Category Archives: Glacier National Park

Fall in Montana: Driving Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road

Last week, my favorite travel partner and I hopped on Amtrak’s Empire Builder and rode it from Whitefish to East Glacier Park. (You can read the full post on our train trip in Montana here.) And you guys, it was such a fun adventure! But our trip didn’t end there.

After disembarking the train, we decided to head into Glacier National Park and drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road. From East Glacier Park, we took Looking Glass Highway (Highway 49) above the Two Medicine Valley and made our way to St. Mary and the east entrance of Glacier National Park.

Looking into Two Medicine from Looking Glass Highway.

Looking into Two Medicine from Looking Glass Highway.

Fresh snow in Glacier National Park.

Fresh snow in Glacier National Park.

Truth time: Looking Glass Highway is one of my favorite drives in the state.

Truth time: Looking Glass Highway is one of my favorite drives in Montana.

After a quick stop at St. Mary Lodge & Resort, we headed into St. Mary and started driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road. And you guys, it was incredibly beautiful!

Take a look…

Hello, St. Mary Valley.

Hello, St. Mary Valley.

Looking up the road from Two Dog Flats.

Looking up the road from Two Dog Flats.

Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Going-to-the-Sun Road.

As we were driving past St. Mary Lake, the reflection practically begged us to pullover. So we did.

As we were driving past St. Mary Lake, the reflection practically begged us to pullover. So we did.

I'm confident I could have sat here for hours.

I’m confident I could have sat here for hours.

Fall colors + St. Mary Lake = me in love.

Fall colors + St. Mary Lake = me in love.

Hi.

Hi.

Wild Goose Island on St. Mary Lake.

Wild Goose Island on St. Mary Lake.

Debbie taking in the view.

Debbie taking in the view.

The fall color on the trees and underbrush was starting to really change, so we took a short hike down from Wild Goose Overlook.

The fall color on the trees and underbrush was starting to really change, so we took a short hike down from Wild Goose Overlook.

This is my piece of heaven on earth.

This is my piece of heaven on earth.

Driving up the road out of the tunnel.

Driving up the road out of the tunnel.

Fresh snow on Going to the Sun Mountain.

Fresh snow on Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.

Two Montana-loving traveling buddies.

Two Montana-loving traveling buddies.

You guys, check out the fresh snow on the ground behind me.

You guys, check out the fresh snow on the ground behind me.

The view from Logan Pass. (I love this view, but it's so pretty it almost looks fake. But it's not, I promise.)

The view from Logan Pass. (I love this view, but it’s so pretty it almost looks fake. But it’s not, I promise.)

After driving up to Logan Pass and back down again, we had some free time before we needed to return to East Glacier Park and catch our train home. So we did what any two Glacier National Park-lovin’ gals would do: we drove to Many Glacier.

Take a look…

Two Guns (Glacier Park Boat Company's wooden boat) heading to the head of Swiftcurrent Lake.

Two Guns (Glacier Park Boat Company’s wooden boat) heading to the head of Swiftcurrent Lake.

Two Guns under Mount Grinnell.

Two Guns under Mount Grinnell.

The view from the dining room at Many Glacier Hotel.

The view from the dining room at Many Glacier Hotel.

A few things to note if you plan to visit the east side of Glacier National Park in fall:
-Rental cars are available from spring to fall at Glacier Park Trading Company in East Glacier Park.
-Plan for cool weather. While it was gorgeous when we went, we did bust out our scarves and coats at Logan Pass. Weather in the mountains can change quickly, so always be prepared.
-Bring water.
-If you plan to visit Glacier National Park in the fall and want to stay in one of the historic park lodges or motor inns, plan to book your travel early (like now).
-Don’t be afraid to stay outside of the park. There are plenty of lodging options just outside the park that tend to stay open later in the season.
-If you time it right, you can catch dinner at Serrano’s Mexican Restaurant in East Glacier Park. They’re open for dinner through September 30.
-The Going-to-the-Sun Road is slated to be open in its entirety through October 16, weather dependent. You can check the road status here.

