2024 July 2 to 8
Prices listed are per person:
Shared Room: $5198
Private Room all nights: $6598
“This was our first experience with HE travel. Although we weren’t quite sure what to expect, we had an AWESOME time! The scenery was magnificent, and each day was well planned with active adventures. And, on top of all that, we met some really great guys from all over the country!” – Greg and Martin, Shrewsbury, MA
“HE trips are great for single people that enjoy being with other people and trying new things. I love to travel, but longer trips by myself seem to wear me down with all the detailed planning and time alone. HE is the perfect solution!” – David S., Holyoke, MA
“As we walked through the rugged terrain and towering mountains of Montana’s Glacier valley one can easily lose themselves in the beauty in your surrounding as well as the peacefulness of nature herself.” – Luis Miranda, San Francisco, CA
“This trip was superb, in every way. The itinerary, scenery, hikes and other activities were all excellent. Our guide, Greg was beyond my expectations!…he was super-organized, knowledgeable and paid attention to everyone’s needs. Great trip!” – David Asch, Brooklyn, NY
“Thank you for an amazing adventure, where we were able to connect with new friends, and the magic of Glacier National Park at the same time. Everything was really fun.” – Jim A., Milford CT
Raft the Middle Fork of the Flathead River
Search for wildlife such as ptarmigan, bear, mountain goats, moose, and marmots
Hike the Highline of the Continental Divide
Soak in the star-filled skies of Montana
Saddle up for a horseback ride along the ridges and valleys of Glacier National Park
Because of its stunning peaks, verdant valleys, and extensive trail system, Glacier National Park is known as the Switzerland of North America. In Glacier wildlife is plentiful. You’ll spot for eagles soaring overhead, moose meandering in the river bottoms, mountain goats grazing in steep meadows, and bears wandering in search of berries. On HE Travel’s multi-sport gay Montana adventure, experience this wilderness by hiking the alpine trails, horseback riding across the foothills, and rafting on wild rivers, all the while enjoying national park lodging, great food, and gay camaraderie.
Day 1: Arrival in Montana
Fly into Glacier International Airport in Kalispell, Montana. We will spend our first night together in Whitefish, a resort community near Glacier National Park. Explore the small-town atmosphere and local spirit of this historic railroad town. Tonight, you will meet your HE Travel trip leaders and fellow adventurers at our welcome dinner in Whitefish. Welcome to Big Sky Country!
Day 2: Rafting on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River
Today, we drive to the western edge of Glacier National Park, for a rafting excursion on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. With class II & III rapids, depending on water flow, this float offers some mellow water as well as some more exciting rapids. If you have an interest, we may be able to run the rapids in two-person inflatable kayaks, which makes for more splashy fun.
Afterward, we’ll continue along the southern border of the park, stopping at a historic inn for a late lunch, then over the pass to the original main gateway for Glacier National Park, a village named East Glacier. For the first few decades of the park, this was the welcoming train stop for the east coast city-slickers excited for their first sight of the Rockies. After days of crossing the high plains, they finally arrived, stepping off the train and walking up the flowered path to the Glacier Park Lodge. A stately log structure built over one-hundred years ago, it sits magnificently on manicured grounds, with the mountains rising behind it. The three-story lobby is supported by more than 40 huge Douglas Fir pillars over 60 feet high and about 40 inches in diameter. This will be our home for the next two nights. Each evening around 9 PM, you can enjoy live music or talks in the hotel lobby.
Day 3: Two Medicine Valley
On our third day, the Rocky Mountain beauty lures us to nearby Two Medicine Valley, one of the quieter parts of the park. We will stop for a waterfall hike and nature trail before arriving at Two Medicine Lake. Many hikes are accessed via a scenic boat tour, which gives us broad views across the wide valley. Along the way, learn of the Blackfoot Indian folklore surrounding Two Medicine Valley and how it was named.
Upon docking on the west shore, we will have access to an array of fantastic hiking trails. And together with our hiking guide, we will select one or two to immerse ourselves into this peaceful wilderness. About a mile up the trail is lovely Twin Falls, and you can continue another mile to Upper Two Medicine Lake. We will likely push for Rockwell Falls, and then hike out along the lake and another waterfall, hopefully encountering our first moose along the way. Expect to hike 6 to 8 miles today with 400-800 feet of gain depending on your choice of routes.
Day 4: Horseback Riding and Cruising St. Mary Lake
This morning we rest our legs while we ride into the wilderness on horseback, maybe even up to the ridges that reveal long vistas into Glacier National Park and across the great plains of the Blackfeet Nation. Our outfitter has hosted riders of all abilities, from first-time riders to lifetime equestrians. If you’d rather not ride, then sleep in and enjoy a relaxing morning at the lodge.
This afternoon, we travel north to St. Mary Village, located at the eastern end of the park’s Going to the Sun Road. If time and interest allow, we will drive up that road a way to catch a historic boat ride on yet another glacial lake, St. Mary. Once again, we will be surrounded by towering peaks as we cruise through glistening glacial waters. We might even catch a view of Jackson Glacier at the head of the lake.
We will check into the lodge in St. Mary later that evening, where we’ll stay for two nights. Your room provides a balcony with views overlooking the sun as it sets behind some of the highest peaks of the park. Later, watch the Milky Way as it dances across the sky.
