Resorts, Cabins, Lodges & Other Accommodations Near Glacier National Park
One of the biggest decisions you have to make when planning a trip to Glacier National Park is deciding where to stay.
You can find Glacier National Park lodging that is located within the park’s boundaries, but there are also delightful towns with charming hotels and gorgeous resorts full of luxurious amenities located nearby Glacier National Park that may be a better fit for your travel style.
As Montanans who love our home state’s beloved Glacier National Park, as well as the mountain towns and lakes around it, we are here to break it down for you so you can make the best choice possible of where to stay when visiting Glacier National Park.
Staying by Glacier’s West Entrance vs East Entrance
Before we get into specific lodging options, it’s important to note that Glacier National Park has three main entrances.
The first is in the town of West Glacier, located on the southwest side of the park.
West Glacier is less than thirty minutes from Bigfork, Whitefish, and Kalispell, which are all popular mountain towns to stay in to explore this region of Montana.
West Glacier is considered the main entrance for the park and is where most people access the park and begin the popular Going-to-the-Sun road drive. It’s also near picturesque Lake McDonald, which is a must-see site for many people going to Glacier.
On the east side of the park are the St. Mary entrance and the Many Glacier entrance, of which the St. Mary is the busiest since it connects with the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The unincorporated community of St. Mary is located on the western border of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation right off of Highway 89.
The Many Glacier Entrance is also located off of Hwy 89, about 30 minutes north of the St. Mary Entrance. The east side entrances are popular for park-goers who are looking to do some of the Glacier’s more remote hikes or who want to spend a substantial amount of time by Swiftcurrent Lake and St. Mary Lake.
It’s important to remember that the only road that goes completely through the park from one side to the other is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. So you’ll have to do that drive to get to explore the different sides of the park or drive around the circumference of the park.
If you want to stay on the east side of the park, it’s easiest to stay in one of the park-run lodges (more on that below), though there are a few motels in East Glacier Park Village and off of Highway 2.
Once you decide what side of the park you want to stay on, your next decision is to decide whether to stay in the park or not. If you’re planning this last-minute, this probably isn’t an option since the lodges in the park book up quickly, often a year in advance. But if it does work out, staying within the park’s boundaries is an incredible experience.
Read on for tips on booking your stay at one of the lodges in Glacier National Park.
The Lodges Located within Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park has seven NPS-affiliated lodges in the park: four on the west side (Lake McDonald Lodge, Village Inn at Apgar, Lake McDonald Motel, and Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins) and three on the east side (Many Glacier Lodge, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins, Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins).
Important Note: Bookings for lodges in Glacier Nation Park open up one year in advance for each month. So, for example, July 2022 availability will open up for the entire month of July 2022 on July 1, 2021. Followed by the month of August 2022 on August 1, 2021. This is subject to change — but be ready to book early!
Keep in mind if you’re staying at these lodges inside of Glacier National Park that there’s really nothing much around them…except nature. And that is reason enough for most people to stay in the park.
Another important thing to note about staying in the park’s lodges is that there are no TV or air-conditioning in the accommodations, but you’ll likely want to be outside so much while at Glacier that you won’t care!
However, if you prefer luxury accommodation or having access to nightlife, then staying in Whitefish, Kalispell, or Bigfork is probably a better option for you.
Reminder: You still have to buy a park pass to stay at these lodges in the park; it doesn’t come with the price of your room, so add that into your Montana trip planning budget.
We’ll get to the cities and towns near Glacier National Park later on below, but first, let’s talk a bit more in-depth about the lodges inside the park, starting with a comparison table, followed by more details for the accommodations on the west side and then the east side.
Comparison Table for Lodges in Glacier National Park
Comparison Chart for Glacier National Park Accommodations: Prices and Amenities Subject to Change
Glacier National Park Lodges Inside the West Entrance
Lake McDonald Lodge
Lake McDonald Lodge is a beautiful lodge right on Lake McDonald that is a short drive from the west entrance to the park.
