Situated within Montana’s rocky mountains, on the US-Canada border, The National Glacier Park is famous for its visually striking vistas, alpine meadows, glacial lakes, pristine and dense forest, and diverse wildlife.
Drawing in over a million visitors a year, the national park offers both respite and fun to the adventurous and nature enthusiast. From 700 miles of hiking trails to camping grounds to activities like cycling, horseback riding, rafting, boat trips, and even bus tours.
If you’re planning to stay in Glacier National Park for several days and maximize the heavenly experience, here’s your guide.
Best Places To Stay in Glacier National Park – Tips and Advice
Which Town In Glacier National Park Is best?
Perhaps the best town in Glacier National Park is Columbia Falls. Home to only 5,000 people, it evokes a small-town feel. And with a short and picturesque 20-minute drive to Glacier National Park’s west entrance, Columbia Falls is an ideal base for those who wish to get a taste of authentic Montana before their big GNP adventure.
Staying in Glacier National Park on a budget
During the summer months, there’s a variety of budget lodging inside the park, mostly simple accommodations without an air conditioner or television. You must book way in advance as in-park lodgings get fully booked fast.
The cheap accommodations, which are under $150 a night, are charmingly rustic, with a shared shower and bathroom. But if you are a hiker, or aim to be on foot in the great outdoors, these decent shelters are enough to keep your belongings and stay for the night.
How Many Days Do I Need To Enjoy Glacier On A Budget?
On a tight budget, you can still experience Glacier in all its glory by spending a day or two on the east side, then a couple more days on the west side. Two days at Glacier is also possible for a well-rounded paradise adventure.
It is advised that you create an itinerary that captures the essence of Montana in and around Glacier National Park. From the state’s rich mountain culture to its huge variety of great outdoor adventures, traveling here on a budget is quite easy.
In fact, if you’re heading to Glacier National Park to unwind after years of mental, physical, and emotional fatigue, you don’t need a lot of money. Let nature astound you anywhere you glance, and that is free. Food is affordable, too, and provides a taste of Montana’s unique culinary offering.
Glacier National Park Neighborhood Guide
If you are a hostel lover, you’d be surprised to find that there are only three hostels in the entire Glacier National Park. However, each area— town, village, or city— has its own lodgings and accommodations.
This guide lists hotels and Airbnb’s, specifically, for the more discerning traveler. Whether you are up for a luxury stay, an average Montala temporary living, or a cheap place to hit the sack, this guide can aid you in your search.
Hotels And Airbnb’s
However, accommodations run the gamut if we’re talking about hotels and Airbnb. If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay in Glacier National Park, we recommend 10.
These 10 areas (towns or villages) in the park offer great choices of hotels and Airbnb’s that suit your budget. Take note that not every area has accommodation within its premises, so some hotels and Airbnb’s listed in some areas are nearby ones.
1. Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins
Tucked away in a dense forest surrounded by cedar trees, Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins is a hybrid of the charming village and raw, glorious nature. Immaculate waters against stunning rocky mountains, travelers get to experience both tranquility and a sense of community.
Sights and Landmarks: Lake McDonald, access to North Fork area.
Point of Interest: The quaint Montana village has a visitor center, a camp store, with a smattering of gift shops. Home to the biggest campground, it attracts plenty of travelers. Plenty of rustic lodgings here. West Glacier’s grocery store offers locally-brewed beers.
Activities: bus tour (Red Bus tour reservations), horseback riding, and boating. Grab dinner and a huckleberry ice cream for dessert at Russell’s Fireside Dining Room
Apgar Village Best Hotels
($$$) • Glacier Outdoor Center • located just under 1.6 km from the west entrance of Glacier National Park
($$) • Sky Eco – Glacier General Store and Cabins • 13 mi from Glacier Park International Airport
($) • Glacier Homestead • 13 miles from Glacier Park International Airport
Apgar Best Airbnb’s:
($$$) • New! Comfortable townhome near downtown Kalispell • Two miles to downtown Kalispell
($$) • Lampost Lane Room with a View • At the center of town
($) • Tent Campsite near Glacier National Park • 9 miles from the West Gate of Glacier National Park
A quaint and eclectic town backdropped by Big Mountain, Whitefish offers travelers a dreamy small-town vibe. You won’t find giant structures or major retail stores. Lining the streets are independent and small shops, art galleries, restaurants, and bistros, evoking a deep mountain culture.
