Archive for the ‘Area attractions’ Category

Who needs National Parks…?

October 3rd, 2013 by teresa

canyon logo
Well, we do!  Glacier National Park is the biggest attraction that draws our guests to our area and we think its certainly worth travelling from the four corners of the world to experience.

However, there is much. much more to experience in our backyard than Glacier National Park, and the silver lining of the current park closure, due to government shutdown, is that we can draw the attention of our guests to the supporting cast whilst the main star has temporarily left the stage.

For guests craving spectacular vistas you can take a trip up to Desert Mountain in the Flathead National Forest and view the peaks of Glacier National Park from a different perspective.  Whilst you are in the park you are in the midst of this snowcapped majesty, and we all know how hard it is to see the wood for the trees sometimes.  Bike, hike or drive this trail for breathtaking views of peaks and valleys right up to the US/Canada border and beyond.

Or, stay on the flat (in comparison), and enjoy the still water and tall pines around Hungry Horse Reservoir.  Great Northern peak (pictured above) dominates the views on this drive right around the reservoir.  Great for wildlife viewing, a spot of fishing or stopping off for a picnic at one of the many sites you’ll pass.  The Hungry Horse Dam in itself is well worth the visit and full of the history of the area (spot the huge ball on your drive through Hungry Horse used for clearing trees during the construction).

Polebridge Bakery tingles your tastebuds and takes you back in time to the days of the mercantile (its compulsory to bring us back some of their bear claws!).  The drive up offers yet another perspective of park peaks.  Jewel Basin, in the opposite direction, offers hiking options and scenery away from the park.

Take our word for it, there are outstanding vistas and hiking everywhere you turn.

Feel like you’re missing out on that famous scenic drive? Take a drive around 27 mile long Flathead Lake instead, stopping at art galleries in Bigfork, the Miracle of America museum in Polson and various microbreweries for a great day out.  The sunsets over the lake are beyond spectacular.

Looking for some history and culture?  Check out the Conrad Mansion for a glimpse into days gone by, and don’t forget our lodge!  Built originally to greet visitors to the park there are more than 100 years of history in those solid log beams!

Don’t be sad because the park is closed, be glad because you get to experience all the hidden gems that most visitors don’t find the time for.

Book your stay today and fall for all the Flathead Valley has to offer.

Whatever Washington is up to, WE can promise you you will not be disappointed!

Fabulous Fall in the Flathead Valley

September 22nd, 2013 by teresa

Have you had the opportunity yet to visit with us in the Fall?  We think its just the best time of year in our little corner of Northwest Montana.  Beautiful blue skies and warm temperatures continue into September and October and fewer crowds mean more space to enjoy the Fall colors and crisp mountain air.

The lodge stays open year round providing full four-season facilities for our guests whether dropping by for a coffee by the fireplace, enjoying a fabulous Fall vacation, or staying longer term in one of our cabins throughout the winter.

This year, you can access Logan’s Peak from the West Side of Glacier National Park right into October.  Park facilities close down for the season by September so this means you get no lines and very little traffic.  Its a totally different experience, and one not to be missed!  The lakes are so still and offer perfect looking-glass reflections of Montana’s ‘big sky’ and the tamaracks turning shades of gold.

And there’s plenty more to see and do…..

Traditional Fall events in the Flathead Valley includes the Le Grizz Ultramarathon (a 50 mile footrace around the Hungry Horse Reservoir), the Great Northwest Oktoberfest (two weekends of German beer, food music and fun) and there’s always pumpkin picking at the pumpkin patch along with indoor entertainment at The Zone Family Fun Center for our younger guests (or the young at heart!).



Going-to-the-sun Road Fall Opening Times 2013

August 12th, 2013 by teresa

bend_in_roadThere has never been a better time to experience the beauty of Glacier National Park in all its Fall splendour.  With access to Logan Pass available until October, Fall 2013 offers a chance for visitors to enjoy the glassy waters and golden tamaracks without the crowds of summer.

Make the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins your lodging choice and select a private cabin or stay in our 100 yr old lodge.  We are the closest lodging facility to Glacier National Park open ALL year round.  Enjoy coffee and pastries in the lodge espresso bar while you plan your stay using our maps and brochures.  Our discounted Fall rates make this a great time to enjoy the quite and stillness of Glacier National Park in Fall.

Book your stay today and take advantage of extended opening hours for the Going-to-the-sun Road.

Here are some dates to remember:

  • September 22, 2013 – The last day to drive the entire 50 miles.
  • October 20, 2013 – The last day to drive to Logan Pass.
  • October 21, 2013 – The alpine section of the road will be inaccessible to vehicles.

(NB Logan Pass is 32 miles from the west entrance and 18 miles from the east entrance.)


Things to do in the Flathead Valley when it rains.