Needless to say, it was a good day.

xo,
TT

Happy 100 Years, National Park Service

This week, we’re officially commemorating the centennial of the National Park Service. While we’ve been celebrating all year (you can read more about how we’ve been marking 100 years of stewardship here and here), the official century mark is Thursday, August 25. And you guys, that’s a BIG birthday.

Cheers to 100 years.

Cheers to 100 years.

And here’s the thing about birthdays: in my family, we always celebrate them. When it’s your birthday, everyone in attendance at your dinner, party, etc., takes a turn and tells the birthday boy or girl what they love about him or her.

So, in honor of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, here’s a few things I love about our national parks.

1. The national parks are truly America’s best idea. If you’ve ever been to a national park, especially Glacier National Park, you realize what an incredible place it is. There’s nowhere on earth that’s quite like Glacier and there’s a real reverence, peace and sense of awe that accompanies every visit.

A red travels along the Going-to-the-Sun Road as part of the FDR commemorative trip in Glacier National Park. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

A red travels along the Going-to-the-Sun Road as part of the FDR commemorative trip in Glacier National Park. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

2. They are more than just a pretty face. Sure, pretty much all of our national parks are beautiful. But they’re so much more than that. In Glacier National Park, evidence of human use dates back 10,000 years and today, this park has a diverse past that’s home to American Indian history, mining, hunting, fur trapping and settlers. Meanwhile, in Yellowstone National Park researchers have found that there were places in the park that were used around 11,000 years ago and that Salish (who called the Bitterroot Valley home) spent time in and around the park 3,000 years ago.

Blackfeet tipis. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

Blackfeet tipis. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

3. National parks were created for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. If you ask me, creating national parks was one of the most selfless things the government has ever done. Sure, national parks can get crowded and maybe people don’t always observe rules, safety regulations, etc. but the point is that they are there enjoying our most precious places. PS: if you are visiting one of the national parks in the West, read this blog and follow the rules

The Roosevelt Arch welcomes visitors to Yellowstone National Park. Photo: YNP Flickr

The Roosevelt Arch welcomes visitors to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Montana. Photo: Yellowstone NPS Flickr

4. I love how they make me feel. There are some places (you could easily switch out the word places for people or experiences) that have the ability to make you feel at peace. For as long as I can remember, Glacier National Park has been that place for me. And I can’t really put into words why, all I know is how I feel when I spent time in the Crown of the Continent.

One of my favorite places: Two Medicine.

One of my favorite places: Two Medicine.

5. National parks are always within reach. There are certain people and places that I know without a doubt that I can call or visit when I need them. If you ask me (let’s just pretend you did), our national parks and national historic sites have been cultivated to be within reach of all people, no matter where you’re from, how much money you make, your abilities or what you believe. The National Park Service is more than just national parks; it’s many of our country’s national monument and other historical properties (including historic trails, heritage corridors and battlefields). Plus, the National Park Service offers several fee-free dates that give everyone the opportunity to visit a national park site near them.

Many trails in the park are accessible for visitors of various abilities, including Trail of the Cedars/Avalanche Lake. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

Many trails in the park are accessible for visitors of various abilities, including Trail of the Cedars/Avalanche Lake. Photo: Glacier NPS Flickr/Jacob W. Frank

If you want to join me in celebrating the National Park Service Centennial, leave a comment and let me know what YOU love about our national parks.

