Glacier National Park

In the glacier-carved peaks and valleys of Montana’s northwestern wilderland, Glacier National Park stands as a testament to nature’s grandeur, truly living up to its title: The Crown of the Continent. With its melting glaciers, alpine meadows and pristine lakes, Glacier National Park offers an unrivaled experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Its over 700 miles of trails offer visitors a touchstone to the homeland of a diverse range of wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, moose, mountain lions, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer, wolverines, lynx, coyotes and wolves. But if hiking isn’t your speed, don’t worry! There’s still plenty of adventure to take in from the road. From the scenic views of the renowned Going-to-the-Sun Road, to the exploration of the area’s rich human history, there’s sure to be something for you and your family in the Rockies of Glacier National Park.

Fast Facts

Glacier Entrance Passes:

  • During the summer months, a 7-day pass for non-commercial, private vehicles costs $35 per vehicle and motorcycle passes are available for $30. During the off-season winter rates for entrance passes are typically lower.
  • Visitors can also purchase an annual pass to Glacier National Park for $70 per vehicle or an ‘America the Beautiful – Annual Pass’ for $80. The America the Beautiful pass gives you a years-worth of access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites including all national parks, national forests and national monuments. For more information on Yosemite entrance fees, reference the National Park Service.

Best Time to Visit:

  • The recommended time to explore Glacier National Park is typically in late summer, from the end of June through September. This time frame enables you to enjoy as many of the park’s attractions as possible, including those that would be closed due to seasonal weather changes in the colder months like the drive up the Going-to-the-Sun Road. If you don’t have kids in school and can avoid the travel of the peak summer months, consider planning your trip during the month of September to avoid some of the crowds.
  • Note that during the summer months, Glacier National Park now requires timed-ticket entry reservations to be made in addition to the purchase of an entrance pass. From May 24th through September 8th, vehicle reservations are required for the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road and North Fork from 6 am to 3 pm. From July 1st through September 8th, vehicle reservations are required for Many Glacier from 6 am to 3 pm. For more information regarding reservations, be sure to review information from the National Park Service’s website.

How Many Days To Plan For:

  • Plan to spend at least 3 to 5 days in the park to be able to take in as many of the breathtaking landscapes as you can. You’ll want to be sure you have an itinerary planned to make the best use of your time. Visitors to the park will often say they could stay 2 weeks in the park and still not get enough!

Where to Stay:

  • Glacier is a very popular park, so you’ll need to make all of your reservations well in advance. If you’re planning to stay in the park, Glacier National Park Lodges manages the Village Inn Motel, Lake McDonald Lodge, Rising Sun Motor Inn, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, and Many Glacier Hotel. You can check hotel availability and make your reservations for any of their locations on their website. The Glacier Park Collection of lodges is operated by Pursuit. Reservations for these accommodations can be made on their website. There are plenty of options for lodging, restaurants, grocery stores, and other services just outside the park as well. Of course, we would recommend reserving a campsite through

Pet Policy:

  • Pets are allowed in developed areas of the park. Areas like front-country campgrounds, picnic areas, along roads when you are stopped, in parking areas, and in your car while driving park roads are all pet-friendly locations. Your pet must stay on a leash that is no longer than 6 feet and be accompanied at all times. To learn more about Glacier’s pet policy and where pets are prohibited, reference the National Park Service.

Park History

Established in 1910, the 1,583 square miles of rugged glacier-carved northwest Montana make up America’s 10th National Park. Human history in the area dates back thousands of years and the land is a part of history for the Blackfeet, Salish, Pend d’Oreille, and Kootenai tribes. In the early 1800s, early Anglo settlers began arriving in the area. It wasn’t until 1885 that George Bird Grinnell, then an editor of Forest and Stream magazine, first came to the area. Grinnell, who was pivotal in influencing public opinion and promoting legislation to make the area a national park, was the initial author of Glacier’s now iconic nickname, “Crown of the Continent.”

Things To Do

See a glacier!
While the glacier count of the park has declined from roughly 80 that existed around 1850 to 26 named glaciers as of 2015, the park still boasts some spectacular views. Jackson Glacier is one of the easiest to view and can be glimpsed from the overlook on the east side of Going-to-the Sun Road. Salamander Glacier, named for its amphibian-like shape, is visible from your car as you drive into the Many Glacier area. Check the National Park’s website before you go to see what glaciers might be accessible on your trip.

Drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road!
The 48.7 miles of scenic driving between Divide Creek on the east and Apgar Visitor Center on the west winds through the heart of the park, offering breathtaking views of glaciers, valleys, and wildlife. Make sure you don’t miss any of the views along the way! Consider watching the National Park Service’s video tour of points of interest before you go or download audio files from the park’s site for an audio tour as your drive. Check the road conditions before you go! Inclement weather and annual seasonality affect road closures.

Encounter the wildlife.
From grizzly bears and moose to bighorn sheep and wolves, Glacier has a thriving ecosystem of some of the most recognizable mammals of the Rockies. For the best viewing experience, be sure to keep a safe and respectful distance from wildlife. Get into the park early and take your time: Since most mammals are more active in the morning hours, planning an early trip into less-trafficked areas of the park, like Many Glacier Road, will give you the greatest chances of meeting wildlife.

