One Epic Week Camping In Glacier National Park

The perfect family vacation.

During the summer of 2021 we packed it all up for two weeks on the road. We rented a camper trailer fondly known as “tralie” and left for some adventure in Montana and Wyoming. We chose to visit Glacier National Park and then onto Grand Teton National Park. Each week was SO action packed, (and kind of a trip of their own) so I broke them into two posts.

Glacier National Park is one of the most popular parks with its vast forests, clear alpine lakes, gorgeous jagged mountains so organizing a camping trip to Glacier National Park definitely requires some advance planning. Check for the current summer reservation dates.

The year we went, (2021) Glacier National Park opened up half its summer camping reservations in one morning and the other half at a later date. And due to Covid they had eliminated all of their first come, first serve options. And they required passes for driving the Going to the Sun Road which was a change from previous years. Be sure to check updated rules and regulations before you go.

Glacier National Park has multiple entrances. We split our time between the Lake MacDonald Fish Creek Campground on the West side and Many Glacier Campground on the East side. We tried to do a variety of activities while we were there including paddle boarding, hiking, swimming, canoeing and kayaking. I have found when I mix it up my kids are the happiest.

This is the list of our favorites.

The top 8 things we enjoyed in Glacier National Park

1. Swim and watch the sunset (or sunrise) on Lake MacDonald

We LOVED Lake McDonald. We camped 50 ft from the lake at Fish Creek Campground and it was amazing. The campground there has several Loops each with sites that have incredible access to the water. The sunrises on Lake McDonald, are a delight. Um yes please! And the water is so clear. I spent several mornings waking up early and heading out on the lake to watch the sun come up. I couldn’t believe I was the only one there!

#2. Hike the Highline Trail

Goats, incredible views, basically 13 Miles of jaw dropping scenery. This hike is the creme de la creme of West Glacier but its not easy. Its long and quite exposed. Actually completely exposed. I couldn’t believe my kids did the entire thing. It was like a mother’s day gift.

#3 – Play in Piegen Pass Creek –

Driving on the going to the sun road is a beautiful experience but little ones can get a little restless. Here we stopped and played in the river. We built cairns and cooled off. And of course just enjoyed the scenery.

#4 – Hike to Iceberg Lake

There are so many amazing hikes in Glacier National Park. For me, Iceberg Lake took the cake. Stunning scenery, wildflowers, grizzly bears and one incredible lake made it number one for me. Oh and did I mention the lake has icebergs floating in it? 

#5 – Eat Ice Cream and Skipping Rocks at the village

#6 – See the Moose feed in Bullhead Lake + Play on the red rock falls

Hiking to Bull head Lake was a definite favorite specifically because along the way you walk by Fisher cap Lake, which at the right time of day, you can watch the Moose eat. Watching the water run through their antlers is incredible sight. If you continue you will get to Red Rock Falls. Its a natural playground for kids and is surrounded by stunning views, as if most of

#7 Hike to Lake Josephine

We hiked to Lake Josephine before sunset and hung out on the beach, stood in awe of the mountains and skipped stones. It’s a great smaller beach that we pretty much had to ourselves. You can take a boat to Lake Josephine but we enjoyed walking along the edge of Swiftcurrent Lake and through the woods instead. Lake Josephine is also9 where you can board a boat to cross the lake to get to the Grinnell Glacier. You can also hike around Lake Josephine.

#8 – Rent a boat on Swiftcurrent Lake

Rent a boat on Swift current Lake. You can certainly bring your own paddleboat (and we did) but we also loved renting a rowboat, canoe and kayak. We enjoyed this so much we went back multiple times to try all the different kinds of boats. This is also a beautiful place to see the sunrise.

Pro Tip: On our way to Glacier National Park, we made a stop to Kootenai Falls Swinging Bridge and Falls in Montana. If you are coming from anywhere West of Glacier National Park and have the chance, I highly suggest you stop here. It is a great place away from crowds to take a break and lets face it, have an incredible photo op.

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