Day 5: Hiking in the “Switzerland of North America”
One of the most beautiful areas of the park, Many Glacier, offers a multitude of hiking options, with glacial valleys taking off in multiple directions. You can join the group and hike with our local hiking guide, you can hike independently or perhaps catch a hike led by a park ranger. Perhaps you’d like to hike to Iceberg Lake or up the nearby Ptarmigan Tunnel trail. If the winter snow has cleared early, you might even be able to hike the longer trek to Grinnell Glacier. For the group hike today, expect to hike about 10 miles with 1500’ of gain, perhaps with an optional hike to more waterfalls later in the afternoon (3.7 miles/ 250’ gain).
But if you prefer to relax for the day, you can enjoy some shorter walks and hang in the grand lobby of the nearby grand dame, the Many Glacier Hotel. There you can enjoy hospitality and magnificent views. You also have the option to enjoy a boat cruise on Swiftcurrent Lake and Lake Josephine (please advise so we can book ahead for you). Whatever you choose to do, you’ll be surrounded by untouched beauty.
Day 6: Going to the Sun Road and Hiking on the Continental Divide
As we have seen this week, the jagged peaks of the Continental Divide constitute the backbone of Glacier. Today, we’ll enjoy a fantastic drive over the exquisite Going to the Sun Road, a feat of engineering and artistry almost a century ago. We stop at the highest point, Logan Pass, and celebrate our last day in the park on the Highline Trail, likely encountering mountain goats, marmots, and wildflowers – and possibly even a bear! Starting at 6,650 feet, we will experience stunning views of mountain ranges across Montana and into Canada. While access to the pass and to this trail is weather dependent and not always available, our professional hiking guide will take us into pristine areas to build on our Glacier National Park experience.
This evening we arrive back at Whitefish to share stories and highlights with each other and to enjoy a celebratory farewell dinner.
Day 7: Departure
Schedule your flights out of Glacier International Airport anytime today. Happy Trails!
Price includes: Airport Shuttle for most airline and train arrivals, Accommodations for 6 nights; All meals starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with breakfast on Day 7; Three days with professional hiking guides; Horseback riding; Historic wooden boat cruise on Two Medicine Lake; Rafting on the Flathead River; Entrance fees for included activities; All ground transportation for included itinerary; Services of knowledgeable guides and HE Travel Tour Director. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not included: Airfare to and from starting and ending points; Personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls; any costs incurred for required change of plans due to COVID-19 or other illness or injury; gratuities for guides and HE Travel director.
We strongly recommend the purchase of Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance to protect your vacation investment in case of unforeseen circumstances such as flight delay, illness, or injury. Click Here to learn more about our Insurance partner.
Stay longer for our Splash! Rafting Tour of the Grand Canyon!
Marvel at the breathtaking grandeur and vistas of the Grand Canyon, ride thrilling whitewater roller coasters, hike remote canyons to cascading waterfalls, and take time for self-reflection in profound quiet while the Colorado River whispers you to sleep each night.
- What if I am traveling alone?
- Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself. For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
- What is the physical activity level of this tour?
Physical Activity Level
To hike with this group, you should be reasonably fit. Please be comfortable walking for four to six hours (with breaks!), over a mix of paved paths and unpaved forest or mountainside trails, most with some elevation gain and a few with exposure to heights. On most days, you will have the option of venturing off for independent hikes at your own pace and distance or you can remain with the group for the main hike. You’ll generally have no trouble finding a few others in the group whose abilities match your own. As listed in the itinerary, on all days but the rafting day, you have the option to pursue more leisurely activities from reading and relaxing in the lobbies of the grand hotels, to lovely boat cruises, or somedays you could join the famed Jammer Tours (let’s talk first) or the park’s shuttle system to visit sites, not on our itinerary. On rafting day, you can choose to relax in a comfortable place instead of rafting with us.
We will also be taking an afternoon excursion on horseback, suitable for riders of all levels. Our invigorating whitewater rafting trip will be fine for most individuals but will require some paddling.
- Where does the tour start and end?
- If flying, plan to arrive at the Glacier Park International Airport (airport code FCA) about 20 minutes away near Kalispell by mid-afternoon on Day 1, in order to attend the Welcome Reception and Dinner, usually beginning around 6 PM.
For a unique experience, come by train! Amtrak has a station in Whitefish along their Empire Builder Route.
An excerpt from Amtrak’s 2015 website regarding traveling by train in the Northernmost part of the USA: “Traveling daily between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest along major portions of the Lewis and Clark trail, the mighty Empire Builder takes you on an exciting adventure through majestic wilderness, following the footsteps of early pioneers.”
If taking the train, check the arrival time carefully, and consider that you may want to arrive one day early, in order to attend the Welcome Dinner on Day 1. The train’s arrival is sometimes delayed several hours due to railroad traffic.
- Is there any camping on this trip?
- No, we will be staying in hotels and park lodges.
- Is there WIFI and cell service?
- You’ll have good cell and WIFI coverage on both stays while in Whitefish. Few if any will receive cell service for the two days that we’re in the St. Mary / Many Glacier areas, but our accommodation has limited WIFI in the lobby for basic email. In East Glacier, everyone usually has cellular coverage, while the hotel’s WIFI coverage in the public areas is usually decent.
- What is the weather like this time of year?
- Summer is the ideal time to visit Glacier National Park. Daytime temperatures are generally in the 70’s and 80’s. At the higher elevations, the temperatures can be cooler. Usually, in July, it is dry, but we prepare for rain just in case. In the evenings, temperatures can dip into the 40’s. So bring a jacket for the nighttime. HE Travel will provide you with a complete packing list prior to the trip.
- What about gratuities?
- When a meal is paid for by HE Travel, we will also take care of the gratuity. You should budget $140-$180 for tips for the local guides (hiking, rafting, horseback riding, etc.) and your HE Travel trip director.
- Additional Questions
- For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174