What to See and Do in Glacier National Park
Are you looking for a great outdoor adventure? Whether it’s discovering the majestic beauty of Yellowstone National Park or hiking through Glacier National Park, you can experience both in one road trip.
In this article, we will uncover how far apart each national park is and why they are worth the drive.
Introduction to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone
Glacier National Park and Yellowstone are two of the most exciting national parks in the United States. While they share a passion for beautiful landscapes and breathtaking natural features, they are both unique in their terrain, wildlife, and history. The distance between these two iconic parks is around 660 km (410 miles), which can be traveled by car or flight.
If you are planning a trip, you should consider visiting both parks. Start at Glacier National Park, which offers stunning views from its mountain passes and numerous hiking trails. From there, head south towards Yellowstone National Park, where you will experience the iconic geysers, hot springs, and bison herds.
Don’t forget to pack your camera, hiking boots, and sense of adventure – you’ll need them for this unforgettable journey.
How Far is Glacier National Park from Yellowstone
The distance between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone is approximately 450 miles, or 724 kilometers, by car. The fastest route between the two national parks is along US-89 S, which takes about 8 hours to drive without stopping.
However, many scenic routes run between the parks, allowing visitors to see some of the best of Montana’s natural beauty. Some of the routes are Montana Highway 200, Montana Highway 83, and US-2 E. These routes vary in length and time, but all offer stunning views of scenic landscapes, small towns, and endless skies.
Keep in mind that the distance and travel time might vary depending on weather conditions and time of year. So, it is always recommended to plan your trip accordingly.
What to See in Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are located about 800 miles away from each other. Although they are both popular tourist destinations in the United States, each park offers its unique set of attractions and outdoor activities.
When exploring Glacier National Park, here are some of the must-see sights:
Going-to-the-Sun Road: This scenic road stretches for 50 miles, offering stunning views of the park’s glaciers, mountains, and valleys.
Lake McDonald: This crystal-clear lake is perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming.
Grinnell Glacier: This beautiful glacier is a must-see when visiting the park. The hike to get there is challenging, but the breathtaking views of turquoise blue glacier meltwater are unforgettable.
Hidden Lake Trail: This picturesque trail takes hikers on a journey through alpine meadows and ends at a beautiful mountain lake with stunning views.
Pro Tip: If you’re short on time, prioritize Going-to-the-Sun Road and the Hidden Lake Trail for the best sights in Glacier National Park.
What to See in Yellowstone
Glacier National Park is located about 400 miles from Yellowstone National Park. The distance can be covered by car, which takes around 9 hours via US-89 S and US-287 S highways. The drive from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park is scenic, passing through forests, mountains, and remote towns. It’s common to spot wildlife such as elk, bison, and even grizzly bears along the route, so be sure to drive cautiously and keep your camera ready for photo opportunities.
Pro Tip: Consider breaking up the drive with a stopover in Bozeman, Montana, where you can explore the quirky museums, charming cafes, and boutique shops.
How to Get to Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is located in Montana, while Yellowstone National Park is primarily located in Wyoming, with small parts stretching into Montana and Idaho. The distance between these two parks is approximately 400 miles, and the driving time is around 8 hours.
Here are the ways to get to Glacier National Park:
By Car: If you’re driving from Yellowstone National Park, take the US-89 North to the US-2 West. This route will take you through scenic countryside landscapes and small towns.
Air Travel: The nearest major airports to Glacier National Park are Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Montana, which is served by major airlines, and Missoula International Airport (MSO) in Montana, which offers regional connections.
Train: Amtrak’s Empire Builder line passes through the town of West Glacier, which is the western gateway to this park. The train offers stunning views of the park’s landscape.
Bus: Greyhound and other bus companies provide regular services to cities near the park such as Kalispell and West Glacier.
How to Get to Yellowstone
If you’re planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park, you may be wondering how you can get there, including the distance between Yellowstone and other nearby attractions like Glacier National Park.
The two national parks are located approximately 480 miles apart, with an estimated driving time of 8 hours. One of the most popular routes between the two parks is via US Highway 89 that winds through parks, national forests and stunning mountain scenery.
There are other travel options, such as flights, buses and trains but the most convenient and flexible means of transportation is by car, not only saving money but also getting the chance to see the country’s beautiful national parks en route. Pro tip: Make sure to check the weather and road conditions before traveling.
Accommodations Near Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park is located about 450 miles northwest of Yellowstone National Park. There are many accommodation options available near Glacier National Park, including hotels, motels, lodges, and campgrounds.
Some of the popular accommodation options are:
1. Lake McDonald Lodge: This historic lodge is situated on the shore of Lake McDonald and offers rustic-style rooms with modern amenities.
2. Many Glacier Hotel: This grand hotel is located on the east shore of Swiftcurrent Lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Rising Sun Motor Inn and Cabins: This motel-style accommodation is situated on the banks of St. Mary Lake and offers easy access to the park’s eastern side.
4. Glacier Campground: This is a popular camping option for visitors looking to experience the park’s wilderness. The campground is open from May to September and has tent and RV sites.
Pro Tip: Make sure to book your accommodation well in advance, especially during the summer months, as the park tends to get very crowded.
Accommodations Near Yellowstone
The distance between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park is approximately 400 miles, and the driving time can take around 8 hours.
When looking for accommodations near Yellowstone, there are several options to choose from, ranging from campsites to luxury hotels. If you prefer a more rustic experience, you can stay at one of the many campsites near the park, including Mammoth Campground, Tower Fall Campground, and Slough Creek Campground. For a more comfortable stay, you can book a room at one of the many lodges or hotels near Yellowstone, such as the Old Faithful Inn, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, or the Canyon Lodge and Cabins.
It is recommended to book your accommodations well in advance, especially during peak season, to ensure availability.