35 Best Places to Stay in Glacier National Park

Many Glacier Hotel on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is home to majestic mountain views, stunning scenic drives, and immense wildlife. There’s no shortage of incredible things to do and places to stay.

But in a park that’s more than one million acres in size, where you stay can be a crucial decision, potentially adding hours of driving to your itinerary each day. For example, staying on the park’s east side saves time visiting areas like St. Mary and Many Glacier.

This guide covers the best places to stay in Glacier National Park, including lodges and campgrounds, plus hotels outside the park. You’ll find everything here, from budget-friendly lodging to more luxurious stays.

Plus, I’m sharing tips on choosing the perfect location and accommodation for your trip and booking coveted lodging inside the park

By the end of this guide, you’ll feel prepared to book the ideal hotel, lodge, or campground for your trip to Glacier National Park.

Important Note
Glacier National Park requires all visitors to have a reservation to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road and enter the North Fork region from May 27 to September 11, 2022. Read this guide to the Going-to-the-Sun reservation system for more information.

Are you looking for more ideas for your trip to Glacier National Park? Don’t miss these posts!

This post may contain affiliate links, where I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read more in this disclosure policy.

Glacier National Park At-A-Glance

Before diving in, here are a few highlights to help you plan your trip:

  • Best Time to Visit: Summer is the best (and most popular) time to visit, thanks to warm weather and all park facilities being open. Visit in early to mid-September to avoid peak crowds.
  • Where to Stay: If you’re looking to stay in the park, I highly recommend the Many Glacier Hotel. If you’re looking to stay outside the park, look for accommodations in Babb or St. Mary, like St. Mary Village.
  • How to Get There: Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell, Montana, is the closest airport. Use Skyscanner to browse flights and find the best price.
  • How to Get Around: The best way to get around the park is by having your own car. Use Rentalcars.com to browse deals on rental cars or rent an RV or campervan with Outdoorsy!
  • Best Self-Guided Tour: My favorite way to learn more about the park is with GyPSy Guides, a narrated self-guided tour perfect for road trips and scenic drives. The Glacier Going-to-the-Sun Road Guide provides incredible commentary and detail about history and geology.
  • Don’t Forget: Be sure to get an America the Beautiful National Park Pass ahead of time. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites (including Glacier!).

Overview of Where to Stay in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is expansive, covering more than a million acres in northern Montana. Where you stay can impact your trip significantly, potentially adding hours of driving a day to popular destinations. 

Before diving into the best places to stay, let’s get the lay of the land in Glacier National Park.

Most first-time visitors choose to spend their time in the three most popular areas:

  • West Glacier is typically characterized as the area of Glacier National Park located between Apgar Village and The Loop along Going-to-the-Sun Road. This area is home to Lake McDonald and Avalanche Lake and is the only area of the park that remains open for visitors year-round. 
  • East Glacier / St. Mary is the other half of Going-to-the-Sun Road, located between The Loop and St. Mary Visitor Center. This area encompasses Logan Pass, St. Mary Lake, and several popular hikes.
  • Many Glacier is situated away from Going-to-the-Sun Road, about 45 minutes north of St. Mary. This area is filled with incredible sights and things to do and is where you’ll find the iconic Many Glacier Hotel.

The famous Going-to-the-Sun Road connects West Glacier and East Glacier. Along this incredible scenic drive, you’ll find several hotels and campgrounds. From many of these lodges, you can walk to some of the best hiking trails in the park.  

However, to stay along Going-to-the-Sun Road or in Many Glacier, you need to book six months to a year in advance.

Most visitors to Glacier National Park choose to stay outside the park in hotels, cabins, or private rentals. When staying outside the park, there are two main options:

  • East side (St. Mary, Babb, East Glacier Park Village, etc.)
  • West side (West Glacier, Columbia Falls, etc.).

Depending on the time of year you visit Glacier and what activities you’re interested in, whether you choose the east side or the west side will make a big difference.

