10 reasons why you should visit Glacier National Park in the winter

A common misconception is that Glacier is “closed” once the Going to the Sun Road shuts down for the season. The truth is, this is when the crowds disappear and the magic happens.
Imagine sunsets at Lake McDonald with only a deer family to share it with. Cross country skiing into Two Medicine without seeing a soul, only some fresh mountain lion tracks. Biking or taking a stroll along the closed Going to the Sun road with just an Elk herd for company. Quiet moments of contemplation on the Old Belton Bridge while perfect snowflakes float down slowly from the sky.
These are just a few reasons why Glacier in the winter is pure magic.
Before I gave up my hectic NYC life to chase my dreams in Montana, I really didn’t have much desire to visit Glacier during the winter months. Even some locals had advised me against it, saying that everything was closed down and there was nothing to do. I also heard rumors of months upon months under constant cloud cover. Little did I know that winter was actually Glacier’s best kept secret…. And here are 10 reasons why


1) It’s a winter wonderland.

Middle Fork of the Flathead river

2) The roads turn into cross country ski trails, and….you get places like Two Medicine all to yourself.

Sunset ski into Two Medicine Lake


3) You can still hike, just add snowshoes, subtract 500 other people off the trail and add a gorgeous coating of fluffy white snow.

The view from the top of Lincoln Peak looking out at Mount Jackson, Lake Ellen Wilson and Lincoln Lake. Photo taken by @ErikaJoyd
Snowshoeing into Snyder Lake. Photo taken by @mssdeleon


4) Magical sunsets at one of the most popular spots in the park with not another soul to share it with.

Sunset at Lake McDonald in February


5) These guys.

Bowman Lake. Photo by @mssdeleon


6) If it’s cold enough, the lakes may turn into your own personal skating rink!

Lake McDonald at Sunset
Figure Skater on Lake McDonald


7) Sometimes you can even walk on water.

Saint Mary Lake in January


8) You can take a stroll down the middle of the Going to the Sun Road without having to worry about cars, just Elk and occasionally Moose.

Saint Mary in January


9) Towards the end of winter/early spring before the roads open to cars, they turn into bike trails!

Biking into Many Glacier


10) Did I mention that you often get it all to yourself?!

Sunsets at Lake McDonald

For more pictures of Glacier and to see my other adventures, you can follow me on Instagram and/or Facebook

21 thoughts on “10 reasons why you should visit Glacier National Park in the winter

  1. Carol here from @glacier_national_park!!
    Fabulous blog Caroline!! Great job! I look forward to seeing more from you! Your photos are amazing as always 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s spectacular. I saw all those places … but not the way you did. Thank you. And, I would be happy to know the grizzlies were less active and less likely to surprise me on the trail. Thanks for visiting Under Western Skies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes that’s definitely another perk of winter! Although I always find it exciting to see grizzlies from a safe distance I definitely dont like surprising them on the trail 😊


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