Glacier National Park is one of the USA’s finest wilderness spaces. Sprawling for over 1500-square miles, Glacier National Park is a dream come true for the adventurous traveler. Encompassed by Montana’s awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, Glacier National Park runs north across the Canadian border.
Did you know that there are over 700-miles of hiking trails in Glacier National Park? That’s an awful lot of exploring to be done. There are countless photogenic landscapes and lookout points along the trails of Glacier National Park. One of the most popular spots within the park is Hidden Lake, and it is not hard to see why. Hidden Lake is a placid body of water – azure blue and encompassed by some of the most impressive Rocky Mountains. Clements Mountain sits to the north, while Reynolds Mountain can be found to the east and Bearhat Mountain to the southwest.
The towns and cities that surround Glacier National Park are well-equipped for visitors and have a great selection of accommodation options on offer. Although Glacier National Park is a road-trip destination for many, that doesn’t mean that you have to bunk up in the RV.
Let’s take a look at where to stay in Glacier National Park.
Columbia Falls is one of the best places to stay in Glacier National Park. The park’s west entrance is just a 20-minute drive away – and what a scenic drive it is. Colombia Falls makes an excellent base for travelers who want to maximize their time in Glacier National Park, but do not want to camp.
Colombia Falls is a quiet town, home to just over 5,000 people. This small population gives travelers a real sense of authentic Montana – namely because it is authentic Montana. Once travelers have finished their day’s hiking, they can head back to Columbia Falls for an evening of mingling with locals and making new friends. Backslope Brewing is an ever-popular watering hole, as is Nite Owl & Back Room Restaurants.
Due to its small-town feel, Columbia Falls is an excellent place to stay in Glacier National Park for families. Big Sky Waterpark and Montana Vortex and House of Mystery are both good, old-fashioned fun for all the family.
Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Families, Hikers, Like a Local Travelers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Roadtrippers
Neighborhood Highlights: Glacier National Park, Big Sky Waterpark and Montana Vortex and House of Mystery, Backslope Brewing, Nite Owl & Back Room Restaurants, Marinette Park, Kelly’s Pub & Casino, Lake McDonald, Teakettle Mountain South, Desert Mountain, Apgar, Crown of the Continent Discovery Centre
Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins – Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins is a fabulous hotel in Columbia Falls. Offering outstanding hospitality and beautiful accommodation, this lodge is a great find. The rooms are bright and spacious. Each room offers guests a microwave, refrigerator, and a dining area. The family-sized bungalows feature fully equipped kitchens.
Cedar Creek Lodge – Cedar Creek Lodge is a superb hotel in Columbia Falls. The hotel has been inspired by traditional mountain lodges but features modern design elements. There is an indoor swimming pool for guests to use on a complimentary basis, and a basic fitness center too. Free parking is available on site.
Meadow Lake Golf & Ski Resort – Meadow Lake Golf & Ski Resort is a gorgeous hotel on Saint Andrews Drive. The facilities at this hotel are fantastic. Guests have access to a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a year-round pool indoors. There is a BBQ terrace for guests to cook their own meals and an in-house restaurant too.
Although Columbia Falls is a touch closer to the entrance of Glacier National Park, Kalispell is regarded as the gateway to Montana’s finest wilderness. Kalispell is not only mystical by name, but mystical by nature. Encompassed by the Rocky Mountains, home to fast flowing streams, grizzly bears and dense forests, Kalispell is a surprisingly enchanting city.
Downtown Kalispell is a joy to explore. Featuring buildings restored from their 1800’s- period style, there is a lot to discover in Downtown Kalispell. The Conrad Mansion is one of the highlights – once a Victorian mansion, the property is now a museum that is home to beautiful period furniture and decor. The Hockaday Museum of Art is a cultural gem in Kalispell. The museum is home to an impressive collection of works curated by past and present Montana artists.
When it comes to family fun, Kalispell is a great place to stay in Glacier National Park. Woodland Water Park features water slides, a lazy river and more.
Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Art Lovers, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Hikers, Like a Local Travelers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Roadtrippers
Neighborhood Highlights: Glacier National Park, Downtown Kalispell, Conrad Mansion, Hockaday Museum of Art, Woodland Water Park, Lone Pine State Park, Woodland Park, Ogle Studio, Magic Diamond Casino
Hampton Inn Kalispell – Hampton Inn Kalispell is a superb hotel just off Highway 2. Hampton Inn offers an indoor swimming pool and a hot tub. All rooms feature a work desk, a cozy seating area and a flat-screen TV. All room rates include a complimentary continental breakfast daily. Free parking is available.
Red Lion Kalispell – Red Lion Hotel is set right at the heart of Kalispell, on North Main Street. The breakfast served up by the Red Lion team is a great start to the day. The made-to-order omelets are particularly good. The Red Lion Kalispell boasts an indoor swimming pool and a fitness center.
Greenwood Village Inn and Suites – Greenwood Village Inn and Suites is a very good hotel in Kalispell. Each room offers a flat-screen TV and an ensuite bathroom. The larger suites also offer a kitchenette and cozy seating area. The hotel lounge is a quiet place to relax and unwind, there is a billiards table and free WiFi.
Overlooked by the snow-capped Rocky Mountains, Whitefish is a great place to stay in Glacier National Park. As a resort town, Whitefish has everything visitors could ask for. Whitefish Lake is a destination in its own right. Along the lake, travelers can explore City Beach and Whitefish Lake State Park. This is a great place to spend a lazy day after hardcore hiking inside Glacier National Park.
Whitefish is just a 30-minute drive from the west entrance of Glacier National Park, not too far at all. Along the way, travelers can drop by Columbia Falls for a coffee and a leisurely stroll.
