Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Best Things Glacier National Park Have To Offer

The following is a guest blog from

Glacier national Park lies on the U.S. Canada border, passing from the U.S. state of Montana, to the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. Spanning over 1583 square miles, the park crosses a number of different terrain and weather types, including lush grasslands, deep pine forests and fast-flowing, deep rivers.

All of this makes for a great vacation for hikers and outdoor explorers, so if you’ve been looking for an excuse to pull up your boots and don your waterproof, a trip to the Glacier National Park might just be what you need. Here are some of the most popular activities.

White Water Rafting

There is a variety of white water rafting clubs out there, including the long-lasting Glacier Raft Company, which has been operating since 1976. There are half day and full day rafting experiences to be had, and if you’re an inexperienced rafter, there are some introductory courses available which are more family-friendly. If you’re particularly interested in seeking a thrill, you can raft in a smaller sport raft or an inflatable kayak, which is sure to add to your sense of excitement. At the end of the trip, you can relax with a delicious, hard-earned meal before you depart.

Lake and River Fishing

Glacier National Park is home to a number of rivers and lakes that are prime angling territory. With a number of different fish such as rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout, as well as grayling and salmon, meaning that whatever you’re looking to catch, there’s plenty of opportunity. Artificial lures and flies are the most popular choices for bait, so come prepared. No worry if you don’t have a large selection, however, as there are a number of fishing tours you can go on where your guide will supply you with popular lures.

Day Hiking

There are a significant number of available hiking trails to discover and adventure along in Glacier National Park. The park itself has its own guide to the trails available at different times of the year, which is great, as different times of the year are open to vastly different weather systems. If you’re going to the park early on in the year, it’s bound to be rather wet – particularly in the lower regions – so wrap up in your thickest waterproof ( are a good supplier), and be prepared to experience the majesty of the Glacier microclimate.

So there you have it, some of the best things Glacier National Park have to offer those looking for an adventure.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

The Ghost Ranch

The Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, New Mexico is truly an enchanting landscape. It was once the summer home of Georgia O'Keeffe, an artist best known for her paintings of Northern New Mexico and the Ghost Ranch. One of the best ways to explore this magnificent 21,000-acre ranch, now run by the Presbyterian Church, is to take the three-mile round-trip hike to Chimney Rock.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Glacier Proposes to Replace Swiftcurrent Bridge

Public comments are encouraged on a recently completed environmental assessment proposing to replace the historic Swiftcurrent Bridge near the Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park. Public comments are due by March 17. The assessment, The Swiftcurrent Bridge Replacement Environmental Assessment and Statement of Findings, is available here.

Two alternatives were analyzed in the environmental assessment:

1) Alternative A-No Action, and

2) Alternative B-Replace the Swiftcurrent Bridge. Through the analysis and previous public comments, the preferred alternative is to replace the bridge. The bridge would be replaced with a longer, single-span bridge.

The existing bridge is losing its structural integrity. The deck is severely damaged, and the abutments and piers are in disrepair. The bridge has limited capacity to handle high water due to the four interior piers. Other concerns include the severely deteriorated concrete curb and sidewalks, loose or missing stone masonry, and the non-code compliant suspension of utility lines on the bridge.

The Swiftcurrent Bridge provides the only vehicular and pedestrian access to the Many Glacier Hotel Historic District and the Many Glacier Hotel, a National Historic Landmark. If the bridge is not replaced, visitor access to the hotel and associated Many Glacier developed area would become severely limited and may eventually be prohibited. The Swiftcurrent Bridge is a contributing feature to the Many Glacier Hotel Historic District and has been determined to be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Demolition of the bridge would result in an adverse effect to historic properties. The replacement bridge would be designed to be compatible with the historic and architectural characteristics of the historic district.

Fortunately work on the new bridge would not begin until late September, after the Many Glacier Hotel operating season has ended. Moreover, it appears that there would be no major interruptions in the concessionaires operations the following year as well. 

