Known as the Switzerland of North America, Glacier National Park is one of America's most photogenic places! From hiking the jagged trails to whitewater rafting, your hunger for adventure will be satisfied daily. Join us for an intimate encounter with the land, sky, ice and wide-open spaces on this beautiful multi-sport gay Montana adventure!
Because of its stunning peaks, verdant valleys, and extensive trail system, Glacier National Park is known as the Switzerland of North America. In Glacier wildlife is plentiful. You'll spot for eagles soaring overhead, moose meandering in the river bottoms, mountain goats grazing in steep meadows, and bears wandering in search of berries. On HE Travel's multi-sport gay Montana adventure, experience this wilderness by hiking the alpine trails, horseback riding across the foothills, rafting on wild rivers, and mountain biking. All the while enjoy national park lodging, great food, and gay camaraderie.
• Raft the Middle Fork of the Flathead River
• Search for wildife such as ptarmigan, mountain goats, moose, and marmots
• Hike the highline of the Continental Divide
• Soak in the star-filled skies of Montana
• Saddle up for a horseback ride along the ridges and valleys of Glacier National Park
Day 1 -
Fly into Glacier International Airport in Kalispell, Montana. We will spend our first night together in Whitefish, a resort community near Glacier National Park.
Explore the small-town atmosphere and local spirit of this historic railroad town. Tonight, you will meet your gay trip leaders and fellow adventurers at our welcome dinner in Whitefish. Welcome to Big Sky Country!
Day 2 -
Today, we drive to the western edge of Glacier National Park, for a rafting excursion on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. With class II & III rapids, depending on water flow, this float offers some mellow water as well as some more exciting rapids. If you have an interest, we may be able to run the rapids in two-person inflatable kayaks, which makes for more splashy fun.
Afterward, we’ll continue along the southern border of the park, stopping at a historic inn for a late lunch, then over the pass to the original main gateway for Glacier National Park, a village named East Glacier. For the first few decades of the park, this was the welcoming train stop for the east coast city-slickers excited for their first sight of the Rockies. After days of crossing the high plains, they finally arrived, stepping off the train and walking up the flowered path to the Glacier Park Lodge. A stately log structure built over one-hundred years ago, it sits magnificently on manicured grounds, with the mountains rising behind it. The three-story lobby is supported by more than 40 huge Douglas Fir pillars over 60 feet high and about 40 inches in diameter. This will be our home for the next two nights. Each evening around 9 PM, you can enjoy live music or talks in the hotel lobby.
Day 3 -
On our third day, the Rocky Mountain beauty lures us to nearby Two Medicine Valley, one of the quieter parts of the park. We will stop for a waterfall hike and nature trail before arriving at Two Medicine Lake. Many hikes are accessed via a scenic boat tour, which gives us broad views across the wide valley. Along the way, learn of the Blackfoot Indian folklore surrounding Two Medicine Valley and how it was named.
Upon docking on the west shore, we will have access to an array of fantastic hiking trails. And together with our hiking guide, we will select one or two to immerse ourselves into this peaceful wilderness. About a mile up the trail is lovely Twin Falls, and you can continue another mile to Upper Two Medicine Lake. We will likely push for Rockwell Falls, and then hike out along the lake and another waterfall, hopefully encountering our first moose along the way. Expect to hike 6 to 8 miles today with 400-800 feet of gain depending on your choice of routes.
Day 4 -
This morning we rest our legs while we ride into the wilderness on horseback, maybe even up to the ridges that reveal long vistas into Glacier National Park and across the great plains of the Blackfeet Nation. Our outfitter has hosted riders of all abilities, from first-time riders to lifetime equestrians. If you’d rather not ride, then sleep in and enjoy a relaxing morning at the lodge.
This afternoon, we travel north to St. Mary Village, located at the eastern end of the park’s Going to the Sun Road. If time and interest allow, we will drive up that road a way to catch a historic boat ride on yet another glacial lake, St. Mary. Once again, we will be surrounded by towering peaks as we cruise through glistening glacial waters. We might even catch a view of Jackson Glacier at the head of the lake.
We will check into the lodge in St. Mary later that evening, where we’ll stay for two nights. Your room provides a balcony with views overlooking the sun as it sets behind some of the highest peaks of the park. Later, watch the Milky Way as it dances across the sky.
