PRIVATE GROUP - Hiking and Rafting Glacier National Park


| Activities: Hiking and Rafting

PRIVATE TRIP - NOT AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC: 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 while there has been significant glacial melting in the past 30 years, they are still magnificent. The park is also known for an astounding array of jagged peaks, wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. We'll hike many of 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: 13.


  • 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


  • 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, with the exception of one dinner
  • Transportation and luggage transfer within Glacier National Park
  • Entrance fee into Waterton Park and boat ride
Not included: airfare to Kalispell, transportation to the Park, 1 dinner, National Park entry fee, alcoholic beverages, guide gratuities

Trip Documents

Trip Intro

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 St. Mary's Lodge, also inside the park. We spend our final night at a more modern lodge in Whitefish.

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 also take a boat ride on Waterton Lake in Canada, followed by a short hike and time to explore the small town of Waterton.

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 Park Lodge which is located just outside the park in East Glacier. We spend our final night at a more modern lodge in Whitefish.

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 two nights. (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)
After two days of hiking we'll give our legs a bit of a break as we travel to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first Peace Park in the world. Originally two separate parks, they were formally united in 1932 and represent what much of western North America used to look like. We'll take the bus across the border into Canada (yes, you will need your passport) and then take a boat ride on Waterton Lake to the southern most part. We'll get off the boat at Goat Haunt Ranger Station for a bit more leisurely hike today, visiting both Goat Haunt Overlook and Rainbow Falls. We'll then have some time in the town of Waterton with a chance to check out Waterton's shops. There are lots of restaurants here and tonight dinner is on your own. Overnight: St Mary Village (B, L)
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. Overnight: St. Mary Village. (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. Overnight: St. Mary Village. (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)


(5 reviews)
4.2 Food
4.8 Lodging
5 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.

Sort By:
Most Recent

Constance M.
5 months ago

Eva and Gabby

Birgit D.
5 months ago

My rating has mostly to do with CVID limitations and the lack of mountain views due to the haze relating to the fires outside the park. Aside of that, I woyuld rate it excellent.

Judith M.
5 months ago

loved all the hiking trails and lodges. But what made it the best was our 2 guides. Eva Stone and Gabby Holm were so helpful, gracious and knowledgeable about the park... the geology, plants, flowers, animals, trails. The trails offered a bit of everything: mountains, glaciers, glacial lakes, fossils. I loved the whole package.

Barbara A.
5 months ago

Many things: my wonderful friends, Eva and Gabby, the scenery and wildlife and sense of accomplishment, being able to do it all!

Mary C.
5 months ago

We loved our guides and the scenery and hiking were fantastic. We have hiked together as a group for 30 years so appreciate that AGC designed a trip just for our group.

  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.