The environmental assessment, as well as additional information is available here. Public comments can be made directly through this website, or written comments may be mailed to Superintendent, Glacier National Park, Attn: Swiftcurrent Bridge EA, PO Box 128, West Glacier, Montana 59936.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Monday, February 24, 2014

"As We Ran" by "The National Parks"

A band by the name of "The National Parks" has just released a new single and video (below) called "As We Ran." The single is an original song written for the first installment of the National Park Experience: A Film Series, a series of "10 short films about the amazing and diverse people forging incredible relationships with the national parks."

You may want to note that all proceeds received from downloads of "As We Ran", between January 28th and February 28th, 2014, will be donated by the band to the National Parks Conservation Association. You can download the song from iTunes by clicking here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park

58NationalParks produced this excellent overview of Rocky Mountain National Park. If this video inspires you to visit Rocky Mountain this year, the best way to explore this wonderful park is to hike along one of the many trails that meander throughout the park.

If you do plan to visit Rocky Mountain National Park this year, please note that our website offers a variety of accommodation listings in both Estes Park and Grand Lake.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Friday, February 21, 2014

Avalanche Danger High as More Snow Falls on the Flathead

The Flathead Avalanche Center (FAC) has issued another Special Avalanche Bulletin for February 20th through 23rd, 2014 to advise backcountry travelers of the elevated avalanche danger through the weekend. The Flathead Avalanche Center advisory area has been under an Avalanche Warning since Sunday with the Hazard Rating at HIGH, meaning natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. The FAC has received many reports of natural avalanches and close calls from human triggered avalanches.

The advisory includes the Flathead, Swan and Whitefish ranges within the Flathead National Forest and portions of Glacier National Park.

FAC will be issuing regularly scheduled advisories on Saturday and Sunday, and will issue a special advisory on Friday and continue the avalanche warning if the conditions warrant. Even if the threat of natural avalanches decreases, the potential for human triggered avalanches will remain elevated, while the magnitude of the avalanches will increase as time passes. If you would like more information, the Flathead Avalanche Center and Flathead Nordic Backcountry Patrol will host a discussion on current avalanche conditions at 6:30 on Friday at the Columbia Falls City Council Chambers, City Hall, 130 6th St West.

Flathead National Forest Supervisor Chip Weber says, “The Flathead Avalanche Center and its partners are working hard to stay on top of the current, elevated avalanche hazard. Please utilize the information they put out when planning your outings. Public safety is our top priority for the forest, its partners and all users. We encourage backcountry users to use caution this weekend.”

FAC and its partners are urging backcountry users to make very conservative decisions this weekend while choosing terrain and making decisions. This will be a good weekend to stay out of avalanche terrain or choose only low angle slopes with low exposure and consequences. Because of the current avalanche hazard, some groups have cancelled planned outings. The Summit Snowgoers Club cancelled their outing scheduled for Saturday at the Skyland area and the Flathead Snowmobile Association is going to delay grooming the Canyon Creek Trail until conditions moderate.

For additional information, please visit the Flathead Avalanche Center website. For updated weather forecasts and conditions, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Cape Final

The Cape Final Trail on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is an easy 4-mile round trip hike to a limestone outcropping that provides stunning views into the eastern portions of the canyon. If you’re seeking a little bit of solitude, and an easy hike in the Grand Canyon, this is a great opportunity to get away from the crowds. For more detailed information on this hike, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Flathead Avalanche Center Issues Special Avalanche Advisory

The Flathead Avalanche Center is issuing a Backcountry Avalanche Warning for the entire advisory area (this includes Glacier National Park, and the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests). Heavy snowfall, strong winds, and expected continued heavy snow have created highly unstable conditions. Natural and human triggered avalanches are likely.The avalanche danger is rated HIGH on all slopes within the advisory area. Very dangerous avalanche conditions exist. Travel in avalanche terrain is not recommended and avalanche runout zones should be avoided.

This warning will either be terminated or updated by 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 19.

Natural and human triggered avalanche activity has been observed over the past 72 hours. Additional heavy snowfall and wind loading occurred Monday and Monday night continuing unstable conditions.