Take a hike!
From Hiking in Glacier National Park is an awe-inspiring experience that will give you memories for years to come. The park has several trails ranging from accessible short walks to rugged backcountry hiking. Wherever you hike, it’s important to have your daypack kit ready before you leave. Be sure to pack water, sunscreen and bug spray, snacks (remember to pack out what you pack in) and rain gear and layers for warmth. It’s also a good idea to carry bear spray and familiarize yourself with how to use it before setting foot on the trail.

Best Hikes in Glacier National Park

Spend a day on the water.
Whether you own a boat or not, there are a number of ways to enjoy the lakes of Glacier National Park. Popular boat tours are available on Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Rising Sun, and Lake McDonald and small boat rentals are available as well on Apgar, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. If you plan to bring your own vessel, be aware that all watercraft launched in the park must be inspected for aquatic invasive species before boating. While there are inspection stations within the park, there are times during peak seasons when it’s recommended to have your boat inspected and sealed at one of their partner inspection stations outside the park in advance. For full details on boating regulations and best practices, be sure to review the park’s website.

Stay tuned for more National Park Travel Guides from the ROUTE 66 RV Network!

Top 10 RV Maintenance Tips & Tricks

So you bought the RV you were dreaming of. That’s great! But now comes the important part: maintenance. Whether your vehicle of choice is a travel trailer, fifth wheel, toy hauler or motorhome, taking care of your RV is essential to ensure it lasts for the years of family memories to come. For first-time RV owners and experienced pros alike, it can be hard to know where to start when taking care of your camper or what you should expect with routine maintenance. It’s important to remember that, just like your car, different components of your recreational vehicle will wear down over time and need some attention. Read below for our tips and tricks on how to keep your RV looking brand new!


  1. Cover Your Roof

One of the best things you can do to protect your recreational vehicle is to keep it stored under an RV carport or in a traditional RV cover. Your camper’s roof bears the brunt of the elements, from sun rays to other environmental factors. This can create problems that might not be noticed right away. Since replacing or repairing the roof of your vehicle can be an expensive endeavor, storing it properly is the most economical way of protecting your investment. Steel carports that are customized for the size of your RV are an easily installed alternative option to the RV cover. However you decide to protect your roof, you’ll want to inspect it regularly to keep any issues from going unnoticed for too long. For more information, take a look at this article on the pros and cons of RV covers!


  1. Maintain Your RV Tires

Ideally, you should maintain the tires of your RV as you would your everyday vehicle: rotating them periodically and monitoring them for damage. By using a tire pressure gauge or tire gauge, you can keep track of your tire pressure levels without simply “eyeballing it.” Help avoid your chances of needing roadside assistance due to flat tires by checking your tire pressure before every road trip. You should also be visually checking each tire for uneven tread wear, which can happen from improperly loading and unloading your trailer. When checking each tire, tighten the lug nuts to ensure that they haven’t become loose during travel or storage. Check out this RV tire care and maintenance guide for more tips!


  1. Keep Your Waste Water System In Good Condition

There are several things you can do to keep your recreational vehicle’s wastewater system in good working order. You should be ensuring that you are using chemicals that are specifically designed to work with your specific system. Some RVs have black water systems, and others have gray water systems, so make sure you know what type of system your camper has. It is also important to flush your system on a regular basis to avoid excess amounts of buildup that can lead to clogging and operation failure.


  1. Check All Window & Door Seals

One of the most common issues of an RV occurs when moisture leaks into the vehicle through faulty seals. When the seals on the windows and doors of your camper break down, they allow moisture to come through, damaging surfaces and creating a habitat for mold growth. A good way to help prevent damage is to be proactive: Check all seals around doors and windows every three months and check all roof seals around every six months. If you do find a loose seal or crack, you can get them removed and resealed by an RV service provider or, if DIY is more your speed, follow along with this YouTube video!


  1. Service Your Water Heater

The water heater in your recreational vehicle is a simple system that provides a great convenience: hot water. But it can be easy to forget that they require regular maintenance as well. An easy way to maintain your water heater is to flush and drain it annually. You can flush the water heater with a flush wand and when it’s empty, you can check the condition of the tank to see if there is any rust. It’s a good idea to perform this cleaning process and inspection before each road trip so you don’t run into any problems on the road or at the campground. Take a look at this video with tips to clean your water heater and common mistakes you can avoid!


  1. Winterize Your RV

Packing up your vehicle and storing it for the winter can be a tedious task, but it is essential to take these preventive measures. Properly winterizing your recreational vehicle can save you from potentially costly repairs when the camping season comes back around. There are a variety of things to check when winterizing your RV, so having a winterizing checklist is a smart way to ensure that nothing gets left out. If you’d rather not winterize an RV on your own, reach out to your local ROUTE 66 Network RV Dealer! Our RV Dealers’ holistic processes can take the headache and hassle out of winterization.


