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Accommodations Include a Lodge, Cabins, RV Parks and Tent Camping
St. Mary visitors will find ample accommodations if they choose this small village as their base camp for exploring the park. Many options are available. Make your reservations well in advance. Places fill up fast.
Visitors to St. Mary also soon discover that a trip up the Going-to-the-Sun Road is not their only option for seeing towering mountains, thick evergreen forests, pristine blue lakes, cascading streams, wildflowers and wildlife. A short drive to the north is the Many Glacier area; and not far to the south is the Two Medicine area just outside of East Glacier Park. Both areas are easily accessible from St. Mary.
Attractions abound in every direction. Get an early start, and you could see all three areas in a single day, if you hurry. But why be in a hurry? You could spend a day just driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road and stopping at the many pullouts and viewpoints. You also could take one or more of the short hikes from the several trailheads found on the road.
Need information. Then head for the large visitor information center located adjacent to the park entrance a short distance from the village. You might even want to make that a morning walk.
Photographers Will Find Many Photo Opportunities
You hardly see a person in this area not focusing on a lake, mountain peak, or bear with their high-end, tripod-mounted HDSLR camera, an IPad, IPhone, favorite point-and-shoot camera or a camcorder. So be sure to carry your own plus spare SD or Micro cards and batteries.
If photography is your game, then St. Mary is a prime location for starting your photo tour of the park. Wake up early and catch the rising sun bathing St. Mary Lake, Wild Good Island and the distant peaks in alpine glow. Or, drive to Many Glacier and enjoy the same affect shooting across Swiftcurrent Lake toward Grinnell Peak or Mount Gould.
Photographers using St. Mary as their base camp have the advantage of morning sun highlighting the mountains from early morning until shortly before noon. Then, they can drive to the west side of the park and catch the afternoon and evening sun highlighting the peaks from the opposite side.
Eat a Hearty Breakfast and Return for Dinner
Several breakfast spots are nearby in St. Mary. There is the St Mary Lodge, or course. But you also will find a couple café's nearby. All are reasonably priced and can provide you with a hearty meal to start your day. Then upon your return you will find the same spots offering nice dinners to finish off the day. Watch the hour, however, as some discontinue serving at 8:00 or 9:00 PM. You may want to scout each to know their hours of operation.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Insiders' Guide to Glacier National Park, 6th: Including the Flathead Valley & Waterton Lakes National Park by Michael McCoy. This book is the essential source for information to this outdoor paradise that offers diverse opportunities for fun and adventure. Written by a local, this guide offers a personal and practical perspective of Glacier and its surrounding environs. Order now...
Moon Spotlight Glacier National Park Camping by Becky Lomax. This compact guide covers the region's best campsites. Each camp listing has at-a-glance icons that indicate nearby trails, activities, hot springs and which campsites and trails allow dogs. Also included are easy-to-follow maps and clear driving directions. Order now...
Glacier National Park: Crown Jewel of the Continent by Will MacPheat. This book contains a collection of photographs of Glacier National Park featuring Lake McDonald, Avalanche Lake, Going to the Sun Highway, St. Mary's, Many Glacier and Two Medicine areas. Order now...
The Photographer's Guide to Glacier National Park: Where to Find Perfect Shots and How to Take Them (The Photographer's Guide) by Gordon Sullivan. This experienced, world-class free-lance photographer shares his secrets and favorite little-known locales in this coffee table book that contains 96 color photographs of Glacier National Park. Order now...
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