I’m talking about the Northern Rockies and Glacier National Park. I have visited the park a few times already and just can’t get enough of this spectacular area. If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to visit Montana, by all means, this is it! The Continental Divide runs through the park, dividing it into two parts: the wetter and greener west side and the drier east side. Both are spectacular. And if you want to go a bit farther north, visit the Waterton Lakes National Park area in the southwestern part of Alberta, Canada. Together the American and Canadian counterparts of the park system is called Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. A lot of people are not aware of this and don’t realize just how how large an area this park system covers.
You’ve seen in the introduction video the spectacular scenery of the Northern Rockies in and around Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park. Now I will speak of and show a few photos of the grand lodges that are one of the parks’ highlights. I’ll start with the most elegant Prince of Wales Hotel, which is situated on a bluff overlooking the beautiful, teal blue Waterton Lakes, the town of Waterton, and offering up a spectacular view of the Canadian Rockies. It is one of the most photographed hotels in North America. For more eye-popping views, watch the short video contained within the link given above.
Prince of Wales Hotel
Now, we’ll cross back over into the States and visit some of the lodges of Glacier National Park in Montana. One of the most accessible lodges of the park is Glacier Park Lodge. Technically, it is not within park boundaries, but rather is located just outside the east boundary of the park, the dry side that I referred to earlier. One must see the inside of the main lodge room. It is built of and supported by 60 immense Douglas Fir timbers. It really is something else to see! Also, keep in mind that all these great lodges were built back in the time of the Great Northern Railroad in the early 1900’s. What a magnificent job they did! The Glacier Park Lodge also has its own train depot whereby one can conveniently use Amtrak’s Empire Builder train that swings by twice per day to connect you to Seattle and Portland to the west and Chicago to the east.
Glacier Park Lodge
Moving along to our next stop is Many Glacier Hotel, the largest of the lodges in the park and located within the heart of Glacier. It is located along the banks of the beautiful Swiftcurrent Lake. You’ll feel as if you are in the Alps here. The main dining room includes a Swiss motif. In fact, this area of the Rockies is commonly referred to as the “American Alps” or the”Switzerland of North America.” Some of the park’s spectacular peaks are viewable from this area. Take a leisurely tour boat ride on the lake or walk on some of the many hiking trails in the area.
Many Glacier Hotel
The last lodge of Glacier National Park that we’ll visit is Lake McDonald Lodge located in the west side of the park, the wetter and greener side I spoke of earlier. This lodge is located along the north banks of Lake McDonald. The inside of the main entrance of the lodge sports a very rustic, Old West atmosphere along with many mounted heads of mountain goats, elk, moose, sheep, etc. Also, I would be remiss if I did not mention all the fine dining facilities in all of the parks’ lodges and the great tasting and selection of food.
Lake McDonald Lodge
Besides riding in your own vehicle, a really fun and educational way to visit all the lodges is by riding in one of the park’s famous Red Buses. You probably noticed them in a few of the photos posted. They all have a canvas roof that can be rolled back during those warm summer days to give you the best views. The drivers give a great tour and you learn so much information. Check the link above for more info.
There! Now, are you ready to go to Glacier? I am!