For additional information, please visit the Flathead Avalanche Center website. For updated weather forecasts and conditions, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Monday, February 17, 2014

Glacier's Historic Boats

Finley-Holiday Films does another great job in this short video of showcasing Glacier's historic boats. In 1910, when Glacier National Park was first established, early sightseers found that boat tours offered a comfortable and adventurous way to see the parks wild landscape. That tradition continues today:

Many visitors will use the boats to shorten hikes in the Many Glacier and Two Medicine valleys. In Many Glacier, many hikers will take the two boat shuttles to visit Grinnell Glacier, or Hidden Falls.

In Two Medicine, hikers can take the Sinopah to shorten hikes to Upper Two Medicine Lake, or Dawson Pass.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Saturday, February 15, 2014

National Park's as Prescriptions

The National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance program is currently working with doctors, healthcare providers, and NPS managers as part of the Healthy Parks Healthy People program. Doctors are prescribing park or nature prescriptions to patients so they can improve their health, connect with the outdoors, and become park stewards. Here's an interesting video from the NPS on this new program:

So what are you doing sitting around watching this video for anyway?! Time to get out and hike!

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Friday, February 14, 2014

Conservation Community Launches Montana Outdoor Hall Of Fame

A diverse group of Montana state agencies and conservation organizations recently established the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame to honor individuals who contributed to the restoration and conservation of Montana's fish, wildlife, and other outdoor amenities.

Participants in the effort include Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks; the Montana Historical Society; Montana's Outdoor Legacy Foundation; the Montana Wildlife Federation; the Montana Wilderness Association; Montana Trout Unlimited and the Cinnabar Foundation. Efforts to include Tribal representation are underway.

"The aim of the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame is to capture the stories of the exceptional individuals who, either as volunteers or professionals, nurtured resources essential to Montana’s outdoor heritage," said Jeff Hagener, director of FWP in Helena.

The induction of individuals into the Hall of Fame will also build public awareness and pass on to others Montana's conservation heritage.

In a recent letter commending the group's effort, Governor Steve Bullock noted that creating a Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame "is a good way to begin capturing and teaching the personal stories that made these treasures of our state happen."

Representatives of the founding groups have been meeting monthly to assemble a list of potential inaugural nominees. The first group of potential nominees includes citizens, government officials, hunters and anglers, farmers and ranchers; and people who have worked to protect everything from wilderness and water quality to fish habitat, big game, and endangered species. The founders are planning an event to announce the first class of Hall of Fame inductees in December 2014.

"Today's treasured wild nature was restored from what was once the wildlife bone-yard of 19th century America," said Jim Posewitz, who led the effort to create the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame. "The Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame will capture, preserve, and teach the stories of the men and women whose conservation ethic helped protect Montana's quiet beauty and grandeur for the benefit of future generations."

Over the long run, the founders envision a process where people from across Montana and all walks of life will nominate people who reflect the state's diverse heritage of resource conservation and stewardship. The group is also seeking funding to help ensure that the Montana Outdoor Hall of Fame remains broad-based and representative.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Cerro Grande Route

Many people who visit Bandelier National Monument don’t take the time to familiarize themselves with the areas outside the main portions of the park. This is a mistake. Much of the monument is located in a desert environment; however, just a few miles to the north is an area that most people wouldn’t recognize as being part of Bandelier. The star attraction in this part of the park is Cerro Grande Peak, with its outstanding views of the Valles Caldera. The Cerro Grande Route explores the subalpine and montane forests of the Jemez Mountains, and ends at the top of Cerro Grande Peak, the highest point in Bandelier. For more information on this not-to-miss hike, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Ice Conditions on Lake McDonald Vary: Two Skiers Fell Through Ice This Weekend

Recent freezing temperatures have contributed to an increase of ice on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, and a reminder for visitors to be very cautious around bodies of water in the winter.

This past weekend park rangers received a report that two visitors fell into Lake McDonald, but were able to rescue themselves from the icy waters. The report indicated that the visitors were cross-country skiing on the lake when the ice gave way. Much of their equipment was lost.

