12 Very Special Things To Do In Many Glacier

Many Glacier is home to stunning glacial lakes, alpine meadows, majestic mountains, wildlife, and some very epic hiking trails! This corner of Glacier National Park might just be the most beautiful and best section of the park.

Is Many Glacier worth visiting? Hell yes! As a matter of fact, Many Glacier should be at the top of your Glacier National Park itinerary because the scenery is so spellbinding here and there are so many very special things to do.

From iconic must-do hikes that lead to glistening glaciers, handsome historic hotels, and boat tours that cruise to not one but two gigantic lakes, you will not run out of things to do while visiting Many Glacier.

This section of Glacier National Park does not see as many visitors as West Glacier and Going-To-The-Sun Road which is all the more reason to visit! You won’t have to deal with as many hikers on the trails here or spend as much time looking for a parking space. This of course means more time spent exploring, relaxing, and soaking in the extraordinary scenery!

In this guide, we’ll cover the very best things to do in Many Glacier for visitors who are looking for both adventurous activities and for those of you seeking a more relaxed itinerary. Okay, let’s get to it!

Best Things To Do In Many Glacier

1. Go On A Boat Tour

Morning Eagle Boat Tour On Lake Josephine

See Many Glacier’s enchanting landscape aboard a historical wooden boat. These magical boat tours will take you across not one lake, but two glacial lakes! Yes, you’re boat tour ticket will cover tours of both Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine, Many Glacier’s two largest lakes.

Step onboard ‘Chief Two Guns’ from a boat dock right in front of the Many Glacier Hotel to be taken across Swiftcurrent Lake. You will then disembark at the end of the lake and walk across a short hiking trail through the woods to Lake Josephine where you will hop on a second wooden boat (built in 1945) named ‘Morning Eagle’.

The Morning Eagle will cruise across Lake Josephine dropping passengers off at the head of the lake. From here, passengers can either disembark and go on an optional guided hike to Grinnell Lake which is provided at no additional charge, or take a self-guided hike to Grinnell Lake or Upper Grinnell Lake. If you wish, you can also remain on the boat to return back to Many Glacier Hotel.

Boat tours are approximately 1.5 hours in duration but you should allow three to four hours in total if you want to combine your boat tour with a hike.

The Many Glacier boat tours are operated by Glacier Boat Company who have been operating in Glacier National Park since 1925. These tours operate seasonally from June trough September with tickets ranging from approximately $17 for children to $35 for adults.

While you’re on the boats, the captains will discuss interesting facts about Glacier National Park and point out places of interest along the way. If you get lucky, you may even see a moose or a bear on the lake shoreline. These boat tours will surely be an unforgettable experience for you whether you choose to hike or not!

Wildlife Watching

Glacier National Park is one of the best places for wildlife watching in the country, and in fact one of only a few places left in the United States that is still home to large land mammals like Grizzly bears and moose which have been extirpated from all other states except for in Glacier, Yellowstone, and the Tetons.

If you haven’t seen grizzlies or moose in the wild, then you need to make it your mission to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat before they become extinct. Fortunately, both grizzlies and moose are thriving in Glacier National Park, and especially in the Many Glacier area, which means it shouldn’t be too hard for you (fingers crossed) to find native wildlife. Here are some tips on where to find grizzly bears and moose in Many Glacier.

2. See Moose At Fishercap Lake

Moose At Fishercap Lake In Glacier National Park

Although there is a good chance of coming across a moose on many of the hiking trails in Many Glacier, one of the most reliable places to see moose is at Fishercap Lake.

Fortunately, Fishercap Lake is very easy to reach. Park at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn parking lot and take a short 0.3 mile hike to Fishercap Lake along the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail. When you get to the lake, scan the shoreline for any moose that might be foraging on the lake’s shores and also in the lake.

Wildlife watching is always best early in the morning and late afternoon so to increase your chances of seeing moose at Fishercap Lake, try to arrive at the lake during these times. The most important thing is to be patient and quiet. Loud noises scare wildlife so the quieter you are, the more likely moose and other wildlife will feel comfortable being out in the open.

