large grizzly bear walking along the grass and brush, glacier national park

The 10 Best Glacier National Park Books (Adult and Kids Books)!

Glacier National Park is one of my favorite US National Parks. I’m somewhat biased because this is very close to my hometown, but I challenge anyone to visit this park and not fall in love with the epic mountain views, pristine lakes, and my favorite of all – the grizzly bear. One thing you’ll notice with almost all of these Glacier National Park books? They center around stories of grizzlies. If there is one thing I think of when I think of Montana, it’s the grizzly bear, a stunning and terrifying animal. Some of these books are fiction, and some are true, and some are a bit morbid. When you intermingle humans and grizzly bears like we have in Glacier National Park, you are sure to have some scary stories to tell.

All of these books set in Glacier National Park describe a stunning backdrop of mountains, lakes, and forests. Whether you read these before or after your Glacier National Park trip, they will transport you into this beautiful country!

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1. The Wild Inside, Mortal Fall, The Weight of Night, Sharp Solitude (Glacier Mystery Series)

Written by Christine Carbo

the wild inside book cover

These books are a collection of murder mystery stories set in Glacier National Park. A bizarre set of clues (very specific to Glacier National Park) in each book leads investigators to find the suspect. The series starts with The Wild Inside, followed by Mortal Fall, The Weight of Night, and Sharp Solitude. Each book has a unique story, with similar threads and some recurring characters. Each book can technically be read as a separate story; however, there are minor spoilers if you read them out of order. I personally liked the first book the best – but I’ll let you be the judge.

Link to buy here.

2. Night of the Grizzlies

Written by Jack Olsen

night of the grizzlies book cover jack olsen

This book is incredible and definitely my favorite of the Glacier National Park books! Night of the Grizzlies is an incredibly tragic tale (a true story) of a terrifying night in 1967 in Glacier National Park that changed everything. Jack Olsen is a beautiful writer, and the way he describes Glacier National Park in the introduction will have everyone wanting to visit immediately. That is, until you read the rest of the book. Don’t let this book deter you from visiting, or camping. Since this terrible night, park officials have completely changed the way humans and grizzly bears interact, and how we manage to coexist. Although these events were devastating, this is definitely one of the best books about Glacier National Park.

Link to buy here.

3. Death in Glacier National Park: Stories of Accidents and Foolhardiness in the Crown of the Continent

Written by Randi S. Minetor

death in glacier national park book cover randi minetor

While this book isn’t as good, in my opinion, as Death in Yellowstone, it is an interesting (and morbid) read about the dangers that you face when visiting Glacier National Park. A cautionary tale that would be good reading for anyone visiting the park for the first time, especially those people that aren’t from the area. Again, don’t let this scare you – just take some good lessons from it to keep you and your family safe. This is definitely one of the best books on Glacier National park for practical tips; however, you’ll also get to hear the stories and histories of these victims.

Link to buy here.

4. Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks

Written by Michael Lanza

A family of four takes several adventures over the course of a year. With a focus on backpacking through National Parks that are most affected by climate change. They explore natural areas that are in danger of changing dramatically in the coming century. Before They’re Gone is a well written personal account with staggering facts about the devastating effects of climate change on our National Parks. Each chapter focuses on a different park, and Glacier National Park is highlighted due to the shrinking glaciers in the park. This is the best of the Glacier National Park books focusing on climate change.

Link to buy here.

5. Who Pooped in the Park (Glacier National Park)

Written by Gary D. Robson

who pooped in the park glacier book cover

What kid doesn’t giggle when you talk about poop!? Here is a fun book that teaches kids about different types of animal scat you could find in the park and what animal it belongs to. Reading this book will give you one more thing to look for while you are out on the hiking trails – and the adults just might learn something too! Who Pooped in the Park is one of the best factual kids books about Glacier National Park.

Link to buy here.

6. Mountain Night, Mountain Day

Written by Anthony D. Fredericks

mountain night mountain day book cover

Mountain Night, Mountain Day is one of my favorite outdoor kids books ever. The pictures are great, and so many of the featured animals are animals you could encounter in Glacier National Park. I also loved this book because there is a bit of a hidden scavenger hunt throughout the pages, and this made it more interesting for me as an adult.

Link to buy here.

7. Have you ever seen a bear with a purple smile?

Written by Laura Budds

bear with a purple smile book cover

This book is really cute, and addresses the topic of one of the foods that Montana is most well known for – huckleberries!! After reading this, our child was looking for “wild huckleberries” everywhere we went. Whether you are visiting Glacier National Park or somewhere else in Western Montana, Bear with a Purple Smile is a good one.

Link to buy here.

8. Scare a Bear

Written by Kathy-Jo Wargin

scare a bear book cover

A lighthearted comical book about different bear encounter possibilities and how to “scare a bear”. While this book is meant to be funny and silly, reading this would give you an opportunity to talk about bears and bear safety with your kids before you go to the park!

Link to buy here.

9. Glaciers (Earth Rocks!)

Written by Sara Gilbert

Glaciers, earthrocks! book cover by Sara Gilbert

This book may not be the rhyming, fun type of books young kids love. But if you have an older child who likes science and wants to know more about glaciers before visiting Glacier National Park, this may be the book for them. This short picture book explains briefly what glaciers are made from, how they’re formed, and what they look like. Alongside the descriptions are some interesting photographs of glaciers!

Link to buy here.

Books I Didn’t Love But You Might:

Where the Deer and Antelope Play by Nick Offerman
where the deer and the antelope play book cover

A humorous book that follows Nick and his two “bromance brothers” as they take a trip to Glacier National Park, and other parts of the US. Their goal? Get out in nature and explore the history and current state of the places they visit. This book offers a bit more of a lighthearted take on tourists relationship with nature compared to the more serious books on the rest of this list. There are quite a few discussions about politics in this book (important topics for sure) and I didn’t dislike this book. However, I’m not sure the mix between comedy and politics really worked for me in this case. And there are a lot of really good books on this list I would read before this one!

Link to buy here.

What other Glacier National Park books did you love? Leave a comment with your favorites! And check out our favorite National Parks Books for Kids!

Interested in other books about National Parks? Here are my favorite books about the US National Parks! For more travel book lists, check out this page.

If you’re ready to plan your Glacier National Park adventure, check out our guides!

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