1 . St. Mary Lodge & Resort

St. Mary, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (888) 778 - 6279

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St. Mary Lodge is our No. 1 Glacier Park resort because we think it most exemplifies the truce that people forged with rugged nature. On the spectacular east side of the Glacier National Park, that’s quite a feat. And how close you get to nature is completely up to you.

Since the 1920s, St. Mary Lodge and Resort has been developing its range of accommodations with equal appreciation of the natural surroundings and of what the modern traveler wants in a Glacier Park vacation. The result is astounding: seven buildings, a total of 122 rooms and a range of experiences from log lodges to cabins to Native American tipis. The newest, the Great Bear Lodge, has a distinct focus on luxury – a modern take on the old-fashioned lodge with 48 rooms plus 13 suites featuring Jacuzzi tubs. The one thing in common, though, is the Glacier National Park experience. In this case, the world-famous Rocky Mountain scenery and the range of guided fishing, ATV, horseback riding and whitewater rafting trips is accented with cultural education. The lodge rests within the Blackfeet Reservation, and several tours let you view the park through the perspective of ancient and modern Blackfoot Indians.

Related Onsite Offerings

St. Mary Lodge & Resort offers 27-ft. Tipi accommodations, each with 700 sq. ft. of space, Cloud Nine Queen beds, private bathhouses with Jacuzzi tubs and more.

Related activities

Take a cruise on the serene St. Mary Lake at Rising Sun, just six miles from St. Mary Lodge and Resort. Photo stops and optional guided hikes are included.

Fun facts

In winter, all areas of Glacier are open – if you’re a skier or a snowshoer!

2 . Timber Wolf Resort

Hungry Horse, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 520 - 6001

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Coming in at number two is the Timber Wolf Resort. Located only nine miles from Glacier National Park, and surrounded by both incredible scenery and quaint towns full of history, this is a destination that has it all. Explore Glacier national Park on the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, a fifty mile stretch that winds it's way through some of the glacier carved valleys of the Park.

If you're looking to get out into the area, there are tons of opportunities for hiking and biking on one of the many trails in the area. Fishing abounds in the area as well, with lots of different types of trout waiting to be caught. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for some of the other, larger wildlife that call this place home. Elk, Black and Grizzly Bears are in the area, make sure to watch closely for them!

Address

9105 US Highway 2 East Hungry Horse, Montana 59919

Related activities

In the quaint surrounding towns, there are many museums as well as a water park, ensuring that everyone will have a great time!

Fun facts

Glacier National Park was established on May 11, 1910, making it the 8th U.S. National Park.

3 . Bear Creek Ranch

East Glacier Park Village, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 226 - 4489

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Earning the third spot is Bear Creek Ranch. Located not far from Glacier National Park, and having inhabited it's current spot since 1933, they've had time to perfect the Montana Vacation experience. First, go on one of their exclusive horseback riding excursions, perfect for riders of any skill level, and explore the vast expanse of plains giving way to the jagged, glacier carved mountains.

And of course, no trip to Bear Creek Ranch would be complete without a visit to Glacier National Park. Take the fifty-mile tour along Going-to-the-Sun Road and see the glacially fed lakes, towering mountains, and deep forests. There are also plenty of great opportunities for hiking and biking as well! Or go for a kayaking trip on one of the alpine lakes!

Address

Mile Marker 192, Highway 2 East Glacier Park, Montana 59434

Fun facts

Bear Creek Ranch has been established at it's current location since 1933, and was originally part of the railroad town McCarthyville.

Related Onsite Offerings

At Bear Creek Ranch, horseback riding is central to the experience. Trails and rides for all skill levels, this is the way to explore the Montana wild, as the cowboys did, a century ago.

4 . The Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Whitefish, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (877) 887 - 4026

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The Lodge at Whitefish Lake recalls the original mountain lodges built near Glacier National Park before it was a major tourist attraction. However, this being modern times, the lodge also provides luxuries that seem all the more remarkable on the shores of a seven-mile-long mountain lake.

Here, the grand chalet-style lodge construction and architecture provides a breathtaking venue for features like a full-service spa, the Boat Club restaurant and lounge, a private beach and a marina with watercraft rentals from canoes to wakeboards to speedboats. This is all supported by big-city services like valet parking and private shuttles. The Lodge at Whitefish Lake is also home to gorgeous lakefront condominiums. If you’re thinking “lodge rooms,” think a little higher – features like private decks, full kitchens, bars and dining rooms, fireplaces and up to 2,300 sq. ft. of space will make you wonder – if you haven’t been here, where have you been?

