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Cash
SMU Fan
Vail
Member since Feb 2005
36525 posts

Glacier/St. Mary Village
I'm considering a stay here next summer on a trip to Glacier. I'll do a split stay with part of the week in Whitefish and park in or near the park. How is it staying on the east side? Would I be better off at Lake McDonald Lodge or a cabin near the west entrance?



TigerSaintInDallas
USA Fan
Denver
Member since Sep 2012
387 posts

re: Glacier/St. Mary Village
I personally prefer the east side. St Mary’s Lake, Many Glacier are both amazing.


Cash
SMU Fan
Vail
Member since Feb 2005
36525 posts

re: Glacier/St. Mary Village
quote:

Many Glacier


I'm worried it is too remote(lack of restaurants and other services). This is why I'm leaning towards St. Mary Village. Looks like a good compromise between east side scenery and services.


TigerSaintInDallas
USA Fan
Denver
Member since Sep 2012
387 posts

re: Glacier/St. Mary Village
Yeah the Village is good. Still pretty remote, but there are a couple restaurants and a very small grocery. We really liked the restaurant at the St Mary Lodge.


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Y.A. Tittle
LSU Fan
Member since Sep 2003
86871 posts

re: Glacier/St. Mary Village
quote:

I'm worried it is too remote(lack of restaurants and other services). This is why I'm leaning towards St. Mary Village. Looks like a good compromise between east side scenery and services.



Check the week you are staying and see if it coincides with this Blackfeet Indian celebration week (which seems to be some time around the last week of July/first week of August), if getting a drink is important to you.

The whole east side is considered part of the Blackfeet Reservation and they ban the sale of all alcohol during that week on the entire Reservation area.

I found out the hard way a few years ago.

Otherwise, I do like the idea of staying some on the west side (we got a house outside of Columbia Falls) and some on the east (we did the Glacier Park Lodge - sans alcohol). The Lodge is actually a bit isolated from other areas of the park, but it has the village right at it with restaurants and such. The St. Mary area is a bit more accessible it seems, but has more of a strip-mallish newer motel type feel. I wanted to get the old school Lodge experience.

ETA, although if you can get into Many Glacier Lodge, I wouldn't hesitate to do so for 2-3 nights. It has the most iconic setting in the park and is a great spot for many of the best hikes. The whole "dining/town scene" anywhere else around there is not really interesting enough to make up for that - especially on the East side.
This post was edited on 7/1 at 9:48 am


TigerSaintInDallas
USA Fan
Denver
Member since Sep 2012
387 posts

re: Glacier/St. Mary Village
Good points here. Another point about the east side/Blackfeet reservation - they shut down the east side of the park last year due to COVID. I’d make sure that is not happening again this year.

Also, a lot of the best hikes are on the East side - not sure how much you’ll be hiking but Many Glacier especially is much more accessible from anywhere on the east side. There is also a great waterfall hike on the East side right off the GTTS. The furthest you’d have to drive to hike is Logan Pass which is maybe 20 minutes.

We always stay on the east side b/c the hikes there are significantly better.
This post was edited on 7/1 at 11:09 am


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