Landmarks and Sights: Whitefish Mountain Resort, the iconic big downtown clock.
Activities: You can go skiing, mountain biking, snowboarding, backpacking, or hiking. You can also visit the Whitefish Depot by passenger train.
Whitefish Best Hotels
$$$ Hampton Inn & Suites • Located less than a 20-minute drive from Whitefish Mountain Resort
$$Kandahar Lodge at Whitefish Mountain Resort • Located at Whitefish Mountain Resort near Whitefish, Montana
$Chalet Hotel Whitefish • Located off Highway 93 in Whitefish town center
Whitefish Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • Whitefish Secluded, near town studio • a 5-minute drive from downtown Whitefish
($$) • Tipi at Stillwater Getaway • Located on Lower Stillwater lake
($) • “Swan’s Nest” Lakeside cabin at Stillwater Getaway • Located on lower Stillwater lake on 7.5 acres
3. West Glacier Village
Just a stone’s throw away from Glacier National Park, it’s a bustling village rich in Montana culture. The West Glacier Camp store is a favorite go-to for tourists looking for camping gear. Summertime in this village transforms into a magical area with its dramatic and imposing nature. It’s an ideal place for families, with small children likely to also enjoy the village safely.
Landmarks and Sights: Historic Belton chalet, Flathead River, West Glacier Mercantile and Deli.
Activities: Mini-golf, dining, shopping, whitewater rafting, and scenic floats.
West Glacier Village Best Hotels
($$$) • Cedar Creek Lodge & Conference Center • at the gateway to Glacier National Park
($$) • Sky Eco – Glacier General Store and Cabins • 8.4 km from West Glacier
($) • Under Canvas Glacier • Located just under 1.6 km from the Flathead River
West Glacier Village Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • The Tucker Lodge – 2.5 miles from Glacier Park • Located 2.5 miles from Glacier National Park
4. Hungry Horse
Encompassed by breathtaking mountains, it is nestled on the edge of Hungry Horse Reservoir and Hungry Horse Dam. It’s a small-town rodeo with an authentic Montana atmosphere. It’s a few minutes away from the west entrance of Glacier National Park.
This small town is bursting with a profound Montana experience courtesy of rustic cabins, guest ranches, and intense nature views. It is also home to Montana’s famous huckleberry milkshake.
Landmarks and Sights: Hungry Horse reservoir (564-feet dam that holds 3.5 million acre-feet of water), the International Larix Arboretum, and local huckleberry stands.
Activities: kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, shopping, spa, rodeos, art and culture, trekking, whitewater rafting, boating, and a host of many other outdoor activities.
Hungry Horse Best Hotels Nearby
($$$) • The Pine Lodge on Whitefish River, Ascend Hotel Collection • 20.4 km from Hungry Horse
($$) • North Forty Resort • 16.1 km from Hungry Horse
($) • Grouse Mountain Lodge • 22.3 km from Hungry Horse
Hungry Horse Best Airbnb’s Nearby
($$$) • Pioneer Cabin near Glacier National Park • 9 miles from the West Gate of Glacier National Park
($$) • Group Tent Campsite B near Glacier National Park • At Hungry Horse
($) •Tent Campsite near Glacier National Park • In Hungry Horse Surrounded by three areas of protected lands (Bob Marshall Wilderness, Great Bear Wilderness, and Glacier National Park.
5. Columbia Falls
It sits up against the northern tip of the Swan Mountain Range and the breathtaking Flathead Rive. Columbia Falls is approximately 15 minutes away from the southwestern entrance to Glacier National Park. The region has also been frequently regarded as one of the greatest and safest places to reside in the entire state of Montana.
