Glacier National Park Kid-Friendly Trip Ideas

The trick with kids in Glacier is to be prepared on hikes and adventures. Take along layers to don in case the weather sours. Have kids, even little ones, carry their own packs—even if they only tote a snack. Bring water and food; places to fuel kids up are few and far between.

With dramatic landscapes and wildlife-watching opportunities, Waterton's Bison Paddock keeps all ages entertained.

With dramatic landscapes and wildlife-watching opportunities, Waterton’s Bison Paddock keeps all ages entertained. Photo © Edna Winti, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

  • Stop at a ranger station or visitors center to pick up the Junior Ranger booklet, and complete five activities to receive a badge.
  • Learn to fish on Lower McDonald Creek.
  • Visit the Discovery Cabin in Apgar for hands-on learning about wildlife and rocks in Glacier.
  • Take a trail ride on horseback in Apgar, West Glacier, East Glacier, Many Glacier, and at Lake McDonald.
  • Hike 1.5 miles from Logan Pass to Hidden Lake Overlook to walk across the Continental Divide. Sturdy hikers can add another 1.5 miles to swim in Hidden Lake.
  • Hop the double boat ride across Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine in Many Glacier to hike one mile to Grinnell Lake, crossing a river on a swinging bridge.
  • Hike to Avalanche Lake for wading at its foot or fishing at its head.
  • Paddling on the calm surface of Lake McDonald on a sunny day.

    Paddling in Lake McDonald. Photo © Becky Lomax.

  • Rent a canoe or kayak for paddle fun on Lake McDonald, Swiftcurrent Lake in Many Glacier, Two Medicine Lake, or at Cameron Lake in Waterton (Alberta).
  • Pedal through the Waterton Townsite on a two-person surrey bike.
  • Gaze at wildlife through the ranger spotting scope in the Swiftcurrent parking lot at Many Glacier.
  • Drive through the Bison Paddock in Waterton to see buffalo that used to populate the plains.
  • Raft the Middle Fork of the Flathead River with one of the companies in West Glacier. Do a float trip with young children; older kids will love the white water.
  • Reward good hikers with ice cream at St. Mary Lodge and Resort or Bubba Luke’s in West Glacier.

Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Glacier National Park.

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