Though it’s a long walk, it’s completely doable to walk to the Avalanche Lake Trailhead from Lake McDonald Lodge, which is nice if you sleep in and don’t want to bother with trying to find a parking spot. On the flip side, it’s easier to roll out of bed in the early morning and beat the crowds to the parking spots and the trail!
Lake McDonald Lodge has a restaurant onsite.
Motel Lake McDonald
Just up the shoreline from Lake McDonald Lodge is Motel Lake McDonald, a good option for more budget-conscious travelers or those who like to be away from the day-tripper crowds that descend on Lake McDonald Lodge most days during high season.
There isn’t an onsite eatery at Motel Lake McDonald, but you’re a short 5-minute walk from Lake McDonald Lodge’s restaurant, or you can take the National Park Service Shuttle to the Lodge stop.
Village Inn at Apgar
This lodge is conveniently located by the little cafes and shops of Apgar Village. It’s still right on Lake McDonald, but is a good choice for those who like to be able to conveniently stroll to other businesses during their stay.
Apgar Village is also close to kayak and standup paddle board rentals, which you can easily pick up if you’re staying at Apgar Village and head out on the water for a lovely lake paddle.
Apgar Village Lodge & Cabins
Like the Village Inn at Apgar, this lodge is located close to the shops, eateries, and activity rentals in Apgar Village. The cabins are a great option for families looking to save a bit of money on food since some of them are equipped with kitchens.
The lodge part of this property has simple motel-style rooms that are a good option for budget-conscious travelers looking to stay in the park.
Glacier National Park Lodges Inside the East Entrance
Many Glacier Hotel
This is one of the most coveted hotels in Glacier National Park due to its stunning views of Swiftcurrent Lake and surrounding mountains. You can also hike to Grinnell Glacier from the lodge.
Book as soon as reservations open if you want to get one of the lakeside rooms at Many Glacier Lodge; these rooms have views of the water so close that you feel like you’re practically sleeping on top of the water.
The Swiss chalet style balconies are also the perfect spot for morning coffee.
Many Glacier Lodge has an onsite restaurant with lake views: the esteemed and beautifully built Ptarmigan Restaurant. There’s also a lounge, snack shop, and gift shop.
Many Glacier Lodge is where you’ll also find the starting point for a number of east side excursions including horseback riding, evening ranger-led programs, boat cruises across the lake, and the famous Red Bus Tours.
Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins
One mile away from Many Glacier Hotel is the quaint Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins. As the name suggests, you can choose to stay in one of the three motel-style buildings on the property inn or opt for your own private cabin.
The cabin options include one or two bedrooms that come with our without an adjacent bathroom. (Those without use a shared bathhouse with toilets and showers.)
Also on the property is Swiftcurrent Restaurant plus a gift shop and campstore.
Important Note: Many Glacier and Swiftcurrent Motor Inn & Cabins are not located off of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and the road they’re on doesn’t connect with Going-to-the-Sun Road inside the park. You’ll have to take Many Glacier Road back to Hwy 89 and down to the St. Mary Entrance. If easy access to Going-to-the-Sun Road is important to you while staying on the east side of Glacier National Park, read on for the lodges located off of St. Mary Lake.
Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins
Another motel-style inn with cabins also available that’s on the east side of the park is Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins.
Guests staying at Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins will also enjoy the convenience of an onsite grill-style restaurant, gift shop, and general store.
Vacation Rentals Near Glacier National Park
A popular option for those who want their own space or are traveling with extended family or a group of friends is a vacation rental. Thanks to Glacier National Park being so close to a couple ski areas, there are a ton of condos, townhomes, and homes available to rent within driving distance to the park.
Though many of these are advertised as ski in ski out areas (particularly in the Whitefish area), they are also prime locations for getting away from it all while in Montana in the non-winter seasons. Like the lodge, the most popular locations and competitively priced vacation rentals get snapped up quickly, so book early. But last minute accommodations can still usually be found.
To find vacation rentals, check out homeaway.com, airbnb.com, and local rental management companies, such as Stay Montana.
Also, many convenient vacation rentals for those looking for accommodation near Glacier National Park can be found at Whitefish Mountain Resort. These are often listed on the above-mentioned sites or you can search on the Whitefish Mountain Resort website under lodging.
