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West Glacier, Montana, is a little bit of civilization with an Amtrak train station just west of the west entrance to rugged Glacier National Park on US Highway 2. Travelers can dine at restaurants, grocery shop, do laundry, send or receive US mail, do banking, and seek lodging at numerous motels and campgrounds. There is even a golf course.
This small community is a mile south of Lake McDonald on the Flathead River, at elevation 3169 feet. The area is heavily forested. Fewer than 500 people make their permanent residence here, though the summer population is much higher.
This little bit of civilization is worth visiting for its own sake, even if you don't wander further into Glacier National Park. Wild deer and mountain goats wander through West Glacier and have even been seen right next to the road. Craggy mountains surround the town so that no matter which way you look you see purple mountain majesty.
Whitewater rafting the middle fork of the Flathead River is an exciting part of a visit to West Glacier. The rapids are fast, but not too rough. Rafters do get wet, but large inflatable rafts bob up and down gently rather than alarmingly. Beginning rafters should hire professional guides or go on rafting trips with one of the several rafting outfitters at West Glacier.
Fly fishing for trout in the Flathead River is also popular sport in West Glacier, MT. There are places where you can wade in, or you can rent or hire a boat. A Montana fishing license is required and can be purchased in advance online through Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. State fishing regulations are also posted on their site.
It snows here in winter. The roads are plowed, but snow chains are required when it is icy. The closest airport to West Glacier is Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell (FCA). Amtrak trains stop in West Glacier year round.
Go Northwest! travel guide provides you with all the visitor information you need to when planning a trip to West Glacier. Just use the navigation links in the left hand column or the drop down menu at the top of the page to find accommodations and lodging, restaurants and dining, activities and recreation, along with attractions and points of interest.
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