A few things to note:
-Montana’s Glacier National Park is hosting an InstaMeet on Thursday, August 25. The public is welcome to attend; meet in the Apgar Village parking area at 6 p.m.
-Many units of the National Park Service are hosting InstaMeets. Check out the full schedule here and plan to attend one near you.
-Entry into all national parks is free August 25 – 28, 2016.
-See more centennial events taking place in Glacier National Park here.
-Be sure to share your national park love by using #FindYourPark on twitter and instagram.
-Check out more happenings and celebrations for the National Park Service Centennial here.

xo,
TT

The Best Hidden Gems in Glacier National Park

When I think of Glacier National Park, the first thing that comes to mind is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. After all, the 50 miles of this two-lane highway takes travelers to some of the most stunning landscapes in Glacier Park. But I have to tell you that there’s so much more to the Crown of the Continent than just driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The tunnel on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The tunnel on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

In an effort to help you get the most of your visit to Montana’s Glacier National Park, I’ve rounded up some of the park’s best hidden gems. 

1. Going-to-the-Sun Road. Okay, we all KNOW this is not a hidden gem, but the timing of when to drive it is indeed a hidden gem. My best advice: go early in the morning (as in be through the park entrance and on the road before 8 a.m.) or in late afternoon (we’re talking after 5 p.m). Most of the visitors to the road are hitting it during late morning, mid-day or afternoon and to be honest, the road gets really crowded during this time of day during July and August.

Taking in the view from a roadside pullout.

Taking in the view from a roadside pullout.

2. Take a boat tour at Rising Sun. While there are many places to take a guided tour with Glacier Park Boat Company in Glacier National Park, Rising Sun (located on the east side of the park on St. Mary Lake) is one of the lesser-visited destinations. Plus, this lake cruise is different from some of the others, due to the incredible landscapes and history of this side of the park.

Little Chief cruising on St. Mary Lake. Photo: Tyrel Johnson

Little Chief cruising on St. Mary Lake. Photo: Tyrel Johnson

3. Enjoy a cocktail at Many Glacier Hotel. Truth time: there’s limited lodging availability at Many Glacier Hotel during July and August, but don’t let that stop you from visiting this incredible place. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, it’s well worth making the drive to the Many Glacier Valley and enjoying a cocktail (I recommend the huckleberry smash) on the massive deck that overlooks Swiftcurrent Lake.

Taking in the view of Swiftcurrent Lake.

Taking in the view of Swiftcurrent Lake.

4. Cruise the Going-to-the-Sun Road with Sun Tours. Offering three tours daily (two tours depart from the east side of Glacier Park , while one departs from the west side), Sun Tours provides an incredible look at the Backbone of the World from the perspective of the Blackfeet Tribe. For more photos of what to expect on a tour, check them out on instagram.
Sidenote: I’ve taken one of these tours and they are amazing! Not only do you get to sit back and soak in the beauty of the park, but it’s incredible to be able to learn about the park from Blackfeet tribal members. 

Views of Mount Oberlin, Birdwoman Basin and Mount Cannon. Photo: Sun Tours/Bear Star Photography

Views of Mount Oberlin, Birdwoman Basin and Mount Cannon. Photo: Sun Tours/Bear Star Photography

5. Visit Kintla Lake. It’s no secret that I love Polebridge and Bowman Lake, but if you want to explore a place that’s even more off-the-beaten-path than those two, head to Kintla Lake. While it’s located in the North Fork of the park and is fairly close to Polebridge and Bowman, it takes longer to get there which means one thing: fewer people. Plus, it’s beautiful.
Sidenote: the road out to Kintla Lake is pretty rugged, so be sure you have a high-clearance vehicle (SUV, truck, etc.) and take your time. 

Kintla Lake. Photo: Tim Rains/NPS

Kintla Lake. Photo: Tim Rains/NPS

Happy summer!

xo,
TT

Hello Glacier National Park (AKA for the Love, How is this Real Life)

Confession time: sometimes I wonder out loud to myself, “Is this real life?” Because you guys, I have to tell you that there are days where I legitimately wonder how in the world I’m in this exact spot at this exact moment to be able to experience this life.

This is my "REALLY LIFE?!" face. Or it's my "Don't cry because life really can be this good face." You decide.

This is my “REALLY LIFE?!” face. Or it’s my “I cannot believe this beautiful life” face. You decide. PS: sorry for this giant photo of me that’s currently staring you down from your computer/iPad/phone screen. 

