Ranger-guided activities and evening campfire and slide-show programs run daily throughout the park. The park's Glacier Visitor Guide publication -- free upon entering the park and also available at visitor centers -- is a thorough source for days, times, and locations of various educational programs. Local tribal members provide programs highlighting American Indian culture and history. Most programs are free; there may be a minimal charge for some of the American Indian programs and those including boat trips.
For kids, there is a Junior Ranger program with an activity book; backpacks with kid-oriented naturalist activities can also be checked out at the Logan Pass, St. Mary, and Apgar visitor centers.
The park offers a free shuttle bus service. Visitors simply park their cars at the Apgar Transit Center on the west side or the St. Mary Visitor Center and take the shuttle to about 20 stops throughout the park, most of them on Going-to-the-Sun Road. The shuttles connecting the two lots run from about 7am to 7pm. For detailed information on the schedule and routes, visit the park's website or check the insert in the Glacier Visitor Guide.
Glacier Park Boat Co., P.O. Box 5262, Kalispell, MT 59903 (tel. 406/257-2426; www.glacierparkboats.com), offers narrated boat tours from Lake McDonald, St. Mary, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier from mid-June to mid-September. These "scenicruises" combine the comfort of an hour-long lake cruise with a short hike or picnic. Spectacular views of Lake McDonald sunsets, the awe-inspiring Grinnell Glacier, and the panoramic rugged cliffs ringing St. Mary Lake are just a few of the possible photo opportunities you may have while aboard. The boats typically depart every hour, usually seven times each day (although schedules are subject to change in late season or if the weather is inclement). Ticket prices top out at $23. Check ahead for a complete listing of prices and departure times. The concessionaire also offers charter service for larger groups and guided hikes in the park.
"Jammer" coach tours run along Going-to-the-Sun Road and north to Waterton. Thirty-three classic bright-red coaches from the 1930s, long identified with Glacier, are in service after a restoration project that began in 1999. Drivers provide insightful commentary about the park and its history, and you don't have to worry about how close you may be to the edge of the often-precipitous road! Full-day rates top out at about $80 for adults and about $40 for children, with tours departing from both sides of the park. Half-day tours (for about half the price) are also available. For schedules, contact Glacier Park Inc. (tel. 406/892-2525; www.glacierparkinc.com).
Historical-cultural 25-passenger motor coach tours of Going-to-the-Sun Road conducted by knowledgeable guides from the Blackfeet Nation originate from West Glacier, East Glacier, Browning, and St. Mary. Rates start at $40 for a 4-hour trip and $75 for a full day. Contact Suntours (tel. 800/786-9220; www.glaciersuntours.com).
Scenic helicopter tours are offered by Glacier Heli Tours (tel. 800/879-9310 or 406/387-4141; www.glacierhelitours.net) and Kruger Helicop-Tours (tel. 800/220-6565 or 406/387-4565; www.krugerhelicopters.com). Prices start at $115 per person for four people for a half-hour trip.
The Glacier Institute, 137 Main St. (P.O. Box 1887), Kalispell, MT 59903 (tel. 406/755-1211; www.glacierinstitute.org), conducts summer field classes that examine the park's cultural and natural resources. These 1- to 4-day courses include instruction, transportation, park fees, and college credit. Highly skilled instructors bring an intimate knowledge of the region and subject matter to each course. The classroom is Glacier National Park and other areas in northwest Montana; courses cover wildflowers, grizzlies, weather systems, and nature photography. Prices range from $65 to $500 per course. (The pricier classes include lodging.) Contact the institute or visit the website for a listing of the current catalog.
Finally, Glacier Guides, P.O. Box 330, West Glacier, MT 59936 (tel. 800/521-7238 or 406/387-5555; www.glacierguides.com), organizes backpacking trips into the Glacier National Park backcountry. The company has been the exclusive backpacking guide service in the park since 1983.
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.