Family with baby in front of incredible panoramic view of the Many Glacier Hotel, Many Glacier, Glacier National Park
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The 7 Best Things to Do in Many Glacier with Kids

Why Visit Glacier National Park and Many Glacier?

Many Glacier is the absolute star of Glacier National Park but often gets overlooked as the East side of the park is not as easily accessible as the Western side. The entirety of the park is jaw dropping gorgeous, but Many Glacier and East Glacier are definitely worth making time for. There are several areas that are worth stopping at as well when you are on the East side, but if you plan to stay in Many Glacier, here are all of our favorite things to do. Glacier National Park is one of the most magical places ever to visit with kids, enjoy!

family with young child standing above the many glacier hotel in glacier national park with incredible mountain and lake views

How to Get to East Glacier

This part of the park is less heavily visited than the west side of the park, mostly due to accessibility. However, all parts of Glacier are very busy in the summer, due to the stunning views and the short season it is open. Plan to fly into Kalispell, Montana and then drive about 3 hours to Many Glacier. Many Glacier is also about 3 hours from Great Falls, Montana and 5.5 hours from Bozeman, Montana. Montana airports are very small, so find the cheapest location to fly into.

Glacier National Park Ticketed Entry for 2024

For 2024, the Glacier National Park Ticketed Entry has been updated to a new system!

From May 24th through September 8th vehicle reservations are required for the west side of Going to the Sun Road and North Fork from 6 am to 3 pm.

From July 1st through September 8th vehicle reservations are required for Many Glacier from 6 am to 3 pm.

To have a vehicle reservation, you need EITHER a vehicle reservation OR a service reservation OR lodging/camping in valid areas of the park AND you have to pay the park entrance fee or have a valid annual park pass.

Are you wondering how to get a vehicle reservation for Glacier National Park? A portion of the vehicle reservations will be available 120 days (about 4 months) in advance on a daily rolling basis. Next day vehicle reservations are also available for more last minute plans starting at 7 PM on May 23, 2024 on a rolling basis. Head to this website to book your vehicle reservation!

How long are vehicle reservations valid for? The reservations are valid for one day only.

What are examples of valid service reservations?

  • Commercial Tour Reservations like boat tours
  • Horseback Riding Reservations
  • Watercraft Reservations
  • Permit Holders (weddings, special events, photography projects, etc)

NOTE: The vehicle reservation ticket does not serve as your park pass. To get into the park you will need a National Park Pass. If you frequent the National Parks, I would recommend buying an America the Beautiful Pass which will get you annual access to any of the National Parks (except those with extra entrance requirements) for $80. If not you can purchase a 7 day park pass for $35. This can be purchased at the entrance to the park.

ANOTHER NOTE: If you want to visit other parts of the park, including the Going to the Sun Corridor, you will need a separate vehicle reservation. You can obtain Going to the Sun Road reservations the same way you get vehicle reservations for other parts of the park.

Where to Stay in Many Glacier

There are options for camping and hotels inside the park. On this side of Glacier National Park, there are limited options for Airbnb/VRBO lodging outside of the park even hotels. However, there are a few RV parks outside of the park in the list below.

East Glacier Campgrounds
  • Many Glacier Campground – the most central campground for Many Glacier activities. Starting in 2023, there several sites that will be available for reservation 4 days in advance on the recreation.gov website in addition to those that open up six months in advance. Some sites do accomodate RVs or campers, and tent sites are available.
    • NOTE: Keep in mind that sometimes this campground will shut down for non-hard sided accomodations due to grizzly activity. Since this is major grizzly country, I would recommend renting an RV or camper to camp here.
  • St. Mary Campground – Another option to camp, about 22 miles from Many Glacier. This campground will not serve as a valid accomodation reservation for Many Glacier. You will still need a vehicle reservation if you stay here.
Beautiful mountain view hiking with toddler in East Glacier, Many Glacier, Glacier National Park
Hotels & Lodges in the Park
  • Many Glacier Hotel – this hotel is incredible. If you are willing to get accomodations at a higher price point, I would highly recommend this option. Modeled after a swiss chalet, the rooms aren’t luxurious, but they are loaded with charm and the views are some of the best you’re ever going to find.
  • Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins
RV Parks
  • St. Mary / East Glacier KOA
  • Heart of Glacier RV Park
  • Glacier Grizzy Resort
VRBO Options Near Many Glacier

Getting Around

Montana is a spread out place and there isn’t much for public transportation. You will definitely need to rent a car to get around and see what you want to see. There is a shuttle that runs along Going to the Sun Road, but this does not go into Many Glacier.

The 7 Best Things to Do in Many Glacier with Kids

One of the best things to do in Many Glacier is hiking! Many Glacier hiking is some of the best in the park, and I would highly recommend some of these easy hikes with your kids.

1. Hike the Apikuni Falls Trail

1.8 miles, 587 feet of elevation
Apikuni Falls trail is a short and steep trail, but it’s definitely doable for older kids or if you are used to wearing them in a front pack or backpack. You will get to see some mountain views from the top and also a beautiful waterfall. There was only one or two other groups on this trail, which is pretty rare for a short hike in Glacier. If you’re looking for a great Glacier National Park hike with kids, Apikuni Falls is one of the best!

