Posts Tagged ‘Glacier National Park’

Long Weekend Itinerary | Montana Winter

February 10th, 2016 by julia


Winter in northwestern Montana remains one of the great undiscovered gems in the Crown of the Continent – fewer crowds, glistening snow, mountain views. The only problem would be choosing how to spend your days if you’re operating on a limited schedule. We’ve broken it down for you into the long weekend itinerary of dreams, with time for fire relaxing and madcap adventure alike.

Arrive on Friday in time to check in before savoring a local microbrew, paired with Prime Rib night on site from Oso’s Smokin’ BBQ. Spend the evening in the lodge, relaxing and digesting in front of the fire before heading up to your cabin for a deep mountain sleep.

Grizzly Room

Saturday, caffeinate with a tasty latte from our Coffee Bar, then hit the road and mosey 8.1 miles up the street to Glacier National Park with a stop at the Trap Line Cafe for breakfast, and snag some sandwiches from the Glacier Center next door for a lunch in nature.

Lake McDonald Lodge Winter

Arrive at the park in time for a ranger led snowshoe walk (rentals available at Apgar visitor center or from our front desk), taking in the sights and sounds of serene Glacier in winter. Stop in at Glacier Distilling for a tasting as you return, then make your way back for dinner at Oso’s, or attempt to down an entire Packers Burger (just one minute from the lodge).

Snowmobile Jump

Sunday, start slow with a brunch at the lodge at 9 o’clock, then head out to carve up the slopes, whether that be with a lesson and après ski at Whitefish Mountain Resort, a Snowmobile tour with Swan Mountain Snowmobile, or a dog sled ride of a lifetime from Dog Sled Adventures.

Say goodbye with a promise to return (and great guest loyalty deals when you do!)

Book your long weekend at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins and get ready for a winter adventure.

Flathead Valley Cross Country Ski Getaway!

January 24th, 2016 by julia



We’ve written about Glacier National Park ski and snowshoe trails before, but there are miles more options in the National Forest right off our back step at the lodge.

The Flathead National Forest includes the Bob Marshall Wilderness, the Great Bear Wilderness, and the Scapegoat Wilderness under its umbrella. In that forest complex, you can find endless opportunity for snowy adventure to keep you entertained season after season.

Cross country (or Nordic) skiing is one of the best ways to enjoy scenic northwestern Montana in winter, with miles of ski trails to choose from and some of the best snow coverage in the continental United States.

Of course, ungroomed trail systems are never ending with so many miles of National Forest in our backyard. But for the groomed action, check out these three convenient spots for classic and skate skiing.

Izaak Walton Inn

Situated between West Glacier and East Glacier, the Izaak Walton Inn maintains 20 miles of cross country trails behind the property in the Great Bear Wilderness, running alongside icy streams and up rolling hills. Trails mix of easy, intermediate, and difficult levels. With rentals and lessons offered right onsite, head out for a day of skiing on a whim.

Click here to get directions to Izaak Walton from the lodge.

Bigfork Community Nordic Center

With nearly 5 miles of gentle terrain, the Bigfork Community Nordic Center makes a great location to get a start free-heeling. Bring your skis and Montana Recreational Use license and hit the tracks for a day skating in one of the area’s scenic small towns.

Click here for directions to North Shore Nordic from the lodge.

Glacier Nordic

Nordic trails crisscross Whitefish, from the slopes of Whitefish Mountain Resort to the tracks groomed by the Glacier Nordic Club in town, on the mountain, and up the road in Round Meadows. With 43 miles of trails in the immediate vicinity, the snow will get your blood pumping. Rentals and lessons are also available at most Whitefish-area locations.

Click here for directions to Glacier Nordic from the lodge.


Conveniently situated at the epicenter of groomed and backcountry free-heel fun, the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins makes for an unbeatable alpine adventure destination! Reserve your room or cabin for a gliding winter getaway.

Winter Home Away in a Family Cabin!

January 20th, 2016 by julia


There are very few times that the “home away from home” cliché applies with any accuracy, but a stay in one of our Family Cabins fits the bill completely. The cabins are a place to kick your feet up, to feel immediately at home as soon as you cross the threshold, to relish the freedom to live how you want and fill your days with fun.