Highlights

Additional amenities at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake condominiums include slate baths with soaking tubs, high-speed internet access and in-room movies and Nintendo Game Cubes.

Related Onsite Offerings

With 8,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, the Lodge at Whitefish Lake is terrific for Montana meetings, reunions and events.

Related activities

Take a Whitefish Lake boat cruise on the resort’s 31- ft. classic motor yacht, known as the Lady of the Lake. It’s perfect for Glacier Park vacations, special occasions, weddings, birthdays and romantic getaways.

5 . Flathead Lake Lodge

Bigfork, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 204 - 4883

WEBSITE

You knew we couldn’t get through ten of the top Glacier National Park resorts without mentioning at least one classic dude ranch experience. Welcome to Averill's Flathead Lake Lodge, and to 2,000 acres of spectacular beauty to be enjoyed the most time-honored way – on horseback.

And that doesn’t even include the 30-mile-long, seven-mile-wide Flathead Lake right out your front door. This is a Montana dude ranch with equal parts land and water adventure. Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge is also one of the only classic dude ranches we’ve heard of that actually has scheduled cocktail boat cruises. At heart, it’s a place where you can take a horse for some of the most beautiful scenery you’ll ever see. A rodeo area provides roping, barrel racing, team penning and the highlight, a Family Rodeo; and you’ll love the adventures off of the ranch through an incredible array of guided riding trips for all ages and abilities. Once you get a glimpse of the Flathead Lake, surrounded by the Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park, you’ll know there’s no Montana dude ranch better than this.

Related Onsite Offerings

Horseback riding rules at Averill’s Flathead Lake Lodge, which provides lessons, horse games, arena events and more.

Related activities

Visit nearby Bigfork, MT, a quaint but vibrant artist’s community that offers truly distinctive shopping and dining near Flathead Lake.

Fun facts

Flathead Lake Lodge is Montana’s highest-rated hospitality facility by the Mobil Travel Guide.

6 . Gaynor's Resorts

Whitefish, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (866) 701 - 3189

WEBSITE

Gaynor’s Resorts was once a Montana ranch experience. Well, actually it still is – only now, it’s more than that. Adding eight additional cabins was done strictly as a result of popular demand, but the result is that you can choose between two distinct, and equally rejuvenating, Montana vacations.

Of course, you can feel free to mix and match. The original ranch and cabins embody the Montana lifestyle, and Gaynor’s offers a variety of guided, private trail rides through Spencer Mountain and the Whitefish Foothills. And as far as comfort and style, the new two-bedroom cabins - situated in the woods nearby - will give your own home a run for its money. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, you’ll find a combination of fun that goes far beyond a Montana dude ranch or a cabin resort. We’re talking river floating or fishing, hay bales for climbing, board games, a hot tub and plenty of dogs to play with. You can even do some ranch chores, groom the horses or ride the “practice bull” (not a real bull, mind you, but close enough)!

Related Onsite Offerings

Gaynor’s Resorts also offers a Mongolian yurt that doubles as a meeting facility. You've never seen anything like this!

Highlights

Take an Old West Horseback Ride, a unique trail ride that offers great views of the surrounding MT mountains and KM Valley. A mountaintop lunch is included!

Getting there

From Whitefish, MT, drive north on Hwy 93 towards Eureka for about 4.5 miles. Turn left on to Twin Bridges Rd. just past mile marker 132. Turn left onto KM Ranch Rd. Turn right into the drive for Gaynor’s Riverbend Ranch.

7 . Grouse Mountain Lodge

Whitefish, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 862 - 3000

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Maybe it’s Glacier National Park that you visit Montana for. Maybe you’d like to mix in a little golf. Or cross country skiing. Tennis, mountain biking or spa treatments. Maybe it’s the unique thrill of sitting in an outdoor whirlpool in the winter. No matter what, it’s here at Grouse Mountain Lodge.

We love this variety, especially when you consider that the first 36 holes of golf are right across the street at Whitefish Lake Golf Club. A few steps to the west and you’re at Whitefish City Park, including six public tennis courts. Step out the front door, and rent a mountain bike. And just 25 miles away is the western entrance to the spectacular Glacier National Park. We also love that Grouse Mountain Lodge adds a nice touch of luxury to your Montana vacation, with its loft suites, an indoor pool, a sauna and an ambiance that manages to be elegant, casual and upbeat at the same time. And your Montana vacation comes pouring into each interior space – you won’t believe the spectacular golf course and mountain views!

