OBB Travel: Glacier National Park

CATEGORIES: Sara, The Scoop, Travel

ourBestBites_makersOf

If you follow me on Instagram, you saw some of my recent photos from a family vacation.  We took a road trip from Idaho to Montana for a wedding and decided to pass through Glacier National Park.  When this opportunity arose to write about our Nation’s Parks, it was the perfect fit since I had just returned home from one!

Glacier with Boys

When I was about 8 years old, my family took a big long road trip and passed through several National Parks in the West.  The National Parks system sold (and still sells) these neat Passport Books.  They have all of the National Parks in them and when you visit any park you can stamp your book.  I begged my parents for one and I was recently telling my husband how I remember so vividly being so excited about it. When I saw they still sold them, I was so bummed I didn’t keep mine!  My family has such a love for the outdoors and this country absolutely amazes me with its beauty.  I was telling my husband that I would love to visit all of the National Parks in the US throughout our years.  He told me there are nearly 60 so that might take a while!  I’ve been to several on the western side of the US, and most recently, Glacier National Park.

glacier sign

Glacier is nice because there’s a main road “The Road to the Sun,” that weaves through the over 1,500 square miles of park.  If you aren’t able or interested in hiking, the drive alone is spectacular, and there are constant pull-offs to the side of the road with stunning views and photo opps.  We started our day early by a quick stop to the visitors center and then a stop along the shores of Lake McDonald, where the glass-like water was crystal clear, revealing colorful stones below.

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My boys could have stayed right there all day skipping stones and collecting rocks.  They were in heaven.

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We stopped by that same place after the sun came out and the water shined its true colors, which were amazing shades of turquoise.

Lake McDonald

Since we had our littlest outdoorsman with us, we opted for a nice little walk at first.  

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This “Trail of the Cedars” is nice because it’s even wheelchair accessible.  It’s a beautiful little walk if you’re wanting something peaceful and easy.

Trail of the Cedars

I loved the beautiful lines on this tree that had fallen over and turned into a work of art.

Tree Root

Since our kiddos did well on the little walk, we opted to take the hike that went further up the hill.  The first thing we saw literally stopped us in our tracks.  Turquoise glacier water meandering through boulders and mossy rocks.

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It was insanely beautiful!  

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We continued up the mountain on a hike that took several hours round-trip, but the reward at the top was worth it.  A photo simply can’t capture the majesty of this place.

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I have to add, if anyone is looking for a baby carrier, this one is awesome.  Our little guy stayed in there for several hours at a time and stayed happy as a clam.  He even comfortably took a nap in there while being toted around.  We borrowed this one from my brother and loved it so much we’ll probably buy one of our own since we do so much hiking.  We also absolutely love our Camelbaks!  

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After hiking, we drove the long winding Road to the Sun, which makes you feel like you’re driving through the Alps.  I’ve been to the actual Alps, so I know what I’m talking about! At the right time of year, if you go high enough, you may run into mountain goats, moose and even bears.

Logan's Pass Glacier Park

The views were out of this world.  We kept thinking we were on a movie set or something!

Glacier National Park

A lot of you were asking me for tips on Instagram in preparation for your own trips.  My advice is to do some research about the best hikes according to the ability of your party and the time allotment you have.  I could write about 10 posts on all of the amazing things found within the park, but this is just a little peek!  If you’re heading there, take advantage and see as much as you can.  

view from Glacier

If you live in other parts of the country, I highly suggest looking up National Parks near you.  You might be surprised at what’s hiding right in your own backyard, or at least within driving distance.  For example, I had no idea that just hours from me lies over 600 square miles of ancient lava flow!  We were able to pass through Craters of the Moon National Monument as well, which as you can imagine my boys thought was the coolest thing ever.

Lava Craters

 It literally looks like you’re on another planet.  Who knew something like that was sitting in the Idaho desert?  Amazing.  

One of my all-time favorite National Parks is Sequoia National Park in California. I’ve made that trip 3 or 4 times now because I love it so much.  Look at the size of the trees there!

Giant Sequoia
You see the pictures and you know they’re big, but not until you’ve been there in person do you really understand the grandeur and majesty.

Redwood National Park

After attending college in Utah, I fell in love with the unique landscape of the southern part of the state where you have 5 amazing National Parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands, Capitol Reef, and Zion.  My husband and I took a road trip to Arches shortly after getting engaged so that’s always been a favorite of mine!  (Photo Credit)

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I have a lot more on my bucket list, but I am sure grateful for our beautiful country!  I may have to go and get one of those Passport books afterall.  I’d love to hear your suggestions of where I should go next!  What’s your favorite National Park?

 

 

This post is sponsored by the makers of ARM & HAMMER™ Clean Scentsations™.   If you can’t visit a park near you, you can certainly smell as fresh as one! Check out the Clean Scentsations with fresh scents inspired by the great outdoors.  The makers of ARM & HAMMER™ are a proud supporter of the National Park Foundation.

 

 

27 comments

  1. Beautiful! I love National Parks! We just moved near the Redwoods and they’re so dreamy. We’re hitting up Crater Lake in a couple weeks and I’m so excited. Also, hello rocking tree-hugger bod! You look fab!

    1. That’s because it was taken 2 years ago, haha! I WISH I still looked that good hugging trees! LOL!

  2. Glacier is my favorite national park. My uncle worked as the head landscape architect there until just a few months ago. We visited that park with him a few times when I was a kid. Seeing your pictures makes me almost homesick! I definitely need to go again soon!

  3. so happy you enjoyed your trip, I love it there it is so beautiful!! I only live 30 minutes from it in Canada. I don’t know when you were there, are you aware there has been a 3200 acre fire there right now. The road going to the Sun is currently closed to traffic. So sad!!

