Pressure off, we took some time to have a picnic
lunch. This was the view from the car. Not bad!
Next morning we awoke early -- like 5 am early -- and headed to the Many Glacier area
of the park, hoping to snag a campsite at the coveted campground. We lucked out!
Where We Be
Glacier National Park, Montana
This was a quick trip for us. We had just one
week to see Glacier National Park in Montana,
one week to see three different national parks
in Alberta -- Waterton, Banff, and Jasper -- and
one week to traverse most of the length of
Canada from Alberta to Maine (a 48-hour drive
in and of itself). First up: Glacier!

When we pulled into a gas station on the way to
Glacier, we learned a big fire had sprung up the
day before, closing Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Both the road and our reserved campsite at St.
Mary were closed, so we drove around the park
and ended up staying at a place called Duck
Lake Lodge on the outskirts of St. Mary. The
good news: the Many Glacier area of the park
was still open and free of fire, so we were able
to drive there the next morning to camp, hike,
and enjoy the park for the next six days. What a
treat to stay right in the heart of Glacier in the
midst of some of the best hiking in America.
Practically adjacent to Many Glacier Campground is Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. In addition to motel rooms
and cabins, this convenient place has  a general store with some of the best soft-serve huckleberry ice
cream you'll ever enjoy after a hike. It also offers a sit-down restaurant serving fresh-caught trout for dinner.
Many Glacier Hotel is only a mile's drive from the
campground. The views in this area are simply superb.
All are welcome to enjoy the lobby of the Many Glacier Hotel, so it
serves as a gathering point for all who visit this area of the park
A woman takes her canoe for a stroll
across the lake near Many Glacier Hotel
These classic looking cars serve as public transport throughout the park
After three nights of camping, we asked on a whim and learned that one of the historic cabins at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn was
available due to a cancellation. Well, that was too good to pass up at 89 CAD per night! We booked it for our last two nights.
Since Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed due to fire, we skirted south to reach the
town of St. Mary on the park's eastern side. You can see the heavy smoke from the
Reynold's Creek fire wafting down the valley. (The dead trees are from a previous fire.)
We celebrated with a sit-down dinner at Swiftcurrent Restaurant -- goat cheese ravioli with pumpkin seeds,
sauteed trout with pancetta and artichokes, and chicken saltimbocca with prosciutto. A nice splurge after
several days of granola bars and cheese slices. The IQ Tester kept us occupied until the food arrived.
Small but cozy -- exactly what we were looking for. Frankly, anything
with a bed was what we were looking for after three nights of camping.
Many Glacier Hotel has one of the most spectacular
settings of any hotel we've seen in America