Regional Guide

Glacier National Park and Northwest Montana - Basecamps

Helena sits on the eastern front of the Rocky Mountains, just 12 miles from the Continental Divide and a few hours' drive from both Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. Now Montana's capital city, this former mining town offers quick access to climbing, skiing, biking, and more, with watersports aplenty on the Missouri River and four nearby lakes. Enjoy a fun climb and a great view of the city on Mount Helena (5,468 feet), or take on the Continental Divide Trail, which passes Helena just a few miles to the west.

In the heart of northwest Montana lies the lively mountain town of Kalispell. Visitors can enjoy the peace and quiet of a rural setting in combination with urban cultural amenities—from art galleries and shopping to historic districts and festivals. The peaks of Glacier National Park lie within sight of downtown Kalispell, and Flathead National Forest surrounds the town with wilderness. From world-class fishing to downhill skiing, Kalispell makes a great basecamp for outdoor adventure.

A bustling city nestled within the Montana Rockies, Missoula boasts a combination of metropolitan cool and wilderness grandeur. In town you'll find the usual big-city amenities, from a wide range of hotels and restaurants to ballet, theater, and the symphony. Missoula also offers quick access to outdoor fun, including high-country fishing, miles of hiking and biking trails, and two great ski resorts within 20 minutes of the city.

Once a fur-trading center and logging town, the Alpine village of Whitefish has become a year-round vacation hot spot. Located in scenic Flathead Valley and surrounded by mountains on three sides, Whitefish offers a wide range of outdoor activities. In winter, enjoy world-class skiing and snowboarding at the Big Mountain Ski and Summer Resort, plus great cross-country skiing facilities right in town. Summer brings everything from hiking and mountain biking to horseback riding and fishing.

Parks and Preserves
Lodging inside Glacier National Park.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 7 Nov 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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