Spokane to Glacier National Park: Road Trip Itinerary
Spokane to Glacier National Park
Are you hoping to travel from Spokane, Washington to Glacier National Park and want to take your time seeing the sights? The most direct drive from Spokane to the west entrance of Glacier National Park is just about 5 hours, but just speeding right through is no fun! Our example itinerary for this Spokane to Glacier National Park drive will take you through some stunning scenery and provide lots of opportunities to get out and stretch your legs. Flying into and renting a car in Montana can be costly in comparison to some major hubs, so it’s always worthwhile to check the prices for flights to nearby Spokane. So hop in your own car (or rent one if you’re flying in!) and start your adventure!
Trip Duration From Spokane to Glacier National Park: Five Hours, Nonstop
A popular route to get to the west entrance of Glacier National Park from Spokane is through northern Idaho, popping into Montana on US-2 near Troy in western Montana.
There are quicker routes to the park, but they aren’t as beautiful. We recommend the following route because it exposes you to the beauty of northwest Montana and Idaho. (A slightly quicker route is to take I-90 from Spokane directly to West Glacier.)
The scenery differs greatly from area to area, offering everything from lake views, to thick forests, to dramatic ravines and more! We’ll highlight the places to stop and take in the scenery, grab a bite of food and stretch your legs on a gentle walk.
Lodging Near West Glacier National Park
If you plan to stay in the GNP area, check out our lodging near West Glacier National Park for a clean and cozy place to stay and play, with most properties located just 7 mi from the West Glacier entrance.
In short, here are our top 7 stop recommendations while driving from Spokane to Glacier National Park.
- Old Mission State Park outside of Coeur D’Alene
- Coffee and Grub in Sandpoint, Idaho
- Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho
- Kootenai Falls outside of Libby, Montana
- Stock Up on Supplies in Kalispell, Montana
- Burn off Some Energy and Get in the Treetops at Glacier Highline in Coram, Montana
- Take in the Superb Beauty of Glacier National Park on Going to the Sun Road!
Read on to learn more details and the nuances of each location.
1. Old Mission State Park outside of Coeur D’Alene
The Coeur d’Alene’s Old Mission State Park hosts the oldest building in Idaho. The park provides an educational experience not found anywhere else, giving visitors an opportunity to examine the dynamics and complexities between Jesuit missionaries and the tribal people among whom they settled in a beautiful park setting. You will be able to explore the Sacred Heart Mission church, a restored Parish House, and a historic cemetery.
2. Coffee and Grub in Sandpoint, Idaho
The Hoot Owl is the PLACE to go! Located just right out of Sandpoint, ID in the town of Ponderay, ID will serve you that home-cooked meal you have been looking to Instagram about. #YUMMY! Make sure you come hungry cause you won’t leave that way. This local secret is the town favorite for a reason!
3. Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge, outside of Bonners Ferry, Idaho
Glacier isn’t the only place to check off all your wildlife sightings. You can get out those cameras at the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge located right outside Bonners Ferry. You could see all sorts of wildlife from moose, elk, bear, a variety of birds and so much more. Stretch your legs among a few of their hiking trails or even just to enjoy the visitor center.
4. Kootenai Falls outside of Libby, Montana
You will also find yourself driving right by the largest undammed falls in the state when drive by Kootenai Falls. There are plenty of places to stop off and enjoy the views and take a few pictures along the way. The swinging bridge is also a must-do! Maybe even take the quick 0.8 mile hike on the Kootenai Falls Trail. This area is beautiful and make sure you enjoy the views!
5. Stock Up on Supplies in Kalispell, Montana
You made it to the Flathead Valley on your Spokane to Glacier National Park drive! Now what’s next? Kalispell will have just about all you need. Stock up on all the supplies and goodies you will need while you are enjoying the sights in Glacier. Take a stroll along Main St. to enjoy the little shops or hit the grocery stores and then head off on your first adventure. Let’s admit it our summer days are long but there’s a lot to see under the big sky you don’t want to waste any time!
6. Burn off Some Energy and Get in the Treetops at Glacier Highline in Coram, Montana
Harness up for some fun! Here at Glacier Highline we are hangin’ in the trees and are the ULTIMATE hosts for family fun during your GNP trip! We have fun for all ages and heck, even spectating is fun here. Enjoy our high rope course, rock climbing wall, 80’ inflatable obstacle course, and the inflatable water slide. There’s fun for all here at the zipline adventure park and we look forward to showing you some real Montana FUN! We can even serve up some lunch, snacks, or a delicious coffee at our restaurant near Glacier National Park before you hit the road off to your next “to-do” on that vacation checklist.
7. Take in the Superb Beauty of Glacier National Park on Going to the Sun Road!
And the moment you’ve all been waiting for…GOING TO THE SUN ROAD! This truly is the experience of a lifetime and kudos for making your dreams a reality! The Going-To-The-Sun Road brings people from all over the world to take in these spectacular views. Keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready, you never know what you will encounter. Take the trip in one of the famous Red Bus Tours or embark on this journey on your own. There are plenty of trailheads to hike or spots to pull out and have a quick picnic or just marvel and take in the beauty. The Logan’s Pass visitors center at the top hosts millions of visitors a year and it’s full of fun Glacier facts. Plan and pack accordingly especially if you plan to hike. There are tons of trails along both the West and East sides along Going-To-The- Sun Road.
Looking for a place to stay after a long day in the park? Check out our lodging near Glacier National Park for the best accommodations!
Complete your Spokane to Glacier road trip!
We hope you got an idea or two for ways to enhance your road trip in our neck of the woods. If you are doing additional driving around the Big Sky state, check out our Missoula to Glacier National Park and Bozeman to Glacier National Park blogs for more road trip itinerary ideas to make the most of your adventure. Soak in the fresh and crisp mountain air and we will see you soon for aerial adventure and ziplining at Glacier Highline!