Glacier Park Lodge is located in the Southeast corner of Glacier National Park in Montana. This grand lodge is well worth visiting during a trip to Glacier National Park. Even if you can’t get reservations to make plans to visit the lobby and restaurant at this gorgeous historic lodge.
There is so much history in the lodge and it is just plain beautiful. From the moment you pull into the main driveway, you can’t help but stare in wonder at the sheer size of the lodge. It is an imposing site in 2018 and I can’t imagine the looks of wonder from guests when it was built in 1913.
Glacier Park Lodge History
Built by the Great Northern Railway from 1912 to 1913. The main lodge consisting of the lobby and dining room was built first and officially opened on June 15, 1913.
The gigantic fir and cedar columns that were used to support the verandas and form the colonnade in the lobby weighed 15 tons each. They could only place two trees on a flat car to bring them to the site of the lodge. Once they reached the building area they had to be dragged by a mule team from the rail head to the building site.
The Blackfeet Indians who were here when the lodge was being erected quickly named the lodge “Omahkoyis” which translates to Big Tree Lodge.
The trees were most likely anywhere from 500 to 800 years old when they were cut and brought to the lodge. There are sixty of them ranging from 36 to 42 inches in diameter and 40 foot long. The large timbers in the lobby are Douglas fir and the verandas are supported by cedars from Washington State.
It didn’t take long to realize that the original lodge was not going to be big enough for all of the guests that wanted to visit Glacier Lodge. During the winter of 1913 to 1914 the annex building, employees quarters, power hose and laundry were built along with expanding the dining room. A crew of 75 men spent over a year and a half constructing the two main buildings.
Great Northern Mini Suite
During our stay at the Glacier Lodge, we booked a Great Northern Mini Suite with a king size bed. The room was located on the 2nd floor with a view of the front of the main lodge grounds. There was a ton of room in the main portion of the room.
One thing I have to tell you is the bed was quite firm. If you are not a fan of a firm bed this is definitely something to know when you are booking a place to stay. After a long day of hiking and exploring a park the bed was definitely not as soft as we normally enjoy.
The room was quiet during the night but we were at the lodge before the height of the busy season. The room had a shared balcony with two rocking chairs and a lovely couch.
There was a desk with a wooden chair, two side chairs next to the fireplace. The fireplace is not functionally but looks amazing with fake flowers filling it.
The bathroom includes a shower, sink, and toilet. There are two body towels, a couple of hand towels and washcloths. Shampoo, body wash, a bar of soap and a vanity kit with a couple of q-tips, make up remover pad and nail file were in a basket in the bathroom.
In the summer a box fan can be requested to help cool off the room. Being a historic hotel there is no air conditioning. The front desk did tell us that later in the summer the lower floor rooms are cooler than the 3rd and 4th-floor rooms. While the top rooms have the best views they may also be really warm in the heat of the summer.
You can request a small refrigerator if you have medications that need to be kept cool. Rollaway beds are available for $15 a night. The front desk also has infant cribs, three prong outlet converters and irons/ironing boards.
Free wi-fi is available and was quite strong. The password is written on a board at the front desk. You can also ask them for a piece of paper with the wi-fi code written on it. We had great wi-fi coverage through out the entire lodge.
Great Northern Dining Room
The Great Northern Dining Room at Glacier Park Lodge offers farm to table meals that are truly delicious. With a focus on Montana cuisine and offerings you will find everything from Huckleberry meatballs to Bison ribs on the menu.
We had a hard time choosing what to order for dinner because the menu looked so good. The cocktail list is inspired by Glacier and Montana and is well worth pursuing. My wife had the frozen huckleberry margarita and said that it was the perfect blend of tart huckleberries in a sweet margarita. I had the old fashion which was well balanced and tasted amazing.
Our dinner started with a nice portion of fried ravioli. The ravioli was crisp and the cheese melted in the middle perfectly. I am not sure what happened but all of a sudden the plate was empty and we were looking at each other wondering if we could make more ravioli appear.
