Glacier Guides and Montana Raft

How To Get A Reservation At Granite Park Chalet

A frequently asked question around here is how to get a reservation at Granite Park Chalet. And it’s a question we love, as the experience provided by Granite Park Chalet is one we would wish on everyone. After all, how else do you get to see Glacier’s star studded skies from the backcountry without having to carry a heavy backpack?

Background: Granite Park Chalet

Granite Park Chalet photo by guide Dre Cameron

Let’s start with a brief history lesson. Granite Park Chalet was built in 1914 and 1915 by the Great Northern Railway to provide comfortable backcountry accommodations inside Glacier National Park. It was the last of the lodges and chalets built by the railroad — originally, there were 10. Granite Park Chalet welcomed backcountry guests for generations, pausing only for the Great Depression and World War II, which were hard on all of the chalets.

Photo by guide Dre Cameron

In 1992, the Sierra Club threatened to sue the National Park Service over waste-water management at both Sperry and Granite Park chalets. The chalets were closed. The Philips family of Bozeman, a husband and wife team who met at the chalets, started a grass-roots effort called “Save the Chalets.” This was aimed at working with the Park Service to re-open and maintain the chalets. Granite Park was restored and reopened in 1996. A couple years after that, Glacier Guides and Montana Raft ran Granite Park Chalet for seven summers, so it holds an extra special place in our hearts. Other than us, the Luding Family has lovingly operated and cared for the chalets since 1954.

Granite Park Chalet Today

Granite Park is a stunning place, with sweeping views of Heaven’s Peak, the Livingstone Range, the Lake McDonald Valley, the Garden Wall, and the Logan Pass area. From every direction, the trails accessing Granite Park — from Waterton/50 Mountain, Logan Pass, the Loop, and Swiftcurrent — are gorgeous, and amongst the most popular in the park. Granite Park Chalet is typically open from late June through early September. The Chalet is listed as a National Historic Landmark and is a treasured space in Glacier’s backcountry. 

Garden Wall Glacier National Park Photo by Corrie Holloway

Photo of The Garden Wall by guide Corrie Holloway

How To Get A Reservation At Granite Park Chalet

After the 2003 fires, the loop trail gained some gorgeous views. Photo by guide Corrie Holloway

Regardless of which route you take, expect amazing alpine views and abundant wildflowers. Both of these trails offer the chance for wildlife sightings, too — remember that goats, sheep, bears, and all critters have the right of way on the trail, and if possible, you should always step down off the trail, not up, when yielding to them.

After the fires of 2003, the Loop Trail gained
amazing views. Photo by Guide Corrie Holloway.

Day 1- Granite Park Chalet Trip

Upon arriving at the Chalet, we relax on the famous stone porch, drinking in the views of Heaven’s Peak. We’ll enjoy appetizers like cheese, crackers, and fruit before the dinner hour. Guests share a large kitchen, each signing up for a cooking time slot — on a Glacier Guides and Montana Raft trip to Granite Park chalet, our guides sign up for these slots. Guides take great pride in showing off their backcountry skills in Granite Park Chalet’s big kitchen.  A typical dinner is steak fajitas with farmer’s market veggies, rice and beans, or maybe chicken parmesan with garlic bread and locally sourced salad. For dessert, brownies or cheesecake are likely choices.

Vegetarian? Gluten free? No dairy? No problem. Our in-house kitchen staff can accommodate any dietary restriction or preference with delicious, largely organic and locally sourced choices. We believe in feeding our guests and ourselves the most nutritious, delicious food available in the backcountry. After dinner, we retire to sleep deeply, safe and sound within the stone walls of the Chalet, on beds with fresh linens.

Granite Park Chalet, Glacier National Park - Glacier Guides & Montana Raft

Beautiful view from Granite Park Chalet. Photo by guide Tom Matelich

Day 2 – Granite Park Chalet Trip

The next morning, we recommend you take a quiet moment to watch the sun rise over the Garden Wall. Then, enjoy a breakfast that might be local eggs scrambled with fresh vegetables, sausage, and english muffins, or perhaps huckleberry topped pancakes with bacon. A trip to Granite Park Chalet, when you’re going with us, is a two night affair, as we just can’t fit everything we want to show you into a one night trip.

You’ll likely have several options on day two, and the group might split up depending on guest goals. A favorite destination is Swiftcurrent Firetower, a fairly short but strenuous hike up from the Chalet. Other guests might choose to hike to Ahern Pass, continuing north up the Highline Trail. You can’t make a bad decision between these choices. Both hikes offer guests an excellent chance to observe Glacier’s abundant flora and fauna. We often see Glacier’s iconic mountain goats and Bighorn sheep in this area. At times, we also spot grizzly bears, wolverines, marmots, bald eagles, and more! The summer bloom of wildflowers create carpets of beargrass, sticky geranium, and Indian paintbrush along the trail. The views from the Highline Trail, and Granite Park Chalet, are largely unobstructed. You may feel the need to sing songs from The Sound of Music as you hike. Another delicious dinner at the Chalet awaits you on night two.

Swiftcurrent Firetower, photo by Eliana Langer

Day 3 – Granite Park Chalet Trip

The next morning, relax on the porch or join the group on the short-but-steep scramble up to Grinnell Glacier Overlook — so worth the effort! You’ll get a bird’s eye view of Grinnell and Salamander Glaciers in the Many Glacier valley. Next, we’ll retrace our steps to the Chalet, and enjoy a hearty lunch on the porch. Afterwards, it’s time to hike down the Loop trail. We should arrive back at Glacier Guides and Montana Raft around 4pm.

Ready To Learn More?

So, now you know how to get a reservation at Granite Park Chalet! You can check availability for our guided trips here, or you can always call & email us for additional information.

More Reading on Glacier National Park’s Lodges and Chalets
More Reading on Hiking the Highline Trail
Granite Park and Sperry Chalets – 10 Reasons to go to Glacier’s Backcountry Chalets
The Loss of Sperry Chalet
Granite Park Chalet Website
More Reading About Granite Park Chalet

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