Archive for the ‘Glacier National Park’ Category

Guide to Glacier National Park Ranger-Led Snowshoe Walks

December 29th, 2015 by julia

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West Glacier National Park Snowshoeing

Good news for outdoorsy folks who love to float over some fresh powder: the schedule for this winter’s ranger-led snowshoe walks in Glacier National Park is up, with weekend walks from January 6 through March 20!

These group strolls through the park make for an invigorating and fresh way to see the scenery. To get an idea of what to expect on the walks (free with park admission!) check out the nuts and bolts below.

The Basics
Walks start at the Apgar Visitor Center every Saturday and Sunday, January 6 through March 20. They begin at 10:30 am and 2:00 pm, and run for about two hours. Participants should come prepared with warm layers, good shoes, snacks, and water, and the Park Service recommends the walks for ages 6 and up.

Snowshoes
Participants can rent snowshoes from the Apgar Visitor Center for $2, pick up rentals from outfitters in the area, or bring their own. The lodge also rents snowshoes to guests who want to hit the trails!

The Experience
Park rangers lead walks on gentle terrain, giving interpretive talks along the way to immerse participants in the ecology and animals of the park while savoring the remote calm of the mountains in winter.

Spend the time tromping through one of the country’s most scenic areas, and relish the freedom from summer crowds while still getting to enjoy the arresting panoramas and snow-topped mountain peaks.

 

Only 8 miles from the park’s west entrance, the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins offers some of the closest year-round lodging to Glacier National Park. Reserve your room to enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains in winter!

Cross Country Skiing in Glacier National Park

December 17th, 2015 by julia

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One of the highlights of visiting Glacier National Park in winter is getting to take advantage of the snowy trails, open to snowshoers, cross country skiers, and outdoor-lovers of all sorts. Work up a sweat and check out this sampling of routes on the west side of the park, ranging from beginning to advanced.

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Layer up and hit the trails to enjoy a day sliding through a quiet wilderness winter scene. To check on trail conditions and road closures, call the park service at 406-888-7800 or check the website before heading out.

Beginner: Covey Meadow Loop

A great option for young children, this 3-mile loop heads around a natural meadow in the Polebridge area, an outing with level terrain and a taste of the North Fork area of the park. Trails start from the Polebridge Ranger Station (closed in winter), and skiers should check road conditions before driving the unpaved road.

Intermediate: Sacred Dancing Cascades

From parking in the Lake McDonald Lodge parking lot, ski 1.8 miles up the unplowed road to Lake McDonald Creek, turning left to ski to the bridge over the creek to take in the view of McDonald Falls. Cross the bridge and ski right, continuing on to Sacred Dancing Cascades and back to the road, in a 5.3-mile round trip.

Advanced: Apgar Lookout

For an ascent that offers a challenge, this 10.6-mile round trip trail to Apgar Lookout offers a hearty workout that pays off big in amazing views of Lake McDonald. Park in the lot across from the barn and continue up beyond the end of the plowed section across Quarter Circle Bridge and up the hill. Take the right fork and continue half a mile until the marked trailhead, then head up the slope for the Lookout views!

Our front desk staff would be excited to recommend outfitters for gear rentals, as well as other ski trails in the park. Reserve your room at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins for the winter mountain getaway of a lifetime!

How to spot winter wildlife in Glacier National Park.

November 29th, 2015 by teresa

As the crowds of visitors recede and winter settles over Glacier National Park, the new found calm and quiet makes for an ideal environment to spot the park’s many inhabitants as they move about their habitats.

Many of the animals in the park have stealthy winter camouflage, which can make spotting them a fun challenge.  That said, one of the benefits of wildlife spotting in winter is that many critters that usually move to the highlands in warm weather (to forage and get away from humans) will come down to the milder, more accessible lowlands in winter.

While bears spend a good portion of the season hibernating, the park’s 70 other species of mammal like elk , red fox, white-tailed deer, and bald eagles come out to play in the winter wonderland giving visitors outstanding photo opportunities and great memories.  No selfies though! Stay safe and be sure to stay well away from wildlife (the law is 300 feet from bears, 75 feet from other animals) but don’t be afraid to keep your eyes open and look for these telltale signs of furry and feathered park inhabitants.

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1. Check for Tracks 

The snow forms a perfect canvas to check out animal tracks, with fresh, well-defined footprints telling a detailed story of passersby. You don’t have to be an expert tracker to pick up on what the tracks mean. Does the animal have claws, paws, do they hop or run, how many toes? See what you can discover just by observing.  

2. Look to the Water 

When lakes and streams freeze, any liquid water draws animals like crazy. This makes springs and thin-iced lake-sides the ideal place to spot thirsty animals in their own habitat, taking a sip of that refreshing, icy water.

