Tag Archive for: glacier country

What does slow travel in Western Montana look like? You could spend the day picking lavender in Lakeside or Florence and learning how to cook and make healing oils with your handpicked bushel of goodness. Or stop into a small town like Bigfork or Hamilton and shop for that unique souvenir. Plan a full-day workshop on plein-air painting with Glacier National Park as your subject; even people who don’t know how to paint will enjoy this relaxing activity and bring home a frame-worthy piece of art. Take an Indigenous cooking class and learn how native plants like elderberry and wild licorice, along with wild game, come together just as they did for the native Blackfeet.

The microbrew industry is more than alive and well in Montana, with 30+ breweries in Western Montana’s Glacier Country alone. Tour Missoula’s finest breweries with a downtown self-guided foot tour. Or, if you are looking for a less strenuous activity, River City Brews Rafting Tours lets you fill up a growler with your favorite brew and enjoy either the Blackfoot or Clark Fork rivers while sipping suds with 12 of your friends, or strangers who will become friends by the end of the tour.

Tour Missoula’s finest breweries on foot or, for a less strenuous afternoon, on the river with a Brews Rafting Tour. Photo courtesy of Glacier Country Tourism

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Western Montana’s Glacier Country has several annual signature events that enhance itineraries through the region.

Every February, Whitefish holds its annual Whitefish Winter Carnival and Skijoring World Invitational. Or, if you’re visiting in September, join the fun at the Great Northwest Oktoberfest.

North American Indian Days, held the second week in July over four days in Browning, is the signature celebration of the Blackfeet Nation and hosts Native Americans from every region of the U.S. and Canada. Featured events include a parade, powwow, stick games and horse relay races.

Missoula hosts an annual River City Roots Festival the last weekend in August, bringing together exceptional music, food, libations and more at this two-day free event in the heart of the city.

Delicious Flathead cherries are celebrated with their very own festival: The Flathead Cherry Festival takes place in Polson the last weekend in July on the southern shore of Flathead Lake, the largest freshwater lake in the western U.S.

For equestrian lovers, Kalispell plays host to The Event at Rebecca Farm over five days in late July, featuring a horse competition of dressage, cross country and show jumping along with food and a shopping fair. And it’s free!

North American Indian Days is the signature celebration of the Blackfeet Nation; featured events include a parade, powwow, stick games and horse relay races. Photo courtesy of Glacier Country Tourism

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

 

  1. ROAM Beyond is the best of camping/glamping without having to bring all of the gear. Stay in a boutique and customized, eco-friendly RV-style cabin near Glacier National Park.
  2. Llama trekking allows you to make a new friend who doubles as a hiking buddy that carries all of your gear. Learn from your guide how these cute but hard-working animals have been domesticated along the hike to a lunch spot or on an overnight trek.
  3. With River City Brews Rafting Tours, select a Montana craft beer, get in a raft on a river in Missoula and let someone else do the paddling as you enjoy the majestic views while making new friends.
  4. Quinn’s Hot Springs just completed a renovation of its soaking pools of healing mineral waters. At Quinn’s, visitors can reserve a time to soak in the pools, have a superb dinner at Harwood House Restaurant or stay in the lodge or river-view cabins.
  5. Garden of One Thousand Buddhas is an international center for peace, public park, botanical garden and Buddhist center located on the Flathead Indian Reservation in the Jocko Valley of Montana. Interesting, right?

You’ll make a friend – and let that friend carry all of your hiking gear – on a guided llama trek in Western Montana’s Glacier Country. Photo courtesy of Jade Broadus

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

We are excited to welcome back some signature events to Western Montana’s Glacier Country in 2021. Following is a list of a few key festivals and events and a link to their websites for more information. For a more extensive look at what’s happening in our neck of the woods this summer, here is our full calendar of events.

There will be concerts at the KettleHouse Amphitheater in Missoula, Montana, throughout the summer. Photo courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

You know we’re all about glamping in Western Montana’s Glacier Country, and that’s why we’re so excited to welcome two new adventure locations to the glamping family.