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “We encourage visitors to use extreme caution near the ice on Lake McDonald.” Mow said that the lake is not completely frozen over and conditions vary across the lake.

The lake surface ranges from open water to slush and areas of ice, often with all three conditions existing in close proximity. In areas of ice, there are often cracks and the ice may not be stable or thick enough to support recreational activity. Conditions on the lake are dynamic and change within a matter of hours. Mow said, “Lake McDonald is a beautiful lake with a spectacular vista in the winter, but please enjoy safely.”

While official records have not documented annual ice levels on Lake McDonald, the most recent year with the majority of the lake frozen over was in 2007. Weather conditions, specifically temperature and wind, are key factors in water bodies freezing over. Extended periods of below freezing temperatures are needed to form ice on the lake. Wind keeps water moving and circulating, keeping it from turning to ice. As weather conditions vary, so will the ice on the lake.

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park. It is approximately 10 miles long, 1- 1.5 miles wide and at its deepest point it is over 460 feet deep.

Glacier National Park Service maintains weather data in partnership with the National Weather Service, and has consistently recorded this information in West Glacier since 1950. Intermittent records were also maintained prior to this dating back to the 1920s. The all-time record cold temperature at the park in West Glacier since 1950 was December 2, 1958 at -36 degrees Fahrenheit. This winter’s lowest cold temperature to date was last week, February 6, with -22 degrees.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the park’s webcams via the park’s website for winter images. The Apgar Lookout and Lake McDonald webcams feature images of Lake McDonald.

For more information about Lake McDonald and visiting Glacier National Park, contact the park at 406-888-7800.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Presidents Day Weekend is Free in Glacier

Entrance fees to Glacier National Park, as well as other units of the National Park Service, will be waived this President’s Day Weekend, Saturday through Monday, February 15-17.

Visitors are encouraged to experience the park’s winter landscape. Snowshoeing and skiing are popular winter recreational activities in Glacier National Park. Be prepared for changing weather conditions as weather can vary drastically from lower valley locations to higher elevation locations. Severe weather, lack of snow, winter rains, or melting conditions can quickly alter the difficulty of any winter trip. Extreme caution should be used around lakes, rivers and streams.

Visitors are encouraged to visit the park’s website for information about skiing and snowshoeing, or contact the park at 406-888-7800.

Avalanches may pose a danger in the mountainous portions of the park and surrounding areas. Please visit the Flathead Avalanche Center’s website for updated information and advisories.

Additional fee-free days for 2014 include:

• April 19-20 - First Weekend of National Park Week
• August 25 - Birthday of National Park Service
• September 27 - National Public Lands Day
• November 11 - Veterans Day

If planning to visit Glacier anytime during this upcoming season, please note that our website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with all your vacation planning.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Jenny Lake Renewal Plan EA Available for Public Review

Grand Teton National Park Acting Superintendent Kevin Schneider announced today that the Jenny Lake Renewal Plan Environmental Assessment (Jenny Lake Plan/EA) is now available for public review. The Jenny Lake Plan/EA will be open to review for 30 days from February 14 through March 15, 2014.

The purpose of the Jenny Lake Renewal initiative is to create a master plan that will provide for an improved visitor experience that is both safe and environmentally sensitive, as well as enriched through educational and informational opportunities.

This plan is needed to address several unfavorable conditions in the Jenny Lake area such as: aging and/or poorly designed trails and walkways that do not meet current trail and accessibility standards; aging and failing bridges in the backcountry; user-created trails with resource degradation; compacted soils and bare ground in destination locations; limited self-guided interpretation/orientation opportunities; outdated water and wastewater systems; and inadequate restroom facilities in South Jenny Lake area.

The preferred alternative is broken into two distinct areas: front-country sites and backcountry locations. The proposed front-country effort would make improvements in the South Jenny Lake developed area, as well as the locations of Jenny Lake overlook and String Lake outlet. The proposed plan would improve visitor circulation throughout the South Jenny Lake developed area and address the need for improved visitor orientation and interpretation. It would also provide accessible trails throughout this complex, provide additional restrooms, and rehabilitate the water and wastewater systems. The proposed backcountry improvements would include rehabilitation of the west boat dock, improvement of the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point viewing areas, and rehabilitation of the trails connecting these two locations.

