Road Trip Out West: Kalispell, Glacier National Park, MT

We arrived in northwestern Montana during a cold snap. The highs each day have not reached 60 degrees. Since we are coming from Florida, this was a welcome change. I was excited to be able to wear pants and sweatshirts for a few days. Our first full day in town we decided to drive out to Glacier National Park. The weather forecast said it would be partly sunny, but the clouds on the mountain said rain. We drove out anyway. Sadly, the entire east side of the park is closed since it is a part of the Native American reservation and they closed it due to COVID19. When we drove into the west side it was free and I asked the person at the booth if there was information on what was open in the paper she gave us. She didn’t know. It turns out that the road was closed after LakeMcDonald Lodge. This was a really bummer for us because we were looking forward to heading out on the long drive on Going to the Sun Road. We didn’t realize that the road doesn’t usually open until at least July 4 because there is still snow on it! There were only a few trails open on the road, but hikers and bikers were allowed to go past the Lodge. There were A LOT of people there considering there was really not a lot available to do. We figured we could go on opposite road the next day, but it was cloudy again. The lake is still beautiful.

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park

We were disappointed, but this area is so beautiful that it didn’t last long. The AirBnB that we rented has a hot tub and fire pit on the spacious deck in the middle of the woods and we used it to our full advantage.

Our patio for three days

Today was my birthday and I wanted to do something special. The boat tours to Horse Island are closed, so I thought we should be more up close and personal with horses and booked a trail ride. We scheduled a two hour ride at Artemis Acres Paint Horse Guest Ranch. You could go for a one, two, or four hour ride and I believe the four hour includes a BBQ dinner on certain nights in the summer. I was impressed with the knowledge that the wranglers had about the horses and their personalities. I was the only person who opted to wear a helmet on the ride (there were seven in the group) and therefore got the slowest, best behaved horse, Jack. I didn’t care. We were walking anyway and it gave me license to search the surrounding area for wildlife. We saw a deer and her fawn. I would highly recommend this ride. It was up the mountain on horse trails and a logging road and we saw some spectacular views. It was really fun.

Jack and me. Jef and Blue

It was nice to spend some time relaxing after so much time in the car. We ate at a couple of tasty restaurants and I think that Jef ate bison, elk, or yak for almost every meal. We also tried some local beer at Bias brewery and bought some Huckleberry wine at a convenience store. We ate quite a bit of Huckleberry ice cream in form of a shake, mud pie, and regular scoops. I’m a big fan of this area. You feel comfortable and relaxed here and everywhere you look there is beautiful scenery. If you have a chance to visit, you should take advantage of it. You won’t be disappointed.

See what I mean? Flathead Lake is on the right.

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