Glacier National Park is one of the high points of the Montana experience for many visitors. The entire region in and around the park is an explorer’s paradise with its rocky peaks, pristine alpine lakes, abundant wildlife of all descriptions, and plenty more.
The park continues to receive a massive influx of visitors every year which makes it difficult to have any hope of securing any accommodation within it unless you book early. And we mean early reservations inside the park open 13 months in advance.
You’d better make especially sure of that booking if you are considering a visit over the summer months.
Aside from that the main thing to know about staying inside the national park is kind of obvious, but still worth pointing out.
Basically, you are paying way more than it’s worth for the location and convenience, especially with facilities constantly at full capacity. This is why many visitors opt for the park’s surrounding areas close to the entrances when it comes to accommodation.
Most of the accommodation within the park is of the large, lodge-style variety and there isn’t too much along the lines of what might be considered a traditional Bed & Breakfast-type residence to help keep the prices reasonable.
Anyone who is looking for this kind of straightforward accommodation within the range of the park will find a variety of options around the small towns close to the surrounding entrances of the park.
So let’s take a closer look at some of the best bed and breakfasts in Glacier National Park.
Staying in Glacier National Park – Travel Tips and Advice
- Which areas in the park are best: The two best areas for most visitors are likely to be West Glacier and East Glacier. West Glacier is somewhere between Apgar and Lake McDonald up to Logan Pass and is a popular, thus crowded experience in peak months. East Glacier stretches across the area between Logan Pass and Saint Mary and is not the best spot for accommodation. Many Glacier is north of the other two areas near Babb and contains some great alpine lakes for recreation but again there aren’t too many accommodations around this spot inside or outside the park. Using West Glacier as a base region from which to explore the park will work best for all but the most seasoned visitors.
- Getting Around: Most visitors will find it necessary to get hold of a set of wheels in order to ensure the best experience. This will add much to the trip whether you hire one from the airport or employ the services of a local guide. You can also tour the park in a variety of other ways including the famous Red Jammer Bus.
- Attractions: The park’s West Entrance leads to some iconic and breathtaking views backed by serene beauty. More than 700 miles of trails stretch out from this region including the Continental Divide and the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. When you are done exploring you can check out other activities and attractions like the Crown of the Continent Discovery Center.
Seven of the Best Bed and Breakfasts in Glacier National Park
- Circle R Motel
- Halfway Hotel
- Outlook Inn Bed & Breakfast
- Glacier Haven Inn
- Glacier Park Lodge
- Super 8 by Wyndham Glacier National Park
- The Great Northern Resort
1. Circle R Motel
The Circle R Motel is located in East Glacier Park off Highway 2. The simple, Motel-style residence is literally 100 meters from East Glacier Park Village and the rooms feature mountain views.
The property contains air-conditioned guest rooms with a private bathroom All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV and some rooms have a larger seating area. Bed linen and towels are provided and free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.
The nearest airport is Glacier Park International Airport, which is 78 miles from the motel.
2. Halfway Hotel
Essex is around mid-way between East Glacier and West Glacier, and 25 miles south of the West Entrance. The residence is situated just over 1.5 miles from the center of the popular small-town stop-off of Essex.
This is a ski-to-door access accommodation and a ski pass sales point set on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River.
The Halfway Hotel offers air-conditioned rooms in twin or double sizes, and all rooms have patios and garden views. The rooms all come with a private bathroom, a seating area, a flat-screen TV with cable, free toiletries, and a shower.
The accommodation is in a popular location for skiing, and ski equipment is available for hire if you visit during the winter months. The nearest airport is Glacier Park International Airport, less than 50 miles from the hotel and about an hour by car.
3. Outlook Inn Bed & Breakfast
The Outlook Inn is a homely and unique residence set outside of the national park on the west shore of Flathead Lake in Somers.
The Inn is just a short drive to Glacier National Park, and the nearby towns of Kalispell, Bigfork, and Whitefish can also be reached quickly and easily from this spot.
Rooms at the Inn are offered in twin, double, and suite-sized options and feature a private bathroom not to mention some impressive lake views.