Cabins within Resorts Near Glacier
If you want to stay in a cabin or your own private house, but still have access to hotel/resort amenities, here are some excellent options for resorts and lodges that have standalone accommodation like cabins or houses — or even rail cars!
Isaak Walton Inn — OUR TOP PICK
This is one of the most unique places you can stay in Glacier National Park. It has a lodge with an onsite restaurant and rustic, well-appointed rooms, but what makes it super fun for those who like something different are the old rail cars you can stay in.
Isaak Walton Inn also has a few cabins and homes onsite, the largest of which can sleep up to 10 people.
The train accommodations are my top pick, though, especially if traveling with kids.
Adding to the train-inpsired coolness of this inn is the fact that it’s one of only three locations the historic Amtrak Empire Builder train stops at near Glacier National Park.
Isaak Walton Inn is in Essex, which is about 30 minutes from both the east and west entrances to Glacier National Park making it convenient for those who want to easily explore both sides of the park without having to change accommodations.
West Glacier Cabin Village
Modern, functional, and built in 2019, West Glacier Cabin Village offers a serene setting right by the West Entrance to Glacier National Park.
Located in West Glacier, the cabins are in walking distance to restaurants and shops, but feel a world away thanks to the gorgeous Glacier scenery you can watch from your cabin’s porch. Each cabin has a well-appointed kitchen, separate bedroom, and your own BBQ grill outside.
Click here to view rates and photos.
Somers Bay Log Cabin Lodging
This resort is home to a collection of charming little log cabins, some of which have lake views. Located in Somers, Montana, the cabins are close to Flathead lake and about 45 minutes from the West Entrance of Glacier.
The cabins have a separate bedroom, kitchen, and are well-maintained. Enjoy walks around the manicured grounds or sit with a drink to take in the surrounding mountain views.
North Forty Resort
Location: Columbia Falls
North Forty Resort is a beautiful family-owned resort that consists of 23 log cabins, some of which are pet-friendly. All of the cabins have their own bathroom, kitchen, and covered patio area with a grill.
North Forty Resort is located on 40 acres so there is plenty of room to walk around or sit outside your cabin with a cup of coffee before heading off to Glacier.
The resort also has an onsite conference center that can be rented for business or family gatherings. There is also an onsite sauna and a covered hot tub area that overlooks the woods.
In addition, North Forty Resort has a glamping tent for those who like the idea of camping with some luxuries and don’t mind a shared bathroom.
Smoky Bear Ranch
Location: Columbia Falls
Smoky Bear Ranch has smaller cabins that can sleep up to six and a large cabin for up to 12. Keep in mind that the small cabins have a ladder up to loft sleeping, which may not be ideal for families with young children. The cabins are well-priced and give you access to the property grounds, which includes lawn games, picnic tables, nature trails, and private river access.
Click here for Smoky Bear Ranch pictures and prices.
St. Mary Village
Though technically not a cabin, I have to include St. Mary Village on this list due to their cozy tiny homes. The tiny home community part of St. Mary Village has adorable cottages available to rent that are incredibly functional and well-appointed despite their small size.
St. Mary Village is also a good option for a hotel near Glacier National Park’s east entrance. Read on for more recommendations for accommodations within close driving distance of the park.
Lodges and Inns Near Glacier National Park
All of those above mentioned accommodations with cabins have lodges, too. Here are a few more lodge-style places to stay near Glacier National Park that are also a bit unique to give you that true mountain, Montana vibe.
Kandahar Resort sprawls across 3,000 acres, just seven miles outside of Whitefish and 30 miles from Glacier’s west entrance. It has an onsite restaurant led by a James Beard award-winning chef plus an onsite bar that’s casual and right off the great room.
The great room of the lodge is a welcoming place to hang out with a large wood-burning fireplace and comfy couches. Kandahar Lodge has studio rooms plus cool loft-style rooms with the bed up wood-beamed stairs in the loft and a seating area and small kitchen down below. Families will appreciate the 3-bedroom suite or 2-room suite with kitchen.
