Glacier National Park in Fall
Fall in Glacier National Park & Western Montana
We all know that Glacier National Park in the fall – and western Montana in general! – is stunning any time of year. While each season brings a unique look to the park and its surrounding area, we are especially partial to fall colors in Montana. The changing colors, cooler temperatures, and shorter days all give our corner of the state a whole different feel and ambiance. If you are hoping to see Glacier National Park in fall, you won’t be disappointed by the colors. Wondering what else you should do in the Montana fall season, let this blog be your guide!
Here are our top things to do in Montana fall:
- Breathe Fresh Air in the Jewel Basin Hiking Area
- Tour the Miracle of America Museum
- Learn History at the Conrad Mansion Museum
- Bike Going-to-the-Sun Road
- Enjoy Fun & Games at Sweet Pickin’s Pumpkin Patch
- Play in the Treetops at Glacier Highline
- Take a Scenic Drive to Polebridge
- Visit Glacier National Park (of course!)
- Stay and Play (or Rest) in West Glacier
1. Explore Jewel Basin Hiking Area
The Jewel Basin is a 15,000-acre hiking area maintained exclusively for hiking and camping. There are 35 miles of trails to explore and multiple lakes and peaks to hike to. Even better for those traveling with their furry friends you can hike here with your pups!
2. Tour the Miracle of America Museum
Take a drive down around Flathead Lake. Not only will you enjoy driving around the largest fresh body of water West of the Mississippi River you will also enjoy stopping at the Miracle of America Museum. There is no shortage of things to look at here from multiple eras of our American heritage. Keep your eyes peeled because there’s ALOT to see here!
4. Bike Going-to-the-Sun Road
The road will close again to cars, but you are still welcome to explore beyond the gate via bike or walking. The views are still there, you just have to buckle that helmet to get to them. Glacier Guides are your go-to’s for bike rentals and guided hiking trips (if you want to go the guided route). If you aren’t wanting to go into the park, we have plenty of bike and walking trails in the Flathead Valley! Lion Mountain is one of our favorite trails outside of Glacier, and Whitefish Legacy Partners has a great site for other trails to explore!
6. Hang in the Treetops & Zipline Near Glacier at Glacier Highline
If you need to stretch your legs after that road to Polebridge, come hang with us in the trees at Glacier Highline for zipling Glacier National Park. We have fun for all ages, even enjoy spectating in the sun or shade as well. Let those kiddos burn out some of their energy on both of our ropes courses, 80’ inflatable obstacle course, and inflatable water slide on our pond. In our 6th season, we got it all fine-tuned for loads of family fun. Don’t leave this un-checked on your Glacier National Park adventure bucket list. Soak up that last little bit of the summer sun in the treetops! Keep in mind that our season typically ends in September. Find this year’s availability with the button below.
7. Take a Scenic Drive up to Polebridge
Take a scenic drive up to Polebridge and enjoy a quiet little town with an authentic personality. This cute community boasts good Old Fashioned Montana fun! The Polebridge Mercantile has plenty of freshly baked goodies to fuel you up for your next adventure or the Northern Lights Saloon is there to serve you a hot meal or even pour you a cold local brew. If you’re feeling really adventurous, keep driving past Polebridge up to Bowman Lake or hike into Kintla Lake. You will not be disappointed. There are miles of scenery to take in and maybe if you’re lucky some wildlife so keep those cameras ready! Come home through the Hwy 486 (the North Fork) for even more spectacular views!
8. Visit Glacier National Park (of course!)
See the park with fewer crowds! You can really enjoy the sounds of Glacier in the fall once the hustle and bustle of the summer fun has returned back to reality. The numbers may be lower in Glacier but it’s still just as wonderful. The leaves are changing and the water is still crystal clear, the air is so crisp and fresh. It’s just something we can’t explain – you will just have to come experience for yourself. Here are a few not to miss spots in the park:
9. Stay and Play (or Rest) in West Glacier
Looking for the perfect rustic lodge or modern accommodation that allows you and your crew to both play and rest? Check out our West Glacier lodging options, with most located only 7 mi from the entrance of West Glacier. Each property offers it’s own unique view, a must-see in the heart of Montana fall colors.
Enjoy your fall vacation!
If you are driving to Glacier, check out our Missoula to Glacier National Park and Bozeman to Glacier National Park blogs for road trip itinerary ideas to make the most of your adventure. Need more trip planning help? Reference our 3-day Glacier National Park Itinerary or our Guide to Glacier National Park for additional information. Soak in the fresh and crisp mountain air and we will see you soon for aerial adventure and ziplining at Glacier Highline!