5 Things to Do in Glacier National Park On Memorial Day Weekend

5 Things to Do in Glacier National Park On Memorial Day Weekend

It’s almost the last weekend in May. And you know what that means. Time to load up the gear and the rig, and get yourself to the Crown of the Continent. Then what? We’ve got you covered in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend.

5 Things to Do in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend

#1 Get High: Bike the Going to the Sun Road

The Going to the Sun Road is still closed to vehicle traffic in its alpine sections. Perfect. Because the quintessential local Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend experience is to bicycle it. Pedaling a bike up the nearly empty, quiet, Going-to-the-Sun Road is nothing short of spectacular. As you breathe in the fresh alpine air and watch waterfalls cascade off the mountains, you might catch a glimpse of a new moose or elk calf crossing a greening meadow. You might see harlequin ducks, mergansers, eagles, mountain goats, and even bears.

Biking in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend

Glacier National Park biking is an experience you will not soon—or ever—forget. Our interpretive, guided bike tours on the gorgeous, closed sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are exclusive to Glacier Guides and Montana Raft. Nearly all ages (8 and up!) and abilities can enjoy at least part of this Glacier National Park shoulder-season experience.

Just need a bike, not a guide? We can help you with that, too.

#2 Get Thrilled: Raft the Middle Fork of the Flathead River

The whitewater section of the Middle Fork of the Wild and Scenic Flathead River is incredible right now! We’ve had sunny, 80F days that make this splashy adventure even more fun. Wondering about the differences between our three whitewater trips — the Classic, the Sport, and Thrillseeker? Just give us a ring if you’d like a friendly person to talk to. For Memorial Day Weekend, we recommend booking our exclusive Sport half day Glacier National Park whitewater rafting trip. This tour is for only 6-8 people per boat. Why is our Sport trip special? Most importantly, the small number of rafters allows for a more intimate experience with the river. In addition, anyone who wants a “window seat” can have one. As well as anyone who wants to become part of the crew that maneuvers the raft through the rapids — following the simple commands of the guide — can do so! Or, if you’d rather sit back and relax, that’s great too! The Sport trip is all about you.

white water rafting glacier national park

Whitewater rafting Glacier National Park is such a thrill!

#3 Get Happier: Drive to Polebridge and Eat Pastries

Huckleberry bear claws at the Polebridge Mercantile

What could be more American than this pastry on Memorial Day Weekend?

You haven’t lived until you’ve rolled down the dusty North Fork Road in search of a huckleberry bear claw, chocolate chip cookies, and savory scones. As every local knows, if you hang a right off the North Fork Road into Polebridge, you come across a few random buildings, backed up to an amazing view of the wild, secluded North Fork area of Glacier National Park. One of those buildings — all of which are off the grid — is home to the most amazing bakery you’ve ever set sweet tooth in. Load up on the goods, and then check out #4.

#4 Get Stronger: Go Hiking

North Fork

If you’re in the North Fork area, perhaps post-Polebridge-treats, we recommend walking the closed road to Bowman Lake. It’s good exercise, and you’re more likely to experience a silent Bowman Lake when the road is closed, of course. Looking up at Rainbow Peak from the edge of the lake might be the perfect thing to do in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend, actually. It’ll get your brain ticking towards all that you want to accomplish this summer. Get smarter. Be kinder. Oh, and maybe hike the Highline Trail.

happy kids in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend at Bowman Lake

Kids of all ages love Bowman Lake in the spring.

St. Mary Valley

If you’re in the St. Mary area, the Beaver Lakes Loop is often the first hike to melt out, and it’s a beauty. The views are tremendous, the wildlife viewing opportunities excellent, and if you time it right, you can eat at Johnson’s of St. Mary on the way home. Do you like family style fried chicken, homemade bread, and mashed potatoes? Well, we do.

Flying a flag in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day.

Celebrating Memorial Day on the Beaver Lakes Loop. Photo courtesy IG @sanford.stone

Two Medicine

If you’re in the Two Medicine area, Scenic Point should be calling your name. We hike there every Saturday for a reason. It’s the iconic where-the-mountains-meet-the-plains hike, and it’s challenging. Get off the trail around 5pm and head into East Glacier for chile rellenos and margaritas at Serrano’s. As of this writing, the Two Medicine Campground is still closed due to last week’s snowfall, so be sure to check campground status if you’re planning on staying there.

Hiking scenic point glacier park

West Glacier / Lake McDonald Valley

If you’re in West Glacier, Avalanche Lake is a classic hike for a reason. Easy enough for almost anyone to tick off their list, Avalanche is a favorite for all ages. All summer long, waterfalls cascade off the Sperry Glacier to form this blue-green lake, but they are especially beautiful and full in the spring. Make this a morning adventure for maximum solace, then jump on a bike in West Glacier and ride down to the Glacier Grille for a burger and to the Stonefly Lounge or Glacier Distilling for a celebratory no-work-on-Monday cold one.

Avalanche Lake is one of the best hikes for kids in Glacier National Park.

Photo courtesy Glacier National Park, National Park Service.


Other questions about what to do in Glacier National Park on Memorial Day Weekend? We’re always here for you. Call, email, smoke signals – whatever works for you. We wish you a wonderful kickoff to summer! And we hope you’ll take a moment during your adventures to remember all the service men and women that this weekend is really all about.

By | 2017-10-16T13:17:23-07:00 May 24th, 2017|

About the Author:

Southern expatriate. Montana devotee since 1989. As Marketing Director for Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, I strive daily to meet our mission of providing exceptional active travel vacations and experiences in and around Glacier National Park, while preserving and protecting Glacier's unique ecosystem using the best available ecologically sound practices. Otherwise, you'll find me hiking, backpacking, rafting, skiing, or cleaning up the trail of glitter my kids leave in the wake of their own daily adventures. p.s. I like guest blogging. Shoot me an e-mail for details.

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