Montana is indeed a photographers paradise. You look around and its surrounded by the beautiful green landscape with snow-covered mountains and lakes. We decided to take a road trip to Montana from Seattle which is around 8hrs of a drive. You basically drive on I-5 through Idaho and Montana. This was the most fun drive. The roads have sharp turns and surrounded either by beautiful green fields or water, definitely distracting which is why you have to be extra careful while driving.
We left around 3:00 PM on Friday. You will see a lot of traffic if leaving at this time. To beat the traffic I would recommend leaving around noon. We reached our destination around midnight after few stops on the way. We booked a big house on Airbnb near the west glacier national park for a group of 12 people. It was a huge house with a backyard in the middle of a forest. Absolutely scenic and beautiful. The network is pretty bad in this part of Montanna so be prepared to cut off from social media.
After good rest, we were off to explore Glacier National Park the next day.
Day 1: West Glacier National Park
- West Glacier National Park: The entrance fee to get into the park is around $25 for the whole week. We were driving through the sun road which is a scenic mountain road in the rocky mountains of western USA. We stopped at one of the lookout points to take some pictures of the beautiful Rockies and the lake which was indeed amazing. I would definitely recommend going on this drive which also takes you to Logan Pass where you can hike and spot grizzly bears. In May, the road was still covered with snow and it wasn’t open for visitors.
2. We then drove to Lake McDonald for paddleboarding. There is one store near the lake that rents kayaks, paddleboards, and boats. There’s a lake facing restaurant that serves food and drinks if you just want to chill by the lake.
3. We had some lunch near the national park called West glacier restaurant which serves really good burgers and drinks. There are few restaurant options near the park. Whereas, outside the park around 15mins drive away.
4. After some lunch, we left for Flathead Lake near Kalispell. You can drive around the lake or bring your own kayak/paddleboards/boats as there are no rentals nearby. This lake is perfect for a day of barbeque and water activities.
Day 2: River Rafting in West Glacier
- We had reservations with Glacier Raft Company for river rafting. It costs around $60.99 per person. They take you to Flathead river that’s supposed to be the best whitewater rafting, Montana has to offer. After 20 mins of a bus ride from the company location (in the village of the west glacier), you get down with your life vests on and into the raft with your paddles. It was one of the best experience in rafting through the river and John Stevens Canyon.
2. After two and half hour of rafting, we were tired and hungry. Glaciers grill cafe was our next stop. The strip has many other restaurants that you can try.
3. We then decided to drive towards East Glacier National park which is as beautiful as the West. Driving through Lewis and Clark national park to the east glacier national park is a drive filled with greenery and mind-blowing views. As we were driving through this road we reached Browning and kept driving till we reached a point of seclusion, no signal and three wild horses right in front of us. We were scared for our lives. However, we made it through the horses who were busy eating (not that they didn’t see us). We just drove by them slowly without disturbing or scaring them. This spot was absolutely magical with no soul around and complete peace and calm in the middle of nowhere. Breaking free and living a little in every moment is the key 😉 #insearchofmomentslikethese
4. As we were driving on US Highway 2, we came across Goat lick overlook. The name definitely caught our attention and we decided to stop. Its name comes from the fact that mountain goats come here to lick the mineral-laden cliffs #interestingfacts
Day 3: On our way back to Seattle, WA (A total of 11 hrs drive with three stops in between)
Other sightseeing places in Montana that I would recommend!
- Two medicine lake is another beautiful spot in Montana. It’s around 5 miles of a hike to see the gorgeous view of the reflection of the mountain in the lake. There are many points that you can cover on your hike (check the link).
- Hike on trails of the cedars
- I would definitely recommend a drive in East Glacier. Keep driving and let the road lead you and amaze you just like I was!
Some Pictures of our Airbnb