Lake McDonald Lodge in Glacier National Park
Lake McDonald Lodge

Should I Stay Near the East Entrance or West Entrance?

Many visitors choose to stay in the greater West Glacier area thanks to the abundant lodging options outside the park in towns like Columbia Falls, and Kalispell.

However, I highly recommend booking lodging on the park’s east side in the St. Mary or Babb area. 

Staying near St. Mary or Babb provides centralized access to much of Going-to-the-Sun Road and the Many Glacier. You’ll save hours of driving each day by staying here instead of on the park’s west side. 

Book your accommodation early if you want to stay on the east side! There aren’t many lodging options here, and they tend to book up fast.

Essential Tips for the Best Places to Stay at Glacier National Park

  • Pick the best location to minimize driving time. For example, staying near St. Mary can significantly cut down on driving time to and from the park each day, allowing you to see more of Glacier.
  • Visit in the summer when lodging is open. Lodges and campgrounds in Glacier National Park don’t open until late May or early June and close in September. If you choose to visit in winter, a great option is staying in Whitefish, which turns into a ski town in the colder months. Read more about the best time to visit Glacier National Park.
  • Consider staying on the west side of the park in cities like Columbia Falls or Kalispell if you’re on a budget. Lodging inside and outside the park on the east side can be expensive due to high demand and limited options.
  • Avoid crowds by starting your day early, especially if you stay outside the park. Trails and attractions are busy, beginning around 8 or 9 AM. Beat the crowds by starting around sunrise.
  • Camping inside the park is only allowed at designated campgrounds. No camping is permitted in any parking lot or parking area, including pullouts. There are only a few first-come, first-served campgrounds located inside the park.

Best Places to Stay Inside Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has nine lodges located inside the park, ranging from rustic backcountry cabins to grandiose historic swiss-style inns.

Below is a table highlighting the lodges inside Glacier National Park:

LodgeSide of ParkOpen Dates
Many Glacier HotelMany GlacierEarly June to Mid-September
Swiftcurrent Motor InnMany GlacierEarly June to Mid-September
Rising Sun Motor InnEastMid-June to Early September
Lake McDonald LodgeWestMid-May to Mid-September
Motel Lake McDonaldWestLate May to Mid-September
Village Inn at ApgarWestMid-May to Late September
Apgar Village LodgeWestMid-May to Late September
Sperry ChaletBackcountryMid-July to Mid-September
Granite Park ChaletBackcountryLate June to Mid-September

These are the nine lodges located inside Glacier, perfect for a wide array of travel styles and interests.

Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park
Many Glacier Hotel
  • Many Glacier Hotel is the crown jewel of Glacier National Park, located in the Many Glacier area. You’ll find incredible dining, stunning mountain views, and rustic chalet-style rooms.
  • Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins is a more budget-friendly lodging option in Many Glacier, located near the start of some of the best hikes in the park, like the Grinnell Glacier Trail and the Iceberg Lake Trail.
  • Rising Sun Motor Inn is the only lodge in the St. Mary area inside Glacier National Park. This rustic motor inn offers cabins and motel-style rooms, a restaurant, a general store, and a gift shop.
  • Lake McDonald Lodge is another swiss-style chalet located along the shores of the expansive Lake McDonald near Glacier’s west entrance. This historic hotel offers rooms in the lodge plus private cabins. Guests can enjoy access to the tours and restaurants located nearby.
  • Motel Lake McDonald is a budget-friendly option located next to Lake McDonald Lodge. Guests here can enjoy the restaurants and amenities of Lake McDonald Lodge for a lower price in rustic motel-style rooms.
  • Village Inn at Apgar is a recently renovated lodging option near the west entrance. Guests can enjoy hotel rooms with full kitchens, perfect for saving money and cooking your meals while in the park.
  • Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins is a rustic lodging option in Apgar Village near Glacier’s west entrance. Guests can choose from motel rooms or private cabins with kitchenettes.
  • Sperry Chalet is a historic landmark hotel located in Glacier’s backcountry. A stay at Sperry Chalet requires a strenuous hike, but guests are rewarded with home-cooked meals and a cozy cabin.
  • Granite Park Chalet is the more rustic version of Sperry Chalet. This no-frills backcountry cabin is located along the Highline Trail, perfect for those who want to experience the backcountry without hauling in camping gear.