Lake McDonald in the Winter

Glacier National Park in the Wintertime

3. Scat 

No, we don’t mean skidaddle. While in the summer, animal scat blends in with the undergrowth, the bright white snow makes it easy to spot in winter. Small pellets in a cluster? Probably a deer. The bigger the scat, the bigger the animal that left it behind. If you look closely you may be able to tell what’s on the menu during winter in Glacier National Park.
Book a stay today and take your family on a tour of our winter wonderland.  We guarantee great memories and outstanding views, all year round.

5 things to remember when you snowshoe Glacier National Park

November 27th, 2015 by teresa

Have you tried Snowshoeing yet?  Fun for all the family, and easy to do,it is also an amazing way to get in some snow-covered mountain time while accessing pristine spots in Glacier National Park, even when areas are closed to vehicle traffic. Food coma from too much festive fun? You can’t beat a workout with views like this:stnick

As we’re gearing up for the winter season to start we are busy getting ready for snow.  Thoughts begin to turn to fun activities and great ways to get out into our backyard, and snowshoeing is one of our favorite ways to explore. These tips and tricks help make the snowy path to winter recreation a little easier:

1. Keep a slightly wider stance

Try not to exaggerate this too much, but keeping your legs slightly farther apart than normal gives you more balance as you walk.

2. Kick-step going uphill

This technique helps you get the most traction going uphill in fluffy powder, without sliding back down. Lift up your foot and kick into the slope with your toe so the crampons dig into the hill right under the ball of your foot.

3. Bend your knees

Going downhill can make you feel like leaning back and tensing up, but don’t lock your knees! Keeping them gently bent helps you maintain balance and stay stable.

4. Stay to the side of ski tracks

Showing respect for others using the trail is key when snowshoeing on shared trails with cross country skiers. Since snowshoes have an easier and safer time moving to the side, skis have the right of way on joint trails, so step aside and wave hello when others pass.  

5. Remember to walk naturally!

You’ve read all these tips, you’ve strapped some snowshoes on, but don’t forget, snowshoeing is really just walking. Put one foot in front of the other and try to be as natural as possible.

Rent snowshoes at the lodge and explore the Beaver Pond area behind our property.  Find your groove and then head out into Glacier National Park, or onto the many trails of the Flathead National Forest.  Ask our staff about the best trails for your ability, we’ll be happy to help!

Here’s some helpful links to get you started:

http://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/snowshoeing-first-steps.html

http://www.redfeather.com/techniques.html

http://snowshoes.com/learn/article/going-downhill

Glacier National Park Lodging

September 30th, 2015 by teresa

Relax, restore and revive.

Glacier National Park vacations.

Fabulous Fall in Glacier

September 22nd, 2015 by teresa

Don’t let the sun set on your Montana vacation dreams.  Summer may be over for this year, but Fall is just spectacular here with brisk mornings, warm days and the changing colors of the foliage all around.  The snow caps are back on the mountain peaks and the paths and trails are quiet and peaceful.  Photography opportunities are plentiful and wildlife sightings more frequent as the crowds dissipate.

Sunset behind Apgar Mountain in Glacier National Par, Montana

Winter Activities in Glacier National Park

January 13th, 2015 by teresa

Nordic skiing in Glacier National ParkThe quiet and serenity of Winter in Glacier National Park makes it the ultimate vacation destination for all those in need of respite from the crowds and constant consumerism of the holiday season.  Bring yourself back to all that is really important by getting out in the snow-covered vistas and breathing in the envigorating mountain air.

Nordic skiing is a great way to burn off the calories of over-indulgence and encourage an appetite for life and adventure, and there’s no better place to get on your skis than Glacier National Park.

Glacier offers a variety of routes for skiers of all abilities.  Spend a day exploring the easier routes here, or travel to nearby Izaak Walton Inn, the North Shore trail network, or Stillwater Nordic Lodge.

Ask us about local ski rental or, if you’re sold on nordic skiing as a Winter activity, purchase a great value package from local Sportsman Skihaus stores.

Reflect on your day’s adventure with a Moscow Mule or a Hot Buttered Rum by a crackling fire and start your year off the right way when you book a stay with us.

Winter Ecology in Glacier National Park

November 30th, 2014 by teresa

 

side-activities7Experience the beauty and stillness of Glacier National Park in Winter.  Stay at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins, the closest lodging to the park that stays open year round.  Our facility is fully prepared to handle all four seasons in Montana.  Enjoy an espresso in front of our original stone fireplace and warm your toes after spending a day snowshoeing with the Glacier Institute on their Winter Ecology course as described below:

 ‘Winter in Glacier is a special time that is free of crowds, exceptionally quiet, and beautiful beyond belief.  In this course, we will explore the Lower McDonald Creek area to learn how plants and animals adapt to survive winter in Glacier National Park.   This course focuses on the adaptations of evergreen trees, shrubs, and forbs that allow them so survive Glacier’s harsh winter challenges.  We will also focus on the adaptations of a few selected animals and birds that Field Ecologist Brian Baxter has studied in winter.  