Fun facts

The Whitefish Lake Golf Course, directly across from Grouse Mountain Lodge, is the only 36-hole golf course in the state of Montana.

Related Onsite Offerings

Grouse Mountain Lodge offers 11,000 sq. feet of MT meeting and event space for groups of up to 300 people.

Getting there

From Missoula, MT, take highway 93 north for approximately two hours. Grouse Mountain Lodge is one hour south of the US/Canadian border directly across from the Whitefish Lake Golf Course.

8 . Meadow Lake Resort

Columbia Falls, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 321 - 4653

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Here’s another breathtaking example of a mountain lodge turned modern gem in the Flathead Valley. Meadow Lake Resort, just outside of Columbia Falls, is just minutes from Glacier National Park – if you can wrest yourself away from all the fun and beauty on the property.

If you were expecting a historic log lodge, be prepared for a dash of the purely contemporary. If you were expecting only lodge rooms, you can feel free to redefine your entire Montana vacation. Meadow Lake Resort has an inn, spacious condominiums and beautiful course-side vacation homes – all fully modern and ready for a fantastic Glacier Park getaway. And if you expecting a place that offers accommodations only and lets Glacier National Park do the entertaining, you’re in for another surprise. Actually, more than one: the recreation center offers indoor and outdoor pools and Hucklebear's Splash Zone, and Troop Meadow Lake has organized activities just or kids. The 18-hole Meadow Lake Golf Course was rated one of the six best Montana courses by Golf Digest. The Spa at Meadow Lake is the only NW Montana spa with a Vichy shower. Expecting more! It’s here at Meadow Lake Resort!

Related Onsite Offerings

The new Truby’s Fine Food and Spirits restaurant at Meadow Lake Resort serves lunch, dinner and fine wines.

Fun facts

Meadow Lake Resort is a recipient of RCI's Gold Crown Resort Award since 1993 and AAA's three diamond rating since 1994.

Getting there

From Missoula, MT, follow Hwy. 93 north to Kalispell, MT. Turn right on Hwy. 2. Meadow Lake Resort is located on the west edge of Columbia Falls, MT, off of Hwy 2. Turn north on Meadow Lake Blvd. and travel 1.4 miles to Meadow Lake Resort.

9 . Lake McDonald Lodge

Columbia Falls, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 888 - 5431

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We’ve always felt like a Glacier Park vacation should have a tinge of history to it. After all, it took centuries of glacial activity to create this place. And at Lake McDonald Lodge, you can rest assured that your Glacier Park lodging is pure, 100 percent historic legend.

As it has since 1914, Lake McDonald Lodge rests at the edge of Lake McDonald, the largest lake in western Glacier National Park. At any time, you can hop in your car and travel Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the most famous mountain roads in the nation. And once you go inside, you begin to discover what “history” means here. The 100-room lodge is an authentic recreation of a Swiss Chalet style hotel, with surrounding 1900s-era cottages and a wooden two-story motor inn. As you’ll discover, the idea of luxury Glacier Park lodging is alive and well at Lake McDonald Lodge, but not in the modern sense. The amenities are intentionally kept modest, allowing the Old World style to shine through. It’s not necessarily back to nature – but it’s as about close to a true Glacier Park getaway as you can get!

Fun facts

The floors in the lobby of Lake McDonald Lodge feature incised messages in Blackfeet, Chippewa and Cree that translate into "welcome," "new life to those who drink here," "looking toward the mountain," and more.

Highlights

Lake McDonald Lodge offers a lakeside veranda, perfect for enjoying the beauty of Lake McDonald. Or, take a cruise on the resort’s historic wooden boat “DeSmet.”

Related Onsite Offerings

Lake McDonald Lodge features a camp store, Jammer Joe's Grill and Pizzeria, the Stockade Lounge and Russell’s Fireside Dining Room.

10 . The Resort at Paws Up

Greenough, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (800) 473 - 0601

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While the Resort at Paws Up may be a short distance further from Glacier National Park than many Montana resorts, we can’t complete our Top 10 without including it. This is a 37,000-acre luxury guest ranch. It’s a village, with its own “towns” of accommodations. It’s…well, it’s a fabulous Montana resort vacation.