Travel Tip: Bring a picnic blanket, some warm tea or coffee, and wait for a moose sighting.

3. Watch For Grizzly Bears

Grizzly Bear In Glacier National Park

Many Glacier is a haven for grizzly bears! If spotting a grizzly bear in the wild is one of your lifelong dreams or on your bucket list (like it was mine), then you will not have a better chance of seeing them than at Glacier National Park!

In fact, Many Glacier has one of the densest bear populations in the contiguous United States. Unless you’re exceptionally unfortunate, spending a few days here should result in at least one bear sighting.

Although I will confess, our first trip to Glacier National Park did not result in any bear sightings, however, all subsequent visits involved many grizzly sightings including a few encounters that were a little to close for comfort. During our last trip to Many Glacier in 2021, there were so many bears in the area that the Many Glacier Campground had to kick all campers out of the campground for safety reasons!

So where is the best place to see grizzly bears in Many Glacier? I would say one of the top places to see grizzlies is on the Many Glacier Road that leads into the park.

Often you’ll see grizzlies and black bears roaming the shores of Lake Sherburne and also on the other side of the lake too. If you see cars pulled over onto the side of the road on your way into or out of the park, then there has likely been a recent bear sighting.

As always, the key is to be patient. Arrive early in the morning or late in the evening and scan the shorelines, meadows, and patches of thick bush. Bring binoculars if you want to be able to get a closer look at wildlife in Glacier National Park.

4. Take A Hike

Iceberg Lake Hiking Trail In Many Glacier

Glacier National Park is famed for having some of the most awe-inspiring hiking trails in the United States. Arguably, Many Glacier contains some of the park’s most iconic hikes such as the hike to Grinnell Glacier and the hike to Iceberg Lake.

So then needless to say, you cannot visit Glacier National Park and not take on at least one hike! Even if you are not a hiker, or don’t consider yourself to be in good physical shape, there is still a hike for you in Many Glacier.

Whether you are looking to take on a short and easy trail, or wanting to complete a more challenging hike, there are several fantastic options that will lead you to some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth!

Here are some hiking trail recommendations (below #6, #7, and #8) that cover both easy and more challenging hikes you should consider adding to your Glacier National Park itinerary. For more suggestions, see this guide to the best hikes in Many Glacier.

5. Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail Loop (Short & Easy Trail)

12 Best Things To Do In Many Glacier: Hike Around Swiftcurrent Lake
Swiftcurrent Lake

The Swiftcurrent Lake Nature Trail is an easy hiking trail in Many Glacier that loops around Swiftcurrent Lake. Along the trail are pretty lake views and peek-a-boo mountain vistas.

Starting the trail at Many Glacier Hotel, you will be able to see incredible views of the 7,600 foot tall Grinnell Point standing directly behind Swiftcurrent Lake and Mount Wilbur (9,321ft) sitting a little further back towards the west. You can complete the loop hike in whichever direction you prefer.

Most of the trail travels through a pleasant forested area with lodgepole pine, spruce, fir, and aspen trees. Along the way are access points to small pebbled beaches beside the lake which are perfect for picnicking and relaxation.

Note: A small portion of this trail (the first quarter mile past the Grinnell Glacier Trailhead) is wheelchair accessible.

6. Grinnell Glacier Hiking Trail (Challenging Trail)

Hike To Grinnell Glacier In Glacier National Park
Upper Grinnell Lake

The hike to Grinnell Glacier has it all; stunning alpine scenery, wildflower-filled meadows, turquoise lakes, glaciers, and wildlife galore! This iconic hiking trail in Many Glacier is one of the most popular hiking trails in Glacier National Park.

So fantastic is this hike that it not only is one of the best things to do in Montana, but it also makes it onto this USA bucket list. Yep, this is a hike that you need to experience at least once in your lifetime if you get the opportunity.

On this day hike, you’ll get to see four beautiful lakes including Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine, Grinnell Lake, and Upper Grinnell Lake. The trail culminates at Grinnell Glacier, a 220-acre ice field that rests on the north flank of Mount Gould at an altitude of 7,000 feet.