Take for example, a recent afternoon spent in Glacier National Park.

The view of our destination: Glacier National Park.

The view of our destination: Glacier National Park.

I was traveling with a group of friends and we had a few free hours to explore the Crown of the Continent. Since it was the first trip to Montana and Glacier Park for most of them, we did what any group should do: we took a red bus tour and boat tour.

Our chariot AKA one of the historic red buses that provide tours in Glacier National Park.

Our chariot AKA one of the historic red buses that provide tours in Glacier National Park.

A required photo stop: the west entrance into Glacier National Park. PS: I'm currently obsessed with these shirts from Montana Shirt Company.

A required photo stop: the west entrance into Glacier National Park. PS: I’m currently obsessed with these shirts from Montana Shirt Company.

After stopping to take in one of the best views in the world (Lake McDonald from Apgar Village), our red bus driver Glenn took us along the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Lake McDonald Lodge for a guided boat tour with Glacier Park Boat Company on the DeSmet—a historic wooden boat that calls the waters of Lake McDonald home. And for 45 blissful minutes we cruised the waters of the park while taking in snow-capped mountain peaks and learned about the history of the boat company and this region of the park from the boat’s captain.

This view never gets old.

This view never gets old.

Getting ready to board the DeSmet.

Getting ready to board the DeSmet.

See ya soon, Lake McDonald Lodge.

See ya soon, Lake McDonald Lodge.

Pro tip: if given the chance, always take a photo with a park ranger.

Pro tip: if given the chance, always take a photo with a park ranger.

This little lady is one of my favorite travel buddies.

This little lady is one of my favorite travel buddies.

I'll cruise with you any day, DeSmet.

I’ll cruise with you any day, DeSmet.

Showing our love for Glacier National Park.

Showing our love for Glacier National Park.

Needless to say, it was a good day.

xo,
TT

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana’s Glacier National Park

You guys, I have to tell you something: riding Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road on a bike is one of the best things you could ever do.

Hello, you gorgeous thing.

Hello, you gorgeous thing.

Sure, parts of it are hard (at least it’s hard if your name starts with a T and ends with an -ia) and yes, you may wonder how in the world your legs can and will keep pedaling uphill as you slowly make the elevation climb from the valley floor toward the tunnel and up to the loop but I’m here—alive and well—to tell you that those things are well worth the experience of biking in one of the most beautiful places in the world—Glacier National Park.
Sidenote: while parts of this road may be difficult if you don’t bike regularly, it is totally doable and quite literally one of the best things I’ve ever personally done. 

A bit of backstory: in mid-May, I grabbed three new friends who were here exploring Western Montana’s Glacier Country and we headed for Glacier National Park with one mission and one mission only: to pedal our bikes up the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

You and me, baby. (And yes, apparently the bike is now my baby.)

You and me, baby. (And yes, apparently the bike is now my baby.)

And pedal we did. To sum it up in three words: it was awesome.

Here’s the other thing: I had done this before, back in the days of yesteryear, and I drive this road regularly. But there is nothing that compares to biking the road in spring when it’s just you, your bike and your riding companions making your way up the road before Glacier National Park opens it to vehicular traffic.

Take a look…

This view, and moment, is one I won't soon forget.

This view, and moment, is one I won’t soon forget.

Low-hanging clouds made this day even more magical.

Low-hanging clouds made the day even more magical.

Stopping for a moment to record this moment with friends. PS: don't mind the line on my forehead. The "one size fits all" helmets don't apply to this big-headed girl.

Stopping to record this moment with friends. PS: don’t mind the line on my forehead. The “one size fits all” helmets don’t apply to this big-headed girl. The good news? My head was very safe. 

This view during spring can only be seen by hikers and bikers on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

This view during spring can only be seen by hikers and bikers on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

For this Montana-lovin' girl, this is perfection.

For this Montana-lovin’ girl, this is perfection.

