Glacier National Park's gateway communities line US Highway 2, the only route to the park, and offer a range of facilities to compliment your trip to the area. Lodging choices vary from camping and RV parks to motels, to fully-equipped cabins, luxurious Bed and Breakfast establishments and vacation homes to rent. There are numerous restaurants, bars, gift shops, equipment hire and tourist attractions, all steeped in the history of the area and with the Rocky Mountains and tall pines as backdrop.
The city of Columbia Falls sits at the entrance to Bad Rock canyon through which US Highway 2 takes you right to the West Entrance of Glacier National Park. Columbia Falls was the first township to be platted in the Flathead Valley and remains as a family-oriented mountain community. Here you will find bars, restaurants and shopping facilities. There is also a waterpark, outdoor community pool and playparks for the kids. Browse the Farmer's Market whilst listening to local musicians, zip down the slides at the waterpark, enjoy a round of golf or a romantic meal for two or learn about the area from exhibits at Glacier Discovery Square. The tourist information center will ensure you are up-to-date on local events and facilities.
The community of Hungry Horse formed with the influx of workers on the Hungry Horse Dam Project. Everywhere in this little community you will see evidence of the history of the dam, from the equipment on display along the roadsid, to the names of businesses. Comprehensive information of the history, construction and workings of the dam is available at the Visitor Bureau located on the Dam itself.
The resulting reservoir is 34 miles long and it is possible to drive around its entire periphery with various locations to camp, hunt, fish, or just stop, relax and absorb the beauty of your surroundings. Nesting Bald Eagles can be spotted from the roadside and do not be surprised to see elk or bear along the way. There are many opportunities to hike, and a number of campsites around the shores of the reservoir, some of which have boat launches for enjoying the water in the summer months.
Hungry Horse itself has a number of bars, restaurants, gift shops and antique stores to explore. You can also get groceries and gas at this location. Be sure to learn the history behind the name and learn about the legend of Bad Rock canyon!
Martin City was the original boomtown, with a population of ? At its peak in? Today it provides access to the reservoir, the Flathead National Forest and Desert Mountain trailhead (a favorite for snowmobiling in the Winter months).
Coram grew up around the railroad and was part of the infamous trapline. Today, it has much more of a family atmosphere with activities such as a maze, mini-golf and gem panning with opportunities for dining, gift shopping, fun local bars and a whisky distillery.
Originally known as Belton, the West Glacier area grew up around the railroad stop. Where James.J Hill's Great Northern Railway brought visitors to view the peaks of Glacier National Park, today there are year-round opportunities for lodging, entertainment and recreation including river rafting, trail rides and bull riding displays.
Beyond the West Entrance, US Highway 2 winds through the mountains to the East side of the Park. The communities at Essex and Nyack Flats offer opportunities to stop and stay on your way through whether you are looking for somewhere new to fish or hunt, putting in to raft the river or checking out the wildlife at Goat Lick natural minerals.
Visit Polebridge, located north of Columbia Falls in the North Fork valley, and experience life as it was 100 years ago for the local remote communities. Without electricity, here you will find a single bar and a mercantile containing an outstanding bakery! From Polebridge you can access the Park from the west, visit Bowman and Kintla Lakes and experience unobstructed views of the peaks of Glacier National Park.
Member businesses close to or around Glacier National Park