Day 5 -
One of the most beautiful areas of the park, Many Glacier, offers a multitude of hiking options, with glacial valleys taking off in multiple directions. You can join the group and hike with our local hiking guide, you can hike independently or perhaps catch a hike led by a park ranger. Perhaps you’d like to hike to Iceberg Lake or up the nearby Ptarmigan Tunnel trail. If the winter snow has cleared early, you might even be able to hike the longer trek to Grinnell Glacier. For the group hike today, expect to hike about 10 miles with 1500’ of gain, perhaps with an optional hike to more waterfalls later in the afternoon (3.7 miles/ 250’ gain).
But if you prefer to relax for the day, you can enjoy some shorter walks and hang in the grand lobby of the nearby grand dame, the Many Glacier Hotel. There you can enjoy hospitality and magnificent views. You also have the option to enjoy a boat cruise on Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine (please advise so we can book ahead for you). Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be surrounded by untouched beauty.
Day 6 -
As we have seen this week, the jagged peaks of the Continental Divide constitute the backbone of Glacier. Today, we’ll enjoy a fantastic drive over the exquisite Going to the Sun Road, a feat of engineering and artistry almost a century ago. We stop at the highest point, Logan Pass, and celebrate our last day in the park on the Highline Trail, likely encountering mountain goats, marmots, and wildflowers – and possibly even a bear! Starting at 6,650 feet, we will experience stunning views of mountain ranges across Montana and into Canada. While access to the pass and to this trail is weather dependent and not always available, our professional hiking guide will take us into pristine areas to build on our Glacier National Park experience.
This evening we arrive back at Whitefish to share stories and highlights with each other and to enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.
Day 7 -
Schedule your flights out of Glacier International Airport anytime today. Happy Trails!
• Airport Shuttle for most airline and train arrivals
• Accommodations for 6 nights;
• All breakfasts;
• 5 lunches, 5 dinners;
• Three days with professional hiking guides;
• Horseback riding;
• Historic wooden boat cruise on Two Medicine Lake;
• Rafting on the Flathead River;
• Entrance fees for included activities;
• All ground transportation for included itinerary;
• Services of knowledgeable guides and gay group host
• HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
• Airfare to and from starting and ending points;
• One lunch and two dinners;
• Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls;
• Gratuities for guides and gay group host.
This tour starts and ends in Whitefish, Montana.
If flying, plan to arrive at the Glacier Park International Airport (airport code FCA) about 20 minutes away near Kalispell by mid-afternoon on Day 1, in order to attend the Welcome Reception and Dinner, usually beginning around 6 PM.
For a unique experience, come by train! Amtrak has a station in Whitefish along their Empire Builder Route.
An excerpt from Amtrak's 2015 website regarding traveling by train in the Northernmost part of the USA: "Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers."
If taking the train, check the arrival time carefully, and consider that you may want to arrive one day early, in order to attend the Welcome Dinner on Day 1. The train’s arrival is sometimes delayed several hours due to railroad traffic.
To hike with this group, you should be reasonably fit. Please be comfortable walking for four to six hours (with breaks!), over a mix of paved paths and unpaved forest or mountainside trails, most with some elevation gain and a few with exposure to heights. On most days, you will have the option of venturing off for independent hikes at your own pace and distance or you can remain with the group for the main hike. You’ll generally have no trouble finding a few others in the group whose abilities match your own. As listed in the itinerary, on all days but the rafting day, you have the option to pursue more leisurely activities from reading and relaxing in the lobbies of the grand hotels, to lovely boat cruises, or somedays you could join the famed Jammer Tours (let’s talk first) or the park’s shuttle system to visit sites not on our itinerary. On rafting day, you can chose to relax in a comfortable place instead of rafting with us.
We will also be taking an afternoon excursion on horseback, suitable for riders of all levels. Our invigorating whitewater rafting trip will be fine for most individuals, but will require some paddling.
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it's usually because they're looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn't have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you'll be traveling with friends. You don't need to pay the single supplement if you're traveling alone. We'll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
No, we will be staying in hotels and park lodges.
Summer is the ideal time to visit Glacier National Park. Daytime temperatures are generally in the 70's and 80's. At the higher elevations the temperatures can be cooler. Usually in August, it is dry, but we prepare for rain just in case. In the evenings, temperatures can dip into the 40's. So bring a jacket for the nighttime. We will provide you with a complete packing list prior to the trip.
When a meal is paid for by us, we will also take care of the gratuity. You should budget $140-$180 for tips for the local guides (hiking, rafting, horseback riding, etc.) and your group host.