ROAM Beyond sets visitors up in adorable, yet sleek and modern, off-the-grid “tiny homes on wheels” that offer refined, sustainable and socially conscious lodging experiences year-round. Their concept was simple – create a mobile living experience unlike any other in the world using environmentally conscious materials, designed in a contemporary and intuitive aesthetic.

ROAM Beyond saw that people who lived for the sustainability lifestyle are searching for low environmental impact in transformational settings and decided to answer that call. Choose between their adventure basecamp in Whitefish or Columbia Falls, both located not far from the west entrance to Glacier National Park.

ROAM Beyond sets visitors up in adorable, yet sleek and modern, off-the-grid “tiny homes on wheels” that offer refined, sustainable and socially conscious lodging experiences year-round. Courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

One of the most fun and unique outdoor experiences in Western Montana’s Glacier Country – not far from Glacier National Park – is llama trekking in the Swan Mountain range. Yes, llama trekking!

It’s an all-around lovable affair, and it’s eco-therapy for the soul. When you trek with a llama, you get to hike into the mountains or forest without having to carry gear or your lunch in backpacks, which makes hiking with kids and groups logistically easier and more enjoyable. Plus, llamas are pretty darn cute!

Everyone gets their own llama on a lead. By the end of the hike, you will be fast friends and will remember the experience for a lifetime.

These “Camels of the Clouds” trekking tours allow for a variety of timeframes within different trip options. For the most adventurous, choose a half-day or full-day trek, or even a multiday backpacking trip to pristine alpine lakes. A favorite trip is the three-hour evening “Wine and Cheese Llama Trek.”

Visit Swan Mountain Llama Trekking for all the details about this delightful and unique experience for all ages and athletic abilities.

Llama trekking in the Swan Mountain range is an all-around loveable affair. Courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Don’t be surprised to see a personable pup working alongside her National Park Service ranger-partner when you travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. “Bark Ranger” Gracie is a well-trained border collie tasked with keeping wildlife away from (human) park visitors in busy areas like the Logan Pass parking lot. She’s specially trained to move wildlife like bighorn sheep or mountain goats away without any physical contact. She intimidates them with her stare and moves them just far enough away so they can still be seen and photographed by visitors. Gracie does not work with predators like bears, and she has proven more effective than traditional hazing techniques like shouting or arm-waving.

Habituation occurs when animals have repeated contact with and lose their fear of humans. Habituated wildlife may appear tame, but they are still wild animals and can be aggressive or dangerous.

When she’s not working, Gracie and her handler often chat with visitors about staying a safe distance away from wildlife. They are wildlife safety ambassadors and even have an Instagram account. You might see her working in her orange vest at Logan Pass during the summer, happily posing for a selfie – or just enjoying belly rubs.

“Bark Ranger” Gracie looks back at Ranger Mark Biel while watching a herd of bighorn rams grazing just downhill from the Logan Pass parking lot in Glacier National Park in July 2017. Gracie and Ranger Mark prevented these sheep from ever entering the parking lot. Courtesy National Park Service/Alice W. Biel

For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.

Ramona Holt grew up as a promoter of the West, having participated in kids’, intercollegiate and professional rodeo. For 30 years, Ramona and her husband, Bill, traveled throughout the Western United States, Canada and Australia promoting professional rodeo and the West. In 1989, when Montana celebrated its centennial, she had the honor of starting the first parade prior to the Western Montana Fair. Today, as a trustee representing Western Montana for the Montana Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center, she recommends people and ranches to be honored each year. The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association honored her as the “Notable Lady of the West” at its World of Rodeo Reunion in Las Vegas in 2018.

Her life has been dedicated to telling the story of the Western way of life through many avenues, including the Missoula Chamber of Commerce, Destination Missoula and Glacier Country Tourism. Ramona says, “The best way to perpetuate our beloved Western way of life is to encourage our youth to participate in 4-H, FFA and rodeo. These programs develop responsibility, dedication and the desire to do your very best.”

Open by appointment, the Holt Heritage Museum – located in Lolo, Montana – houses rodeo and Western artifacts including 20 horse-drawn vehicles and boots from famous celebrities.

