Glacier National Park’s “Many Glacier” – Crown of the Continent!

June 2018 – We have visited Glacier National Park three times, and each time we have seen another jewel in this appropriately named “Crown of the Continent” National Park.

Glacier National Park has several entrances, and all of them head towards the mountains in the crown. Like all the biggest and most famous National Parks, it deserves at least a week of exploring — or many return trips — to experience the beauty in any kind of depth.

Approaching Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana-min

As we approached Many Glacier the mountains rose before us in the distance.

The most popular entrance to Glacier National Park is on the west side at West Glacier, but some of the most jaw-dropping views are on the east side, 120 miles away via an easy drive around the park or 50 miles away via the twisty, curvy mountain road that traverses Logan Pass in the middle of the Park.

A few years ago we explored the park at the Two Medicine and St. Mary entrances on the east side, but somehow missed the stunning Many Glacier area. It is the furthest north entrance to the east side of Glacier National Park and is just 50 miles from Canada’s spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park.

Waterton Lakes National Park abuts Glacier National Park along the US/Canadian border, shaking hands across the border in what is officially called Waterton-Glacier National Park in both countries.

First views entering Many Glacier at Glacier National Park Montana-min

We got a glimpse of Lake Sherburne as we drove in.

Of the 60+ National Parks, Monuments and World Heritage Sites we have visited so far, Canada’s Waterton Lakes is one of our favorites. For anyone visiting Glacier National Park, we highly recommend driving the short distance and going through the very easy and small border crossing to have a look at Waterton Lakes, a vibrant and breathtaking jewel in the crown of Waterton-Glacier National Park.

However, if you don’t have your passport with you, Many Glacier is very similar to Waterton Lakes and is truly awe-inspiring as well.

Lake Sherburne and wildflowers Many Glacier Entrance Glacier National Park Montana-min

Many Glacier at Glacier National Park in Montana

When we visited Many Glacier this year, we got excited as soon as we saw the mountains appearing down the road in front of us. We stopped to enjoy the glorious wildflowers that were blooming along Lake Sherburne.

Wildflowers blooming at Many Glacier National Park Montana-min

Wildflowers were in bloom everywhere.

Glacial lakes are vivid shades of turquoise and blue when the light catches them just right, and the mountains behind Lake Sherburne were truly majestic.

Mountains and Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana


Montana had an enormous amount of snow this past winter, and the rivers and lakes have been swollen for weeks as the snow has melted.

A waterfall to our left on the road alongside Swiftcurrent Creek that is probably very modest at other times of the year was crashing over the rocks in an all fired rush to get downhill.

Thunderous waterfall Swiftcurrent Creek Many Glacier at Glacier National Park Montana-min

The waterfall on Sherburne Creek was roaring!

Huge waterfall Swiftcurrent Creek Many Glacier at Glacier National Park Montana-min

Montana had big snows and a rainy spring, so the water was rushing at full throttle.

We walked along a short trail on the edges of the waterfall to get a closer look.

Waterfall at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana-min


Rushing waterfall Many Glacier at Glacier National Park Montana-min


At the end of the road leading into Many Glacier we crossed another area of rapids that is just upstream from the waterfall.

Rapids on Swiftcurrent Creek at Many Glacier section of Glacier National Park Montana-min


And then we arrived at the most fabulous view. Jagged mountains formed a fantastic backdrop behind Swiftcurrent Lake. In the distance, the historic Many Glacier Hotel proudly watched over the lake as it has for over a century.

Many Glacier Hotel Swiftcurrent Lake Glacier National Park Montana-min

Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier!

Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park on Swiftcurrent Lake-min

Many Glacier Hotel is a Swiss Chalet style hotel that was built in 1914-15.

We were mesmerized by the view, and we both shot at least three photos with every step we took as we wandered around on the shore. Looking at our photos later, Mark noticed he had captured a butterfly in one of his images. How cool!!

Butterfly at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana-min

A butterfly flitted through Mark’s pic!

The weather was constantly changing with the clouds chasing the sun away and then the sun trying very hard to chase the clouds away.

Pine tree at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana-min

Many Glacier is so photogenic we had a blast wandering around taking pics.