Landmarks and Sights: Columbia waterfalls, Meadow Lake Golf Resort, Big Sky Waterpark, Pinewood Park
Activities: golfing, fly fishing, llama-guided tours, snowmobiling, floating, swimming, bowling, water slides, miniature golf, bumper cars.
Columbia Falls Best Hotels
($$$) • North Forty Resort • 4.3 mi from Glacier Park International Airport
($$) • Cedar Creek Lodge & Conference Center • at the gateway to Glacier National Park
($) • Wonderstone at Glacier • The nearest airport is Glacier Park International Airport, 9.7 km from Travel Inn – Glacier National Park.
Columbia Falls Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • Sky Eco – Moose Cabin • Only 6 miles from the West Entrance of the Glacier National Park
($$) • Glacier Lofts #3 – Cozy Digs + Great Location! • 20 minutes from the West entrance of Glacier National Park
($) • Glacier/Flathead Tent-Studio • 7-minute drive to the Glacier Park International Airport
The largest city and commercial center in the whole of northwest Montana, it has jaw-dropping landscapes of the Rocky Mountain. Also known as the “Soul of Montana,” this is the place to find the state’s culinary scene amid a backdrop of jagged mountains and storybook-like rivers.
Landmarks and Sights: Conrad Mansion, Wild Horse Island, Flathead Lake, Northwest Montana History Museum
Activities: high alpine hiking, dining, shopping, skiing, museum tours, and horse rides.
Kalispell Best Hotels
($$$) • Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Kalispell, MT – Glacier Lodge Glacier Park International Airport is 0.6 mi from the hotel
($$) • My Place Hotel-Kalispell, MT 6.2 mi from Glacier Park International Airport
($) • Econo Lodge Inn & Suites Kalispell The Glacier Park International Airport is 16.1 km away.
Kalispell Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • Life’s A Bear Retreat Cabin with KING Size Bed 15 min to Kalispell and Glacier National Airport
($$) • “Northern Lights” Sleeps 2, Private Room/Key Pad 11 miles from Glacier International Airport
($) • Crazy Horse Wall Tent 9.7 miles to Glacier National Airport
Sights of virgin wilderness and offers a culture of the old west, Bigfork is nestled within the confines of Rocky Mountain. It’s a heavenly combination of ski-town, lakeside resort, and a string of charming shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Landmarks and Sights: Bigfork Art & Cultural Center, Miracle of American Museum, Farmers Market, dense forests, alpine peaks.
Activities: fishing, hunting, camping, mountain biking, and hiking.
Bigfork Best Hotels:
Bigfork Best Airbnb’s:
($$$) • Queen Bungalow near Flathead Lake 45 minutes away from both Glacier National Park and the National Bison Range
($$) • Montana at It’s Best! 1BR Beautiful Bigfork Condo 25.9 miles to Glacier International Airport
($) • Flat with Beach on Flathead Lake 30.3 miles from Glacier International Airport
Situated on the north shore of Flathead Lake, the city of Somers overlooks the jaw-dropping views of Flathead. Eight miles south of Kalispell, it’s a tiny and peaceful community surrounded by scenic views.
Landmarks and Sights: Artemis Acres Paint Horse Ranch, North Shore Farm, Sea Me Paddle, Blacktail Mountain, and Captain Mike’s Fish-N-Fun.
Activities: swimming, boating, waterskiing, camping, picnicking, and cross-country skiing.
Somers Best Hotels:
($$$) • Outlook Inn Bed and Breakfast 16 miles to Glacier Park International Airport
Somers Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • Luxury Lake View Cottage Queen Bed Kitchenette A/C 29.7 miles from Glacier International Airport
($$) • Flathead Lake Hostel – The Huckleberry Just minutes away from Lakeside, MT just 2 miles south on HWY 93.
($) • Flathead Lake Hostel – Blacktail Bunkroom Located just off highway 93, equal distance between Lakeside and Somers, MT.