Ramona Holt’s Her life has been dedicated to telling the story of the Western way of life through many avenues. Courtesy

For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Western Montana’s Glacier Country has several unique and off-the-beaten path attractions that often go under the radar. Here are three that shouldn’t be missed as you travel through the region.

The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas

This public park, and breathtaking sight to see, is located in the middle of the Jocko Valley just north of Arlee, off of Montana Highway 93, on the Flathead Indian Reservation. One thousand hand-cast Buddha statues circle the central figure of Yum Chenmo (the Great Mother). Guided tours are available April through October, or self-guided daily from 9 a.m. to dusk. Admission is free.

The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas.

Miracle of America Museum and Pioneer Village

This museum houses a large collection of curiosities throughout several buildings. Items include a winged monkey from “The Wizard of Oz,” an alien autopsy and a two-headed calf. Make sure you allot enough time to see it all! Located in Polson on the south end of Flathead Lake. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission: $10; $5 children ages 2-12.

Miracle of America Museum and Pioneer Village

National Bison Range

Located off Montana Highway 200 is one of the oldest wildlife refuges in the nation. With more than 18,000 acres, the range is home to 350-500 head of bison, as well as black bear, bighorn sheep, pronghorn antelope, elk and whitetail deer. The refuge is enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle during daylight hours on two different scenic drives. Be sure to bring along your binoculars for the best viewing opportunities. Admission: $5 for private vehicles; $25 for bus or tour groups.

National Bison Range.


For more information on Western Montana’s Glacier Country, visit GlacierMT.com.

Montana’s iconic destinations like Glacier National Park and its gateways to Yellowstone are certainly worth a visit, but when you want to travel off the beaten path and discover unique wide-open spaces, Montana has no shortage of options. After all, our state is all about discovering nature and breathtaking views, and getting outdoors to explore our hiking trails, waterways, and scenic roadways.

Seeley-Swan Scenic Drive

Take one of many scenic routes throughout Montana, taking time to enjoy the scenery and wildlife viewing at your own relaxed pace. The Seeley-Swan Scenic Drive south of Glacier Park on the way to Helena or Missoula takes you through two forested valleys surrounded by mountain peaks. It is dotted with small lakes and tiny towns. Stop at Holland Lake to paddle with a canoe on this peaceful hidden lake, or take a hike along the lake’s shore and through the forest to Holland Falls. This area sits next to the Bob Marshall Wilderness and is full of deer and elk, so take time to share their solitude. Numerous lakes along this route offer welcoming and peaceful picnic sites for travelers.

Hiking at Holland Lake. Courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

Pioneer Scenic Byway

The Pioneer Scenic Byway is the perfect motorcycle route to discover scenic valleys, peaceful meadows and soaring mountain peaks, in an area that typically has few visitors. Along this route you will find hot springs, abandoned homesteads, small creeks and rivers where gold-seekers once panned for gold; and Coolidge, a ghost town you can explore on your own. Just south of this route is Bannack State Park, the best-preserved ghost town in Montana. Take a self-guided walking tour through Bannack or overnight in the teepee here. Numerous hiking trails and fishing holes are available in this area for independent-minded adventurers who want to get away from busier sites and enjoy Montana’s beautiful open spaces.

Log cabin at Coolidge Ghost town. Courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

Missouri River Country

In Missouri River Country in Montana’s northeast corner, you’ll find plenty of room to explore. Fort Peck Lake is the largest lake in Montana, and with 1,600 miles of shoreline, you can surely find an out-of-the-way spot to relax and view wildlife, enjoy water recreation, or visit a nearby wildlife refuge or nature trail. History here goes back before the first Native Americans made their home here – back to the days of dinosaurs. Visitors today can experience the history of this region at many cultural sites, museums and historic towns. Take time to stargaze in this region’s spectacular night sky from just about any vantage point. We proudly consider ourselves to be in “the middle of nowhere,” yet the small towns here are welcoming and friendly.

Families explore Fort Peck Reservoir located near Fort Peck, Montana. Courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development


For more information on Montana, visit VisitMT.com.