Take the Time to Enjoy an Exciting Road Trip to Glacier National Park

While it is okay to visit cities and landmarks, we should all take the time to see the wonders of nature, as they are always more spectacular than we imagine. The best part about being in the outdoors, one way or another, is that we can forget about our busy city life and unwind in a calm and pure environment. Besides this, we get the chance to spoil our senses with the incredible beauties this planet has to offer, gorgeous natural monuments that took ages to complete and have been here long before the first human ever existed. So, if you need a relaxing and exciting escapade at the same time, do not hesitate to take a road trip to Glacier National Park and see some of its most important places. Continue reading for all the information you need to get organized and make this trip an experience you will never forget.

Glacier National Park

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch - Sandpoint, ID 

Where is Glacier National Park located?

Glacier National Park stretches over Flathead County and Glacier County in Montana, United States of America, near the Canadian border. So, it is very close to British Columbia and Alberta in Canada. It covers an impressive area, of 4,000 square kilometers, incorporating a part of the Rocky Mountains. Called the “Crown of the Continent Ecosystem,” this park is home to a wide range of landscapes, plant species, and wildlife. So, taking a trip to visit it will be anything but boring. Depending on the things you want to see and the activities you would like to enjoy, you’ll have to choose the best time of the year for your experience.

Glacier National Park

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch - Sandpoint, ID 

The best time to visit Glacier National Park

Summer is the busiest season for Glacier National Park, as it is easier to walk on the paths of the park when there is no snow. Still, it is worth mentioning that you can visit the park throughout the entire year, as its gates will be open regardless of the season. But, during the cold season, the weather can be rather difficult, so you need to be prepared to face it if you want to visit the park when snowfall occurs. If you don’t mind the cold and the snow, which can occur in the park rather early in autumn, you will be able to enjoy nature’s beauty without the crowds of visitors that are specific to the months of summer. During winter, you can go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice climbing, all while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Of course, summer has its own charm in the park and there are routes that are best to enjoy in the warm season only, due to accessibility issues when the weather goes bad.

Glacier National Park

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch - Libby, MT 

Some of the most interesting objectives of the park that are a must-see:

Glacier National Park

The road to the Sun either driving or taking a cruise

Going-to-the-Sun Road is actually a road around Glacier National Park that is famous for its scenic views. So, if you want to make the most of your visit to this park, you need to take the trip on this road. It doesn’t matter if you choose to drive on it yourself or become a passenger on one of the shuttles that cruise on this road. Just do remember that the best period to visit the Going-to-the-Sun Road is between the end of June or start of July through October. This is due to the fact that the weather may make this road inaccessible. The road is open all year round in the park, but if you have the misfortune to reach the park on bad weather, you may not have the chance to take this particular trip. What will you get if you choose this road? You will enjoy 50 miles of breathtaking views of mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, and even wildlife.

Glacier National Park

Hiking the trail of the Cedars

In case you are looking for a relaxing hike that won’t put too much strain on you from a physical point of view, you need to walk the Trail of the Cedars. This is a trail that goes on a loop, so you can start it from either end, as it will be mesmerizing no matter how you choose to visit it. Because it is one of the most popular trails in Glacier National Park and it enjoys a large number of visitors in the summer months, finding a parking spot can be a real challenge during the peak season. Also, it is worth mentioning that the tail is wheelchair-accessible as well, making outdoor adventures pleasant even for those with physical disabilities.

Glacier National Park

Waterfall hike to Apikuni Fall

A hike that ends with the view of a waterfall is always worth taking. So, if you want to enjoy going through the forests of Glacier National Park, see its rocky peaks in the background, and get to discover a charming waterfall, you need to walk this hike. But, an aspect that you need to remember is that the parking space at the start of this hike is rather limited. Only 12 cars can be accommodated by the dedicated parking area, so if you decide to visit the park during the busiest time of the year parking can become an issue. A tip would be to start your day as early as possible in the park, as it will help you avoid crowded roads and lack of space in parking lots.