Heading back down the road through the tunnel.

Heading back down the road through the tunnel.

I had to stop time and time again to soak this experience in.

I had to stop time and time again to soak in this experience. 

Wind-swept hair + watery eyes ironically equal my perfect May day in Montana.

Wind-swept hair + watery eyes ironically equal my perfect May day in Montana.

If you want to bike in Glacier National Park, here are a few things to note:
-You can bring your own bike or rent one. If you’re renting, I recommend picking up a rental bike at Great Northern Cycle & Ski in Whitefish. While their whole team is fantastic (special shout out to Craig and Stella!), Willy gave our group incredible service and detailed explanations about our bikes when we picked them up.
-Plan to ride in spring before the road is open to car traffic.
-Take advantage of the brand new and free bike shuttle service. The biker shuttle runs daily from Apgar and Lake McDonald Lodge to Avalanche Creek now through June 26, 2016 or when the Going-to-the-Sun Road opens to vehicular traffic, whichever comes first.

xo,
TT

Celebrate National Park Week in Montana

This Saturday kicks off one of the best weeks of the year: National Park Week! And one of the greatest things about this week, besides the fact that our country’s best idea deserves a week of celebration, is that entry into every national park in the United States is FREE. Kind of awesome, right?

BFFs at Glacier National Park.

Hello, Glacier National Park.

As a girl who grew up a short drive south of Glacier National Park (and spent part of every summer in the park), you all know that I’m a big fan of all things Glacier.
Sidenote: if you’re a new reader, welcome! For some background on my love of the Crown of the Continent, you can check out past posts about Glacier National Park here, here and here

And while I could sit here and write about how awesome the park is (which is totally something I love to do), this time I’d rather show you. Or better yet, I’d rather have my friend—and amazing photographer—Jacob Frank show you. As part of National Park Week, Jacob will taking over the @GlacierMT instagram and sharing images from Glacier National Park. And as someone who is a big fan of Jake and his photography, I’m so excited to have him taking over our instagram page! If you haven’t yet, be sure to follow @GlacierMT as he’ll be posting photos there from Tuesday, April 19 – Sunday, April 24.

A sneak peek at some of Jake's photography.

A sneak peek at some of Jake’s photography.

A couple other things to note:
-National parks throughout the country are hosting Instameets on Saturday, April 23. Find one near you here.
-If you’re anywhere near Montana’s Glacier National Park, plan to join Ranger Jake, Andy Austin and other park lovers at the Apgar Village public boat dock at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 to shoot sunset at Lake McDonald.

See you in the park!

xo,
TT

#PictureMontana + Celebrate America’s Best Idea: National Parks

For those of you keeping score, I’m sure that by now you know that I LOVE Montana. It’s just that this place that I call home has such a special spot in my heart and I can’t image loving anywhere quite as much as I love Montana’s big blue sky, dramatic temperatures, salt-of-the-earth residents and magical moments. It’s safe to say that I’m totally obsessed and love sharing my Montana with all of you!

Taking in the view of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Photo: Mills Wilderness Adventures

Taking in the view of the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Photo: Mills Wilderness Adventures

And, because I’m a lover (and not a fighter) of Montana and Glacier National Park, I’m really excited to be celebrating the centennial of the National Park Service this year. In fact, I’m so excited about the 100 year anniversary that I got together with some folks who love our national parks almost as much as me (just kidding: I think we’re currently tied in our love for the parks) to really kick off this summer in style. My partners in Montana-lovin’ crime: Expedia.

My pals over at Expedia love national parks so much that they’ve actually partnered with Brand USA to sponsor the movie National Parks Adventure, made by filmmaker Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Robert Redford. Sidenote: swoon. And the best news: the movie premieres February 12, 2016 and is (most likely) coming to a theater near you soon.

And while I’m excited about the movie (word on the street is that my boo Glacier National Park makes a cameo in the film), I’m really excited for what else Expedia is doing: they’re sending their team of viewfinders to the top 10 national parks in the United States. Um, pretty awesome right?

Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon national parks. Photo: NPS flickr

Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Grand Canyon national parks. Photo: NPS flickr

But you know what’s even more awesome? Expedia is bringing their entire Viewfinder team to Montana this May and will be exploring Western Montana’s Glacier Country on an epic #PictureMontana road trip. And y’all are invited to come along!

This girl is THIS excited for #PictureMontana!

This girl is THIS excited for #PictureMontana!

Starting May 13 and ending May 20, we’ll be hitting the road (and if you can believe, it, I get to road trip with them!) and exploring this corner of Montana with highlights that include Missoula, the Mission Mountains, Flathead Lake, Whitefish and Glacier National Park. Simply follow the hashtags #PictureMontana and #GlacierMT on instagram and twitter during the third week in May for a peek into Western Montana.

A few other things to note:
-Passion Passport and Expedia are giving away a trip to Glacier National Park!
-Mark your calendars and catch a showing of National Parks Adventure when it comes to an IMAX theater near you. PS: Montana, it’s playing in West Yellowstone on May 1.
-For more information about #PictureMontana, be sure to follow us at @GlacierMT on instagram and twitter and connect with us on facebook here.
-Join the celebration of our country’s national parks by using #FindYourPark to share your memories or favorite moments in national parks on social media.
-Join us on May 18, 2016, in West Glacier for a “Happy Birthday, National Park Service” party. We’ll be sure to share more details as we finalize party plans.

Looking forward to exploring Montana and celebrating our national parks with all of you!

xo,
TT

A winter snowshoe in Montana’s Glacier National Park

Earlier this week, some of my favorite girls and I had a hankering to get outside. As we were brainstorming some ideas on where we could go and what we could do, we started thinking about our backyard playground: Glacier National Park. Of our group, I was the only one who had ever gone snowshoeing in the park (you can read more about that day—which included seeing a bald eagle pluck a fish out of the waters of Lake McDonald—here). And if we’re being honest, that was something that needed to change. So we loaded up the suburban and headed north to spend the day snowshoeing in Glacier National Park.

The obligatory group photo op at the west entrance.

The obligatory group photo op at the west entrance.

After we arrived, our first stop was Apgar. No matter how many times I’ve visited this special place in Montana (with this group and others), I always make sure to take the time to pop into Apgar Village and see the many moods of Lake McDonald.

The clouds created a dramatic scene.

The clouds created a dramatic scene.

The low clouds created a serene, somewhat charming view.

The low clouds created a serene, almost charming view.

En route to Lake McDonald Lodge, the starting point of our snowshoe trek.

En route to Lake McDonald Lodge, the starting point of our snowshoe trek.

After we parked at the lodge (sidenote: check out the most up-to-date road report for the Going-to-the-Sun Road here) and geared ourselves up, we made our way up the road and were quickly surrounded by snow-covered trees, glimpses of mountain peaks and snippets of a beautiful blue sky.

My happy place.

My happy place.

Growing up in the mountains, this scene is like food for my Montana-lovin' soul.

Growing up in the mountains, this scene is like food for my Montana-lovin’ soul.

My work boo (and favorite adventure partner).

My work boo (and one of my favorite adventure partners).

Blue sky is also my boo.

Blue sky is also my boo.

Exploring untouched snow.

Exploring untouched snow.

Taking in the view.

Taking in the view.

Looking up the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Looking up the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

This family was the cutest.

This family was the cutest.

And sometimes, after a great day in the park, you just need to run (in slow motion) in your snowshoes.

xo,
TT

16 Free Days for America’s National Parks in 2016

You guys, 2016 is going to be a big year for the National Park Service! During the year, they’ll be celebrating 100 years of stewardship within the national park system.

