Local’s Travel Guide to the West Glacier Area: Things To Do in Glacier National Park


Things To Do Near Glacier Park

There is much more near Glacier National Park then most visitors know. There are hidden local gems here that are often passed by as people head into the park. From aerial adventure parks to rustic cabins to the best huckleberry pancakes- this is the Local’s Travel Guide to the West Glacier area.

The best things to do near Glacier National Park:

  1. Go rafting on Flathead River
  2. Walk or bike the Gateway to Glacier Trail
  3. Eat at the Huckleberry Patch
  4. Sample authentic Mexican cuisine at La Casita
  5. Grab pizza from Glacier Grill & Pizza
  6. Stop for a drink at Glacier Distilling Company 
  7. Enjoy a beer at Kalispell Brewing Company

Family activities Glacier National Park

Treetop Adventures- Ziplines, High Ropes Course, Giant Swing, Rock Climbing 

Glacier Highline is the perfect family activity for a summer day. From overcoming obstacles in the high ropes courses to dropping into the glacier pond from three stories up on the Giant Swing, there’s endless fun.

The Tower Grill serves espresso drinks, lunch, and snacks to fuel you for your treetop adventures. Spend the entire day here climbing in the trees, swimming in the pond and relaxing at the Tower.

The Adventure Pass gives you access to the entire park of 47 different high ropes course activities. Glacier Highline is a family-friendly place that makes every summer day enjoyable. Whether you’re 60 years old or 4 years old, test your aerial adventure skills!

Flathead River Whitewater Rafting

As you head to Glacier Park, get out and stretch your legs with an adventure! Too often visitors make their visit to Glacier Park a driving tour and skip the exciting adventures. Glacier Raft Company offers a variety of whitewater rafting trip options that range from heart racing to mellow cruising. Trips include half day, full day, multi-day, catered dinner trips, inflatable kayaks and sport rafts, Great Bear Wilderness trips and combination trips that give you a day filled with adventure. Combination trips bring rafting together with aerial adventure parks or horseback riding.

Gateway to Glacier Trail

A 7-mile bicycle and pedestrian path that connects Coram to West Glacier has brought a new way of travel to the valley. This path will connect the Flathead Valley and Glacier National Park when it’s fully completed. During the summer months, bicycle travelers can be seen using it to make overnight trips across the area. The Gateway to Glacier Trail hopes to reduce the number of motorized vehicles traveling into the national park. A great outdoor activity to get out and take in the beautiful area!

Places to Stay Near Glacier National Park

Lookout Tower

Imagine swinging right from your apartment into a pond of glacier water! The Lookout Tower is a brand new custom rental located in the Tower at Glacier Highline, which overlooks the adventure park’s pond and waterfall. The onsite amenities of the swimming pond, espresso bar, and food in the lower level of the Tower are available during your stay. The rental sleeps four people and is a studio style living quarters, perfect for family vacations.

Every stay at the Lookout Tower includes Glacier Highline Adventure Passes! That means access to the 47 different high ropes course activities, the Giant Swing, rock climbing wall, and the swimming pond! After playing all day in the adventure park, you can enjoy the peaceful summer evening from the deck of the Lookout Tower apartment.

Glacier Highline’s Rustic Cabinglacier highline rustic cabin vrbo rental onsite

If you’re looking for a cabin hideaway, the Rustic Cabin has all the rustic charm you could ask for. This red cabin is the perfect Montana home away from home. It sleeps eight, with an open concept floor plan to accommodate all different traveling groups.

The Rustic Cabin is located just 7 miles from Glacier National Park’s west entrance. Within walking distance are two family fun parks, multiple restaurants, and a distillery. Every stay includes Glacier Highline Adventure Passes, which is located right next door.

Coram Trapper’s Cabin

Looking to stay close to Glacier Park, but avoid the chaos of summertime in the park? The Trapper’s Cabin is located near Glacier National Park, with only a 10-minute drive to the west entrance. Spend the day exploring, then come back to a peaceful evening fire at the cabin.

The Trapper’s Cabin sleeps eight with an open floor plan that brings the great outdoors inside with full glass barn wood doors. Outside is a relaxing living space with a fire pit perfect for s’mores!

Belton Chalet

Located at the west entrance to Glacier National Park in West Glacier, Belton Chalet has been restored to provide a full Montana experience. Lodging options include the Lodge, private Cottages, and the Adobe House rental. The Belton Grill Dining Room and Tap Room serve guests traditional and elegant Montana dishes, accompanied with an assortment of fine wines.

Belton Lodge and Cottage guests enjoy the simplicity of the accommodations. There are no televisions, radios, or telephones to detract from the beautiful surroundings. The mountain climate keeps the area cool and comfortable during the summer.

Best Local Restaurants

The Huckleberry Patchhuckleberry patch montana

If you haven’t stuffed your face with huckleberries yet, then you haven’t done everything there is to do near Glacier National Park. There’s no shortage of huckleberry options here- from the cannery to the bakery to the huckleberry pantry to souvenirs to the sweet shop.

The Huckleberry Patch is located just 9 miles from the west entrance to Glacier Park, in Hungry Horse, Montana which claims fame as the ‘wild huckleberry capital of the west’. You don’t want to drive past this local gem! Stop in for some huckleberry pancakes and grab a handful of huckleberry taffy for the road.

La Casita

Located in the Crown of the Continent Discovery Center in West Glacier, right along HWY 2 E., this restaurant offers the best authentic homemade Mexican specialties. A favorite local spot to hit when Glacier’s in full swing. Offering great burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and many more specialties on homemade tortillas.

Glacier Grill & Pizza

A great place to grab a pizza or burger and cold beer after adventuring in the West Glacier area. Locals recommend the buffalo burger or any of the pizzas on the menu. Glacier Grill & Pizza has a relaxing, laid-back atmosphere so don’t worry if you’ve been outdoors all day exploring! If you’re just starting your day of adventures, Glacier Highline aerial adventure park and zipline adventures are right next door.

Best Local Breweries and Distilleries

Glacier Distilling Company glacier distilling company near glacier national park

This Montana distillery can be found nestled in the foothills of Glacier National Park. Specializing in small-batch whiskeys that reflect Montana’s rugged beauty, Glacier Distilling Company brings everything about the surrounding area into a drink. Located in Coram, just 7 miles from the west entrance of Glacier Park. The distillery offers tasting flights, cocktails, and bottle sales.

Kalispell Brewing Company

This brewery brings the entire surrounding area into the beers they brew- Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake, Bob Marshall Wilderness, snow-capped peaks, endless hiking trails, raging whitewater river, deep cold smoke powder- they all add to the flavors of brews. The brewery specializes in lagers and ales and promoting Montana adventuring.

Backslope Brewing

Located in Columbia Falls, Montana, just a 20-minute drive to Glacier Park. This is one of the best breweries to swap stories about your day’s adventures over a craft brew and signature dish. Blackslope is community focused and uses locally sourced products. Featured brews include The Pilgrim Blonde, Crooked Wind IPA, Dr. Randolph’s All-Day Porter, and Foreman Stout. You can always find seasonal rotations here, so make sure to stop by no matter the time of year.