With a stay in a Family Cabin at the Historic Tamarack Lodge, enjoy the experience of authentic Montana living, with no change of address required. These two-bedroom cabins come with fully-equipped kitchens and a full bath, plus comfy futons in the living room for extra sleeping capacity.


The cabins look out over private decks to the Columbia and Teakettle Mountains to the west, regularly backlit by blazing sunsets that send light streaming through the snow-covered trees. Every detail creates the ultimate mountain experience, from the pine slatted exterior to the names of the cabins that bring out the best of glacier country, from Avalanche and Glacier to Summit and Grinnell.

Stock your fridge from the Canyon Foods market right down the road in Hungry Horse, or treat yourself to a tasty meal from Oso’s Smokin’ BBQ, open weekends for dinner through the winter. With other dining options just a 5 minute drive away, delicious meals bookend your trip with that good ol’ Montana gourmet!

There’s no better way to end a day of cross country skiing, snowshoeing, or exploring than by snuggling up in your own little cabin in the woods.

Book your stay in a Family Cabin at the Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins and soak in the quiet winter calm from a home away from home of your own!

Guide to Glacier National Park Ranger-Led Snowshoe Walks

December 29th, 2015 by julia


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.

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!

Romantic Winter Retreat in Glacier National Park

December 22nd, 2015 by julia


Modern buildings constructed with historic flair, the Couple Cabins back up against the Flathead National Forest in a secluded wooded haven perfect for contemplative solitude or a romantic retreat.



While the snow falls outside, snuggle up inside with a cup of hot chocolate, or head to the slopes in nearby Whitefish Mountain Resort, with a cozy cabin to return to after a day at the mountain. With our property just a short drive from the west entrance of Glacier National Park, it’s a quick jaunt to cross country ski trails and snowshoeing galore. Ask our friendly front desk staff for information on in-house snowshoe rentals and trail recommendations!

Glacier National Park Snowshoeing

A short stroll beyond our back fence, the beaver pond in the Bob Marshall Wilderness gives guests a taste of winter wonderland when the the water freezes over and snow dusts the treetops, with the hills rising up behind in a vista of snow-sprinkled wilderness.

Beaver Pond Bob Marshall Wilderness

For guests with reduced mobility, the Merritt Cabin offers ADA-approved bath design with full roll-in wheelchair access, and both cabins feature parking directly in front with no steps or stairs.

The intimate interior offers hardwood floors and lofted ceilings, alongside a full kitchen and bath in the studio-style cabin that lends an intimate feel.

Just down the path in the main lodge building, guests can enjoy the warmth and cozy of the common room, with overstuffed leather couches to curl up on in front of the fireplace.

Great Room Historic Tamarack Lodge

Reserve a Couple Cabin at the Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins for an intimate mountain getaway this winter!

Cross Country Skiing in Glacier National Park

December 17th, 2015 by julia


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.


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!

Great Glacier Institute Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Lover

December 15th, 2015 by julia

Glacier National Park Winter

Glacier National Park Winter

With the upcoming winter holidays, shopping for the adventurers in your life can be a challenge. Winter Ecology adult field camps from the Glacier Institute make great gifts, with this exciting roster of upcoming dates to pick from. The adult winter camps give a unique perspective on Glacier National Park for a new kind of exploration.

Register the outdoor enthusiast in your life for a class and tag along for some quality time enjoying the fresh air together. Pair it with a stay in a cozy lodge room at Historic Tamarack Lodge for the outdoor getaway of a lifetime!

North Fork Animal Tracking and Sign Interpretation: January 9, 2016
Learn to experience the great outdoors in a whole new way, with an in-depth tour of the prints and scat of all the park’s residents. Get acquainted with the sights and sounds of wildlife, with plenty of opportunities for photos and sightseeing over the moderate four-mile guided hike.

Cattail, Pine Needle, and Willow Basket Weaving: January 22-24, 2016
This three-day study of ancient crafting traditions includes the experience of harvesting your own supplies and learning the varied techniques of plaiting and weaving to create one-of-a-kind baskets and mats in the custom of the region’s native peoples.

Winter Nature Photography: February 27, 2016
You bring your gear, Glacier National Park brings the views, and the Glacier Institute brings the guides to lead you through a lesson in nature photography. The course builds plenty of memories to go along with the photographs during this day excursion.