7. Iceberg Lake Hiking Trail (Moderate Trail)

Iceberg Lake In Many Glacier
Iceberg Lake

The Iceberg Lake hiking trail is easily one of the best hikes you can do in Glacier National Park. This hiking trail is full of beauty almost the entire way up ascending an incredibly scenic valley before reaching a stunning alpine lake with the most brilliant turquoise-colored water that will take your breath away.

The icy-cold teal lake is famous for its floating icebergs which add to the dramatic scenery here. If that wasn’t enough to excite you, Iceberg Lake sits at the base of a steep-walled cirque which is just spectacular to see up close!

On the way up, you’ll pass through open terrain where you can see spectacular views of the surrounding peaks which include Mount Grinnell (8,851ft), Swiftcurrent Mountain (8,436ft), and Mount Wilbur (9,321ft) before reaching Ptarmigan Falls. Not too long after Ptarmigan Falls you will arrive at your destination, the stunning Iceberg Lake.

>>Read: Best Hikes In Many Glacier: Easy & Challenging Trails To Add To Your Glacier National Park Itinerary

8. Take A Guided Horseback Ride Through Many Glacier’s Mesmerizing Scenery

One of the most special things to do in Many Glacier is to take a guided horseback ride through the park’s stunning landscape! Enjoying the mesmerizing scenery that Glacier National Park is renown for on horseback is not only a unique way to experience the park, but a once in a lifetime opportunity that you’ll never forget.

Seeing the park on horseback is a much more relaxing experience than hiking and will allow you the opportunity to truly soak in those magical views. Also, if you’re not comfortable hiking through grizzly bear territory, perhaps being on the back of a horse will make you feel more comfortable.

In addition, for hikers who don’t have the stamina to take on some of the lengthier trails, a trail ride gives you the ability to reach destinations in Many Glacier you may not have been able to hike to such as Cracker Lake or Poia Lake.

Swan Mountain Outfitters who have a corral right behind the Many Glacier Hotel parking lot, offer a number of tour options that range from one hour to full day excursions. Trail rides are suitable for all experience levels including beginner riders.

Some of the places in Many Glacier you can ride to include Lake Josephine, Cracker Flats, Sherburne Lake, Cracker Lake, Poia Lake, and the Piegan Valley. Trail rides operate in the morning, around midday, and late afternoon for shorter rides.

For more information about bookings, rider height and weight restrictions, and pricing click here.

9. Canoe Or Kayak On Swiftcurrent Lake

If you’re looking for outdoor activities that don’t involve hiking, consider renting a kayak or canoe for an hour or two and go for a paddle on Swiftcurrent Lake.

It’s the perfect activity for adventurers and a great way to enjoy your time in Glacier National Park. You’ll be able to see the park from a unique perspective that many others don’t get to experience. In summer, you can stop along the lake’s shores and take a quick dip if you’re willing to brave the chilly waters.

Glacier Park Boat Company offer a variety of watercraft rentals that include single and double kayaks, canoes, and rowboats. All rentals are on a first come first serve basis. Reservations are not available. The minimum rental time is 1 hour. Life jackets, paddles, oars and fuel are provided at no additional charge.

10. Relax On Many Glacier Hotel’s Deck

Many Glacier Hotel In Glacier National Park

One of the top things to do in Glacier National Park is relax on Many Glacier Hotel’s outdoor deck. Many Glacier Hotel sits on Swiftcurrent Lake’s shoreline facing the impressive 7,604 foot tall Grinnell Point. Enjoy the wonderful views of Grinnell Point and the other surrounding peaks while kicking back on a lounge chair in the sun.

Whether you stop by to sip on an early morning coffee, come to unwind after a long day of hiking, or want to catch a sunset, the hotel’s deck is the perfect place to soak in Many Glacier’s very special scenery. I recommend popping down to the convenience store located on the ground level of the hotel where you can grab a coffee, beer, wine, and snacks to go.

If it’s too cold to sit outside, feel free to make use of the comfy lounge chairs inside the hotel’s lobby area which has huge windows to take in the marvelous views.

