glacier national park
Many travelers to Montana wisely plan their trips to include both of our national parks: Glacier and Yellowstone. To help make the most of your time, we’ve put together four ideal road-trip itineraries that all offer an authentic park-to-park experience. For additional itineraries and road-trip inspiration, visit Glacier to Geysers.
Polson is a charming lakeshore community at the south end of Flathead Lake. Hike the Mission Mountains and watch wildlife like bison, elk and bighorn sheep just 30 minutes south of town at the National Bison Range.
DISTANCE: West Glacier to West Yellowstone, 467 miles
Overview: Travel through some of Western Montana’s most beautiful and quiet valleys, which are an ideal option if you’re looking to get off the beaten path.
Pro Tip: Set aside at least two days for this trip and plan to overnight in Hamilton or Stevensville.
DISTANCE: West Glacier to Gardiner, 394 miles
Overview: Travel through the scenic Seeley-Swan Valley—one of the prettiest roads in all of Montana, before passing through Helena, our state capital.
Pro Tip: Plan your trip to include a stop at Holland Lake—just 7 miles off U.S. Highway 83 in the Swan Valley. It’s stunningly beautiful and is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch.
DISTANCE: West Glacier to West Yellowstone, 446 miles
Overview: This route is mostly freeways, but, around here, even those are scenic. Travel past the richest hill on earth—Butte’s Berkeley Pit, named for its rich copper deposits—and Lewis and Clark Caverns.
Pro Tip: Spend the night in Missoula and explore the city’s thriving culinary scene, world-class breweries and unique outdoor music venues.
DISTANCE: St. Mary to Gardiner, 378 miles
Overview: If you want to hit Montana’s open roads and see the stunning landscape that is the Rocky Mountain Front (aka where the plains meet the Rocky Mountains), this is the route for you.
Pro Tip: Stop and stroll through the cities and towns along the way. Be sure to visit local shops and watering holes, and explore some of the easily-accessible hikes and lakes in the area.
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Why not watch birds somewhere beautiful? Birding under Western Montana’s big blue skies is one for the books.… https://t.co/N43CM0hLJS