Glacier National Park (406/888-7800, www.nps.gov/glac , $25 per vehicle, $15 Nov.–Apr., $12 per person for bicyclists, motorcyclists, and foot travelers, $10 Nov.–Apr., separate fee for Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park ) contains more than 1,500 square miles of extraordinarily scenic wilderness. Towering glacier-pocked summits bend over mirrorlike lakes. Wildlife, including bears, bald eagles, moose, and ptarmigans, inhabits the park’s thick forests, stream sides, and rocky promontories; more than 60 species of mammals and 200 species of birds make their homes in Glacier.
Easily one of the most spectacular drives in the country is Going-to-the-Sun Road , which climbs from lakes and forest up the face of the Rockies to a fragile alpine meadow almost 7,000 feet above sea level.
Glacier is a park for the outdoor-minded; as much as possible, you’ll want to leave the car behind. More than 700 miles of hiking trails link backcountry peaks and lakes. In winter the park’s roads double as cross-country ski trails.
Sometimes called the “Crown of the Continent” for its staggeringly rugged skyline, Glacier and its Canadian cousin Waterton Lakes National Park  (403/859-2224, www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/waterton/ , C$6.80 per day adult, C$5.80 senior, C$3.40 youth 6–16, C$17.10 family) form one of the crown jewels of the national park system.
Kalispell  offers the closest airline service to the park.
Amtrak’s Empire Builder (800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com ) provides train service, with daily stops at East Glacier  (summer only), Belton (West Glacier ), and Essex, on Highway 2 near the southern tip of the park.
Intercity bus lines can get you as close as Whitefish  on the west and Great Falls to the east.
From Kalispell, you can also arrange a shuttle to the park by contacting Airport Shuttle Service (406/752-2842) or Kalispell Taxi (406/752-4022) or Wild Horse Limousine (406/756-2290 or 800/841-2391, www.wildhorselimo.com , $139 to Apgar).
Rental cars are available in Kalispell, Whitefish, and Great Falls.