Winter Birds of Prey: March 19, 2016
Along the stunning banks of McDonald Creek, wander through the winter ecosystem and explore the park’s feathered predators. With camera in hand, learn about winter birds of prey and investigate the park while the season still shows off a winter wonderland.

Owls of the Mission Valley: April 9, 2016
Take short hikes under the guidance of Matt Larson from the Owl Research Institute, seeking habitats and telltale signs of the many species of owl in the area. With nine species in the valley alone, the area is one of the best areas in the nation to spot the impressive birds.

Winter Getaway in a Lodge Room at Historic Tamarack Lodge

December 8th, 2015 by julia


Built in 1907 in the town of Belton (now known as West Glacier), the lodge now sits at its present site in Bad Rocks Canyon, bookended by the Bob Marshall Wilderness  at the back of the property and the Teakettle and Columbia Mountains stretching their legs for sparkling sunset views to the west.


Montana Sunset at Historic Tamarack Lodge


In the updated eco-friendly lodge, find a feel of old-time serenity with the addition of modern amenities, whether downstairs in the common areas, or up above in the snug log cabin accommodations.

Upstairs in second-floor lodge rooms, lofted ceilings show off the original rough-hewn log beams, maintaining the charm of the building’s historic heritage while bringing guests modern updates, including ensuite baths and complimentary wifi. Satellite TV, coffee makers, and iPod docking station come standard in the rooms.


lodge room



If you’re looking to unplug and unwind, the cozy lodge Great Room provides a fireside retreat ideal for curling up with a book while the snow drifts down outside. Select from our library of books and board games, or sip a latte or hot chocolate from the Saloon. If you crave something stronger, sample the array of local micro brews and locally-distilled whiskies, crafted in surrounding towns for that unbeatable Big Sky flavor.


Great Room Historic Tamarack Lodge


In a fusion of rustic history and modern updates, the lodge at Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins provides a winter wonderland retreat, best enjoyed after an invigorating day of snowshoeing in
Glacier National Park, skiing in Whitefish, or exploring local shops.

Give us a call or reserve online to explore the Crown of the Continent when it’s dressed in white, a frosty wilderness of winter sports and relaxation.


Snow-covered mountains

5 Hidden Benefits of Visiting Glacier National Park in Winter

December 5th, 2015 by julia

Snow-covered mountains

The secret is out: Glacier National Park in the winter is a sight to be seen and an epic outdoor playground to enjoy when the snow falls.

Winter Wonderland

Northwestern Montana and Glacier National Park remain picture-perfect and a beautiful place at any time of year, but the winter holds a few special benefits. Enjoy a glittering winter wonderland and take advantage of all the hidden perks the season has to offer.

Reduced Winter Rates
From reduced park admission to unbeatable winter season room rates, deals abound for the budget-conscious traveler throughout scenic northwestern Montana during the snowy months. Although it’s impossible to put a price on blissful vacation memories, the days are all the sweeter with a little extra kindness to your wallet.

Fewer Crowds

West Glacier National Park Snowshoeing
The serene ski trails and powder-covered mountaintops might seem like a no-brainer, but as the summer crowds subside, the space stretches out into a peaceful retreat nestled in the crown of the continent. Only the savviest travelers remain around Glacier as days spin on into winter, letting you savor a calm and relaxing mountain stay.

Winter Sports Galore

Glacier National Park Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing and xc skiing in Northwest Montana

Between snowshoeing, cross country skiing, sledding, snowmobiling, and snowball fights, all steps away from your cabin’s porch and only a short drive to world-class ski resorts in Whitefish, the only problem you’ll have will be figuring out how to fit it all into a single stay.

Going-to-the-Sun Road Open to Skiers and Snowshoers

Snow-covered mountains

Take those winter sports and head into the park, where the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed only to four wheels. Skis and snowshoes can head up the road beyond closures, leading to walks tread in serenity, with views enjoyed by only sliding skiers and the park wildlife.

Wildlife to Spot


Speaking of wildlife, when winter weather brings colder temperatures, the park’s animals descend from their alpine summer homes to winter in the lowlands, making it possible to observe them in their natural habitat. Just make sure to give them plenty of space! Check out these tips for spotting the park’s furry residents.

Reserve a stay at Historic Tamarack Lodge & Cabins and enjoy a relaxing apres-ski at the onsite Saloon, where we offer a selection of cocktails and local craft brews to help you unwind!

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: