Glacier National Park Honeymoon Planning Tips
A Glacier National Park honeymoon is the perfect way to kick off your lifelong married adventure together. There are endless activities and amazing places to stay during your trip, but I wanted to write a post guiding you through some of my favorite Airbnb’s and park activities so you two can make the most of your trip!
Here’s a table of contents so you can jump to the information that might be most relevant to what you’re looking for:
Where to Fly Into Glacier National Park for Your Honeymoon
A good majority of people who fly to Glacier National Park for their trip fly into Glacier International Airport (FCA), but there definitely are other options depending on where in the park you’ll be spending most of your trip.
Flying into Glacier International Airport (FCA) might be a good option for you if…
You’re planning on staying in the Whitefish, Kalispell, West Glacier, or Columbia Falls areas outside of Glacier National Park or if you have camping reservations on the west side near Lake McDonald. This airport is between 10-40 minutes from all of these locations and is about 45 minutes from the park entrance.
You’re planning on doing some hikes, but also want easy access to shopping and dining options as well as activities such as zip-lining, rafting, skydiving, etc.
Flying into Great Falls International Airport (GTF) might be a good option for you if…
You’re planning on staying in the Saint Mary or Many Glacier areas outside of Glacier National Park. Drive times are not too much longer from Great Falls, Montana as they would be to Kalispell, Montana and you might have better luck finding less expensive rental cars from Great Falls!
Great Falls is also home to the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, Giant Springs State Park, and western artwork at the C.M. Russell Museum. Hotels are also less expensive in my experience and so you’d have a great place to rest your head if you flew in late before taking the drive to the park!
Here are some drive time comparisons to the west side of the park to help you make your decision:
GTF to Saint Mary, Montana = 2 hours, 34 minutes (156 miles)
FCA to Saint, Mary, Montana = 2 hour, 15 minutes (122 miles)
GTF to Many Glacier, Montana = 2 hour, 59 minutes (174 miles)
FCA to Many Glacier, Montana = 2 hour, 41 minutes (138 miles)
Where to stay in glacier national park for your honeymoon
Depending on the experience you’re looking to have during your trip to Glacier National Park – there are so many options of amazing places to stay to give you a cozy place to lay your head at night!
Here are some amazing spots to stay inside of Glacier National Park:
A good majority of clients who fly to Glacier National Park for their trip fly into Glacier International Airport (FCA), but there definitely are other options depending on where in the park you’ll be spending most of your trip.
Rising Sun Motor Inn
This is probably the most prime, central location in the park that you could possibly get. Located in the Saint Mary area of Glacier National Park, it puts you close to hikes like Virginia Falls and within easier driving distance of Logan Pass, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine! There’s also a restaurant and convenience store (with coffee) within walking distance.
If you’re looking to have a good time and camp (whether that be van camping, tent camping, or RVing) this is a prime location inside Glacier National Park. Located in the western region in Apgar Village, you have easy access to the restaurant and ice cream shop in Apgar Village, and boat rentals.
Lake McDonald Lodge Cabins
You can walk out of these cabins and be just feet from the shore of Lake McDonald. When I stayed there I saw so many deer in the woods near my cabin and you’re within walking distance of the Lake McDonald Lodge dining options and the general store down the road so you can easily grab a bite and sit by the shore for a sunset picnic!
Many Glacier Hotel
This is a bucket list spot to stay for sure and is well worth the extra money if you’re able to get a reservation! Eating breakfast in their dining room and sipping coffee on the deck during sunrise sounds like the best way to start each morning and you’re staying minutes from some of the most epic hikes in the park including Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg Lake, and Cracker Lake! There’s also a boat rental and boat tour launch site just outside of the hotel which makes for convenient adventuring.
Here are some of my favorite spots outside of Glacier National Park:
Getting reservations in the park is sometimes just a matter of luck! Don’t let having to stay outside of the park get you down, there are so many great places to stay just minutes from Glacier National Park.
Montana Treehouse Retreat: instagram.com/mttreehouse
Located in Columbia Falls, Montana these rentals would make for the perfect nestled-in-the-woods one-of-a-kind Montana experience during your honeymoon.
If you love camping or the idea of renting a quaint cabin and immersing yourself in nature a little bit more, staying at a KOA (Kampground of America) would be perfect for you. The facilities in these campgrounds are so well-kept and the staff is beyond welcoming and kind.
Saint Mary / East Glacier KOA
Staying in the Saint Mary KOA will get you closer to all of the hiking options in the eastern side of the park (such as Grinnell Glacier, Virginia Falls, and much much more). It’s located only a few minutes from the Saint Mary entrance of Glacier National Park, about 40 minutes from the Many Glacier entrance, and a little over an hour drive from the Two Medicine entrance of the park!
Whitefish / Kalispell KOA
A great perk of this KOA is that you’re still close to the Kalispell airport and restaurants in Whitefish or Kalispell and there’s a little petting zoo farm where you can purchase food to feed the animals and it is absolutely beyond cute! They also have some “glamping” options as well!
West Glacier KOA
This campground has an amazing dog park, pool, and on-site ice cream and dining options so that you really never have to leave if you need a rest day! It’s also located minutes from the west entrance of Glacier National Park which is super convenient for access to Lake McDonald and Polebridge.
Glacier National Park Activities for Your Honeymoon
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea #1: Go kayaking together on Lake McDonald
Kayaking at least once in Glacier National Park is a must during your honeymoon! My favorite place to go kayaking in Glacier National Park is in Apgar Village at Lake McDonald. The boat company rents single and double kayaks, canoes, and motorboats at an hourly rate which makes it easy to take it out as long as you please and enjoy the beauty of Lake McDonald. The water is so clear and blue and it’s such a cool experience to kayak with beautiful rainbow rocks below you. There’s often a cool breeze to help with the heat, but if you get too warm the water in Lake McDonald is always a frigid temperature and you can easily dip your toes in!
There are also kayak rental areas in Glacier National Park at Two Medicine and Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier. If you’re staying closer to Flathead Lake, there are sunset boat tours that you can take to sit back and enjoy the sunset over Montana’s largest lake.
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea #2: Hike to Avalanche Lake
If I had to pick only one hike for you to do during your honeymoon in Glacier National Park – this would be it. Round trip the hike is around 5 miles depending how long you wander along the lake when you get there and there’s a little over 700 feet of elevation gain. It starts along the Trail of the Cedars which is a breathtaking wheelchair-accessible one-mile loop through the forest. My favorite time to hike to the lake is early in the morning right around sunshine to watch the sun come over the mountains with a cup of hot coco in Han and have most of the trail to myself, but any time you’re able to get there and see it is worthwhile!
The parking lot to Avalanche Lake fills up quickly in the morning so I definitely recommend an early start and checking the official Glacier National Park Twitter account to see when the parking area has filled in the past few days.
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea #3: Enjoy a Swiftcurrent Lake Sunrise at the Many Glacier Hotel
Staying at the Many Glacier Hotel is a bucket list item for me because of the sunrises and sunsets that take right in front of the hotel. It would be an absolute dream to snag a room there with a view of the lake! Even if you’re not able to snag a room, I can’t recommend the early wake-up to witness a sunrise from the shore of Swiftcurrent Lake enough. You’ll be able to see the alpenglow light up the mountains and maybe even get a chance to see wildlife such as a moose or grizzly bear! Afterward, you can’t go wrong with sitting on the deck at the Many Glacier Hotel or grabbing a bite to eat inside in the dining room. There are tables right next to the windows with a beautiful view of the lake!
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea #4: Book a Honeymoon / Day After Session with a Photographer
Whether you want to bring your wedding attire with you on your trip or have a more casual adventure session in the mountains, it’s totally worthwhile to book a session with a Glacier National Park photographer to get amazing photos of the two of you during your trip! Cathy and Ryan booked a day after session following their wedding day and we had so much fun exploring the park together and getting epic photos in their wedding attire! This is also a super fun idea if you want elopement-style photos but still want to have a more traditional wedding with friends and family present.
A more casual Glacier National Park couples session could be as simple as getting cozy at the campsite with your two dogs or enjoying spending time together along the shore of Lake McDonald. Not that you need an excuse to get photos together… but I’d say honeymooning together in Glacier National Park is a pretty good excuse!
Check out Andrew and Victoria’s Avalanche Lake adventure session as well as photos from Maggie and Cody’s romantic Lake McDonald elopement photos to get inspired about what your photos could look like! Contact me if you want more information and to start planning your couples session during your trip to Glacier National Park.
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea #5: Take a boat tour across Saint Mary Lake
My dad visited during the summer of 2019 and he absolutely loved this particular boat tour. We opted for the tour that would allow us to stop to hike to Baring Falls! I’m usually not one to be particularly interested in history-filled guided tours, but I found what the boat tour guide had to say during our boat tour super interesting and it was cool to learn a bit more about the history of Glacier National Park! After your boat tour, you can check out scenic spots in the Saint Mary area like Sun Point and Wild Goose Island Overlook.
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea #6: Go Stargazing
One of my favorite things about Montana and Glacier National Park in particular is how little light pollution there is in the sky which makes star gazing so much easier! I honestly never even realized how many stars were in the sky until we moved out west and I saw the Milky Way for the first time with my eyes. I totally thought it was something you could only see with a fancy camera photo!
During Tyler-Moss and Ali’s elopement in Glacier National Park they were lucky enough to be able to witness the northern lights and I still can’t believe we were able to experience this on their elopement day! There is a Glacier National Park Facebook group that you can join where people will often start posting when there is a chance of seeing the northern lights based on the forecast. If you want to check the aurora forecast yourself visit the Space Weather Prediction Center’s website or get the My Aurora Forecast app on your phone.
Glacier National Park Honeymoon Idea 7: Enjoy Dinner and Live Music at Flathead Lake
My favorite spot to grab a bite with friends in the area is Harbor Grille in Lakeside along Flathead Lake. There’s usually live music and the environment is so fun! If there’s a wait you can hangout with drinks on the dock and enjoy the views which makes waiting not so bad at all.
so excited for your trip to glacier national park!
I hope all of these tips help you two get excited for your upcoming trip! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you decide to plan a couples session in Glacier National Park during your visit to Montana!