Whitefish is a brilliant place to stay in Glacier National Park, especially for active travelers who enjoy all manner of outdoor sports. Dozens of mountain biking trails can be found in the hills surrounding Whitefish – some are pretty challenging. Road-trippers bringing their dogs can have a whale of a time in Hugh Rogers Wag Park.
Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Families, Hikers, Like a Local Travelers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Roadtrippers, Sporty Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Glacier National Park, Columbia Falls, Whitefish Lake, City Beach, Whitefish Lake State Park, Hugh Rogers Wag Park, Stumpton Historical Museum, Sunti World Art Museum, Baker Park, Whitefish Clocktower, Les Mason State Park, Beaver Lakes Trailhead, Swift Creek Trailhead
The Lodge at Whitefish – The Lodge at Whitefish is a highly recommended hotel option in Whitefish, on Wisconsin Avenue. A well-equipped hotel offering great value for money, The Lodge at Whitefish boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, and a full-service spa. The rooms have a homely feel and feature classic lodge-style decor.
Good Medicine Lodge – Good Medicine Lodge is a much-loved hotel in Whitefish. The rooms feature warm tones and classic design elements. The beds are exceptionally comfortable and each room has its own private ensuite bathroom. Good Medicine Lodge is a locally run hotel and the staff are happy to share their local knowledge.
Duck Inn Lodge – Duck Inn Lodge is an exceptional hotel in Whitefish, exceeding guest expectations time after time. There are homely rooms available in addition to large family sized suites. Many of the rooms offer a garden view – particularly beautiful when sprinkled with snow. Free WiFI is available at Duck Inn Lodge.
Bigfork is a small Montana city that sits on the northern tip of Flathead Lake. Offering easy access to both Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest, Bigfork is the best place to stay for avid hikers and keen explorers. Bigfork is much quieter than Kalispell, but it is fit for purpose. The town offers travelers the chance to feel at home, to experience authentic Montana, and most importantly, be at one with nature.
Around 4,000 people live in Bigfork and there is a strong sense of community. One great way to make new friends in Bigfork is to head to one of the local brewpubs. As with so many places in the USA, Bigfork too has experienced a boom in craft breweries. Flathead Lake Brewing Co. sits on the banks of the lake and has an impressive selection of beers to choose from. Their Imperial IPA is a whopping 8.6% ABV – it’s certainly memorable. There are plenty of others to try too.
Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Families, Foodies, Hikers, Like a Local Travelers, Off-The-Beaten Track Travelers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Roadtrippers,
Neighborhood Highlights: Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, Flathead Lake, Wayfarers State Park, Flathead Lake Brewing Co., The Orchard at Flathead Lake, Flathead Jackpot Casino, Fat Robin Orchard & Farm, Hop’s Downtown Grill
Mountain Lake Lodge – Mountain Lake Lodge is a cozy hotel set back from Flathead Lake. Offering everything guests could ask for and more, Mountain Lake Lodge is a great place to stay in Bigfork. There is an outdoor infinity pool, a fitness center, and a gorgeous garden too. The staff are wonderfully accommodating.
The Islander Inn – The Islander Inn is a great little hotel in Bigfork. Accommodating in every possible way, The Islander Inn team serve a complimentary breakfast each morning and can cater to all diet types – including vegan and gluten-free. Each room features a seating area and a TV with cable channels.
Flathead Lake Resort – Flathead Lake Resort is set just outside of Bigfork. Great for families and pet-friendly too, Flathead Lake Resort is a real home away from home. The cabins are really cute and feature everything guests could need, including a private bathroom. Mountain biking, skiing, hiking, and kayaking can all be arranged.
For travelers who want to stay far off the beaten track in Glacier National Park, there is just one place to stay – Somers. Situated on the banks of Flathead Lake and just a stone’s throw away from Bigfork, Somers is home to just over 1,000 people. Kalispell is just a 15-minute drive away. Somers is one of Montana’s best-kept secrets.
A cozy and homely kind of town, Somers is ideal for travelers who want to explore both Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest from just one base. What’s more, Blacktail Mountain overlooks little Somers and is home to ski runs and hiking trails.
If you are heading out early to explore Glacier National Park, you can grab a quick coffee at Sudden Rush Espresso. If you have more time, grab a table at Somers Bay Cafe. It is a cute, locally run cafe that is a favorite of locals for their generous portion sizes. Their coffee is pretty good too.
Good For: Active Travelers, Adventurous Travelers, Couples, Families, Foodies, Hikers, Like a Local Travelers, Off-The-Beaten Track Travelers, Outdoorsy Travelers, Roadtrippers
Neighborhood Highlights: Glacier National Park, Flathead National Forest, Flathead Lake, Blacktail Mountain, Wayfarers State Park, Sudden Rush Espresso, Somers Bay Cafe
Outlook Inn Bed & Breakfast – Outlook Inn Bed & Breakfast is an exceptional hotel on Boon Road in Somers. This small, locally run B&B offers amazing views of Flathead Lake and Montana’s mountainous landscape. The food served at Outlook Inn Bed & Breakfast is outstanding, especially the breakfast. Free parking is available on site and free WiFi too.
Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites – Best Western Plus Flathead Lake Inn and Suites is an ideal hotel in Soames. Guests can choose a cozy double room, a suite, or the spacious apartment. Every room offers coffee making facilities, free WiFi, and cable TV. A deluxe hot breakfast is served daily and is included in the room rates.
Coyote Bluff Estate – Coyote Bluff Estate is a luxurious lodge on Coyote Ridge Road in Soames. Gaining nothing but positive feedback from all who stay, Coyote Bluff Estate is one of the best hotels in Montana. The decor is beautiful and the hotel is both luxurious and homely. There is an outdoor terrace and a shared lounge area.