The towns of which we speak include Spa Town® at Paws Up, with completely unique treatment tents at the edge of a meadow. Then there’s Tent City, a luxury canvas community that’s the official home of “glamping” (glamorous camping) – you have to see these accommodations to believe them. The River Camp is a 270-sq.-ft. tent with electricity, private deck and a personal butler. Of course, there are more traditional accommodations at the Resort at Paws Up. That is if your idea of luxury includes luxury estates, lodges and meadow homes that add a glow of modern comfort to the surrounding Bob Marshall Wilderness. Oh – and the spectacular Glacier National Park is only an hour away!

Related Onsite Offerings

The Resort at Paws Up offers nearly a dozen luxury facilities for Montana meetings, corporate groups, events and weddings.

Highlights

The Paws Up "Kids Corps of Discovery" is held Monday through Saturday, with full- and half-day programs of organized, themed activities for children ages 5 to 12.

Getting there

From Missoula International Airport, turn right onto Broadway. Take the first left onto Airport Road and follow the signs to enter I-90 East. Take Exit 109 for MT Hwy. 200 E towards Bonner/Great Falls. Watch for mile marker 24 and turn right onto Sunset Hill Rd. between mile markers 24 and 25. The Resort at Paws Up is less than one mile on the left.

11 . Lake Five Resort

West Glacier, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 387 - 5601

WEBSITE

We like Lake Five Resort because it remains so close to the ideal dream: find a spot in the woods away from everyone, build a cabin and just – stay there. That’s what the Ridenours did here in 1915. Just ask their great-grandchildren – they’re likely to greet you at the door.

Of course it wasn’t just the woods that attracted this pioneering couple to what would become West Glacier, Montana. There was also the 235-acre Lake Five, and plenty of untouched land that the Ridenours used to create some rather impressive gardens. It was a matter of time – what began as “Retiro Cabins” is now Lake Five Resort, with nine cabins and 45 RV and campsites plus a volleyball court, a horseshoe pit and a playground. Never fear, though – the old magic is still here in full force. The cabins are modern, yet still look much the same as they must have in the 1920s. The resort is still a full mile from Highway 2, so it retains its peaceful seclusion. And Lake Five, though it hosts its share of modern recreation, is still mostly enjoyed at night – the sunsets are fantastic!

Highlights

New to Lake Five Resort is the unique thrill of its comfortable tipi lodges. They’re especially terrific for NW Montana family reunions!

Getting there

Lake Five Resort is located about one mile off of US Hwy. 2, three miles west of West Glacier (and the entrance to Glacier National Park).

Related Onsite Offerings

Along with access to the Lake Five beach, Lake Five Resort offers waterskiing lessons and canoe rentals on site!

12 . Historic Tamarack Lodge and Cabins

Hungry Horse, Montana

CALL DIRECT: +1 (406) 387 - 4420

WEBSITE

When we say “historic,” we’re not kidding. The Historic Tamarack Lodge is known for its proximity to the west entrance to Glacier National Park, but when it was built in 1907 it couldn’t make that claim – the world-class Montana vacation destination around it didn’t become a national park until 1910.

Today, after it was moved from what was then Belton, MT in 1948, the lodge is situated within the Flathead National Forest. You’ll see a lot of lodgepole pine around here, and that doesn’t change after you walk into the 3,400-sq.-ft. lodge. Its original oversized stone fireplace is still here, too, which makes for a big welcome; upstairs, there is Glacier Park themed lodge room accommodation that you have to see to believe with its classic mountain ambiance.

 The feeling continues among the 22 private cabins at the Historic Tamarack Lodge, which make you feel comfortable in a modern sort of way while transporting you back in time – the surroundings are just like they have been for centuries. And an assortment of onsite activities including horseshoes, volleyball, badminton and roasting marshmallows over the fire pits lend classic family fun to your Glacier Park getaway.

Highlights

Enjoy an espresso while soaking up the ambiance of the lodge coffee bar and browse a selection of Made in Montana souvenirs in the gift shop, or choose from a selection of rental equipment designed to help you get the most out of the natural surroundings.

Getting there

Follow Hwy. 2 across Montana. The Historic Tamarack Lodge is eight miles west of the town of West Glacier, on the left at 9549 US Highway 2 East in Hungry Horse, Montana.

Related Onsite Offerings

Twenty-two private cabins offer a range of lodging styles including our family cabins complete with large kitchens, living rooms and amenities. All accommodation comes with daily housekeeping, satellite tv and radio and wifi as standard.

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