Hiking and Rafting Glacier National Park

Destination: Glacier National Park, Montana

| Activities: Hiking with One Day of Whitewater Rafting

Glacier National Park is truly one of the crown jewels of the National Park System. It has long been famous for having more glaciers than anywhere in the lower 48, and when we visit in the summer, we'll be able to see the bright blue glacial water that runs from them: and enjoy rafting in it too! The park is also known for an astounding array of jagged peaks, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. We'll hike many of Glacier's classic trails, returning each night to one of the magnificent historic lodges that have been welcoming visitors for 100 years. Because the Park has a short hiking season and is a very popular destination, we will not find solitude on the trails or the river - we will, however, find fun, challenge, laughter and beauty during our week in Glacier National Park. Maximum group size: 12.


  • Hiking Glacier's classic trails with a local naturalist
  • Immersing ourselves in a landscape of jagged peaks, glaciers, wildflowers, and meadows
  • Experiencing the different landscape and excitement that only whitewater rafting can provide
  • Staying in historic National Park lodges that have welcomed guests since the early 1900s
  • Watching for bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and grizzlies

Departures and Prices

August 18 to August 25, 2024
$4895.00 - FULL
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  • A local Glacier Park naturalist guide for 10, 2 local guides for more than 10
  • Seven nights of double occupancy accommodation
  • Full day whitewater rafting trip
  • All meals from dinner the first to breakfast the last
  • Transportation and luggage transfer within Glacier National Park
Not included: airfare to Kalispell, transportation to the Park, National Park entry fee, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities

Trip Info

This trip is rated both a 3 and a 4 because of the choice on some days of longer or shorter hikes. This trip is a great choice for women in very good physical condition who can hike for 7 to 10 miles in mountainous terrain with elevation changes. Women who have significant fear of heights or problems with altitudes of 6,000 - 8,000 feet should consider choosing another trip. A rating of 3 requires some aerobic conditioning, such as walking vigorously up hills, jogging, cross country skiing or stair stepping for 30 - 45 minutes at least 3 - 4 times a week. A rating of 4 requires aerobic conditioning for at least 40-50 minutes 4-5 times a week. Additional endurance exercise and/or strength training is usually required. Rating: 1 2 [3] [4] 5.

The main activity of this trip is hiking on some of the best trails Glacier National Park has to offer. We will spend one day whitewater rafting - no previous rafting experience is required, the trip is appropriate for both novice and experienced rafters.

We will be spending seven nights inside the Park at three different lodges. The lodges, built before 1920, are rustic by modern standards, but they are comfortable, well-maintained, and very scenically located. We will spend one night at Lake MacDonald Lodge, and three nights at Many Glacier Hotel, both of which are inside the Park. The next two nights are at Glacier Guides Lodge. We spend our final night at the Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge in Whitefish, Montana.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

Our trip starts today at the Lake MacDonald Lodge at 4:00pm, when we'll be able to check in as a group. If you arrive earlier, you can check your bags and go for a walk, take a Red Bus tour etc. After check in, there will be time to take suitcases to our rooms and get settled before meeting again at 5:30. (If possible, plan your flight to arrive not later than about 3pm). We'll start getting to know each other and review our plans for the trip, before sharing our first dinner. After dinner some of us may be ready for an early bedtime, while others might choose to attend an evening slideshow or lounge on the veranda. In any case a good night's sleep will help prepare us for a vigorous day of hiking tomorrow. (D)
After a hearty breakfast we'll meet our local guide, a naturalist who knows the geology, flora, and fauna, and can answer our many questions about this unique landscape. Our hike today is on the "Garden Wall" section of the Highline Trail. Starting out on the famous Going To The Sun Road, our van gains substantial elevation as we drive to Logan Pass, our trailhead. As a result of this initial elevation gain, the trail along the ridge offers a rare combination of moderate hiking and exquisite views of the Continental Divide, as well as wildflowers in full bloom. Haystack Pass, where we'll have lunch, offers sweeping views. We'll turn around here and trace our steps back to the van (it's amazing how different the views are when you change direction). We'll drive to Many Glacier Hotel, a classic National Park lodge, for the first of three nights there. (B, L, D)
Today's hike, starting quite close to our hotel, is on the Iceberg Trail to the aptly named Iceberg Lake. Surrounded by 3,000 foot cliffs and untouched by direct sunlight in the winter, a large amount of snow and ice accumulates each winter which slowly melts throughout the summer. Spectacular scenery, colorful wildflowers, and the possibility of grizzly bear sightings (this area is closed when sightings are too frequent) make this another Glacier Park classic hike. Although the first half-mile is somewhat steep, the path after the elevation gain the becomes more gradual and the total elevation gain of 1200 feet over 4.7 miles one way doesn't really feel like it. After enjoying a picnic and a chance to dip our feet in the frigid lake, we return the same way we came. In the evening those who choose can explore the other half of Glacier: night skies that may be more brilliant than any you have seen. (B, L, D)
This may be your favorite hike! It certainly is one of the Park's most spectacular. After packing up our suitcases in preparation for moving our lodging for the next two nights, our hike today is to nearby Grinnell Glacier. Starting fairly flat, it traverses the shoreline of Swiftcurrent Lake and then Josephine Lake. After that it gradually climbs for a total of 1600 feet over 4 miles, ending at Upper Grinnell Lake and Grinnell Glacier at the base of the Continental Divide. Traveling through open countryside, our hiking is rewarded with stunning views of Lower Grinnell Lake, Angel Wing, Mt. Gould, and Grinnell Falls. Again, wildflowers are abundant and sightings of bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and grizzlies are all possible.

