West Glacier & Apgar Village


Photo Courtesy of visitmt.com

West Glacier is the most popular entrance to Glacier National Park where you can find all basic amenities for your adventure. There are two small grocery mercantiles, restaurants and bars, gift shops, gas stations, post office, visitor centers, outdoor shops with made in Montana products, and even a historic heritage property that dates back to the creation of the park in 1910. The modest cedar sided buildings with dutch hipped roofs echo the area’s beginnings modeled after the architecture of the Swiss Alps.

The area was first known as Bell Town in the late 1800s when railroad prospectors were scouting for the lowest pass through the Rocky Mountains and over the Continental Divide. While it seems remote, West Glacier is easily accessible. In fact, West Glacier is home to the Belton train depot where Amtrak stops twice daily, bringing visitors from Seattle/Portland and Chicago. Rental cars are available here, and shuttles run into the transit hub at Apgar in Glacier Park. The international airport is an easy half hour drive.

Today, West Glacier is adventure central for Glacier Park, where raft companies, helicopter tours and horseback outfitters are waiting to taking you on the ride of your life. From West Glacier, you can also head to the Glacier View Golf Course for 18 holes with Glacier’s peaks as the backdrop. For boating and swimming a popular river access is nearby on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Also nearby, the Old Belton Bridge, a beautifully restored pedestrian bridge that is popular for swimming, fishing, and with boaters, offers a glimpse of its past as the original entrance to Glacier National Park over 100 years ago. From here, you can wander up the bike trail to Park Headquarters and onto Apgar Village just two miles inside the park, or head south on the Boundary trail which overlooks the whitewater section of the Middle Fork.

courtesy of Glacier National Park

courtesy of Glacier National Park

Apgar Village is situated at the foot of Lake McDonald, just two miles inside the park boundary. Stunning views across the 10 mile lake of the striking mountain landscape make for great photo opportunities, and the pebble beaches are perfect for picnicking. There is top notch shopping, ice cream, lodging, camping, dining, a boat launch and even an amphitheater in Apgar. The nearby transit station is where you can catch the hiker’s shuttle to Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road.