Five Things to Do on the Way to Glacier National Park

five things to do on the way to glacier national park

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Before you get to the excitement and wonder of Glacier National Park, there are a few things you can visit and do on the way to the park. That’s what I love about slow travel, it has really given Mr. Misadventures and I the ability to widen the ground we cover when visiting a specific spot. I know that most times we are on a timeline, but if you have an extra few hours on your way to or from the park, consider doing one of these activities.

Huckleberry Patch in Arlee

things to do on the way to glacier national park huckleberry patch pie in arlee

I promise you, the bears have not gotten to all the huckleberries! You can find a great many of them in the items sold at Huckleberry Patch in Arlee, including their famous huckleberry pie. In the summer, the huckleberry milkshake is also a big hit. There is another Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse which is closer to the park, but I prefer the one in Arlee. Whichever one you visit, you won’t regret a slice of pie!

Garden of 1000 Buddhas

Five Things to Do on the Way to Glacier National Park garden of 1000 buddhas

If you want to pass a few moments of peace and quiet reflection before visiting one of the most popular (and crowded) national parks, then there is no better place to get your inner zen on than at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. The gardens are FREE and open to the public. They sit on about 10 acres of land among the rolling hills of Arlee near the Flathead Indian Reservation. The main monument features a statue of Tara and there are 1000 Buddhas surrounding her. It is a very beautiful place.

National Bison Range

things to do on the way to glacier national park national bison range
Photo credit: Sel & Poivre Photography

I was really disappointed to learn that unlike Yellowstone, there are no bison in Glacier National Park. Thankfully you can still see these majestic creatures on the way to Glacier at the National Bison Range. We saw about 2 dozen including babies while driving through the park along with pronghorn (closer than we’ve ever seen) and mule deer. They have a nice picnic area connected to the park where we enjoyed a meal as well.

Ninepipes National Wildlife Refuge

five-things-to-do-on-the-way-to-glacier-national-park-ninepipe-wildlife-refuge
Photo credit: Jonathan Irish, National Geographic

We went to Ninepipes National Wildlife Refuge looking for white pelicans, the ones we spotted were too far out to photograph, but we did see quite a few swans and blue heron (along with deer). It’s a great place to take a leisurely hike or go fishing and watch the birds enjoying the rustic 4,000+ acre space. If you get to this park, don’t miss the Ninepipes Museum of Early Montana in the nearby vicinity. We weren’t able to visit it, something I regret!

Flathead Lake

five-things-to-do-on-the-way-to-glacier-national-park-flathead-lake-orchard
Photo credit: Jennifer Langley

We drove completely around this gorgeous lake! Besides all the beautiful lakeside views there are national and state forests to visit. And orchards. Lots and lots of orchards where you can find apples and cherries as well as peaches. There were multiple spots where we pulled over to look at the pristinely clear water and I wished I had my bathing suit to jump in!

Whether you have time for one or all of these things to do on the way to Glacier National Park, I promise, you won’t regret the extra few hours out of your schedule.

What about you? Have you done something on the way to Glacier National Park that I missed? Do tell! Have you visited Glacier National Park? Did you do any of these five activities?

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5 Things to Do on the Way to Glacier National Park Montana USA 5 Things to Do on the Way to Glacier National Park Montana USA

19 Comments

  1. Katie
    September 22, 2016

    Great ideas! Sometimes we get so focused on the destination that we forget to stop and smell the flowers — or huckleberry pie — along the way. 🙂

    Reply
  2. Alicia
    September 22, 2016

    Oh wow! This looks like an absolutely GORGEOUS place to go visit. I want to head there someday.

    Reply
  3. Jolina
    September 22, 2016

    I haven’t been to Glacier National Park but I so want to go now! The journey there alone sounds and looks amazing.

    Reply
  4. Sam L
    September 22, 2016

    Wow! That looks so beautiful! It would be awesome to go there!

    Reply
  5. Mary
    September 23, 2016

    I have never been to Glacier National Park, but your pictures are gorgeous! That pie made my mouth water, and I don’t even know what huckleberry tastes like! lol. I had no clue there was a park of 1000 Buddhas.

    Reply
  6. maria @closetohome
    September 23, 2016

    We were in Alaska two summer ago and did not make it on land in Glacier Nat’l Park. This look amazing and such a great part of the country.

    Reply
  7. Brandy
    September 23, 2016

    I would love to see Glacier National Park some day. I am all about visiting National Parks for sure and this one looks worth checking out I love that there are things to do along the way too, makes the trip worth while 😉

    Reply
  8. Nicole Escat
    September 23, 2016

    Wow, this is a must-see national park. We have a national park here in our place but not as beautiful as that!

    Reply
  9. Carrie
    September 24, 2016

    That huckleberry pie looks amazing! I would love to go to Glacier Park one day! We have beautiful glaciers here in Norway and I love to explore around them!

    Reply
  10. jamie
    September 24, 2016

    Gorgeous! Someday we have to visit this place!

    Reply
    1. Ghalmi Chokri
      September 25, 2016

      Nice post! I was with you there!

      Reply
  11. Lynne B
    September 24, 2016

    Your beautiful pictures pale in comparison to the real thing, I’m sure!

    Reply
  12. Geri Sandoval
    September 25, 2016

    What place to visit, not just for the huckleberry pie. I don’t know they was a park of 1000 Buddhas, amazing. So much to see, would love to go there one of these days, thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  13. Olivine Eyes
    September 25, 2016

    More bison photos, yes. I’d love to visit the Garden of 1,000 Buddhas.

    Reply
  14. Jan
    September 25, 2016

    Love all the photos

    Reply
  15. Sara Theissen
    September 26, 2016

    Love this list! All great ideas.

    Reply
  16. Brian
    October 12, 2016

    Thanks for the ideas! These look like awesome places to visit on the way to Glacier. I’ll have to check them out!

    Reply
  17. Linda Manns Linneman
    October 19, 2017

    These are some great suggestions. What beauty God has created. I would love to be able to travel sometime. Thank you so much for sharing this great article

    Reply
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