Moss Mountain Inn
Location: Columbia Falls
This bed and breakfast inn looks like a Swiss ski chalet at first glance, nestled into the mountains. The charming architecture looks like a curved A-line home and the mountain views are stupendous.
Moss Mountain Inn has four cozy rooms, an onsite sports center and business center and lots of outdoor space to spread out. It’s also budget-friendly. There is a communal living area with a fridge and table, and breakfast is included daily. Moss Mountain Inn is located in Columbia Falls, about 10 miles from Glacier National Park.
Mountain Lake Lodge
Located in Bigfork, this is a rustic, well-appointed hotel that has spa bathrooms in select rooms, balconies overlooking the lake and mountain scenery in some rooms, and a relaxing bar, restaurant, and great room area.
A big appeal of Mountain Lake Lodge for those who like to swim is the pool area, which features a hot tub and an infinity pool that overlooks the beautiful Glacier Country scenery.
The Islander Inn
Instead of a mountain ambiance, this hotel has an island ambiance — and a lake one, too, since it’s right by Flathead Lake. Located in Bigfork, the Islander Inn is a small inn with seven rooms, each decorated to reflect a different island around the globe.
If you love the mountains in Glacier National Park, but also love the ocean, this place is for you. You can even still get your water fix at the lake by utilizing the private dock for inn guests.
City Hotels Near Glacier National Park
Want to stay in the middle of a bustling downtown area when you’re not in the park? Check out Whitefish (which is more of a large town, but has a little bit of city feel in the busy summer months) or Kalispell.
The Firebrand Hotel is located right in downtown Whitefish, which has a vibrant main street with excellent restaurants, bars, and artsy shops and cafes. Within walking distance is the historic Whitefish Train Depot, and the community beach for Whitefish Lake is just a few minutes drive away.
As for the hotel itself, the rooms are modern and well appointed, while still having a cozy mountain retreat vibe. There’s also a rooftop patio and hot tub perfect for enjoying the surrounding mountain views. Firebrand Hotel also has an onsite spa, smoothie and coffee bar, and concierge service.
Kalispell Grand Hotel
This historic hotel located in downtown Kalispell will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. In addition to being close to Glacier National Park and all the top things to do in Kalispell, you’ll feel like your hotel itself is a destination.
Kalispell Grand Hotel dates back to 1912 and the common areas still have turn of the 19th century touches like curved doorways, sumptuous seating, and wooden banister staircases. The guest rooms have been updated to reflect modern tastes and comfort.
Feeling overwhelmed planning your Glacier and Montana vacation? We can help! Get our top tips all in one place with our 139-page guidebook, the ultimate resource for Montana trip planning. Click here to learn more!
Dude Ranches Near Glacier National Park
If you want to combine your love of national parks with a quintessential Montana ranch experience, then a dude ranch stay near Glacier National Park is your answer to an unforgettable vacation. Here are two dude ranch options near Glacier:
Bar W is located in Whitefish. It is family-run and includes all meals and a variety of ranch activities.
Flathead Lake Resort
A family-run dude ranch right by Flathead Lake and Wayfarer’s State Park. You’ll love the peaceful ambiance while you enjoy the Montana lake life and ranch life.
Resort at Paw’s Up
For a luxurious experience in the thick of nature, look at staying in one of Paw’s Up’s luxury homes or glamping tents.
——-> Read More: Best Dude Ranches in Montana
At first glance when researching Glacier Guides based out of West Glacier, it looks like a rafting company, but Glacier Guides has a collection of highly reviewed lodging, including an adorable guest house that has a definite cabin vibe. See all the options here.
What’s cool is that if you stay in one of Glacier Guides’ accommodations, you can easily set up excursions through the company — they even offer guided overnight excursions to the backcountry chalets located in Glacier National Park.
Sleep Well While Visiting Glacier National Park
So there you have it! The best list out there of where to stay while visiting Glacier National Park, from lodges to hotels to glamping tents. Hope you found it helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot us a message via our Facebook page: Beautiful Montana.
And don’t forget to check out our guidebook!