The Many Glacier area in Glacier National Park is well worth a visit and shouldn’t be missed. It is a less busy section of Glacier and definitely has more of a remote feel to it than main Glacier National Park.
Always be sure to check the Glacier National Park official website to make sure this part of the park is open.
***PLEASE NOTE – Glacier National Park has started requiring a reservation and a ticket to travel the Going-To-The-Sun Road or the Polebridge Ranger Station entrace. This will impact your trip. You can check out more details here: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrticketedentry.htm
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If you are staying in the main section of Glacier, either by West Glacier or the Lake McDonald area, you will have to drive a good 2 1/2 to 3 hours from the West Glacier side of the park to get to Many Glacier. You can either get there by going through the park on the Going-To-The-Sun Road, which is beautiful, but could take a while depending on how busy it is. Or by going around the bottom of the park.
We lay out the best routes and must-see stops along the way in our Glacier Guides. These 1, 3 or 7 day itineraries make it simple plan your trip to Glacier. If you want to see the Many Glacier area, you are going to want the 3 day or 7 day guide to help find your way.
Getting into Many Glacier is a little rough and bumpy and can be filled with free roaming cattle. All this aside we were able to do it with our mid-size SUV and my parents were able to with their compact car. You just have to be aware and ready for a few bumps.
The ride in is beautiful and you get a glimpse of the gorgeous blue waters of Glacier with mountains in the back. As you drive through the entrance and into the park, the views continue to be amazing.
Many Glacier Hotel
Many Glacier hotel is located past the entrance. This hotel was built with a Swiss style back in the early 1900’s by the Great Northern Railway. The Many Glacier hotel is situated on the shores of the Swiftcurrent Lake with mountains surrounding it. It is the largest hotel in Glacier National Park with 214 rooms offering a great place to stay to enjoy this historic hotel and the area.
Where To Eat
After that you can drive to the end of the road and you come to the Swiftcurrent area. There is a campground here, a convenient store/snack shop/gift shop, and a restaurant. We were very surprised with the great selection of food at the restaurant. They had a variety of vegetarian options and organic or grass-fed options on the menu. The gift shop had yummy self-serve huckleberry or vanilla ice cream! They also had a great selection of local microbrew for a very great price!
**Note this menu does change!! This is what it was when we were there.
To really see the Many Glacier area, you are going to want to get out and do a hike. Yes you can drive through and get a good feel for this section of the park and take in some amazing views, but actually hiking it is going to really show you the brilliance of the area.
Here are a few suggestions for Many Glacier trails:
1. Apakuni Falls
You could catch this hike on the way in or the way out of Glacier. It is shorter at just 2 miles. But you are climbing up hill the whole way.
2. Hike to Fishercap Lake
This is a short walk (starts at the trailhead at the end of the Swiftcurrent Parking lot) to a lake where you may or may not see a moose. We were lucky enough to see one playing in the water. You can continue on to Red Rock Falls if you would like.
3. Grinnell Lake Trail
This is a trail where you can take a boat with red bus tours boat cruises, hike a short distance, then take another boat, then decide to either hike to Grinnell Lake or to Grinnell Glacier before taking the boats back.
Or if you would like you can safe yourself some money and hike the whole thing. So many choices!
4. Grinnell Glacier Hike
We did this hike when our kids were 11,9,9 and 7. It was a long hike at over 11 miles roundtrip and an 1800 foot elevation gain. It was totally worth it!
The views on the hike were gorgeous – similar to the Grinnell Lake hike – as you start on the same trail. But instead of taking the trail to the lake you take the trail to the glacier.
When we came around the corner the view were UNREAL!! We sat for a while to enjoy some snacks and we did not want to leave!
If you can do this hike. Here is a video of our hike:
5. Iceberg Trail
We were not able to do this hike when we were there due to the trail being closed due to bear activity, but we would love to go back and do it in the future! How cool would that be to see an Iceberg floating around. You can see the icebergs all year round – even in summer.
Here is a link that shows what Iceberg Trail is like. It looks so cool!! Next time! http://enjoyyourparks.com/GlacierParkIcebergLake.html
There are a few more long trails that you could do and any of the visitor centers (there is not one by Many Glacier) have a brochure on the hikes in the area.
Read More About Hiking in Glacier: The Best Hikes in Glacier National Park With Kids
When planning your trip to Glacier National Park make sure to save at least one if not 2 days to explore this area. We made it back a few times and would love to come and camp in this section of the park in the future.
Things To Know
- Cell coverage is pretty much non existent in the Many Glacier Area.
- The roads are bumpy on the way in. It is not all paved.
- You will need your National Park pass/or Glacier day pass to get into the area.
- Fill up on gas before you head here.
- Bring water and good shoes if you plan to hit the hiking trails.
- There are also options to do Horseback riding in the area if you are interested in that.
Don’t miss Bowman Lake and Polebridge Mercantile!
There are also amazing things to do around Glacier National Park:
Or visit our Glacier Page to learn all about visiting Glacier National Park with your family!
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