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Glacier Guides Montana Raft – a Beautiful Adventure Vacation in Montana

Glacier Guides Montana Raft – a Beautiful Adventure Vacation in Montana

We’ve been to Glacier National Park many times and always love it. For this trip, we took a different approach and actually did our Glacier Country vacation all through Glacier Guides Montana Raft and it was awesome! From our hotel to our activities and recreation rentals, all of it was centrally booked, organized and executed. This is the most relaxing way to set up an adventure vacation!

As you’re planning your trip to Glacier Country, I highly recommend an approach like this. Working with Glacier Guides Montana Raft to coordinate our days was so easy and we had a great time. If you have any questions about planning a trip to Montana or Glacier National Park, whitewater rafting with kids, or anything else please leave a comment or send us a note. We’re always happy to help plan awesome adventures!

Here's how you have a fun, stress-free trip to Glacier National Park: stay, hike, bike and raft with one centralized company. Glacier Guides Montana Raft put together an awesome trip itinerary and lead us for a relaxing and adventurous visit.

This is our third time working with Glacier Guides Montana Raft for a Glacier Country vacation. They are amazing hosts and we will happily continue to partner with them and share our fun.

Glacier Guides Activities

Having worked in travel and tourism for 25+ years I’ve interacted and partnered with all sorts of outdoor companies. Glacier Guides has been one of my favorites for years. The people are so nice, they are very safety-forward, and the things to do with their different guide services are just perfect for a wonderful Montana trip. We’ve been in spring, summer and enjoyed fall colors in Glacier Country with Glacier Guides, and each trip has been great!

Biking in Glacier Country

We do a lot of beach biking but mountain biking isn’t a usual activity for us. Luckily, West Glacier is actually a very bike-friendly town, including entering Glacier National Park. We got our reserved bikes at the Glacier Guides headquarters right off Highway 2, which was a great location to get some practice time on the neighborhood street to get used to using mountain bikes. They were very well maintained and we got the full tutorial on them before we were set loose.

So where can you bike from here? There are tours available through Glacier Guides or you can go out on your own. We did the most simple route on the Highway 2 bike path located safely away from the road. This leads down into the village of West Glacier and into the Apgar area of the park. The bike path in Glacier National Park goes to the west near lake McDonald and into the woods. It’s an easy ride and is really beautiful. There are more route options, but for us beach bikers this was perfect. As you’re planning a Glacier National Park trip, do try to make time for biking!

Taylor Family Riding Bikes from Glacier Guides Montana Raft 2

Whitewater Rafting the Flathead River with Glacier Guides

We’ve been on the Flathead River with Glacier Guides several times, both for whitewater rafting and doing a scenic float. What’s the difference? When you’re rafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, there are different stretches that are more wild with rapids than others. On a scenic float, you don’t have to paddle and your guide takes you through the calmest waters, watching for wildlife along the way. For a whitewater rafting trip, you’re actively paddling and navigating rapids, getting wet along the way. The Flathead River follows along the Amtrak Empire Builder train route, so you might get to wave to everyone as you paddle along.

Taylor Family Whitewater Rafting Flathead River with Glacier Guides Montana Raft 2

Whitewater Rafting with Kids

We get the question often: “Can kids go whitewater rafting?” The answer is yes, but not every river or every run is right for every kid. If you’re considering adding whitewater rafting to your Glacier National Park trip (or anywhere), you need to check with the guides to see what the age recommendations are. Some rivers are great with kids, like rafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead River in Montana, and then others not so much, such as the Little Salmon River into Hells Canyon in Idaho.

Here’s how I would recommend going about adding whitewater rafting with kids:

  • check the river recommendations for your visit (water level, age requirements)
  • confirm that your kids are interested and NOT scared
  • watch a video together of similar whitewater rafting (this is a good one showing the difference in trips)
  • decide on the trip type: float, half day raft, full day raft, overnight (with camping)

For our family, we prefer doing a half day whitewater rafting trip. It’s not too long, there’s just enough adventure and between the splashing, wildlife and changing scenery the kids are fully engaged throughout the trip. Our adventure on the Flathead River was so much fun and we got soaked, both from the river and from the rain.

Tip: keep in mind that the weather doesn’t have an impact on rafting trips unless it’s creating unsafe conditions. We had wind, rain, sun and intense hail on our rafting day, but it was all fun and we felt safe and well-guided.

Taylor Family Whitewater Rafting Flathead River with Glacier Guides Montana Raft 1

Scenic Float on the Flathead River

If you feel like you or your family isn’t ready or up for whitewater rafting, there are other options for getting on the river to experience the southern border of Glacier National Park: book a scenic float on the Flathead. In fact, this is how we worked our kids up to rafting, and after floating a few different rivers, they got familiar with being in a raft and now are pros.

Scenic floats are nice because you don’t have to do any of the work and you still get to enjoy the water and sights. I really like them, and I’m somebody who’s down for Class IV and V rapids, because I get to just observe, which I don’t often allow myself that privilege. Available all season long, a scenic float on the Flathead is a great addition to a trip to Glacier National Park.