Glacier National Park

Scenic rafting trips

It is worth mentioning that Glacier National Park is a suitable destination even for those that are in search of adventures and adrenaline. So, if you are a person that belongs to this group of visitors, don’t hesitate to take a rafting trip while you’re in the park. Don’t worry if you are a novice in this area, as these trips are always guided and assisted by experienced and trained professionals. In fact, all rafting companies in the park have permits for their activity from the US Forest Service. Plus, both Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest manage the rafting areas in the park, for best experiences. Where can one enjoy rafting trips in Glacier National Park? The Middle Fork and North Fork of the Flathead River in the park are the best areas where you can have such an experience and where the rafting companies will take you for a memorable adventure.

Glacier National Park

Now that you have valuable tips about how to enjoy a trip to Glacier National Park, all you need to do is set the details of such an escapade in the outdoors. Sometimes, we need to let go of hotels and vacations that offer everything with minimum effort. We need to step out of our daily routine and do something different, generate memories that will make our lives interesting and fulfilling. So, pack your bags and hit the road to this park for an incredible outdoor adventure.

If you are concerned about quality and wish to find the best services, The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) is an organization of ranches that meet certain quality standards, a DRA dude ranch will never disappoint you. So, have a look at the short list below and decide which ranch suits you best. Please check out all of our ranches located near National Parks HERE.

Montana Ranches:

Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge

Glacier National Park

Email: info@flatheadlakelodge.com

Phone: +1 406-837-4391

Location: Big Fork, Montana

Closest Airport: Kalispell

Bar W Guest Ranch

Glacier National Park

Email: info@thebarw.com

Phone: +1 866-828-2900 +1 406-863-9099

Location: Whitefish, Montana

Closest Airport: Kalispell

McGinnis Meadows Cattle & Guest Ranch

Glacier National Park

Email: info@mmgranch.net

Phone: +1 866-764-5569 +1 406-293-5000

Location: Libby, Montana

Closest Airport: Kalispell

Idaho Ranch:

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch 

Glacier National Park

Email: stay@westernpleasureranch.com

Phone: +1 888-863-9066 +1 208-263-9066

Location: Sandpoint, Idaho

Closest Airport: Spokane, Washington

British Columbia (Canada) Ranch:

Three Bars Guest Ranch

Glacier National Park

Email: info@threebarsranch.com

Phone: +1 877-426-5230 +1 250-426-5230

Location: Cranbrook, British Columbia

Closest Airport: Cranbrook

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Here are some valuable tips about how to enjoy a trip to Glacier National Park. If you are concerned about quality and wish to find the best services, The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) is an organization of ranches that meet certain quality standards, a DRA dude ranch will never disappoint you.

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The Dude Ranchers’ Association Welcomes 5 New Members

The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018: V6 Ranch, Kay El Bar Ranch, Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Campbell Hills Guest Ranch and Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime. 

Guests looking to experience something new and exciting can look into the unique and individual offerings of each of these new members. Each of these ranches are located in a different Western state, from Arizona up to British Columbia and offers their own dude ranch niche experience. 

 

dude ranches

V6 Ranch, California

Nestled in the Cholame Valley, the V6 Ranch envelops 20,000 acres of the most diverse and alluring country in the heart of central California. Conveniently located between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the ranch is just a four-hour drive from either city. The V6 Ranch offers the delight of bygone days in a world where fast is the average speed.

About V6 Ranch

This beautiful ranch offers activities to tickle the fancy of any person that seeks peace and quiet. The clean air and warm nights are ideal for laying out under the stars. The ranch offers trail rides, cattle drives, and horse camping. The V6 Ranch offers over 50 scenic miles of trails to explore with maps and trail markers to show the way. They also offers hiking, photography, over 200 varieties of wildflowers, wildlife and bird watching.

View all California dude ranches 

dude ranches

Kay El Bar Ranch, Arizona

The Kay El Bar Guest Ranch is a historic dude ranch listed on the National and State Historical landmark registers and is located in the Old West town of Wickenburg, AZ. Nestled in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on the banks of the Hassaymapa River, Kay El Bar is a desert oasis ranch where warm hospitality has been a tradition since 1926. The ranch offers an authentic and casual western vacation experience suitable for guests of all ages. Special occasion groups and team retreats are welcome. Their America Plan rate includes lodging, all meals, horseback riding and use of all ranch facilities.