The trail is not only one of the most stunning in the Park, it sadly showcases the ongoing loss of the glaciers from which the Park gets its name. Upper Grinnell Lake is a fairly new lake that is being formed by the melting waters of a shrinking Grinnell Glacier (more than 40% over the past thirty years). Like all glacial lakes the water is milky white in color and is a rejuvenating place in which to very briefly dip ones feet. We retrace our steps for a total of 12 miles. Because the trail is out and back, those who wish a shorter hike can turnaround sooner. We will head back to the lodge for a delicious and well-deserved dinner. (B, L, D)
We will start our last day in the Many Glacier region of the park with a hike to Virginia Falls. This hike is a nice rest day hike after a long and hard past few days! A relatively flat (compared to Grinnell!) you will be rewarded with beautiful vistas and views of the St. Mary's river throughout the day. The beginning of the trail you'll enjoy commanding views of Dusty Star Mountain as it towers directly in front of you. Continuing on, you descend towards St. Mary Falls. We will be passing through an area that was burned during the Reynolds Creek Fire of 2015. This ecologically significant area is a stunning example of regrowth after a wildfire. We will soon arrive at Virginia Creek, home to a series of cascading waterfalls. After finishing the hike, we get the chance to see Going to the Sun road from the other direction as we head back to West Glacier to stay at Glacier Guides Lodge for two nights. (B, L, D)
Our hiking destination today is Upper Two Medicine Lake at the foot of the Continental Divide. This is a less traveled part of the Park as it is off the Going to the Sun Road. It also has a unique weather pattern, receiving much less rain than the western side and thus lacks the lush vegetation found there. The beauty is no less breath taking however.

We'll hike along the left side of the lake to Aster Falls (1.2 miles) and then on to Rockwell Falls (2.3 miles) where we'll dip our feet in the water and enjoy lunch. After lunch you have the option to return the same way or to continue around the lake to Twin Falls. Twin Falls is what it sounds like - a double waterfall that rushes down the mountain side. After stopping to gaze and take pictures, we continue around the lake for a total hike of 8.8 miles. We'll return to the same lodge tonight, perhaps enjoying a dip in a lake. (B, L, D)
We completely change gears for our last day in the Park, giving our legs a rest and our arms a workout as we embark on a whitewater rafting trip on the Middle Fork of the Flathead, the southern boundary of Glacier National Park. Our exact put in point will depend on the water level. However, you can count on exciting whitewater and pristine wilderness scenery, periods of high excitement interspersed with relaxing floating. We'll raft through John Stevens Canyon, where the rapids are rated class II and class III making it a fun and splashy adventure. Names like Screaming Right Hand Turn, Pinball, Jaws and Could-Be-Trouble give you a sense of just how much fun we'll have! We'll be off the river in the late afternoon and back to West Glacier and then on to our lodging in Whitefish and a final farewell dinner (B, L, D)
There is a complimentary breakfast this morning and shuttle to the airport so you are free to leave any time you choose. (B)


(40 reviews)
4.3 Food
4.4 Lodging
4.6 Safety

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Most Recent

Heather H.
9 months ago

I have wanted to see Glacier for a long time. Hiking was the way to do it. Our trip leader, Carrie was great- low key and competent. Really great group of women. Wonderful young Glacier Guides who were so knowledgeable about the park and from Montana.