August 5th, 2013 by teresa

Glacier National Park lodging|Rainy Days

What to do when it rains during your Glacier National Park vacation

As a mountain community we can have periods of wet weather (which are welcomed in the hot, dry Summer months!).  For guests to the Glacier National Park area, this can mean a change of plans is necessary until the weather improves. The Flathead Valley offers a diverse range of activities for a change of pace during wet weather.  To ensure the rain doesn’t dampen your spirits, here’s some suggestions to keep you busy:

Explore our museums and art galleries.  The Conrad Mansion once belonged to a wealthy family responsible for building much of Kalispell and the surrounding areas.  The Mansion has been preserved to show life as it was for the family many years ago and gives an interesting glimpse into another world, now long gone.

The Hockaday Museum of Art, also located in Kalispell, has permanent exhibits, workshops and events related to local life.

Visit the Stumptown Historical Society in Whitefish and learn all about the influence of the railroad on the local community.

Founded in 1981, the Miracle of America Museum in Polson offers a selection of unique memorabilia and a fun day out.

For something just a little bit different, check out the Montana Vortex and House of Mystery!

If that’s all too much culture for you there are bowling alleys, indoor play centres, antique shops and a movie theatre in nearby Kalispell.

Guests of the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins are welcome to use the outdoor pavilion to continue to enjoy the great outdoors whatever the weather, or come on inside and enjoy an espresso in the lodge while you plan your next Glacier National Park or Flathead Valley adventure using our selection of maps and local guidebooks.

Book today – whatever the weather, we’re sure you’ll find yourselves in great company! 


North Fork Road Opening

July 26th, 2013 by teresa

polebridgeWith news from Glacier National Park that the entire North Fork Road is scheduled to open this weekend, it seems like a great time to visit Polebridge!

The Inside North Fork Road was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. It is a narrow, gravel road and use of recreational, towed, and low-clearance vehicles is strongly discouraged. In ideal conditions, at least two hours are needed to travel the entire length of the Inside North Fork Road. Visitors are advised to prepare for travelling this road by carrying plenty of water and food. Also be prepared to encounter possible downed trees. 

A general store and bakery, the 100 year old Polebridge Mercantile is a favored destination for visitors to Glacier National Park.  Along with the Northern Lights Saloon beside it, the Merc offers a true taste of mountain living with few changes to its original features.

We highly recommend the bear claws!  Make Polebridge a must-see on your itinerary.


Glacier National Park Hiking

July 8th, 2013 by teresa

hidden lakeHidden Lake Overlook

Location:                  Logan Pass

Distance:                  3 miles round-trip

Duration:                  2 hours

Elevation Gain:       550 foot gain

Effort:                          Moderate

Trailhead:                  behind Logan Pass Visitor Center

This hike begins at Logan Pass and has totally unobstructed views the entire way.  On the back side of the Visitor Center, after climbing the stairs, stay towards the right and you will find the Hanging Gardens Trailhead. The trail is most referred to as Hidden Lake Nature Trail. Most of the first section of the trail is on a boardwalk to prevent visitors stepping on fragile alpine plants. The trail ends with a tremendous view of Hidden Lake located in a glacier-carved cirque surrounded by amazing peaks. This is one of the best short hikes you could possibly do and there is a superb chance of seeing mountain goats as well. To avoid the crowds we recommend taking this hike in the morning.


Going to the Sun Road Opening 2013

June 21st, 2013 by teresa

Going to the Sun Road

Going to the Sun Road

All guests please be aware of the following information released by the National Park Service:

All 50 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are anticipated to be open to vehicle travel by Friday afternoon, June 21, weather dependent. Weather forecasts call for rain showers, wind gusts up to 40 mph, and possible snow.

As of Thursday afternoon, snow was falling at the higher elevations and approximately one inch of slush was on the road.  The temperature at Oberlin Bend, just west of Logan Pass, was 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  Crews are working to remove mud and rock debris from the road and prepare for public access. Visitors are encouraged to drive with care.

The Logan Pass Visitor Center is expected to open Saturday, June 22, but hours of operation may be limited. Restroom facilities are available at Logan Pass and potable water will be available Friday. Visitors are reminded that conditions are still winter-like at Logan Pass and inclement weather is expected over the weekend. Exercise caution when walking on snow and be alert of possible collapsible snow and falling snow or rock debris.

Rehabilitation efforts continue on the Going-to-the-Sun Road this summer. Construction activity on the west-side of the park will occur between Logan Creek and Avalanche Creek through August. On the east-side, construction will occur between Rising Sun and Siyeh Bend beginning July 8 with activity occurring 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday morning. Sun Point will be closed to the public beginning June 30 due to construction. Visitors should expect 40-minute maximum construction delays for one-way travel across the entire road.

