There isn’t a disputing the pure great thing about Glacier Nationwide Park. However for individuals touring with pets, Glacier is usually a problem. We’re sharing the right way to take advantage of your pet pleasant go to.
Glacier is a completely gorgeous place the place the wilderness has remained untouched and the mountains attain to the sky. However for individuals touring with canines, Glacier Nationwide Park isn’t the best of our nationwide parks to go to.
Glacier is without doubt one of the few locations in North America the place all of our native carnivores nonetheless survive. Grizzly and black bears, wolves, and cougars roam the steep slopes and plush, inexperienced valleys. And defending the nationwide park and its inhabitants means extreme restrictions on the place pets are allowed to go.
Glacier Nationwide Park With Canines
There are solely a handful of roads in Glacier. One runs north and south alongside the western fringe of the park. Freeway 2 runs from East Glacier Park Villiage to West Glacier. And essentially the most well-known, Going-to-the-Solar Highway, cuts east and west throughout the center of the park for 50 miles.
Going-to-the-Solar Highway is, by far, the preferred route for seeing the park. Driving it takes about 3 hours – every course – when you cease for just a few footage alongside the best way. And why wouldn’t you need to cease for footage?
Are Pets Allowed Alongside Going-to-the-Solar Highway?
Alongside Going-to-the-Solar Highway, pets are allowed in developed areas. Meaning picnic areas, parking areas, and inside 100 ft of roads. Principally, it’s going to be a protracted day within the automobile in your canine.
Should you’re driving Going-to-the-Solar Highway (and it is best to!), plan to make a number of quick stops alongside the best way so your pups can get out and stretch their legs.
Climbing With Canines In Glacier Nationwide Park
There is just one path in Glacier Nationwide Park that’s canine pleasant, and solely when it’s not coated in snow. McDonald Creek Bike Path is a paved path that runs for two.5 miles between West Glacier and Apgar Village.
We advise selecting up the path in West Glacier, grabbing an ice cream at Eddie’s while you get to Apgar, taking a relaxation by Lake McDonald, after which making your method again to the path head.
Bear in mind when mountain climbing in Glacier Nationwide Park with canines it’s doable you can meet wildlife on the paths, so take precautions. Bears have been recognized to pursue canines, which could possibly be harmful for each you and your pup.
READ MORE ⇒ Suggestions for Climbing Safely With Pets
Past Glacier – Pet Pleasant Actions In The Space
When you’ve carried out Going-to-the-Solar Highway and the McDonald Creek Bike Path, there’s not a lot leisure left in Glacier Nationwide Park for canines.
You may discover a pet sitter or daycare to maintain your canine firm whilst you hike the park trails. Or you can discover the encompassing space for extra actions to get pleasure from collectively!
Glacier Nationwide Park will not be essentially the most canine pleasant spot to go to, however the surrounding space is! From large nationwide forests to small pleasant cities, western Montana has loads to supply vacationers with pets.
Discover The Nationwide Forests
For excellent mountain climbing, head south to one of many nationwide forests together with your pup. Flathead, Kootenai, and Lewis and Clark Nationwide Forests are all inside straightforward putting distance. And all the paths in all of the nationwide forests are pet pleasant!
Actually, canines are allowed to be off-leash in most areas of the nationwide forests. However due to the native wildlife, it’s not a good suggestion in the event that they don’t have a super-reliable recall.
Hungry Horse Reservoir in Flathead Nationwide Forest is particularly stunning and it seems like you could have the paths to yourselves.
Flathead Lake is gorgeous. We spent every week visiting right here and provides it 5 stars for canine pleasant adventures close to Glacier Nationwide Park. It’s an absolute must-see when you’re visiting western Montana. You’ll discover mountain climbing, tenting, out of doors festivals, canoeing, swimming, and extra.
The lake is roughly one hour from the west entrance of Glacier Nationwide Park. And it’s the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River — roughly 30 miles lengthy and 16 miles broad. So, your journey time might differ a bit relying on what aspect of the lake you’re visiting.
A lot of the realm round Flathead Lake is a part of the Flathead Indian Reservation, established in 1855 by the Treaty of Hellgate. This space is dwelling to a few tribes: Bitterroot Salish, Higher Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai.
Together with tribal land, six Montana state park models polka-dot the Flathead Lake shoreline. Collectively these models make up Flathead Lake State Park. 5 of the state park models are pet pleasant and permit canines on a leash:
- Yallow Bay
- Finley Level
- West Shore
- Huge Arm
Yellow Bay solely affords tent tenting websites (first-come, first-served), however the different canine pleasant campgrounds supply each tent and RV websites. Some even have hike, bike, or boat-in campsites! Cool Whip, Hercules, and I camped in our van at Wayfarers, Huge Arm, and West Shore. Every one offers a barely completely different expertise, so it was a variety of enjoyable park-hopping across the lake.
Two of my favourite options in these parks are the quite a few pet waste bins and the trailhead stations with free slip leads. They make it very easy to scrub up after your canine and luxuriate in protected, pet pleasant adventures!
