizzlies have also been known to make a pilgrimage here in July and August in search of the sweet, ripe huckleberries that grow in the valley.
Built in 1915, our accommodation for the night will take you back to a bygone era. The world-renowned Many Glacier Hotel is a Swiss, chalet-style lodge perched on the shores of Swift Current Lake. The location offers spectacular views of rolling valleys and towering rocky mountains, validating the region’s name as “The Switzerland of North America.”
The Many Glacier Hotel is ideally situated for nature enthusiasts. From the sprawling property, we will travel by boat into a wilderness wonderland where we can view a “living” glacier. We can take walks of varying distances (depending on each traveler’s physical fitness level), where we may find black bears ambling along the shore of Lake Josephine. Meals are taken in the dining room in the shadows of snow-speckled peaks that rise on the far side of the lake’s shores.
Overnight Many Glacier Hotel (B,L,D)
Few roads on earth offer the spectacular scenery that we will experience on Going-to-the-Sun Road. This famous motorway leads through the heart of Glacier, providing access to the park’s subalpine and alpine regions. The final section of the road was completed in 1932 after eleven years of work. To this day, the road is considered an engineering feat and is a National Historic Landmark.
Glacier-carved valleys and mirrored lakes delight the eyes as we make our way up and over the Continental Divide. En route, we will search the forests and open spaces for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and hoary marmots, stopping to view the wildlife as it appears. The highlight of our drive will be Logan Pass, bisected by the Continental Divide, and blanketed in a carpet of vibrant wildflowers. Our journey up the road will be rewarded with breathtaking, panoramic views from the pass. Here we share our awe-inspiring surroundings with the ptarmigan nesting beneath our feet and under the boardwalk, and the occasional grizzly, intent upon digging up the bulbs of hardy glacier lilies. After plenty of time to take pictures and stretch our legs, we will continue on down the other side of the pass toward our next destination, Lake McDonald. En route, we will enjoy a hike through a quiet forest to Avalanche Lake, where seven tiny waterfalls cascade from the surrounding mountains.
Upon our arrival at the historic Lake McDonald Lodge, which sits quietly amidst the trees on the shore of the lake and offers panoramic views of the mountainous backdrop, we will relax by the fire in front of the massive, stone hearth. This evening, we gather for our farewell dinner.
Overnight Lake McDonald Lodge (B,L,D)
Return to Kalispell/Departure
This morning, we get an early start back to Kalispell to meet our departing afternoon flights.