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2. Walk around Swiftcurrent Lake via the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail

2.6 mile loop, 127 feet elevation
Starting from the Many Glacier Lodge, this path takes you around the Swiftcurrent Lake Trail. While you don’t get epic mountain views like some of the other glacier hikes, you get views of the lake, unique trees, and some little critters as well. It’s a great trail to let kids meander and explore nature. Afterwards, you can stop and have lunch at the stunning lodge.

toddler sitting on interesting looking tree glacier national park

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3. Take the Many Glacier Boat Tour

If you’re not feeling up for that a few miles of walking, you can opt for the boat tour adventure around Swiftcurrent Lake to the shores of Lake Josephine. If you want to get all the stunning views of Glacier National Park, but not ready for lots of hiking, this is a perfect activity with kids. This runs from July to mid September, and costs around $20 for kids and $40 for adults, with kids under four being free. You don’t have to get a reservation ahead of time, but it is recommended to do so. Check this website for reservations.

4. Rent a Kayak or Canoe

All rentals are first come first serve available on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake. This is definitely the best place to kayak in the East Glacier area Check the website for more information.

5. Visit the Many Glacier Hotel

Wow, just wow! This hotel has the most incredible views that I’ve ever seen from a park lodge. When we were here, we visited multiple times every day to sit on the deck and take in the views. This would also be one of the best places to check souvenir shops and buy your collectibles. If you want to fuel up with snacks and drinks prior to hiking you can check out the little shop as well as the restaurant.

The beautiful Many Glacier Hotel, Many Glacier, Glacier National Park with family, Montana

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6. Hike to Redrock Falls

3.6 miles, 236 feet elevation
I love the Redrock Falls hike for a short hike with kids! If you are an experienced hiker and used to hiking farther with kids, Bullhead Lake is an additional 3.2 miles roundtrip, but relatively flat with only 200 more feet of elevation and leaves from the same trailhead. We didn’t have our kiddo on this hike, but we definitely saw people packing their kids so it is doable. We walked up on a moose on this trail, so always be on the lookout for animals, this is definitely grizzly territory as well (don’t forget your bearspray!).  Redrock Falls is one of the best day hikes in Many Glacier!

redrock falls waterfall glacier national park

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7. Grab your binoculars and watch for wildlife

This is best done from the Many Glacier Lodge or from your vehicle before sunset or in the early morning hours! You may see moose, grizzly or black bears, deer, mountain goats, or more.

NOTE: Every part of Many Glacier is grizzly country. We saw so many people running towards the grizzlies with small kids in tow. Please don’t do this (whether you have small kids or not). It’s so much more enjoyable and safe to watch from your car. Bring your binoculars or camera with a good lens if you want closer up pictures. They are beautiful animals, but going closer than 100 yards to them is forbidden and dangerous! And as always when in Glacier, carry your bear spray whenever you go hiking or out in the wildnerness!

Where to eat and drink near Many Glacier

  • Many Glacier Hotel – My two favorite things to do here is to drink my morning coffee with my binoculars to start the day, and to get cocktails from the Swiss Lounge to drink on the deck. This bar has top notch cocktails and the Huckleberry Smash is THE DRINK. Trust me on this, it’s so good. The deck is also fairly contained so let your kids roam while you relax with a world class view. The Many Glacier Hotel also has the Ptarmigan Dining Room which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is a first come first serve style. It is considered to be the most high class dining in Glacier National Park.
  • Nell’s (at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn)
  • Soft serve icecream at the Swiftcurrent Gift Shop
  • Glacier’s Edge Cafe (breakfast in Babb, MT)
  • Babb Bar Cattle Baron Supper Club (Babb, MT)
huckleberry smash cocktail at the swiss lounge, many glacier hotel with incredible mountain and lake views

Overall thoughts on visiting Many Glacier, Glacier National Park with kids?

East Glacier is absolutely worth visiting with kids. The best option would be to visit both East and West Glacier with your kids so they (and you) can experience all the magic that the park has to offer. I grew up a few hours from the park and I visit almost every summer. It never gets old to me, and no matter how many times I visit, I am awestruck at the beauty that exists on this earth. Whether you are looking for some great East Glacier hiking trails, a stunning place to have a cocktail, or hoping to catch a glimpse of grizzly bears, Many Glacier is the best!

Must see – Many Glacier Hotel, Redrock falls
Would skip – Please skip getting out of your car to chase after bears, this happens so frequently but is so dangerous for people and the bears. Enjoy them from a distance!
Next time – Grinnell Glacier Hike. Not necessarily a kid friendly hike, but this was still snowed in when we went. I need to see those epic views!

Looking to travel more within the United States with your kids? Click the links below to check out some of our other posts.

Now that you’re ready to hike, here is our list of what to pack when hiking with a baby or young kids!

Looking for a good book to read before visiting? Here is our 10 Best Glacier National Park Books (for adults or kids!)

Happy travels!

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