These animals include:  Snowshoe hare; Canadian lynx; White tailed Ptarmigan; Rocky Mountain Elk; Long tailed weasel; Boreal owl; and Wolverine.  Additional concentration will focus on specialized predator/prey relationships; hunting and escape strategies; camouflages; habits and habitats.

 Brian Baxter, B.S. is a wildlife researcher and forester who spent numerous winters studying animals such as the wolverine, lynx, fisher, and marten.  Brian is an experienced instructor in Glacier National Park that will help you greatly improve your ability to ‘read’ the landscape. So beat the winter blues, bring your camera and sense of humor, and come enjoy winter with a few like-minded folks!

 This trip takes place on December 6th, 2014 for a rate of $65.

 9:00 AM start. Depending on the interests of the group, the course will wrap up between 3:00pm and 5:00pm.

 Meeting Place:  The old Apgar visitor center in Glacier National Park, located across the street from Eddie’s Cafe.  This should not be confused with the new Apgar visitor center that is connected to the Apgar transit center. 

Food:  Please bring a sack lunch; trail snacks, and plenty of water.

Equipment:  Please dress appropriately in layers; bring lunch, snacks, water, hot drinks; and provide your own snowshoes (or contact the Institute in advance if you need to borrow a pair).  If we’ve had a light snow year in West Glacier, a good pair of boots will suffice.

Physical Requirements:  Moderate. Hiking distance covers less than four miles with less than 500 feet elevation gain.

 Transportation during course:  After meeting at the old visitor center, participants may need to  drive their own vehicles to the nearby trailhead.

 Weather: This course will not be canceled due to weather.’

Visit the Glacier Institute website for details and to book.

 

Dog Day Deals

August 26th, 2014 by teresa

family_cabins_hill2Enjoy a Glacier National Park vacation for less than $50 per person, per night!

With prices from only $38 per person per night, our full-size Family Cabins sleep up to six with two private bedrooms, full size bath, kitchen and open living area.  Extra sleeping comes courtesy of a futon couch in the living area and a private, covered balcony overlooking local Columbia and Teakettle Mountains.  These cabins are located to the rear of property, nestled on the edge of the Flathead National Forest.  Take the kids on a short hike to the Beaver Pond, get to know our llama, Star and enjoy our outdoor spaces with a game of basketball, horseshoes or volleyball.  Espresso Bar, Saloon and Smokehouse located on site.

(based on maximum occupancy in Family Cabins from Aug 21 – Sept 16)

Glacier National Park – Apgar Visitor Center Relocates

May 13th, 2014 by teresa

Glacier National Park LodgingThe Glacier National Park Apgar Visitor Center operation is relocating to the existing Apgar Transit Center facility, and will begin daily operations Saturday, May 17, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.   

The new location will be identified as the Apgar Visitor Center and will provide visitor information services, pick-up and drop-off services for the park’s shuttle system and concession-operated tour and transportation services, retail sales managed by the Glacier National Park Conservancy and restroom facilities.  The building is recognized as LEED Gold Certified.    The new location of the Apgar Visitor Center is located at the t-intersection approximately one mile north of the West Entrance Station on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

The Glacier National Park Conservancy is assisting with the relocation.  Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “The Conservancy has been instrumental in working with their donors to provide engineering and design expertise, materials and labor to retrofit the facility to serve as the Apgar Visitor Center.”  Mow said he was impressed with the assistance from several local and regional businesses and appreciates the Conservancy’s leadership with this project.”  

The small building that housed the visitor center in Apgar Village will have public restroom facilities available, but the main building will be closed. An analysis to determine the future use of that facility will begin later this year.

The park’s general management plan (1999) identified the construction of a West-side Discovery Center and Museum, but a lack of funding prevented such a facility.  In 2007, the Apgar Transit Center was constructed to serve as a transit staging area and facilitate visitor access and orientation along the Going-to-the-Sun Road during road rehabilitation.  It has been the park’s intention to relocate the existing west-side visitor center operations from Apgar Village to this area.  To accommodate increased visitor use at the site, the parking area is being expanded, per an environmental assessment completed in 2012.

The park hosts three visitor centers, Apgar, St. Mary and Logan Pass.  The opening and closing dates and times are as follows:

      
Apgar Visitor Center  May 17 – June 13

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

 June 14 – September 1

8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

 September 2- October 5

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

October 6 – Spring 2015

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Saturday/Sunday Only

Logan Pass Visitor Center As snow and road conditions allow – September 1

9 a.m. – 7 p.m.

September 2 – September 21

9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

St. Mary Visitor Center May 24 – June 28

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

June 29 – August 16

8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

August 17 – October 5

8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

 

 

 

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