Organized Tours & Activities--Narrated boat tours from Lake McDonald, St. Mary, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier are offered daily from mid-June to mid-September by Glacier Park Boat Co. These "scenicruises" combine an hour-long lake cruise with a short hike or picnic. Spectacular views of Lake McDonald, the Grinnell Glacier, and the panoramic rugged cliffs ringing St. Mary Lake are just a few of the photo opportunities you may have. The boats typically depart every other hour, five times each day, although schedules are subject to change in late season or if the weather is inclement. For more information, contact Glacier Park Boat Co. at P.O. Box 5262, Kalispell, MT 59903 (tel. 406/257-2426). Listed below are seasonal phone numbers for cruises at the following locations: Lake McDonald (tel. 406/888-5727), Many Glacier (tel. 406/732-4480), Two Medicine (tel. 406/226-4467), and St. Mary (tel. 406/732-4430).
Van tours are given along Going-to-the-Sun Road and north to Waterton. These vans are an excellent alternative method of transportation along this scenic route. Their drivers provide the commentary, and you don't have to get vertigo peering over the roadside. They also offer hiker express and Amtrak pickup. The tours are conducted by Glacier Park, Inc. Call tel. 406/756-2444. Interpretive van tours of Going-to-the-Sun Road conducted by Blackfeet guides originate from East Glacier, Browning, and St. Mary. Contact Suntours (tel. 800/786-9220 or 406/226-9220). One participant told us he thought this was the best guided tour he'd ever taken, because the guides lived in the area and really knew what they were talking about.
Special Activities--Scenic helicopter tours of Glacier are offered by Glacier Heli Tours (tel. 800/879-9310), Eagle Aviation (tel. 406/755-2612), and Kruger Helicop-tours (tel. 406/387-4565). Prices range from $60 to $90 for 1- to 2-hour tours, depending on your destination. All are located within 2 miles (3km) of West Glacier off U.S. 2.
Glacier Institute (tel. 406/755-1211; www.digisys.net/glacinst) conducts field classes and seminars each summer to look at the geologic, wildlife, and spiritual aspects of the park. Classes run from 1 day to 1 month--most are only a day or two, and cost less than $75--and cover subjects from photography to forests. The fees include instruction, transportation, park fees, and college credit (if any). You can gather fall mushrooms, work on your journal-keeping skills, improve your writing, or search out the elusive harlequin duck.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.