Mountains at Swiftcurrent Lake Many Glacier Entrance of Glacier National Park Montana-min


The valleys left by the immense earth-moving forces of the glaciers are all U-shaped with sloping sides and rounded bottoms.

Glacier carved valleys across Swiftcurrent Lake Many Glacier National Park Montana-min


Pine tree at Swift Current Lake Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana-min


There is a small gravel beach along the shoreline and a dirt road wanders around the hotel property.

Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park Montana-min

A dirt road wanders near the shore and hiking trails go all over the place.

Beach at Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier section of Glacier National Park Montana-min


In 1914-15, long before Glacier National Park was created in 1932, the Great Northern Railway built the Swiss Chalet style Many Glacier Hotel on the banks of Swiftcurrent Lake. The railroad barrons at the time wanted to encourage people to travel on their trains, so they went to great lengths to create enticing destinations at the ends of their lines.

Another beautiful resort that sprang into existence this way is Sun Valley, Idaho, which was created as a skiing destination for the Union Pacific Railroad.

What a fabulous property Many Glacier Hotel is, and how exotic it must have been to journey there and spend some time over 100 years ago. It would be fabulous to stay there now!!

Many Glacier Hotel Glacier National Park Montana-min

Many Glacier Hotel

Many Glacier Hotel Glacier National Park Montana-min


Many rooms not only have lake views but have a porch that opens onto the lake.

Balcony view of Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glaicer Hotel in Glacier National Park Montana-min

Some rooms have a little porch and a fabulous view.

As we wandered around the hotel we noticed two restaurant workers from the fancy Ptarmigan Dining Room taking a break and soaking in the views from the parking lot.

I started chatting with one of them and discovered that he was living right at Many Glacier in dormitory style housing while working at the restaurant for a four month summer job gig. It was his fourth summer doing it, and he absolutely loved it.

“All you need to bring is your hiking boots,” he told me, “and we make great money too!”


He’d had restaurant serving experience before, but he said the hotel was still hiring for this summer and that folks with no restaurant experience bus tables and do other entry level jobs.

Swiss Chalet style Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake Glacier National Park Montana-min

Climbing up on the hillside opposite the hotel we got some wonderful shots.

Future full-time RVers often wonder how they can make money on the road. Working at a restaurant overlooking a stunning view serving happy guests who are on vacation in one of the most picturesque spots in our country wouldn’t be a bad way to pick up some pocket money.

And for folks who don’t need a summer job themselves but who know young adults who’d appreciate a thrilling summer experience, what a fabulous summer that would be! You have to be at least 18 to apply. I know I would have far preferred working in the Many Glacier Hotel kitchen over the urban kitchen that did employ me my 18th summer so many decades ago!

Many Glacier Hotel on Swiftcurrent Lake Glacier National Park Montana-min

What a place to call home for a few days or a few months!

We just scratched the surface of Many Glacier on a quickie in-and-out visit this time around. But we will be back to explore it in greater depth in the future. Unfortunately, adorable puppies aren’t allowed on National Park hiking trails, which hampers us a little nowadays. For folks without a dog in tow, there are oodles of hikes and alpine lakes and mountain views all around Many Glacier. What a jewel it is!

Many Glacier Hotel viewed across Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park Montana

Looking back across Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier Hotel.

The restaurant hadn’t yet opened for the season when we visited, so we didn’t have a chance to check it out. But many tables are situated next to big windows that look out on the lake, and the server I talked to assured me the food was really good. Sounds awesome! It is on our list for next time!

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16 thoughts on “Glacier National Park’s “Many Glacier” – Crown of the Continent!

  1. Beautiful, Beautiful photos. You bring it all to life so greatly, that I feel like I am there also. Thanks so much for sharing !

  2. Hi again. It’s me and Alice (
    As always your stories and picture telling are awesome. I’m certain that readers, like myself dream of the visit after reading your account of your visit. 🙂
    We are near Boston, spoiling the newest addition to our family; a Grandson, William Russell Goodson, born May 7th. Precious times!
    Good luck with your travels and keep posting…..