Kimberly H.
9 months ago

Great group of women and beautiful scenery The Glacier guides Eva and Mackenzie were fantastic! Such special young women who you can tell love their job.

Mandy F.
9 months ago

Loved the hikes and the guides from Glacier guides. They provided lunches every day which made it special.

Suzanne K.
9 months ago

The spectacular scenery, staying at the iconic lodges, the awesome hikes, the thrilling white water rafting experience, the great guides and wonderful ladies! Overall, an amazing and most memorable adventure!! Thank you to all!!

Leigh W.
9 months ago

Trish H.
10 months ago

Loved hiking to the glaciers, and seeing the large moose! The food was overall excellent too! All of our guides were fantastic

Pam F.
1 year ago

The excellent coordination of our lodging and food arrangements by our AGC guide, Laurie Pavlik and the wonderful, informative Glacier Guides, Eva and Gabby.

Sylvia L.
1 year ago

Mathilde Z.
1 year ago

The Glacier Guides were exceptional.

Kathryn V.
2 years ago

Place, people

Helen D.
2 years ago

Glacier NP is breathtaking beautiful. The guides were knowledgeable, helpful and friendly. I knew immediately that we were in good hands. The accommodations were perfect for this type of trip. The lodges were comfortable and convenient to the activities. The AGC guide Kaitlyn was wonderful and a lot of fun. Kaitlyn made herself available and was always out ahead anticipating our needs.

Mary B.
2 years ago

The location is a 5 all by itself but we also had the combination of great weather, great guides and lucky encounters with wildlife which all contributed to the awesome experience.

Karen K.
2 years ago

I would have given this trip an excellent rating except for the fact that the trip was basically a private group trip. Ten of the people came together, the remaining three of us consisted of 2 people who came together and then myself, the 13th person. While the group of people were nice and friendly, they were all connected and had shared experiences. This made me feel somewhat like an outsider. It would have been nice if you had contacted me and ask if I was okay with this or would like to book another trip.

Brenda S.
2 years ago

The place and the wonderful guides. I didn’t have to plan or be in “the know” and I learned so much!

Rita R.
2 years ago

The ease of travel, the quality and guidance from the guides and the great women. And of course, Glacier Nat'l park is a very special place.

Sue K.
2 years ago

The location, the weather, the guides, the NP lodges, the organization of the trip

Charyn H.
2 years ago

The hiking was fabulous, thanks in large part to the guides who worked diligently to make sure that we hiked certain trails on certain days to maximize the views and avoid any weather issues. We also learned a lot about the national park as well as all the wildlife and plants in the area. We even got to experience some wildlife up close, very close! Truly fascinating and very exciting.

Theresa F.
4 years ago

I wasn't sure what to expect as this was my first trip with a group. But it turned out to be a delight. The trip was beautifully planned and organized and staying at the historic lodges was exactly how I wanted to experience the park. The itinerary allowed me to see much more of Glacier then I ever would have on my own. And the park itself was just stunning.

Anne K.
4 years ago

The trails we hiked, seeing the wildlife, and, the opportunity to be flexible (i.e., length of hike or even taking a day off) made the trip excel. I wanted a trip in which I had the opportunity to experience Glacier but also not have to do the planning so that I could really immerse myself. That was fully met. Karen was an excellent guide. She was supportive of all of us and very open when someone chose a different option (e.g., I decided to stay at the lodge one day).

Doris E.
4 years ago

Glacier National Park exceeded my expectations. Loved the itinerary and staying in Natl Park lodges. Great hikes despite crowds. Loved trip to International Peace Park even tho we couldn’t get off boat in US. Rafting last day great end to trip.

Jan G.
4 years ago

staying at the lodges fabulous scenery wildflowers good company great Glacier guides

Joan G.
4 years ago

Everything was taken care of, I didn’t have to worry about a thing except to get up for breakfast in time

Kristin C.
4 years ago

This was my first solo group travel experience so I didn't know what to expect going in, but I will have to say it exceeded all my expectations.Everything about this trip was wonderful! Our AGC guide Karen was excellent. She was very nice and easy to talk to. The Glacier Guides were very knowledgeable and supportive. The park itself was stunning, more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. It was fun to stay in the park lodges and hear about their history. The food was good too! Just an amazing trip overall! I hope to travel with AGC in the future!!!

Cathy R.
4 years ago

The hiking was awesome and what I was looking for.

Sherry G.
4 years ago

The glaciers and scenery.

