Glacier National Park entrance sign in the woods on dirt road.

The Ultimate Glacier National Park Trip Planning Checklist

Planning a trip to Glacier National Park?


We’ve got your questions covered! Enjoy Glacier National Park in the summer with this list as your guide.


This isn’t called the Last Best Place for no reason. We are nestled into the backyard of Glacier National Park and in the middle of all the summer action. Millions of people come to enjoy our area from all over the world. We’re kind of Glacier National Park experts at this point, so check out our other posts about the Best Hikes in Glacier National Park and our Guide to Glacier National Park.

You’ll need to identify three key things before you leave on your trip:

  1. Your Lodging
  2. Your Top Activities
  3. Your Camping Packing List

Luckily we’re long-time residents and have the inside scoop of the must-do’s here in the area…

Lodging in Glacier National Park

We have lots of lodging from hotels, motels, airBNB, VRBO or you could find yourself in multiple campgrounds. Make sure you lock in your spot early!! Glacier Highline even has lodging options! Give us a call today to see our availability!

This valley appeals to all ages for all different reasons. Families enjoy making lifelong memories by checking Glacier off their summer bucket list. Speaking of lists, the hikes around here are endless which could keep groups or individuals busy for months. These will take you places you only ever saw in books but now you’re basking in the beauty for yourself.

Even people who aren’t as active, can still can enjoy the joys of the Glacier. No matter who comes here, everyone enjoys the famous Going-To-The-Sun Road. Some choose to enjoy this from their own car while some decide to hop aboard the Red Bus and enjoy their guide giving them the history of the place we love to explore.

Activities in Glacier National Park

There is so much to do in this beautiful area! But here are our top picks for you to choose from:


We have plenty of lakes and river access in the area to test your luck to snag the biggest fish.


Since we’re surrounded by beautiful mountains, there are plenty of hikes for all different skill levels. Our favorites are: Avalanche Lake, Hidden Lake and Highline trail.

Glacier Highline

See what we did there? 😉 Check out our Adventure Pass and Park n Paddle trips!

Whitewater Rafting

There are tons of amazing companies nearby, but we have partnered with Glacier Raft Company if you’d like to try our highline ropes course AND a whitewater rafting adventure.

Horseback Riding

Kick up your feet and explore the area on horseback. This is a great opportunity to familiarize you and your family with horses, all while enjoying the beautiful Glacier National Park scenery.

Amazing Fun Center

The Amazing Fun Center is a local favorite for activities that’ll entertain all ages! Try your hand at their maze, go carts, mini golf, bumper boats or basketball.

Exploring Downtown Whitefish

Located on the outskirts of Glacier National Park, Whitefish, Montana, is a beautiful local town. Full of fun places to eat, an adorable downtown to stroll and quick access to the park, it’s the perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Adventuring in Polebridge

Enjoy another local area: Polebridge! Stop by the Polebridge Mercantile for a snack and explore this tiny, historical town.

Swimming or Enjoying other Water Sports on Flathead Lake

Spend the day on the water at Flathead Lake. This large body of water is home to many summer activities: from boating to swimming to parasailing and more! Spend the afternoon tanning and swimming with the family.

Camping packing list

No trip planning checklist is complete without a packing list! If you’re new to camping and are visiting Glacier National Park for the first time, refer to this list for your packing starting point:

  1. Tent (or camper)
  2. Layers – our temperature fluctuates a lot thought the day and sometimes it has a temperament of its own.
  3. Sleeping bag
  4. Good, comfortable shoes
  5. Extra socks
  6. Bear spray
  7. First aid kit
  8. Bug spray
  9. Plenty of water supply and food
  10. Bear safe containers

This is a great packing starting point, but please do your own research and customize your packing list for your trip!