To view and comment on the Jenny Lake Plan/EA,  please click here. Comments can also be submitted in writing to: Grand Teton National Park, Planning Office, P.O. Drawer 170, Moose, WY 83012. Comments submitted via U.S. Postal Service must be postmarked by March 15, 2014.

Anyone choosing to submit a comment is advised that responses given—including personal identifying information—could be made public at any time. Although persons making comments may request that their personal identifying information be withheld from public access, there is no guarantee that the National Park Service will be able to honor such a request.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

10 Best Hikes in Glacier National Park at Montana Wild

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks will offer a free one-hour program on the top 10 hikes in Glacier National Park on February 27th at Montana Wild, 2668 Broadwater Ave., next to Spring Meadow Lake State Park off Highway 12 West in Helena.

Glacier National Park Interpretive Ranger Lynne Dixon will lead the program. Dixon will also discuss the park's reservation system that helps one guarantee a place in the backcountry, as well as offer detailed descriptions of each hike. Details will also be offered on how to best plan for family friendly overnight trips, and for week-long strenuous adventures. For more information on the program, please call 406-444-9944.

If you can't make it to Ranger Dixon's program, you may want to note that also offers a list of our Top 10 Hikes in Glacier National Park.

If planning to visit Glacier this upcoming season, please note that our website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with your vacation planning.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lost Skiers Rescued during Major Winter Storm

Three skiers unintentionally ended up in Grand Teton National Park's Granite Canyon backcountry on Friday, February 7, prompting a search and rescue mission by park rangers the following day during a significant winter storm. Despite a high and rising avalanche danger, park rescuers successfully assisted the three out of the Teton backcountry by 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 8.

Tom Barry, 59, of Jackson, Wyoming, Zoe Tong, 49, and Dave Catero, 52, from San Francisco, California, left the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boundary from Gate 1 at about 11 a.m. on Friday with the intention of skiing an area called Four Pines, adjacent to the ski resort. The three mistakenly skied into Granite Canyon instead, and became lost in Grand Teton's more remote backcountry.

By 4 p.m. Friday, the three skiers realized they were lost, so they decided to dig a snow cave and stay put for the night. By Saturday morning, the group was out of food and water, and only one of them was carrying an avalanche transceiver. They decided to send a text message to a friend indicating they were lost and needed help.

Teton County Sheriff's Office dispatchers received the call for help, and notified park rangers at 8:30 a.m. The skiers were able to provide their location by GPS coordinates derived from their cell phone, and through a text message, rangers determined that no one in the party was injured. Due to high winds and low visibility, a helicopter reconnaissance and rescue was not possible, so rangers prepared for a ground-based rescue.

Rangers spent most of the day weighing options to help the trio while analyzing the risk to rescuers. With concerns that the three might not survive a second night in the backcountry, rangers ultimately decided to attempt a rescue. If rescuers had encountered signs of slope instability, or if the avalanche danger had been any higher, rangers would not have attempted the rescue. Ultimately, four park rangers departed the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on skis at 4:00 p.m. Saturday and reached the party at 7:30 p.m. The group was then escorted out of the backcountry and back to the base of the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Rangers remind backcountry users and those who leave the ski resort boundary that a rescue is not guaranteed. Pursing these activities requires a high level of personal accountability and responsibility. All members of a backcountry party should have appropriate avalanche gear, including a transceiver, shovel, and probe. Backcountry skiers and snowboarders need to be prepared to spend more time than anticipated by bringing extra clothing, high energy snacks and water. They should also consider their physical limitations and time restrictions when choosing a destination, and bring a map of the area and know how to use it before setting out.

The Bridger-Teton Avalanche Center reported the avalanche danger as "considerable" to "high" on Saturday with increasing danger due to strong winds, warming temperatures and abundant new snow. It's important to note that the avalanche forecast center does not provide reports for extreme terrain.

