The pressure of planning a family vacation can be a daunting task. You want to make sure there is fun for all and no one is getting left out while seeing everything an area has to offer in *gasp* one week!
Let’s take a breath.
This past July, Alex’s family met us in Glacier National Park getting a taste of the travel bug while having an awesome time. With two teenagers and two middle-aged parents, we wanted to plan a trip everyone would enjoy with memories to come. Lo and behold, we’ve got the deets for your family vacation so you can spend more time getting out there and less time researching the internet!
- Unless your family is used to living at high elevation, make sure to allot some time to acclimate. That 16 mile hike with 4,000 feet of elevation gain may be best planned for the end of the trip and not the first day. We’ve got OUR favorite hikes (not the Interent’s favorite hikes) listed below at the end of this post.
2. To avoid spending half your vacation driving here, there & everywhere, choose one campground or lodge to stay at for the entirety of your vacation. We suggest staying on the East side of Glacier National Park at either Rising Sun Campground, St Mary Campground, or one of the hotels in St Mary, MT. This location sets you up perfectly to access Logan Pass, Two Medicine & Many Glacier all within a 45 minute drive. If you choose to stay on the Whitefish side, you’ll spend 30 minutes driving just to get in to the park.
3. To make sure the family isn’t getting hiked out, plan fun activities in-between hiking days. Grab a swimsuit and head to either Lake McDonald or Swiftcurrent Lake to kayak, canoe, SUP or just splash around. St. Mary Lake also has a few beaches which are a great place to relax after a long day. Read more at Fishing Gadgets Hub!
4. Plan your meals ahead of time, bring a cooler, and cook over the fire! National Parks are notorious for not having prime eats that don’t cost an arm and a leg. The East side of Glacier does not have many dining options or grocery stores, a little planning ahead will go a long way!
Listed below are a small handful of OUR favorite hikes broken up into physical abilities of the average human being.
This blog post is by no means meant to be a complete guide. Please do your own additional research, buy a map and assess your own physical ability.
Mellow Hikes to start your vacation with
–St. Mary Falls/Virginia Falls (3.6 miles roundtrip)
–Grinnell Lake (very flat hike, 7.5 miles roundtrip)
–Avalanche Lake (4.5 miles roundtrip)
–Highline Trail (requires free shuttle bus, 11.8 miles one way)
–Hidden Lake (this hike is rated medium only because it is at a higher elevation than many are used to, 5.4 miles roundtrip)
–Aster Park Overlook (4 miles roundtrip)
–Mt Oberlin (very steep, 4 miles roundtrip)
–Grinnell Glacier (11 miles roundtrip)
–Scenic Point (8 miles roundtrip)
–Siyeh Pass (8.9 miles roundtrip)