You don’t need to stay at Many Glacier Hotel to enjoy the deck or lodge’s lobby area. They are both open to the public for enjoyment. Feel free to stick around as long as you like!

11. Dine At Many Glacier Hotel’s Historic Lodge Restaurant

Ptarmigan Dining Room In Many Glacier
Flickr: Dave Hensley

Dine inside the historic Many Glacier Hotel’s Ptarmigan Dining Room which offers excellent cuisine with exceptional views. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this restaurant provides visitors with a lovely dining experience to make your stay in the park a little more extraordinary.

The magnificent dining room with its restored historic features such as stone fireplace and wrought iron trusses, sits adjacent to Swiftcurrent Lake. From the dining room, guests can enjoy marvelous mountain vistas while savoring a continental breakfast or a typical Montana lunch with fare that includes bison burgers and Montana raised lentil burgers.

Step it up a notch for dinner and order braised bison ribs, grilled King salmon, pan-seared duck breast with Flathead cherry chutney, or a plating of sautéed Rainbow trout. Finish it off with some huckleberry cobbler or ice cream!

The restaurant seats on a first-come, first-served basis and does not accept reservations. You can wear whatever you like including casual attire. If you’ve just completed a grueling hike and are starving, be sure to stop in at the restaurant and replenish your energy.

12. Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing On Avalanche Lake In Glacier National Park

If you’re a fly-fishermen, you may like to try your luck in Many Glacier. Although the fishing isn’t great here, its still a great opportunity to have some fun doing what you love in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Fishing opportunities include the valley lakes as well as backcountry lakes. Cast a line at Swiftcurrent Lake which is home to Brook trout and kokanee. Less than a mile hike from Swiftcurrent Lake, Lake Josephine provides fair fishing for Brook trout and kokanee as well. Another good spot that might be worth a try is Red Rock Lake which is about a three mile hike from the Swiftcurrent Pass Trailhead.

We also fished Swiftcurrent Creek below Swiftcurrent Falls which we read was supposed to be good fishing however didn’t have any luck. To be fair though, we didn’t try for very long because we had fears we would have a run in with a grizzly bear.

The thing about fishing in Glacier, particularly areas that aren’t trafficked by other people, is that you always have that eerie feeling a bear is lurking around somewhere close by. Since it’s best practice to make a lot of noise when in grizzly country, but the opposite is true when you’re trying to not scare fish, it just doesn’t really work. If you get anxiety being alone in grizzly country like we do, then stick to fishing the lakes along popular hiking trails like the ones mentioned above.

Where to stay

Lodging is limited in Many Glacier and there are only two hotels inside this section of the park; the Many Glacier Hotel and Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.

The secluded Many Glacier Hotel is a grand and historic lodge that first opened on July 4, 1915. Built by the Great Northern Railway, the lodge was designed to resemble a Swiss style chalet as part of a push to establish Glacier National Park as the ‘American Alps’.

Many Glacier Hotel In Glacier National Park

Many Glacier Hotel is a five story lodge featuring 215 rustic guest rooms. The rooms have unbelievable views which is what makes staying here so special. You should know there is limited internet at this lodge because the focus of your stay is supposed to be about unplugging, reconnecting with nature, and concentrating on the remarkable views!

Like all of the other hotels inside Glacier, the Many Glacier Hotel’s rooms book out months in advance. Sometimes there are last minute openings here mid-week and later in the season though. For instance, we visited late in September one year and there seemed to be a few rooms available. Check for availability at Many Glacier Hotel.

The Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins is another property in Many Glacier. They have 95 rustic cabins and motel style rooms, some with bathrooms and some without. All rooms are heated! The hotel does have a restaurant, camping store, and gift shop too. Note: The hotel opens seasonally, and for 2023, opening dates will be from June 6th to September 10th.


Many Glacier is in a remote part of Montana so lodging outside of the park is limited and will require considerable drive time so be sure to take this into account. The nearest hotels are in St. Mary and East Glacier. Here are some of the best (and only) options below. If they are all booked out too (very likely), you can always search for vacation homes near Babb, Montana.


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