Welcome, Spring in Glacier National Park!
It’s the time of year when everything starts happening in Glacier National Park. May and June mean springtime in the Rockies is at its best, and early visitors will enjoy better, uncrowded wildlife, waterfall, and wildflower viewing than visitors in the peak July-August season. There’s also opportunities to do ALL of our favorite things in Glacier, depending on which part of spring you experience: raft, hike, fish, and bike!
Whitewater Rafting During Spring in Glacier National Park
The whitewater rafting on Glacier’s border rivers is at its most thrilling in the spring, as peak runoff typically occurs this time of year. We take daily trips on this Wild and Scenic river system, and float the calmer Scenic section of the Middle Fork Flathead River, too. There’s nothing quite like river time – don’t miss out.
After getting in a day or two on the river, locals pick biking on the Going-to-the-Sun Road as their favorite spring activity. Be aware that this year — 2019 — Glacier National Park is taking action to protect the $200+ million dollar investment recently made into the Going to the Sun Road. The park is calling this the Pavement Preservation Project, and it will actually make the road even smoother and nicer for biking! At the same time, the nature of the project will close the Sun Road to biking between Avalanche and Logan Pass on some weekdays – not weekends – this spring, depending on the contractor’s schedule. You can check out the park’s website to keep up with what’s open.
As a result of the Pavement project, the park announced that the Going to the Sun Road will not open before June 22 this year. That doesn’t mean the road will open on the 22nd, though! In some years, the road hasn’t opened until the second week of July. Be patient, watch the website for updates, and enjoy this quieter time of year.
Low Elevation Hiking
Hiking in June is uniquely wonderful. While many of the park’s most famous trails don’t typically fully open until mid-July — like Grinnell Glacier and Ptarmigan Tunnel — the upside is that there are far less people on the ones that are open, whether fully or partially. On the west side of the park, we love making a day out of stringing together several shorter hikes like Rocky Point on Lake McDonald, the McDonald Creek trails, and Johns Lake off the Going to the Sun Road.
On the east side of the park, lower elevation hikes in Two Medicine like Paradise Point, Aster Point, and Running Eagle Falls are a great way to ease into hiking season. In St. Mary, 3.6 mile Beaver Pond Loop offers beautiful valley floor views for adults and kiddos alike. And up in Many Glacier, the accessible Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail makes for a fun hike around the lake.
Fly Fishing on a Wild and Scenic River
As the runoff slows down towards the end of June, and the rivers clear up, the fishing gets hot on the Flathead! Whether you hire a guide or rent a boat and go on your own, be sure to pick up a Montana fishing license and to brush up on your Leave No Trace river skills. We think Catch and Release practices are really important on rivers filled with threatened native species like westslope cutthroat, bull trout, and more. Keep ‘em wet!
Solstice Celebration of Spring in Glacier National Park
June also gifts us our favorite day of the year: the Solstice! We’re running a special trip to celebrate, and there is still room available. Or tell us about your Solstice adventures by tagging us on Instagram.
If you need equipment or a guide for rafting, hiking, fishing, or biking, give us a call at 406-387-5555 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, you won’t know about Spring in Glacier National Park if you don’t go! Go with us.