Tip: if you’re nervous about being on the river because it’s moving, I get it. There are places to rent kayaks and lots of wonderful places for kayaking in Glacier National Park, but the mellow scenic float really is more chill than you might expect.

Taylor Family float trip Glacier Guides Montana Raft Glacier National Park 2

Guided Hiking in Glacier National Park

I always recommended guided hiking when you can find it. It might not seem like the most exciting option when you’re planning a trip, but doing at least one guided hike really opens your eyes to the world you’re hiking through. We did two guided hikes with Glacier Guides Montana Raft on this trip (part of the same activity, two trails) and each taught us new things about a park we’ve been to many times before.

On our first hike we learned all about forest fires and how they’re actually a part of responsible forest management, as well as about lots of different plants along the trails. On our second hike we learned about how the water flows from Glacier National Park, about the geology of area, and about more of the plant life in Montana.

Taylor Family guided hike Glacier Guides Montana Raft Glacier National Park 2

More Glacier Guides Activities

We only had so much time, but we could have easily just done activity after activity with Glacier Guides. We did biking, hiking and rafting, but in addition to these, you can also book fishing trips and portered Glacier National Park chalet trips. While fishing is pretty self-explanatory, a portered chalet trip needs some more info.

Within Glacier National Park there are several overnight chalets built up in the mountains, only accessible via hiking trail. If you want to do this and stay up there, you can set it up through Glacier Guides and not have to carry your own stuff up the hiking trails for your stay, but they’ll do it with you and help you have a more relaxing (while still challenging) trip.

Taylor Family at Glacier Guides Montana Raft Basecamp West Glacier Montana 2

Staying with Glacier Guides Montana Raft

I loved having our activities and hotel reservation all stacked together in one place, making it easy to both manage our time and know that everything was set. Some people don’t need to travel in an organized manner, but I do. Coordinating lodging with activities makes things so simple.

Glacier Guides Lodge

When we come to Glacier National Park, we’re looking for warm, cozy, family friendly accommodations. We don’t want to rough it, but we also don’t need to be over the top fancy. The Glacier Guides Lodge was ideal for us, being very nice and well maintained, with all the right touches of the modern world. Our room was perfect with two queen beds, plenty of space and a private patio opening to the woods. The Wi-Fi was just fine for basic needs (didn’t try to do any big work).

In the morning there’s a nice breakfast in the lobby with breakfast burritos, breakfast sandwiches, pastries, fruit and more. There’s plenty of coffee in the lobby and room, so you’re set any time of day. The staff was great, and we had a wonderful stay.

Two Queen Room at Glacier Guides Lodge West Glacier Montana 2

Glacier Guides Guest House

This will always be my favorite place to stay in West Glacier with the whole family. The Glacier Guides Guest House is a full home that can sleep up to 10 people, with a wonderful kitchen and sunroom, games and plenty of outdoor space to relax. We stayed here in the Guest House once when we did a Glacier Country trip and still had to work, so we were able to enjoy the West Glacier area and National Park AND still have a solid, quiet workspace for the rest of the time.

Multiple bedrooms, two bathrooms and comfortable furnishings make staying at the Glacier Guides Guest House the most relaxing West Glacier trip you can plan. Someday we’d like to come back and stay here during the winter so it can be our own little snow lodge. One of these days…

Inside at Glacier Guides Guest House West Glacier 1

Overnight Glacier Country Trips

We haven’t gotten to do one yet, but sometime in the next few years we would like to do an overnight trip with Glacier Guides Montana Raft. Combining rafting, hiking, biking and backcountry experiences, you can plan anything from two to eight days that include all kinds of activities and sights. Some of the places you get to go inside Glacier National Park are so cool and remote. Even going farther north than Many Glacier, you can plan some of the coolest, most unique multi-day adventures.

Overnight rafting trips or epic hiking adventures are available from June to August, so if you’re planning this sort of experience you’ll be in Glacier National Park for the best possible weather. What a cool way to travel!

Sperry Chalet Hiking Trail Distance Marker

More Glacier National Park Trip Ideas

Because we get to visit so often, we have lots of great, easy way to experience Glacier National Park. I think most people plan to have 5 or so days for exploring the park and surrounding area, and if that’s you, we have a great plan for you! Check out our 5 Day Glacier National Park itinerary.

For places to stay, we’ve enjoyed camping, National Park lodges and small independent stays. Depending on what you want out of your trip and how much time you want to stay are your lodging, you can plan your visit on a budget. I’ve liked both of our stays with Glacier Guides, both at the lodge and Guest House, but if they’re booked up, you’ll need to find other accommodations. From Lake Five to East Glacier, there are lots of options that are all an easy drive into the park.

Here are all of our articles about Glacier National Park:

I hope this helps and you’re excited to plan an adventurous Glacier National Park trip. Whether you’re taking our approach of planning through a company or doing it all on your own, this is one of the best places to be in the wilderness and enjoy the nature and beauty of Montana. If you have any questions or want to share your own tips, please leave a comment or send us a note!

Here's how you have a fun, stress-free trip to Glacier National Park: stay, hike, bike and raft with one centralized company. Glacier Guides Montana Raft put together an awesome trip itinerary and lead us for a relaxing and adventurous visit.