Bicycle restrictions are in effect on the Going-to-the-Sun Road through Labor Day. Bicycle travel between Apgar and Sprague Creek Campground and eastbound travel from Logan Creek to Logan Pass is not allowed on the road from 11 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The visitor shuttle system traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road will operate July 1 through Labor Day. Transit centers are located near Apgar on the west-side of the park and the St. Mary Visitor Center on the east-side. For more information about the shuttle system please visit  Additional information on park roads, weather conditions, and visitor services can be found on Glacier National Park’s website,, or by calling park headquarters at 406-888-7800.

Glacier National Park Concessioner Schedules 2013

May 19th, 2013 by teresa

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – The 2013 operating dates for concessioners operating in Glacier National Park are scheduled. These concessioners, who work under contract within Glacier National Park, provide visitor services including lodging, food service, retail shops, tours, transportation, horseback riding, guided day hikes and backpacking trips, boat tours and small boat rentals. Services are listed in alphabetical order.

Belton Chalets, Inc.

(1-888-345-2649 or Backcountry Chalets:

Location Opening Closing
Granite Park Chalet* June 29 September 9 (after breakfast)
Sperry Chalet** July 11 September 9 (after breakfast)

*The historic Granite Park Chalet is available for overnight use as a rustic hiker shelter.

**Services at the historic Sperry Chalet include traditional overnight accommodations and food service for overnight guests and day hikers with meal reservations.

Glacier Park Boat Company (406-257-2426 Boat tours and rentals:

Location Opening Closing
Apgar (rentals only) June 1 September 2
Lake McDonald May 25 September 22
Many Glacier June 14 September 15
Rising Sun (tours only) June 22 September 2
Two Medicine June 8 September 8

Glacier Park, Inc.
 (GPI) (Central reservations:  406-892-2525 or Front country lodging, food and beverage services, retail, tour and transportation services:

Location Opening Closing
Lake McDonald Lodge & Camp Store May 25 September 29 (after breakfast)
Jammer Joe’s Restaurant June 29 September 2 (after dinner)
Many Glacier Hotel June 12 September 22 (after breakfast)
Rising Sun Motor Inn & Camp Store June 21 September 15 (after breakfast)
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn June 18 September 16 (after breakfast)
Swiftcurrent Campstore June 18 September 16 (closes at noon)
Two Medicine Camp Store May 31 September 2 (open all day)
Village Inn May 30 September 16 (after check-out)
Red Bus Tours Tours operate the same dates as the hotels.
Hiker Shuttle July 1 September 2
East-Side Shuttle June 8 September 22

Glacier Guides, Inc. (1-800-521-RAFT or 406-387-5555 or Day hikes and backpacking:

Location Opening Closing
Various Locations May October

Sun Tours (1-800-786-9220 or 406-226-9220 Road-based tours highlighting Blackfeet culture and history:

Location Opening Closing
Various Locations May 15 October 15


Swan Mountain Outfitters (1-877-888-5557 Horseback rides:

Location Opening Closing
Apgar May 25 September 2
Lake McDonald June 1 September 29
Many Glacier June 15 September 15


Waterton Inter-Nation Shoreline Cruises, LTD (403-859-2362 or Waterton Lake boat tours:

Location Opening Closing
Goat Haunt Landing June 1 September 22


There are also several privately-owned facilities in Apgar Village that offer lodging, dining, camping supplies, groceries, and gifts from May through much of September, some year round.

For reservations and details, please call respective phone numbers listed. For general park information, please visit the park’s website at: call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.


– NPS –


(photo courtesy Glacier Country)


Glacier National Park Summer Vacations

May 13th, 2013 by teresa

Blue sky against tall pines, long drawn out sunsets, a million and one stars – you will soon discover why they call Montana ‘Big Sky’ country! With summer temperatures possibly hitting 100 you will find the perfect opportunity to head off into the cool air of the mountains or to take a dip in the lakes and rivers. The beauty of Montana at the height of the season is unsurpassed and you will return from your travels with a photograph album that will become the envy of all your friends!

The Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins offers, within a five-mile radius, an array of activities appealing to all ages and a wide range of interests. The Flathead National Forest right outside our back door provides miles of trails for hiking and mountain biking and ample opportunities for fishing and hunting. Nearby Kalispell, Whitefish and Bigfork have plenty of boutiques and antique shops and, in the summer months, there are ample opportunities for water sports whether touring the Flathead Lake, rafting on the rivers or shooting down the slides at the nearby Big Sky Water Park.

Of course, there is always Glacier National Park, only 8 miles away and open year round, its our main attraction and with good reason!  Visitors to Glacier National Park enjoy the park’s 1 million acres of lakes, sweeping valleys and glacier carved mountains. Glacier is 40 miles wide from east to west, and 50 miles long north to south. A complete suite of wildlife that includes wolves, grizzly bears, lynx and other natural predators sets it apart from nearly every other national park, a park so naturally beautiful it is known as the “Crown Jewel of the Continent.”