About Kay El Bar Ranch

Kay El Bar is a winter ranch, open from November until May. The climate includes bi-seasonal rainfall, making it one of the lushest deserts, with giant cacti, short trees and a great variety of shrubbery and animal life. There are thousands of acres of desert hills and canyons to explore on horseback. The charming adobe ranch was built in the late 1800s, and, like all the early dude ranches, began as a working cattle outfit. The building's adobe walls are built of sun-dried brick 12 to 18 inches thick; each brick was made by hand by the Maricopa Indians who lived on the nearby reservation. The ranch is completely up to date in its comforts, including modern bathrooms, a pool, and a whirlpool spa.

Activities at the ranch center around the riding program, with rides twice a day except for Sunday when there is long morning ride and a trail-side cookout. The wranglers love introducing children (minimum age 7) and adult first-time riders to the pleasures of riding the trail on a trusty mount. Experienced riders find many delights in riding the Arizona hills. Non-riders and younger children can enjoy the ranch pool, spa, evening group activities, hiking, and exploring the western town of Wickenburg. Local golf courses welcome visitors.

View all Arizona dude ranches

 

dude ranches

Parade Rest Guest Ranch, Montana

Parade Rest Guest Ranch is a true Montana dude ranch offering that memorable Montana guest ranch experience, located just 15 minutes from the west entrance, it is the closest of all the Montana guest ranches to Yellowstone National Park. Their all-inclusive vacation packages combine log cabin lodging, all your meals, unlimited horseback trail rides, world-class fly-fishing and an unforgettable outdoor mountain cookout.

About Parade Rest Ranch 

The ranch has 15 log cabins of various sizes, beds, bedrooms and bathrooms are spread across the ranch.  Some sit next to the Grayling Creek which runs thru the ranch which is a great fly-fishing stream. The sound of the creek is a favorite to many. Other cabins sit on a lower bluff overlooking the horses, ranch creek, Hebgen lake, Gallatin Mountain Range and awesome sunrises and sunsets. Parade Rest Ranch is a great place to call home while in the Yellowstone area.

View all Montana dude ranches

dude ranches

Campbell Hills Guest Ranch, British Columbia Canada

Ride a horse on the alpine meadows, observe unique birds in their natural habitat and discover the many hidden fishing spots right in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia. Campbell Hills Guest Ranch offers exceptional horseback riding in mountainous terrain.

About Campbell Hills Guest Ranch

When guests arrive at the ranch worries drift away as they settle into perfect harmony with the rhythms of nature. British Columbia is known for its beautiful landscape, relaxed atmosphere, and high-quality living, and this guest ranch is no exception.  The ranch uses a technique called natural horsemanship, which is a philosophy of working with horses based on the horse's natural instincts and methods of communication. Here the horses are ridden without bits in their mouths and without metal shoes on the trails.

View all British Columbia dude ranches

dude ranches

Allen’s Diamond 4, Wyoming

Allen's Diamond 4 Ranch is located in the rugged Wind River Mountain Range and is Wyoming's highest wilderness guest ranch offering log cabins, mountain trail riding, fly fishing, wilderness pack trips, and hunting in the Shoshone National Forest. The ranch has access to the Wind Rivers from the Dickinson Park Trailhead, the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie and Worthen Meadows.

About Allen’s Diamond 4 Ranch

The Wind River Mountain Range boasts the largest active glaciers in the lower 48 states, hundreds of alpine lakes teeming with wild trout, abundant wildlife and world class fly fishing and mountain climbing. The unique setting of the Diamond 4 Ranch in Dickinson Park gives you access to 100,000 spectacular acres. Guests saddle up and join a real western adventure! There is something for everyone - families, groups and individuals are welcome.

The ranch owner Jim Allen carries on the family tradition of hosting visitors in the spectacular Wind River Mountain Range like his grandfather did in the 1920's. Jim & his wife Mary love packing in the "Winds" and are dedicated to using the land wisely with minimum impact camping practices. The Diamond 4 Ranch gets its name from the Allen's horse brand which has a history from the days of the open range. 

View all Wyoming dude ranches

 

 

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The Dude Ranchers’ Association is the premier membership-based organization for dude ranches and has welcomed five new ranches in 2018. As a non-profit association, membership is not a pay to play process but a mark of the highest quality. Acceptance requires a rigorous two-year application process and distinguishes a ranch as one that guests can trust to provide excellent customer care and a horseback riding vacation of a lifetime.

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