  4. Beautiful pictures! I so want to visit Glacier, Waterton, and Banff someday! I always feel like kind of a geek because I’d way rather visit national parks than amusement parks! And even though my kids enjoy amusement parks, I always feel like they are so at home when they’re out in nature. They aren’t ever happier! we live in southern Utah so we get to see so many amazing things here (although there are a couple of parks we haven’t visited yet). There really are so many beautiful things surrounding us!

  5. Your gorgeous pictures make me want to go to Glacier National Park! Being from Florida, when I was a kid, my family always vacationed in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As an adult, it is my “peace.” I have no troubles or worries when I am there. And I would be remiss as a true Double-fifth Generation Native Floridian to not tell you how wonderful our very own Everglades National Park is. There is only one River of Grass in the world and Florida is it’s home!

  6. Acadia National Park on the sea coast of Maine… The rocky coast where even little one can explore little tide pools, lots of seagulls, gorgeous vistas, hiking trails, biking, popovers at Jordan Pond, seeing the sunrise first on the East coast, lobsters, blueberries, clam chowder, evenings in Bar Harbor…it’s an idyllic place. ☀️

    1. Dying to visit the East Coast- I’ve never been!

  7. We loved Glacier, too! Just got back from Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens, both were wonderful! (and close to each other) St. Helens is only a ‘monument’ right now, but there were lots of cool spots to stop, including lava tubes! Rainier was just stunningly beautiful. Wow!

    1. I’m a Seattle girl so I LOVE Rainier and St. Helens!

  8. We were at Glacier five years ago- truly amazing. We have been to Zion’s, Arches, and Bryce National Parks this year. I think my favorite, with kids, was Arches. There are so many hikes from easy to difficult, something for everyone.

  9. Thank you so much for your post! Your timing is incredible – we just flew out to Glacier National Park today! I have been hoping you would do a post on this. I appreciate your photos and suggestions. Any food recommendations, which is really the key to a successful trip? 🙂

    1. Haha! There aren’t very many options in the park. We ate at the little restaurant by the Lodge and it was fairly mediocre, lol. So I would suggest packing snacks!

  10. I’m on the opposite side of the country! We recently went about 5 hours north to northern Michigan… I’ve been to Yosemite, Bryce, and Zion as a kid and south to the smoky mountain national park and the Sleeping Bear Dunes national park along Lake Michigan that we recently went back to for the third time is stunning! It was even named the most beautiful place in America by Good Morning America. It’s crazy because most people don’t realize how gorgeous northern Michigan and the UP are unless your from around here but seriously… you gotta make it there! I’m still waiting to go to Montana though. I’ve also heard from my grandma glacier and Yellowstone are really pretty!

    1. I’ve been to Michigan and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was. I think it’s a hidden gem!

  11. We absolutely loved Glacier when we went last year! Spectacular views and amazingness everywhere you look! There were lots of signs warning us about bears so we didn’t attempt any long hikes but went on some short ones and were in awe! Another great place to visit is Crater Lake National Park in Southcentral Oregon. Man oh man, it’s gorgeous! Hard to get to with all the windy two lane roads, but well worth it when you see its beautiful blue waters. Loved your posts and basically love all of them!

    1. I’ve heard Crater Lake is amazing!

  12. I literally live 20 minutes from Glacier! It is beautiful and amazing – absolutely one of my very favorite places to be. We feel really lucky to call this area home!

  13. We are lucky enough to live about 20 minutes from Glacier. It is a beautiful, amazing place! We love spending time there. We feel pretty lucky to call this place home!

  14. Your pictures make me want to go there right now! My husband and I just got back from a backpacking trip in the Challis mountains (Idaho) in an area that was once slated to become a national park, but didn’t. That’s not a bad thing, though, because it’s super private as well as stunning! And there was a lot of wildlife…we were glad to not actually see any bears, although we think we heard a couple and found bear scat…and heard wolves howling at night, kind of creepy but cool. And southern Utah holds a special place in my heart 🙂 Nothing like it in the whole world! I aspire to be a motor-home driving retired person (many years down the road, of course) and spend my days going from park to park.

  15. We so enjoy visiting national parks – far more than amusement parks. Hiking through them is one of our family’s favorite things to do. We love Zion though we also really like Arches as well as Grand Teton National Park. Yosemite, Acadia and Glacier are on our list! We just this morning flew home from spending a week in Alaska (home of Denali National Park). Talk about incredible beauty! Now there is some stunning hiking and breathtaking views!

  16. I LOVE your posts about your vacations. In fact, we visited City of Rocks a few months ago because I saw your post on it. Such a cool place. We visited Craters of the Moon that same weekend. Also amazing. I’m like you, I love a good National Park and I also want to visit them all! PS…I also love your recipes…you guys have made me a much better cook! People in my neighborhood think I’m an amazing cook and it’s all because of your recipes! : )

  17. We just got back from a big trip this summer where we went to both Grand Canyon NP and Theodore Roosevelt NP, I really enjoyed both of them. The badlands are a beautiful place in their own right, different from the Grand Canyon. We also went to Devils Tower NM this year. It should be on your list especially if you are going to see Mt. Rushmore, they are in the same area and both amazing.
    I think that Yellowstone is still my favorite but probably because I grew up 3 hours from the park and spent a lot of time in it. It is a beautiful and diverse place. We also want to see as many NP as we can in our lifetime. Last summer we met a family that was traveling the country seeing as many as they could.

  18. Yay! We visited Glacier last year and absolutely loved it! We have some very similar pictures. The water there is so beautiful and blue from the glacial flour. What a wonderful experience 🙂

  19. Awesome pictures! They really capture the charm of glacier national park that exists within its natural beauty. It’s so refreshing to explore a place untouched by urban alterations.

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