For dinner I went with the bison ribs served with summer vegetables and mashed potatoes. The summer vegetables were fantastic. The bison ribs fell off the bone and you could tell they had been cooked low and slow to truly make them fall off the bone. The potatoes were the only miss on my plate. They tasted like they had been plated a lot earlier than anything else on the plate and kept under a heat lamp.
My wife had the classic mac and cheese and it was a huge portion. Even with both of us enjoying it there was well over half the dish left when we were done.
The dessert menu included huckleberry bread pudding, berry crisp, and ice cream but we were to full from dinner to enjoy any
The Great Northern Dining Room does not take reservations and is first come first served.
Breakfast is served from 6:30 am to 10 am
Dinner is served from 5 pm – 9:30 pm
Located in the main lobby the Empire Bar offers a well-stocked bar, Montana microbrews, and classic Jammer soda. The Empire Bar also offers a stunning view from the back porch. This is the place to relax and enjoy a delicious cocktail after spending the day in the park. The Empire Bar also offers lunch and dinner with a menu focused on appetizers, sandwiches, and burgers.
The Empire Bar serves food from 11:30 am to 10 pm. Cocktails are served until 11 pm.
The Espresso Bar is located in the main dining room and will help you get fueled up on caffeine before hitting the park. Starting at 6 am they serve a selection of Montana Coffee Trader’s brewed coffee, espresso, steamers, teas and hot chocolate along with iced coffees and Italian sodas.
Glacier Park Lodge Golf Course
The historic Glacier Park Lodge golf course was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1928. The Blackfeet Indians named the course “Oom-c00-ska-pes-che” or Big Green Blanket by Chief Earl Old Person.
The 9-hole golf course offers stunning mountain views and wide fairways. The entire family can enjoy the pitch n’ putt course. The par 27 course located on the front lawn of the Glacier Park Hotel offers fun for everyone. You can rent equipment to play at the Concierge desk. Golf Cart rentals are also available.
Gift shops at the Glacier Park Lodge
There are a couple of gift shops located within the lobby of the Glacier Park Lodge. They offer great souvenir and gift items along with practical items needed for visiting Glacier National Park.
The Native American Trading Post
This gift shop offers souvenirs including a large selection of huckleberry items, Pendelton blankets and more from the Pendleton National Park Collections. The gift store also features local Blackfeet Native American crafts and gifts.
Country Corner Mercantile
The Country Corner Mercantile offers snacks, coffee, books, magazine, digital camera supplies, along with health and beauty supplies.
Things to know when planning a trip to Glacier Park Lodge
Glacier Park Lodge address – 499 T-49, East Glacier Park
Glacier Park Lodge phone number – 406 226 5600
Check-in time is 3:00 pm
Check out time is 11:00 am
An advance deposit equal to one night stay and tax less surcharges is due when you make your reservation. If you book excursions/activities through the Glacier Park Lodge you will need to pre-pay for these activities when you book them.
There is bellman available for assistance with luggage at check in and check out. This can be extremely helpful if you are on the 3rd or 4th floors. There are no elevators on the property.
Luggage storage is also available.
If you are taking the Amtrak the Glacier Park Lodge has complimentary transfers to and from East Glacier Park Amtrak Station.
Safe deposit boxes are available for complimentary use at the front desk.
Make sure and hold onto your keys! The hotel uses metal keys and there is a $10 replacement fee if one is lost.
There is a concierge located in the main lobby that can help with hiking recommendations, travel tips, maps and directions. They can also assist in booking activities in the area including Jammer tours, whitewater rafting, and more.
The outdoor pool is located behind the main building. The pool being open is weather dependent and is normally open from July to August. There are towels available poolside. Pool hours are normally 10 am to 9 pm.
There is an ATM located in the lobby.
Box lunches are available to take on your daily adventures. Make sure and order them at the front desk by 8 pm the night before. Lunches are available for pick up after 7 am. The menu is available at the front desk.
Glacier Park Lodge Season for 2018 and 2019
June 6, 2018 – September 24, 2018
June 5, 2019 – September 23, 2019