This was the first major search and rescue in Grand Teton National Park this winter.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Glacier National Park

58NationalParks produced this excellent overview of Glacier National Park. If this video inspires you to visit Glacier this year, the best way to explore this wonderful park is to hike along one of the many trails that meander throughout the park.

If you do plan to visit Glacier this year, please note that our website offers a wide variety of accommodation listings to help with your vacation planning.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Last Wilderness

As far back as I can remember I’ve had this fantasy about chucking civilization, building myself a cabin, and living off the land in some far-off wilderness - just like Dick Proenneke, or even Skip Robinson from The Adventures of the Wilderness Family. Well, I never actually had the courage to make such a drastic move, but fortunately for us dreamers, we can still read about the people who do have that pioneering spirit.

One such person, Michael McBride, recently published an autobiography about his life in the Alaskan bush, and how he grew his humble cabin into a world class lodge.

In The Last Wilderness, McBride tells the story of how he and his newlywed spent their entire life savings on supplies, rented a shuttle boat, and crossed over Kachemak Bay in 1969 to carve out a new life on China Poot Bay, roughly 10 miles from Homer, Alaska. The young couple literally had nothing to fall back on if they failed. Moreover, they made their move in November, just as the cold Alaskan winter was beginning to take hold. The only thing that would protect them from the elements was the old abandoned trapper’s cabin on their new property.

At first the McBride’s weren’t even sure how they were going to make a living. And, like the early settlers, they didn’t have electricity or running water for the first couple of years. They didn’t even have a boat to return to civilization in the event of an emergency.

Over time that old trapper’s cabin and the surrounding property would grow to become the Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge, and in the process, the McBride’s would become one of the early pioneers of ecotourism – long before it was even a word. Soon the lodge was attracting guests from all over the world. Feature articles about it would appear in National Geographic, the New York Times, Men’s Journal and Outdoor Life. European royalty would also seek refuge at this beautiful outpost.

In addition to being a master guide, licensed skipper, bush pilot, marine biology expert and a Nationally Certified Yoga Teacher, Michael is also an outstanding writer. He’s very eloquent in his descriptions and observations, with almost a John Muir quality in his style. However, I thought there were times where he lapsed into ethereal rhetoric, where it was hard to tell what he was referring to. There were times where he didn’t provide enough background or context to a story, or it was difficult to ascertain the chronological order of events. However, I should say that I still found the McBride’s story of carving out a life in the harsh wilderness and building a successful business against all odds to be a great read.

It’s likely most of you have no realistic illusions of ever moving into the wilderness, but this book may inspire you to spend a few days or weeks in an isolated outpost of civilization someday, such as the Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge.

For more information on this book, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mariposa Grove

Ever since the first Euro-American laid eyes on them in 1849, people from all over the world have been in awe of the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. To Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect, the trees seemed like “distinguished strangers,” which had “come down to us from another world”. After visiting the grove in 1871, Ralph Waldo Emerson stated, “The greatest wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.”

Without the help of people like Olmsted, Emerson, Galen Clark and John Muir, these ancient treasures may never have been preserved for the generations that came after them. If you ever get the chance to visit Yosemite National Park, a trip to over to Mariposa Grove is an absolute must!

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Monday, February 3, 2014

New Safari-style Luxury Camping to Open in Glacier National Park

Tourists and campers alike will have a brand new lodging option in Glacier National Park this upcoming season. Glacier Under Canvas, our newest advertiser on our accommodations page, announced last week that they will be offering safari-style luxury camping beginning on June 19th, 2014.

Following the overwhelming popularity of their Yellowstone Under Canvas, comes additional luxuriously furnished safari tent and tipi accommodations, deluxe suites with king sized beds and roll top baths, as well as a Treehouse version of the luxury tent - all set in the pristine surroundings of the Glacier National Park region.