Each room also includes a TV, a refrigerator, a microwave, and coffee-making facilities. Homemade breakfasts are a specialty here and feature farm-to-table foods as part of the deal.
Free onsite parking and free Wi-Fi are available to guests for the duration of the stay.
4. Glacier Haven Inn
Located around 20 miles from Glacier National Park, this Inn is also in Essex and provides straightforward accommodation with breakfast included. The residence is about an hour away from Glacier International Airport.
Family rooms are available and some rooms feature private patios with mountain views. Barbecue facilities are also provided, as are a refrigerator and microwave.
Glacier View Golf Club is less than a 30-minute drive away. The Healthy Haven Café is the onsite Restaurant at the Inn, and it also serves home-cooked dinners if required. Laundry facilities are also available at the Inn.
5. Glacier Park Lodge
This residence is an East Glacier option with a lodge-style theme and features constructs dating back more than a century.
The lodge is just over 10 miles from Glacier National Park and features its own on-site bar and restaurant by way of the Empire Bar and the Great Northern Dining Room.
Double and family-sized rooms are offered at the accommodation, and a 24-hour reception and information desk is available.
Guests are able to hire a car at reception to explore the surrounding areas of Glacier National Park, and St. Mary Lake is less than 30 miles away.
6. Super 8 by Wyndham Glacier National Park
The Super 8 by Wyndham Inns are common features around all parts of Montana. The residences offer straightforward, clean, and realistically-priced accommodation minutes from downtown Kalispell.
Triple and family-sized, air-conditioned rooms are available at the establishment. Each room comes equipped with a flat-screen TV and cable, and a seating area. The rooms are decorated in a country theme with bright and rich colors. They also contain accessories such as a hairdryer and clock.
Breakfast is served American-style and features a ‘Breakfast to Go’ option for those who simply can’t wait to get out exploring. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and free parking.
The Hockaday Art Museum is nearby and the local Kalispell City Airport is less than half a mile away from the Super 8 and Glacier Airport is around 8.5-miles away from the accommodation.
The Buffalo Hills Golf Club and Lone Pine State Park are both less than 2 miles away from this spot.
7. The Great Northern Resort
The Great Northern is located a couple of miles from West Glacier and Apgar Village is also less than 4 miles from the residence. The accommodation features various sizes of rooms and has a commonly shared lounge and free private parking.
Most rooms include a flat-screen TV with cable, and some include a fully-equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a private bathroom. An American-style, à la carte breakfast is served each morning.
The residence has its own sun terrace and is also surrounded by plenty of recreation opportunities, not to mention attractions such as Big Sky Waterpark, Lake MacDonald, and the Flathead River Middle Fork.
Glacier Park International Airport is less than 20 miles from the location.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the region of Glacier National Park has more than enough options in terms of easy-stay accommodation options. Wherever you decide to head if you are planning a trip to the park, it will depend largely on when you travel, how many are in your group, what your itinerary involves, and also whether you are OK with crowds or not.
Glacier National Park is one of the top destinations in Montana whichever type of accommodation you are most likely interested in. Most people do opt to stay outside of the park for some of the previously-mentioned reasons though unless it features on some bucket list that needs checking.
As long as you accept that by staying in the park you’re going to pay way over the odds, you might find you love the rooms’ rustic feel and see it as a fun experience.
It might pay to do a bit of further research on the differences between the East and West sides of the park before deciding on a spot, as well as a couple of price comparisons inside and outside of the gates of the park.
- In terms of the Best Bed & Breakfast-type accommodation from this list, we would recommend the Outlook Inn Bed & Breakfast. It really fits the bill of a good old-fashioned and homely Inn to stay at for a few days and gather yourself.
- All of the accommodations on our list are family-friendly with good enough amenities and plenty of nearby recreation. Aside from the Outlook Inn, which is also ideal for families, if you are looking for something more reasonably-priced, the Super 8 by Wyndham is one of the best options. The Super 8 is straightforward, clean, well-located, mid-priced, and accommodating to families.
- The Great Northern Resort is a great option for couples with its sun terrace overlooking some vast and expansive views. This is an ideal spot from which couples can get the feeling they have escaped.