Dottie R.
4 years ago

Glacier was a park I always wanted to see - on some levels, it did not deliver to my expectations as far as other parks I've enjoyed hiking more. Most of the hikes were down in deep vegetation, and that's not my preferred. These were the fastest hiking pace I've ever hiked with on an AGC group and some hikes such as a 3.5 mile nonstop hike, fast, to just see a waterfall, seemed not worth the trek - some hikes felt like forced marches with no time to even stop and look around. Iceberg Lake was my favorite hike for certain as it had a payoff for a 10 mile round trip. Although I've been on other 3-4 rated trips I've never felt so rushed down trails. Some of the hikes for the effort had not a great payoff at the end.

Anita B.
5 years ago

Loved hiking to the Glacier. The accommodations were amazing and the locations were breathe taking.

Judy K.
5 years ago

I loved the views, the lodges and the hiking

Jennifer M.
5 years ago

Glacier was beautiful-loved the hike to Grinnell glacier. I probably could have skipped the day trip to Canada

Leslie H.
5 years ago

Particular highlights were the beautiful hikes in Glacier National Park, being out in nature, meeting and getting to know some really great women and the level of enthusiasm, thoughtfulness, professionalism and organization of all of the guides (Marian, Bree and Andrea). The trip was beautifully planned and organized. I think the only reason I didn't rate it a 5 was simply because I would have enjoyed a slightly faster walking pace on the hikes, but I completely understand that the guides had to walk at a pace that was appropriate for the average level of this particular group of women.

Susan R.
5 years ago

Meeting Marian!! Seeing past participants (Beth from Grand Canyon, Maine

Bridget M.
5 years ago

Glacier itself, the women in our group, the guides, all of it 🙂

Barbara F.
5 years ago

Caren F.
6 years ago

It's hard for me to come up with the highlights, as I felt so grateful to be on this trip. Everything was amazing- the landscape, the wildlife, the people, the guides, the lodging. All of it combined to be one giant highlight.

Mindy B.
6 years ago

The hiking through the National Park was excellent! The guides, both AGC and the Glacier Guides, were simply amazing. We were very lucky to see lots of wildlife, always a highlight for me. The stunning landscape of these mountains, lakes, rivers and glaciers is of course better experienced in person....truly wonderful! Being able to order off the menu for dinner at the lodges was rather unexpected, so I felt rather pampered, actually. Food was plentiful and delicious, especially the great lunches provided by the guides. The rafting day was also lots of fun, a nice new experience for a novice white water rafter like myself.

Lynn J.
6 years ago

Staying in the park lodges, the gorgeous scenery and seeing moose and bear

Josephine C.
6 years ago

The tone set by Kim was inclusive and one of ease. Katie and Jen came on a bit strong the first day but were attuned enough to dial it down and were wonderful in providing info and so in service to our needs. I loved the hiking and rafting. I would like to have skipped crowded Highline trail and hiked a more remote trail. Upper grinell trail was my favorite hike

Megan N.
6 years ago

The scenery was spectacular, and the lodges were very nice/comfortable. The hikes were decently crowded, I definitely would have been wiling to start a bit earlier to beat the crowds and heat.

Denise D.
6 years ago

Really enjoyed my first attempt at rafting!

Jessica B.
6 years ago

The location was better than I imagined - Glacier National Park is stunning. The two local guides (Jen and Katie) were very impressive. At first I found Jen a bit annoying because she talked too much and, in some moments, disturbed the peacefulness and serenity of the setting. However, in the end, I realized she was more positive than both Katie and Kim in encouraging every women to opt for the longer hike option to Grinnell Glacier if they wanted to get to the top. Also, Jen was extremely expert in rowing the boat down the river and made it a more exciting experience given how low the water was.

  1. Where do we eat?

    Most breakfasts and dinners will be in restaurants where you can order off the menu. Before you start the day, the guides will put out lunch 'fixings' and you'll take a packed lunch or occasionally lunch will be picnic style. There will be one dinner on your own in Waterton.
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    If we know well in advance, we can accommodate vegetarian, lactose-free, and gluten-sensitive diets. We cannot guarantee a completely gluten-free diet and we cannot provide a kitchen guaranteed to be free of cross-contamination. If you are vegan, we ask that you bring some additional protein bars; and if you are gluten-sensitive, please bring some gluten-free snacks. If you have severe allergies, Celiac disease and/or other significant dietary restrictions, please call the office before you register.
  3. I will be coming by myself. Do I need to pay a single supplement?

    You only need to pay a single supplement if you want to guarantee you have your own room. Otherwise we’ll pair you up with someone and then switch roommates every time we switch lodging.