9. East Glacier Park Village
Known for its legendary hospitality and “the quiet side” of Glacier, the village is a paradise-like gateway to Glacier National Park. The tiny village evokes authentic mountain culture. With views of long stretches of vistas, tranquil trails, and wide-open skies, the village will melt your stress away.
Landmarks and Sights: Many Glacier, Sinopah, Twin Falls, Cut Bank trail, Two Medicine Valley and River, Wild Goose Island, and Medicine Lake.
Activities: Relaxation, hiking, Alpine Red Bus Tour, shopping, nature and parks, historic sites.
East Glacier Park Village Best Hotels
East Glacier Park Village Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • Beautiful Luxury Cabin with Mountain View 79.2 miles from Glacier Park International
($$) • New Luxury Cabin on Large Private Lot 79.2 miles from Glacier Park International
($) • Brownies Hostel E Glacier Mt Quad Room Sleeps 5 79.2 miles from Glacier Park International
South of West Glacier, the small-town Coram is just minutes away from Glacier National Park. It boasts of sprawling ranches, an array of rustic lodging choices, campgrounds, and RV parks.
If you have kids traveling with you, then Coram is an ideal place to stay because of its famous Amazing Fun Center, which is home to the first 2-level, human-sized wooden maze ever built in North America, a world-famous attraction. The center also has an 18-hole miniature golf course, perfect for the family,
Landmarks and Sights: Aerial Adventure Park, Amazing Fun Center, Glacier Distilling Company, and Glacier Highline.
Activities: Water sports, outdoor activities, fishing, brewery, bars, clubs, self-guided tours, zipline, and amusement parks.
Coram Best Hotels
($$$) • Sky Eco – Glacier General Store and Cabins • 13 mi from Glacier Park International Airport. Glacier National Park and Hungry Horse Recreational Wilderness Area
($$) • Under Canvas Glacier • Glacier National Park and Hungry Horse Reservoir are within 12.1 km of the property
($) • Glacier Homestead • Glacier Park International Airport is 13 mi away
Coram Best Airbnb’s
($$$) • The Red Station by Glacier – Cabin • 10-minute drive to the western gateway to Glacier National Park
Best Hotels By Type
- Best Luxury Hotel – Lodge at Whitefish Lake – 1380 Wisconsin Ave., Whitefish, MT 59937
A Diamond-rated resort tucked between spectacular mountains and clear waters, it offers luxury, leisure, and relaxation. Nestled between Whitefish Lake and the Viking Creek Wetland preserve, it offers first-class amenities (including a luxurious spa) amid stunning scenery.
- Best Boutique Hotel – Kalispell Grand Hotel – 100 Main St. Kalispell, MT 59901
Boasting fine amenities since 1912, this historic hotel is known for its impressive bed-and-breakfast hospital. They offer free parking, massage, and scrumptious continental breakfast. The facade is hard to miss— a three-story brick structure, and a historic fountain.
- Best Cheap Hotels – Lonesome Dove Ranch – 1805 Haywire Gulch P.O. Box 8510, Kalispell, MT
Cowboys and equestrian fans would revel in the ranch’s stunning wilderness and impressive wildlife. Enjoy scenic horseback riding trails and lodging that is simple yet highly hospitable.
- Best Family Hotel – Many Glacier Hotel – 1147 Rte 3, Browning, MT 59417
Known for excellent customer service, great views (likened to the Sound of Music), and kid-friendly amenities, the 215-room mountain chalet is a mere 38-minute drive to Glacier National Park.
- Best Romantic Hotel – Great Northern Resort – 12127 US-2, West Glacier, MT 59936
Popular for its cozy cabins, and a frequent venue for weddings, the resort evokes love and romance in every corner. It’s a mile away from the West Glacier entrance to Glacier National Park.
Staying in, or nearby, Glacier National Park is a rewarding experience. You will never run out of activities, and you will have a definite soul-stirring experience when you are surrounded by stunning nature.
The great thing about accommodations within the area is the variety and the fact that you can easily find one that is suited to your budget. Whether you’re on a solo trip, a honeymoon, or a family trip with the elderly and kids, you will be welcomed with warmth by the many villages, cities, and towns.