Wayfarers – Flathead Lake State Park
Wayfarers is 67 acres of forested magnificence tucked proper into the city of Bigfork, Montana. We bought main North Shore (Minnesota) vibes with the pine timber clinging to the rocky shoreline. And it affords the proper vantage level to benefit from the sundown after a full day of adventures.
Should you choose city trails with much less chance of wildlife encounters, try the Swan River Path in Bigfork. That is a straightforward 3-mile stroll with good views of the Swan River.
Moreover, the city of Bigfork is nice when you benefit from the arts, theater, stay music, movie festivals, artwork festivals, farmer’s markets, and even canine sledding within the winter! Bigfork additionally has a number of pet pleasant lodging choices when you’re not up for tenting.
West Shore – Flathead Lake State Park
This was my favourite cease, and doubtless the canines’ too – the park ranger handed out a number of canine snacks upon our arrival! West Shore is the place you’ll need to go when you’re looking for a spot to calm down in nature. The campground is located in a spacious pine forest, which supplies you loads of room to breathe.
However don’t spend all of your time napping! There a a number of trails that crisscross by the park. Take Osprey Overlook Path to the highest of the hill for a stunning view. Then head down Linderman Lookout to Lakeshore Path. The views by the timber to Flathead Lake are gorgeous!
On the lake, you possibly can get pleasure from a snack on the picnic tables or skip rocks with the numerous clean, colourful stones that make up a part of the shoreline.
Cool Whip didn’t need to get her toes moist, however your canine can! Canines are allowed alongside the shore and within the water so long as there isn’t signage stating in any other case.
Huge Arm – Flathead Lake State Park
Should you and your journey pup need to camp proper subsequent to the water, Huge Arm is the park for you! Simply be sure you convey some leveling blocks when you’re staying in a van or RV — being so near the shoreline, lots of the campsites have uneven floor. It’s well worth the effort, although! There’s nothing like cooking dinner and having fun with a campfire proper subsequent to the lake.
READ MORE ⇒ Newbie’s Information To Tenting With Canines
Kalispell, Montana is considered one of Outdoors Journal’s most up-and-coming cities of 2021. And it’s simply half-hour from Glacier Nationwide Park, Flathead Lake, ski resorts, and a number of state and nationwide forests. Proper exterior of city is Lone Pine State Park with a wide range of trails for mountain climbing (no tenting obtainable).
Traditionally, the city centered on agriculture and industrial companies. Nonetheless, its enchantment to out of doors adventurers and tourism is on the rise. It makes the proper spot to arrange a basecamp if you wish to keep on the town since you’ll discover essentially the most choices for pet pleasant lodging, groceries, laundromats, vets, and pet provides.
On the south finish of Flathead Lake sits the city of Polson. This pretty little group has lots to supply: cute espresso retailers, museums, vintage shops, and extra.
Polson can also be dwelling to the Flathead Cherry Pageant. Through the competition, Fundamental Avenue is blocked to site visitors in downtown Polson for 2 days to rejoice cherries with distributors, artists, and plenty of good meals. Can’t make it to the competition? Many cherry orchards thrive on this space, so that you’ll see a variety of roadside indicators noting cherries on the market after they’re in season.
Need to let your canine play off leash? Head to the Travis Dolphin Canine Park. There’s house on the hillside for them to run, plus a dock and entry to water in case your pup likes to swim.
Polson additionally has companies that provide kayak and canoe leases. Apply canoeing together with your pup earlier than you go to make sure it’s a protected and enjoyable journey for you each!
For extra lively adventures, try these hikes round Polson:
- Polson Interpretive Path – 1.1 miles
- Polson Hill Path – 2.4 miles
- Radio Tower Highway – 8 miles, requires a tribal recreation allow
- Hellroaring Highway to Hellroaring Reservoir – 2.9 miles, requires a tribal recreation allow
Swan River Valley
To the east of Flathead Lake is the Swan River Valley. Right here, the Swan River meanders between the Swan Mountains and the Mission Mountains. From Bigfork, take the 90-mile Seeley-Swan Freeway (MT 83) to discover this stunning space.
Swan Lake, on the northern finish of the freeway, started as a logging camp within the 1900s to construct the Nice Northern Railroad. Now it’s a launch level for outdoorsy actions within the Bob Marshall Wilderness and the encompassing space.
Seeley Lake, on the southern finish, is dwelling to Salmon Lake State Park and Placid Lake State Park. It’s additionally the place yow will discover Gus, the world’s largest western larch tree. You and your journey canine can hike to Gus from Camp Paxson on Seeley Lake. Additionally, take into account trying out just a few of those different hikes alongside the scenic MT 83 freeway:
- Swan River Path close to Bigfork – 4.2 miles
- Glacier Lake Path – 3.1 miles
- Holland Lake and Falls – 3.3 miles
- Morrell Falls Nationwide Recreation Path – 5.5 miles
Whitefish is a quaint resort city tucked between Whitefish Lake and the Whitefish Mountain Vary. When you’re there, discover the numerous trails, try the award-winning eating places, or cease by the five-acre Hugh Rogers Canine Park in Armory Park.
There are such a lot of canine pleasant adventures in and round Glacier Nationwide Park. Hopefully we’ve impressed you to plan a visit of your individual!
Have you ever already visited western Montana? Share your ideas within the feedback!
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