Glacier National Park also offers several reservable and first-come, first-served campgrounds inside the park. You can read more about camping in Glacier National Park here.

How to Book Lodging Inside Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has nine lodges located inside the park, requiring reservations.

Five of the nine lodges are managed by Glacier National Park Lodges. These include Many Glacier Hotel, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, Rising Sun Motor Inn, Lake McDonald Lodge, and Village Inn at Apgar.

You can book these lodges up to 13 months in advance (which I highly recommend doing!). On the first of each month at midnight mountain time, online reservations open up for the entire month of the following year.

For example, reservations for September 2023 are released on September 1, 2022. 

Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Hotel typically sell out quickly. If you want to stay in these lodges, I recommend booking 13 months in advance.

Glacier Park Collection manages Motel Lake McDonald and Apgar Village Lodge. These hotels are also available for reservations over a year in advance.

Sperry Chalet and Granite Park Chalet release reservations for the summer in January. For example, 2023 summer reservations will be available in January 2023.

Don’t miss the best sights in Glacier on your upcoming trip! This free, printable guide to Going-to-the-Sun Road covers all the best points of interest, tips for avoiding crowds along Glacier’s best scenic drive, and an exclusive map!

Download your free Going-to-the-Sun Road guide here.

Hotels in St. Mary

St. Mary is a small town located only minutes outside the East Entrance of Glacier National Park. In my opinion, this is the best place to stay near Glacier, given its location.

From here, you’re only a few minutes from St. Mary, 30 minutes to Logan Pass, 30 minutes to Many Glacier, and 1 hour to Two Medicine. However, options are slim in St. Mary, given its tiny size.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Lake McDonald: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center: 30 minutes
  • St. Mary Lake: 10 minutes
  • Many Glacier: 30 minutes
  • Two Medicine: 1 hour
  • Waterton, Canada: 1 hour 15 minutes
Aerial view of St. Mary Village with St. Mary Lake and Glacier National Park in the background
St. Mary Village

These are the best places to stay in St. Mary:

  • St. Mary Village is a 3-star resort with 115 rooms and an on-site restaurant and bar, only a short walk from the St. Mary Entrance to Glacier National Park
  • The Cottages at Glacier is a small community of 2 and 3 bedroom cabins overlooking St. Mary Lake, only minutes from the St. Mary entrance to Glacier National Park

Hotels in East Glacier Park Village

Located on the southeastern side of Glacier National Park at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 89, East Glacier Park Village is a small area along the historic railroad.

While a bit further from many park attractions, staying in East Glacier Park Village is a good alternative if options in St. Mary are sold out.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Lake McDonald: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • St. Mary Lake: 1 hour
  • Many Glacier: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Two Medicine: 25 minutes
  • Waterton, Canada: 2 hours
Exterior of Glacier Park Lodge near Glacier National Park
Glacier Park Lodge

These are the best hotels in East Glacier Park Village:

  • Glacier Park Lodge is a historic hotel in the heart of East Glacier Park Village with an on-site restaurant and golf course
  • Mountain Pine Motel is an art deco style hotel with 25 guest rooms close to the Glacier Park Lodge Golf Course
  • Isaak Walton Inn is a rustic, mountain lodge with 52 guest rooms, a restaurant, and a bar close to the Amtrak train station

Hotels in and Near West Glacier

West Glacier is a small town located only minutes outside the West Entrance of Glacier National Park. You’ll find several lodges and resorts that give you excellent access to areas like Apgar Village and Lake McDonald, only a short drive away.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Lake McDonald: 15 minutes
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center: 1 hour
  • St. Mary Lake: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Many Glacier: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Two Medicine: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Waterton, Canada: 3 hours
Snow covered Belton Chalet lodge near Glacier National Park
Belton Chalet

The best hotels in West Glacier include:

  • Belton Chalet is a 3-star hotel located along the Flathead River walkable to shops in West Glacier. This historic railroad hotel offers quaint hotel rooms and an excellent restaurant.
  • Glacier Guides Lodge is a lodge located within walking distance of the shops in West Glacier. This lodge is owned by Glacier Guides, a popular tour company for rafting, hiking, and biking excursions in Glacier National Park.
  • Glacier Outdoor Center is a mountain lodge offering 13 private cabins with mountain views located only five minutes from the West Entrance of Glacier National Park.
  • Great Northern Resort is home to 19 cabins located along the historic Great Northern Railway, hence the resort’s name. Guests here can enjoy the on-site restaurant, plus a short drive to the entrance of Glacier National Park

Hotels in Columbia Falls

Columbia Falls is located about 25 minutes from the West Entrance of Glacier National Park. Since this is a sizable town, you’ll find more accommodation options, including budget-friendly alternatives.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Lake McDonald: 35 minutes
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • St. Mary Lake: 2 hours
  • Many Glacier: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Two Medicine: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Waterton, Canada: 3 hours 30 minutes
Exterior of the front of North Forty Resort in Columbia Falls near Glacier National Park
North Forty Resort

The best hotels in Columbia Falls include:

  • North Forty Resort is a collection of 22 private log cabins with patios and community hot tubs
  • Cedar Creek Lodge is a luxurious ski lodge with 64 guest rooms that provide excellent access to Glacier National Park in the summer
  • Moss Mountain Inn is a small B&B with only four guest rooms and a 24-hour fitness center
  • Bad Rock Bed and Breakfast is a quaint B&B with ten guest rooms convenient to both Glacier National Park, and the Flathead River
  • Meadow Lake Resort & Condos is a family-friendly resort with 24 guest rooms, a golf course, and a spa

Hotels in Whitefish

Whitefish is a popular, luxury mountain town reminiscent of Jackson Hole. In the summer, it’s a popular place for fly fishing and day trips to Glacier National Park. In the winter, it’s a ski town.

Whitefish is further from Glacier National Park, located about 35 minutes west, but offers many dining and accommodation options for those who prefer a higher-end stay.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Lake McDonald: 45 minutes
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • St. Mary Lake: 2 hours
  • Many Glacier: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Two Medicine: 2 hours
  • Waterton, Canada: 3 hours 30 minutes
Aerial view of Lodge at Whitefish Lake on the lake shore near Glacier National Park
Lodge at Whitefish Lake

These are the best hotels in Whitefish:

Hotels in Kalispell

Kalispell is another sizable town on the west side of Glacier National Park. If you’re flying into Glacier National Park, you’re likely flying into Kalispell.

Spending one night in Kalispell on either end of your trip can be a great way to save time driving to and from the airport. However, staying in Kalispell requires a 45-minute drive to the Glacier National Park West Entrance.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Lake McDonald: 1 hour
  • Logan Pass Visitor Center: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • St. Mary Lake: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Many Glacier: 3 hours
  • Two Medicine: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Waterton, Canada: 3 hours 45 minutes
Lawn furniture in front of the sunny Country Inn and Suites in Kalispell, MT
Country Inn & Suites in Kalispell

These are the best hotels in Kalispell:

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Glacier National Park

Where you stay when visiting Glacier National Park will depend on your interests and budget. Here’s a quick recap of the top places to stay in and near the park.

However, if you’re looking for more selection, consider staying on the west side of the park in West Glacier or Columbia Falls.

Are you looking for more helpful tips to plan your trip to Glacier National Park? Read these posts!

Don’t miss the best sights in Glacier on your upcoming trip! This free, printable guide to Going-to-the-Sun Road covers all the best points of interest, tips for avoiding crowds along Glacier’s best scenic drive, and an exclusive map!

Download your free Going-to-the-Sun Road guide here.

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