Three Days of Discovery: A Comprehensive Itinerary for Glacier National Park

Planning a three-day visit to Glacier National Park offers an exciting opportunity to explore its diverse landscapes, from rugged mountains and pristine forests to spectacular lakes. Here’s a detailed itinerary to help you make the most out of your trip to this breathtaking national park.

Glacier National Park

Three-Day Itinerary for Glacier National Park

 Day 1: West Glacier and Lake McDonald


  •   Arrival at West Glacier: Enter through the West Entrance of the park. Stop by the Apgar Visitor Center to pick up maps and check any last-minute details about trail conditions and wildlife activity.
  •   Lake McDonald: Spend your morning at Lake McDonald, the largest lake in the park. It's a perfect spot for photography, especially early in the day when the water reflects the mountains like a mirror.


  •   Trail of the Cedars: This easy, accessible trail is ideal for all ages and fitness levels. The loop leads you through ancient cedar forests and by the rushing waters of Avalanche Creek.
  •   Avalanche Lake Hike: From the Trail of the Cedars, take a moderate hike up to Avalanche Lake. This 4.5-mile round-trip hike offers stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains.


  •   Dinner at Lake McDonald Lodge: Enjoy a relaxing dinner at the historic Lake McDonald Lodge. Reservations are recommended as this is a popular dining spot.

 Day 2: Going-to-the-Sun Road and Logan Pass


  •   Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road: Start early to drive this iconic road, which offers incredible views and numerous pullouts for photography. Keep an eye out for wildlife, especially in the early hours.

Mid-Morning to Afternoon:

  •   Logan Pass: Visit the Logan Pass Visitor Center, and consider hiking the popular Hidden Lake Trail (3 miles round trip) or the challenging Highline Trail for more experienced hikers.
  •   Lunch at Rising Sun: Stop for a quick lunch at the Rising Sun Motor Inn and explore the nearby areas.

Late Afternoon:

  •   St. Mary Lake: End your day with a visit to St. Mary Lake, where you can enjoy serene views and a less crowded environment.


  •   Star Gazing: Return to Logan Pass for some of the best stargazing opportunities in the park, weather permitting.

 Day 3: Many Glacier and the East Side


  •   Many Glacier Area: Head to the Many Glacier area early in the morning. This less visited part of the park offers a chance to see wildlife such as bears and moose. Start with a boat tour on Swiftcurrent Lake, followed by a hike.


  •   Hike to Grinnell Glacier: One of the most scenic hikes in the park, this strenuous hike is about 10 miles round-trip and offers spectacular views of glaciers, lakes, and wildlife.


  •   Relax at Many Glacier Hotel: Wind down with dinner at the Many Glacier Hotel, enjoying the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.

 Tips for Your Visit:

  • Early Starts: Getting an early start each day helps you avoid crowds and increases your chances of seeing wildlife.
  • Reservations: Make reservations for Going to the Sun Road scenic drive, lodging and dining well in advance, especially during the peak summer months.
  • Be Prepared: Weather in Glacier can change rapidly. Dress in layers and bring rain gear, sun protection, and plenty of water and snacks.
  • Park Pass: Consider purchasing an America the Beautiful Pass if you plan to visit other federal lands during the year.

This three-day itinerary will allow you to experience the best of Glacier National Park’s natural beauty and provide unforgettable memories of your adventure in this pristine wilderness.