Mountain bikes and fishing equipment are available for rental from the lodge.

When you are done exploring for the day, try dinner at one of our many local restaurants, or cook on the grill at the lodge and enjoy a game of horseshoes or volleyball in our backyard. The Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins are famous for our evening campfires, hosted by our staff and often accompanied by local musicians.

Regardless of the weather, season, or activity there is always spectacular scenery. With Montana’s Rocky Mountains as your backdrop, the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins will provide you with the perfect setting for your next family vacation, corporate retreat, or weekend getaway.

Use our convenient on-line reservations link or call us directly on 406-387-4420 . Also call toll free on 877-387-4420 .


(photo courtesy Glacier Country)

The Crown of the Continent

April 26th, 2013 by teresa

The Flathead Valley is the magnificent gateway to the west entrance of Glacier National Park – a park so naturally beautiful it is known as the “Crown Jewel of the Continent”.  Glacier was established largely through the influence of railroad magnate James J. Hill, who envisioned a North American tourist destination, comparable to the Swiss Alps, for travelers on his Great Northern Railway.


Crown of the Continent

The Crown of the Continent is the vast ecosystem stretching from the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex north to British Columbia, Alberta and Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. Combined, Waterton and Glacier form the only trans-boundary “peace park” in North America.

Exceptional natural beauty is preserved in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and is a result of dynamic ongoing natural processes. Because of this the parks have been jointly designated a World Heritage Site, an honor shared with the Taj Mahal, The Great Barrier Reef and the Egyptian Pyramids.

What Glacier has to Offer

Visitors to Glacier National Park enjoy the park’s 1 million acres of lakes, sweeping valleys and glacier carved mountains. Glacier is 40 miles wide from east to west, and 50 miles long north to south.

A complete suite of wildlife that includes wolves, grizzly bears, lynx and other natural predators sets Glacier apart from nearly every other national park. Glacier has 272 bird species, 63 different mammals, 23 fish species, five types of amphibians and three types of reptiles.

The park has a rich variety of flora as well. There are 1,270 vascular plant varieties, 880 mosses and lichens, 130 non-native plant species and 20 tree species.

Mountains, Lakes and Streams

The highest point in Glacier is Mount Cleveland, at 10,466’ and the lowest is the Middle Fork River near West Glacier at 3,215’. At an elevation of 6,646 ‘, Logan Pass is the highest point in the park accessible by vehicle.

There are more than 175 named mountains in the park, six of them over 10,000′ and 43 over 9,000’. The Continental Divide, the mountainous backbone that sends water either to the east or west, meanders 106 miles through the park.

There are 762 lakes in Glacier, and only 131 of them are named. They cover 30,022 surface acres, with 392 miles of total shoreline. Lake McDonald is the largest at 6,823 acres, followed by St. Mary Lake at 3,923 acres, Bowman Lake at 1,706 acres and Kintla Lake at 1,698 acres.

There are 563 streams or rivers in Glacier covering 1,513 stream miles. The longest is McDonald Creek, which stretches 25.8 miles.

Archaeological evidence of use by ancient American Indians indicates Glacier’s cultural history dates back at least 10,000 years. The first Europeans to explore the area were fur trappers who are believed to have arrived in the late 1700s.

Go to the Sun

With the exception of Going-to-the-Sun Road, most roads are limited to the park’s exterior, while an extensive trail network winds through the interior. The park has 168 miles of road, six entrances and 730 miles of trails.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is a scenic landmark crossing between the west entrance near the Flathead Valley and the east entrance at St. Mary via Logan Pass. The 50-mile paved road was completed in the 1930’s. In 1983, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and in 1996 was designated a National Landmark. The road is narrow, steep and winding, with numerous pullouts for viewing scenery. Travelers should plan to spend 1½ to 3 hours to complete the distance.

Weather and snow determine when Logan Pass opens and closes. Most portions of the Going-to-the-Sun road are open year-round. Logan Pass opens in mid-June and closes in mid-October.

The Flathead Valley provides an outstanding base camp for exploring Glacier National Park with its large number of restaurants, activities, attractions and services geared to the traveler.

Located only eight miles from the west entrance to Glacier National Park, the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins offers traditional lodge room accommodation in our 100 yr old lodge, one of the original visitor centres belonging to the park.  We also offer 22 private cabins.  With great rates and clean and comfortable accommodation, check availability and book your stay today for a Glacier National Park vacation of a lifetime.

For general park information such as maps, Web cams and bear safety information, check the following park Internet links to help you find answers to your questions:

US Park Service website
Fee Free Days 2013
Web cams


Natural resources

Bear information

Park publications

Park news

Park photos