  1. Rodent Proof Your Vehicle

No one wants uninvited guests popping up during a camping trip. From mice to insects, the critters of the great outdoors can cause a wide variety of problems indoors. From removing insulation to chewing on wires or building nests inside of your camper’s furnace, the damage animals cause can lead to an exorbitant amount of time and money spent looking for a solution. Before storing your RV during the off-season, double-check that all locations with wires, gas lines and insulation are properly and tightly sealed. Two simple items to seal these areas and protect your RV from animals are spray foam and steel wool. Use these in any holes you find where animals could get inside.


  1. Keep Your Vents Open

Some RV maintenance tips don’t involve spending hard-earned money. When your RV is not in use, especially during the hot summer months, the interior temperature can climb astronomically. These extreme temperatures can cause seals, seams, flooring and fabrics to break down. To combat extreme heat, keep the vents of your RV open to help increase airflow and lower the temperature. Be sure you have vent covers over your exterior vents to prevent rain, animals, or bugs from entering your camper.


  1. Maintain Your Brakes

Just like the brakes on your car, you’ll need to periodically change the brakes on your RV. Appearances can be deceiving. Even if your camper looks like it’s in perfect mint condition, it’s important to ensure that the brakes are working properly and safely. Whenever you get the feeling that your RV brakes don’t have enough traction left, it’s probably the best idea to get them replaced. When it comes to the safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


  1. Clean Your Slide-Outs

All of the slide-outs of your camper regularly need a thorough cleaning. Dirt and debris can build up over time, eventually leading to wear and tear on the mechanism. There are a variety of lubricants you can purchase to ensure that the slide-outs are moving in and out of the unit easily. You can also use these products on the windows to add another measure of protection for the rubber sealant. Be sure to remember to clean the slide-outs on your RV after each trip to avoid costly damages!


For more RVing tips, travel guides, and general information, be sure to check out ROUTE 66 RV Network’s blog. If you’re looking for a new recreational vehicle, our RV dealer locator can help you find the nearest ROUTE 66 RV Network dealer to you.

10 Stops on Route 66 in Missouri

Did you know that St. Louis is the largest city on Route 66 and that the Gateway Arch is America’s tallest monument? Well, you do now! There are many can’t-miss stops along the Mother Road in Missouri including a historic drive-in theater, unique museums, and stunning caverns. Next time you are taking a good ole’ midwestern road trip, be sure to stop at one or all of these Missouri travel spots.


Route 66 Red Rocker

This enormous structure was built in 2008, situated at the Fanning 66 Outpost, and once held the Guinness World Record for being the world’s largest rocking chair. Although that title has not held out, it is still the largest rocker on Route 66. Be sure to stop at this great photo opportunity located in Fanning, Missouri.

Route 66 Museum

The Route 66 Museum is located in the Laclede County Library. The exhibits are fun for the whole family to walk through including an old gas station, an antique motel room, and a diner replica. Check out their collection of collectibles and vintage maps – the salt and pepper shakers from different Route 66 restaurants is a favorite!

Route 66 State Park

Route 66 State Park provides easy access to the Meramec River and is a welcomed break for travelers who want to enjoy nature and take in the historical showcasing of the U.S. Route 66. Bridgehead Inn, a 1935 roadhouse, serves as Route 66 State Park’s Visitor Center.

Uranus, Missouri

Located along U.S. Route 66 and I-44 in rural Pulaski County, Uranus offers fun humor for travelers of all ages. This tourist attraction is home to the world-famous Uranus Fudge Factory And General Store, a gun range, tattoo shop, sports bar, and it doesn’t stop there! If you are looking for another photo opportunity, don’t skip out on the World’s Largest Belt Buckle.

Route 66 Mural City

Cuba, Missouri was designated as the “Route 66 Mural City” in 2002 by the state legislature. These murals were a result of the development of Viva Cuba, a beautification organization, making this particular stretch of the historic highway unforgettable.

66 Drive-In Theatre

If you are a movie buff, then a stop at the 66 Drive-In Theatre is a must! As one of the last remaining along Route 66, this drive-in typically opens to the public during the first weekend of April and plays movies through mid-September. Each showing consists of two movies and includes a nostalgic intermission trailer.

Meramec Caverns

The Meramec Caverns are a 7.4K cavern system that has been a popular tourist attraction along Route 66 since 1935. Legends say that Jesse James used to utilize these caverns as a hideout spot and used the river within to make an escape!

Gateway Arch

The St. Louis Gateway Arch stands 192m tall and 192m wide making it the tallest monument in the United States. Visitors can reach the observation deck by using the elevator system that consists of a series of small pod-like tram cars. If it is a clear day, the view from the observation deck can stretch for roughly 30 miles. Each tram tour has an expected duration of 45 to 60 minutes and pricing starts at $11.

Gary’s Gay Parita

Gary’s Gay Parita was constructed as a re-creation of a classic 1930s Sinclair Gas Station. This stop in Ash Grove, Missouri features original gas pumps and other various pieces of Route 66 memorabilia.

Chain of Rocks Bridge

The Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis was once used to cross the Mississippi River, but now it only has walking and biking trails. The most notable feature of this historic bridge is the 22-degree curve in the middle which is unlike any bridge we see today.