Seasons of Glacier Park Gateway
Whatever the season, full services are always available in the Gateway to Glacier communities giving visitors to the area the chance to experience the beauty of every season.
Summer brings clear blue skies, warm days and cool nights. There is nothing like stargazing while toasting s'mors around a Montana campfire...they don't call it Big Sky country for nothing! Camp, fish, hike, explore to your heart's content or simply laze the day away floating down the river. There are recreation opportunities to suit all tastes, age and ability. Accommodation varies from the campsites and railway lodges in Glacier National Park to RV parks, motel accommodation, cosy bed and breakfasts and individual cabins in the Gateway communities. Take your pic for a vacation tailored to your own needs!
Events in the Gateway area include the Heritage Days festival in Columbia Falls, weekly bull riding displays and 4th July celebrations throughout. Glacier National Park is alive with activity at this time of the year and offers a multitude of Ranger-led activities, demonstrations and exhibits throughout the Park.
The Flathead National Forest offers more trails on which to hike and explore. View the peaks of Glacier National Park from the summit of Desert Mountain, test your mountain biking skills, swim in the local Lion Lake, a great place for families, or fish at Devil's Elbow below the Hungry Horse Dam. Do not forget huckleberry picking!
Fall brings a more gentle pace and is a great time for couples to enjoy hiking amongst Fall colors and cozy up during cooler nights. The lakes are glassy and still, reflecting the red, gold and ochre of the changing foliage and snow-capped mountain peaks. This time of year offers great photo opportunities.
Events in the area consist of the La Grizz Ultra marathon, run around the periphery of the Hungry Horse Reservoir.. If you are not brave enough to compete, cheer on those who are or dance beneath the stars at Oktoberfest.
Hunting season follows the falling leaves and nowhere better to find deer, elk, mountain lions or bear than the 3 million acres of wilderness that surround Glacier National Park.
Winter in the Glacier National Park area is an experience not to be missed. A true Winter Wonderland, sparkle on the slopes of nearby ski resorts at Whitefish Mountain or Blacktail, appreciate the peace and tranquility of the snow-covered landscape, especially beautiful beneath the light of the moon.
There are ranger-led activities within Glacier National Park and opportunities for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. At this time of year the Gateway communities really come into their own offering accommodation, dining, entertainment and recreational activities when the Park campgrounds and summer-season lodges are closed.
Experience the Christmas 'Night of Lights' in Columbia Falls, join in the fun at February's Cabin Fever Days, and sip hot chocolate whilst watching the Race@Glacier or Doggie Skijoring.
Snowmobiles are available to rent for that high-speed adventure...experience the peaks of Glacier as viewed from the summit of Desert Mountain or the nearby Whitefish Mountain Ski Resort. Or simply curl up in front of a log fire and watch the snowfall.
Spring soon comes around again and the snowmelt affords rafters the high-water adventure of a lifetime. The whole area comes back to life as the snow line recedes up the mountains revealing spring buds. Wildlife emerges from Winter hibernation and the cycle begins again.
Which Glacier National Park and Gateway events and seasons are you missing out on?!
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:
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