Glacier National Park, part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, preserves Montana's northern Rocky Mountains at the Montana-Canada border. The major entrances to the US park are located at West Glacier and Columbia Falls in the southwest and St. Mary in the east; these locations are connected by the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road. Other entrances are at Many Glacier and Two Medicine in the east and Camas Creek in the west.
The accommodations located both near park entrances and inside the park tend to be modest in services and facilities. What these lodgings lack in modern amenities such as TVs, air conditioning, Internet access, and food options, they make up for in the convenience and scenic beauty of their locations. If you prefer less convenience and more amenities, you should choose a hotel or lodging in the nearby towns of Whitefish or Kalispell.
Here are some of your best choices for hotels, cabins, and lodgings that are located near the major entrances to, but... just outside the boundaries of, Glacier National Park.
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Located near the East Glacier Park Amtrak station and on the Blackfeet Reservation, this century-old lodge was initially built by the Great Northern Railway. The common areas are all that you would expect from a grand historic national park lodge, with massive log columns, handcrafted furnishings, historic paintings, and picturesque porches. On-site amenities include a gift shop, the Great Northern Dining Room, the Empire Bar, the Empire Cafe, day spa, outdoor pool, and 9-hole golf course. Glacier Park Lodge rooms are simply furnished with small bathrooms, some located off the main lobby and others in the quieter Great Northern wing.
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This is one near-Glacier-National-Park lodging option that doesn't require you to sacrifice comforts for convenience. The expansive Meadow Lake Resort offers standard guest rooms as well as accommodations suitable for extended stays, including rental condos and vacation homes. Many on-site activities are available at this year-round resort - a top-ranked golf course, casual dining, children's programs, tennis and volleyball courts, and a fitness center.
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Guests at St. Mary Lodge and Resort will enjoy the amenities of a full-service resort as well as convenient access to several sections of Glacier National Park. Your lodging choices are varied, from guest rooms in the historic lodge or in the 50s-era motel buildings to the more private cabins. Facilities at St. Mary Lodge and Resort include casual dining, grocery and gear stores, and a gas station. Pets are allowed in some rooms.
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This bed and breakfast inn is a good choice for vacationers whose itinerary includes both Glacier National Park and Flathead Valley activities and attractions. The guest rooms in the main house come with private baths and air conditioning; three cabins in a variety of configurations are also available. In addition to full Montana breakfasts each morning, guests have access to snacks and soft drinks throughout the day. While there is certainly plenty to enjoy in the surrounding towns and wilderness areas, guests will enjoy many on-site activities including Bad Rock B&B's pool table, air hockey, fitness equipment, and reading room.Continue to 5 of 9 below.
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The Historic Tamarack Lodge does indeed have an interesting history. Built as a park visitor center at West Glacier in 1907, it was dismantled and reassembled at its current location in 1948. Over the years, additional cabins have been added to supplement the one updated and modernized guest room available in the main lodge. The cabins come with and without kitchens.
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This resort and outfitters small and large chalets are perfect for family groups traveling together. Each chalet-cabin comes with kitchens or kitchenettes, private baths with showers, televisions, and decks where you can enjoy fabulous views of Glacier National Park's white-capped peaks. The folks at Great Northern can also guide and outfit you for such outdoor adventures as river rafting, horseback riding, fishing, and snow sports.
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The clean and comfortable cabins at Glacier Raft Co. can accommodate couples as well as large groups. The cabins come with full kitchens, private baths, air conditioning, porches, televisions, and WiFi. Glacier Raft Co. offers a long list of guided and self-guided recreation, both inside and outside of Glacier National Park. Fly fishing, whitewater rafting, river float trips, and horseback riding are some of the options.Continue to 9 of 9 below.
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Whether you are looking for a place to relax or a base for some serious hiking, Glacier Trailhead Cabins provide all the basic comforts. These rustic log cabins come with bathrooms with showers, microwaves, and minifridges. You can't beat the convenient location, near the Glacier National Park entrance at the east end of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.