It’s not a hotel, although Glacier Under Canvas boasts equivalent amenities, plus a friendly staff to share knowledge and stories around the campfire. It’s a luxury camp that practices outdoor ethics and disappears at the end of the travel season, almost completely with little trace left on the landscape.

Situated next to Glacier National Park, guests will be awed by Glacier’s beauty and amazing scenery. A variety of relaxation or adrenaline packages can be added to your stay. Glacier Under Canvas will offer active families helicopter rides, rafting, mountain biking, hiking, and other packages.

An incredible setting for a vacation, Glacier Under Canvas can also be booked for outdoor weddings using their unique and beautiful tipi marquees. As a brand new product for 2014, the tipi marquees are inspired by the traditional tipi design. The sides flip up and down to adjust for seasonal weather and allow for up to seven tents to fit together to create artful spaces.

For more information on Glacier Under Canvas, as well as all of our lodging options surrounding Glacier National Park, please click here.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Grand Teton NP & Teton County Forge Agreement on Teton Park Road Grooming

Grand Teton National Park and Teton County entered into an agreement this week and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to provide regular grooming for Nordic and skate skiing along the Teton Park Road in partnership with the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. As an extension of community grooming activities outside the park, Teton County has agreed to pilot a program to groom 15 miles of the snow-covered Teton Park Road between the Taggart Lake Trailhead and Signal Mountain Lodge within the park.

Park officials and the Teton County Board of Commissioners reached this partnership agreement in part to support healthy outdoor recreation on this popular winter trail within Grand Teton. Since 2002, park staff have periodically groomed the snow-covered Teton Park Road whenever time and funding allowed. However, financial and staffing constraints often prevent grooming from occurring on a consistent basis.

Through the new MOU, Teton County will groom the Teton Park Road one or more days per week, generally on Saturdays. In addition, park staff will continue to groom other days of the week as time and staffing allow. This agreement allows for grooming to occur until plowing operations get underway to facilitate the spring opening of park roads to vehicles.

The grooming status will be provided on Grand Teton's recorded road condition hotline at 307.739.3682 and posted on the park's Facebook page. The Teton County Parks & Recreation's website will also provide an update on grooming status.

As a part of the MOU, Grand Teton National Park Foundation, the park's primary fundraising partner, will accept restricted private donations for the purpose of grooming the Teton Park Road and reimburse Teton County for their costs.

"We look forward to working with Teton County on this new partnership initiative, and we hope that the pilot program will provide a measure of certainty for Nordic and skate skiers who regularly use the Teton Park Road for recreation and inspiration," said Acting Grand Teton National Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. "Through our cooperative efforts, we are providing an opportunity for park visitors to enjoy healthy activities, such as skiing and snowshoeing, while surrounded by the unparalleled beauty and serenity of a Teton winter."

Teton County/Jackson Parks & Recreation Department maintains a series of pathways in and around Jackson, and in winter months, County personnel also groom a portion of these pathways for Nordic skiing. The County has the grooming expertise and ability to operate and maintain their own equipment for these purposes. They will now use that same equipment and staff to groom the Teton Park Road within Grand Teton National Park.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Floral Park Traverse: Logan Pass to Lake McDonald Lodge

Here's a video that highlights a section of Glacier National Park that most visitors will never see. It highlights two hikers that make the trek from Logan Pass to the Lake McDonald Lodge, while covering some of the most beautiful terrain in Glacier. Here's an excerpt from the video description (from the author, Alex Blondeau):

"The Floral Park and Sperry Glacier basin areas in Glacier National Park are among the most stunning places in North America. Though not free from danger they remain on the life list of many a hiker. This video depicts a successful completion of the Floral Park Traverse. The Floral Park Traverse is a 19 mile route that crosses Glacier's back country between Logan Pass and Lake McDonald Lodge, crossing Sperry Glacier along the way. About 1/3rd of the journey is off trail, crossing fairly treacherous terrain. Two hikers have lost their lives on this route between 2008 and 2012, so please do your research before attempting this route."

If you plan to visit Glacier this year, please note that our website offers a wide variety of accommodation listings to help with your vacation planning.

Hiking in Glacier National Park