Sunset at Glacier National Park. Photo: NPS / Jacob W. Frank

Sunset at Glacier National Park. Photo: NPS / Jacob W. Frank

In honor of the 2016 centennial, the National Park Service is going to offer 16 fee free days (this is seven more free days than 2015) which means we can better take advantage of playing in our favorite national parks. My advice? Mark your calendars now for these fee free days and plan to go see at least one of the 400+ national parks in the United States. One favor: be sure to include a visit to my favorite, Glacier National Park.

Here’s a look at the 2016 free entry days into our national parks…

January 18: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
There’s a common misconception that Western Montana’s Glacier National Park closes during the winter months but that, my friends, is not true. Glacier National Park is open year-round and January offers a quiet, serene look into winter in Montana that not many get to see.
Sidenote: for ideas on visiting Glacier National Park in winter, check out this three-day winter itinerary.

Winter camping in Apgar.

Winter camping in Apgar.

April 16 – 24: National Park Week
The truth of the matter is this: there are exactly 409 national parks that you can visit during National Park Week for free. So no excuses, people…let’s all get outside and #FindYourPark.

A stormy look into Glacier National Park's Two Medicine Valley.

A stormy look into Glacier National Park’s Two Medicine Valley in spring.

August 25 – 28: National Park Service Birthday Celebrations
The National Park Service officially turns 100 on August 25 and many parks will be having celebrations that day. On August 25, Yellowstone National Park (the country’s first national park) is planning a large celebration, while Glacier National Park will be hosting an instagram meetup.

Night falls in Glacier National Park's Many Glacier.

Night falls in Glacier National Park’s Many Glacier.

September 24: National Public Lands Day
Want to know a secret? Fall is literally one of the most amazing times to visit the national parks, especially Montana’s two national parks: Glacier and Yellowstone.
Sidenote: you can read more about fall in the Crown of the Continent here.

Fall at Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park's North Fork.

Fall at Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park’s North Fork.

November 11: Veteran’s Day
I can’t think of a better place to spend Veteran’s Day than outside and enjoying nature. The parks have been called “America’s Best Idea” and in my mind, our veterans deserve to be honored with a fee free day to some of our most special places.
Sidenote: there is a free annual pass available for U.S. military member and their dependents.

A peek at November 2015 from the Lake McDonald webcam.

A peek at November 2015 from the Lake McDonald webcam.

Here’s to many national park adventures in 2016!

xo,
TT

Vote for our 2016 Western Montana Travel Guide Cover

UPDATE: and the travel guide cover winner is…the photo of the mountain goats in Glacier National Park! Thanks to everyone who voted. 2016 Cover Photo Winner

If you read this blog, you may know that my job is to promote Western Montana’s Glacier Country. And for this Montana girl, being able to share my Montana—a place that I love so much—with all of you may be the best job in the world.

I love my job (and Glacier National Park) THIS much.

I love my job (and Glacier National Park) THIS much.

But sometimes it’s hard. But before you feel too sorry for me (or want to tell me, “Man up, Tia!), let me explain. It’s just that sometimes I have to pick favorites. And picking a favorite scene, destination or location in Montana is like making my mama pick her favorite kid (between you and me, I’m fairly certain she’d say me but that’s a risk I’m not willing to take).

Mama Sue with at least one of her favorites.

Mama Sue with at least one of her favorites.

Take right now, for example. The time has come to select a cover image for our annual travel guide. This process started with 100+ photo submissions (you can view them all here) and now there are three images remaining. And, if I’m being honest, they’re all beautiful.

One of these photos will be on the cover of our 2016 travel guide.

One of these photos will be on the cover of our 2016 travel guide.

That, my friends, is where you come in. For the third year in a row, we’ve decided to select the final cover image by a public vote. Dance your fingers on over to http://woobox.com/f32gej, take another look at the images and cast your vote. Because that fact of the matter is this: I want to know which photo resonates with you. Which photo helps best showcase Montana as the magical, beautiful and awe-inspiring destination it is. Voting is open now through December 23, 2015.

Looking forward to seeing which cover you select for the Glacier Country travel guide!

xo,
TT