You know the sun sets every day. Lakes, they're not rare. Neither are mountains. There are plenty of mountains around. And sky. Sky is not a limited resource. But somehow, in Glacier, the combination of these common things is uncommonly spectacular. Every activity you'll share from simple hikes along the St. Mary River Valley to rafting the Flathead River will be epic, unforgettable. Every bird could be a bald eagle. Every movement in the distance, a rare glimpse of a black bear. It'll be just you, your family and the perfect combination of very common things.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Tents & Sleeping EssentialsOur roomy four-person dome tents accommodate two adults and two small children snugly, without luggage. Sleeping bag, sleep sheet and an extra-thick inflatable sleeping pad are all provided to make sleeping on the ground more comfortable. Backroads does not supply pillows, so please bring your own. No lighting is provided in your tent, so a small flashlight is essential.
Restroom FacilitiesRestroom facilities are available at each campground. The restroom floors can be wet, so be sure to bring flip-flops! We also recommend bringing a hanging toiletry bag since space is limited and surfaces are wet. Be advised that outlets and mirrors are few. Backroads does not supply towels, so please be sure to pack your own.
ConnectivityKeeping your cell phone charged while on a camping trip is usually done during the day via a car charger in the Backroads van. Backroads will provide car chargers with USB ports, so please make sure to bring your USB connecter cord with you. You’ll be responsible for plugging your phone in and retrieving it at a later time.
Day 1 Astonishing alpine scenery that just won't quit Pedal a scenic route along the shore of Lake McDonald, formed by retreating glaciers ten thousand years ago Cool off with a dip in the chilly lake - if you're feeling brave!
Day 2 Travel along the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road: you'll hardly believe the views Plunging waterfalls, vast virgin woodland, snowcapped peaks and glacier-carved valleys greet you at every turn Hike through a shady forest of spruce and fir before descending into St. Mary Valley Can the stunning turquoise color of glacier-fed St. Mary Lake be for real?
Days 3-4 Welcome to Canada! Adults pedal through ranchland and U-shaped valleys to spectacular Waterton Lakes National Park while kids are treated to a horseback ride and cookout What's your pleasure? Take a boat cruise across Waterton Lake and hike to Rainbow Falls or Kootenai Lake, explore the trails by foot or on horseback, browse in the shops of Waterton Townsite or simply relax at the campground.
Day 5 Chances to spot mountain goats, pikas, white-crowned sparrows and more Enjoy amazing views of the sweeping prairies and plains of Montana as you pedal a roller-coaster route along the eastern border of Glacier into Two Medicine Valley.
Day 6 Raft down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River with expert guides who provide a unique perspective on the flora and fauna along the way.
- Spectacular views along Going-to-the-Sun Road
- Kids ride horses and have a cookout at a historic ranch
- Cozy campsites in awe-inspiring settings
- Unforgettable biking and hiking amid alpine lakes, peaks and glacier-carved valleys
- Rafting down the Flathead River - an exciting end to an incredible trip
Apgar Campground (1 night): Camp at the foot of Lake McDonald, within easy walking distance of Apgar Village.
Johnson's of St. Mary Campground (1 night): This grassy meadow, encircled by aspen trees, makes for an ideal camping spot.
Waterton Townsite Campground (2 nights): Our campsite is set at the edge of Upper Waterton Lake amid a stunning landscape of jagged peaks.
Lodgepole Tipi Village (1 night): Sleep in an authentic Blackfeet Indian tipi, complete with a fireplace inside.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Kids||Horseback riding & cookout (4 hours)|
|4||Other||Optional biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, kayaking or boat cruise (all day)|
|Other||Scenic boat ride (1 hour)|
|6||Rafting||On the Flathead River (3 hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/29-7/4 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/6-11 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/13-18 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/20-25 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/27-8/1 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/3-8 Price: $2098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/10-15 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/17-22 Price: $1998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $100 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to horseback ride: 5 years
- Minimum age restriction to raft: 5 years (this may be raised if conditions warrant)
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 16 or more - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
I'm a great fan of Backroads, and your Trip Leaders are what differentiates you from other active travel companies.- Palo Alto, CA