    • Congratulations on the arrival of your baby grandson. How exciting for your family!! You have many happy days together ahead, and I’m sure lots of them will include travel to beautiful places. Enjoy Boston and these special family days together!!

  3. Great post. Fabulous photos as well. Poor Buddy not being able to explore the National Park trails. So much to sniff and identify. We travel with two Siberian Huskies and are always frustrated with that particular NP policy.

    You mentioned how close you are to the Canadian border. Do plan on crossing over with Buddy? I’ve heard that that’s a problem, as well. Have you researched that yet? Kisses and hugs to Buddy from Boo, Togo and us!

    • Many Glacier is just a few miles from the Canadian border, but we decided not to cross over this time, even though Waterton Lakes is such a spectacular place and we enjoyed it so much when we were there before. I know there are issues with taking animals on international travels but haven’t yet researched it. We’re content to keep our travels Stateside for the moment and to enjoy the many hiking trails that do allow dogs. That little nose of his is busy busy busy whenever we go anywhere! Hugs and kisses to Boo, Togo and you too. I know Buddy would love to play with your dogs, even with the size difference. He’s been hanging with a Great Pyrenees lately where we’re camped and loving every minute of play!

  4. That is a beautiful picture at the top of your blog post today. Did you find places to boondock near Glacier Park? I assume boondocking inside the park is not allowed.

  5. Love your post, this park is my back yard. I live on the West side. It is sad that dogs are not allowed, however I fully understand since not all pet owners would follow rules to keep people and pets safe. Since it is a wildlife area where anything can and does happen. I like that you highlighted the summer oppertunities for jobs . There are so many like that is this area, from the hotels to rafting. Anyone interested needs to just go online at least a year in advance though. They do fill up, but housing is provided for almost all! We love this area and there is no end to exploring it, and the rest of the beautiful mountians (The Swan, Bob, Whitefish and Flathead) although only a few months a year for campers! Happy travels and looking forward to your next post!

    • Of course we believe, like so many pet owners, that we have the perfect puppy, but I’m glad the “no pets” policy on NPS trails is in place. I walked a few feet out onto a horse trail in Bryce Canyon one time, and the stench was suffocating. Thank goodness horses and people use different trails there. If the NPS were ever flush with cash, after putting a big gravel overnight parking lot near the entrance of each major Park to accommodate big rigs and folks without reservations (for low cost parking, not “camping”) and then building bike paths through the parks and offering easy-to-use bike rentals, they could put in dog-friendly trails. Dream on, lol!

      The whole Glacier area is gorgeous, and like all the popular seasonal destinations across the country, seasonal jobs to serve the tourists are always an option, from being a barista to waiting table to rafting to guiding tours of all kinds (we just met a gal who is loving her job leading horseback rides in Glacier…her first trip out west from Maryland!). All you need to do is be creative in your thinking and persistent in your research and plan in advance for the hottest jobs in the coolest places. Thanks for reading our blog!

  6. Mark and Emily you’re pictures brought back many memories of that beautiful area. The butterfly picture was a neat gift. I believe that N.P. is truly in the top 4 of our wonderful country. Please keep sharing your wonderful trak.

    • Isn’t it amazing how photos can bring back precious memories, Rick? I’m so glad ours reminded you of special times you’ve spent at Glacier NP! Thank you very much for appreciating our photos for all these years!

  7. Greetings folks. We are headed in that “general direction” and hope to get to Glacier NP end of August. Any suggestions for a 24 ft RV closer to Many Glacier Lakes area? We’ll be coming up from Grand Tetons and want to stay on the east side in the hope of avoiding The Masses! We do not have pets and our “foot print” is as small as it gets. We’re routing26 to Grand Teton,191 to 287 to 89. We’ve hear great things about the 89 ride. Any help VERY much appreciated.
    Best, Bob&Lin R

    • I have added three links in the reference section above for Glacier NP campground information. Small rigs can go to Two Medicine, St. Mary and Many Glacier on the east side, and they are all lovely. There are also a few RV parks outside the Park in the St. Mary area on the east side that are not listed on the RV Park Reviews website, so do some Google searches and/or make some phone calls.


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