2019 July 5 to 12
Known as the Switzerland of North America, Glacier National Park is one of America’s most photogenic places! From hiking the jagged trails to whitewater rafting, your hunger for adventure will be satisfied daily. Join us for an intimate encounter with the land, sky, ice and wide-open spaces on this beautiful multi-sport gay Montana adventure!
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, rafting on wild rivers, and ziplining. All the while enjoying national park lodging, great food, and gay camaraderie.
You fly to Glacier International Airport in Kalispell, Montana and will spend the first night 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 downtown Whitefish. Welcome to Big Sky Country!
In the morning we’ll head east to Glacier National Park. 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, stopping about half-way to explore hiking trails at Logan Pass with our professional hiking guide. Starting at 6,650 feet, we will experience stunning views of mountain ranges across Montana and into Canada, waterfalls, scores of lakes, and the endless expanse of the Great Plains.
While hiking along the Highline Trail, wildlife viewing is typically plentiful, and we’ll spot for hoary marmots, ptarmigan, and even mountain goats. If you’re uncomfortable with heights or hope for a shorter hike, we will suggest options. Or you can enjoy more relaxed sightseeing by spending the day on and off the park shuttle, with short visits to many sights until you arrive at the visitor center in St Mary. After our hike, we’ll continue to our lodge for the next two nights in St Mary, located on the eastern side of the park. In the evening, relax while watching the sunset over pristine mountain peaks. After the sun goes down, soak in the star-filled Montana skies.
You have a multitude of hiking options today in the Many Glacier area of the park. Trails take-off in all 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. Oftentimes, hikers want to see a living glacier, so they will head to Grinnell Glacier. Perhaps you’ll just want to relax for the day at the nearby grand old dame, the Many Glacier Hotel, and enjoy the views of the mountains and possibly 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.
After a leisurely start to our day, we depart St Mary as we drive south to the original main gateway for Glacier National Park, a village named East Glacier. For the first fifty years of the park, this was the first stop for travelers arriving from the east on their grand railway vacation, stepping off the train and walking up the flowered path to the stately Glacier Park Lodge, where we’ll stay for two nights. The highlights of Glacier Park Lodge are its manicured grounds, mountain views, and a grand, three-story lobby supported by more than 20 huge Douglas Fir pillars over 40 feet high and about 40 inches in diameter Each evening around 9 PM, you can enjoy live music or talks in the hotel lobby.
This afternoon will bring us stunning views as we horseback ride along the ridges and valleys looking deep into Glacier National Park and its surrounding plains. Our outfitter has hosted riders of all abilities, so no worries whether you’re a first-time rider or a lifetime equestrian. If you’d rather not ride, then your afternoon is free to relax at or get a massage at the lodge, enjoy the lodge’s heated swimming pool or play a round of golf at the lodge’s 9-hole golf course.
Yet more Rocky Mountain beauty and fantastic hiking luring us to nearby Two Medicine Valley. Most hikes are accessed via a scenic boat tour, which we’ll do together. We’ll enjoy a relaxing cruise while listening to the Blackfoot Indian folklore surrounding Two Medicine Valley. Upon docking on the west shore, guests will have the option to either remain on the boat to return to the visitor’s center or step off the boat to access fantastic hiking trails. Hiking today is on your own, so you can hike as much or little as you like. About a mile up the trail is lovely Twin Falls, and you can continue another mile to Upper Two Medicine Lake. Longer hikes will take you to Cobalt Lake, No Name Lake, or all the way up to Dawson Pass. You can then catch a return boat or hike back to the visitor’s center.
Today, we embark on 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 head back to Whitefish for our last two nights.
We have a full day back in Whitefish for some well-deserved R & R. Take advantage of the lodge’s hot tub and spa, treat yourself to a massage or do nothing at all. For those interested in more adventure, this morning features an exciting zip line tour through the trees high on the mountain at Big Mountain Resort overlooking Whitefish Lake. While flying, you’ll be suspended on long cables which are between 20 and 300 feet above the ground. The length ranges from 100 to 1900 feet long, the longest of any zip line in Montana! The afternoon is free to explore the town. Tonight we relive our week of adventure and say our goodbyes to new friends during our fantastic farewell dinner.
Schedule your flights out of Glacier International Airport anytime. Happy Trails!
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.
Price includes: Airport Shuttle for most airline and train arrivals, Accommodations for 7 nights; All breakfast, 6 lunches, 5 dinners; Two days with professional hiking guides, including hiking one day each along the Continental Divide, if conditions allow, and hiking in the Many Glaciers area; Horseback riding; Historic wooden boat cruise on Two Medicine Lake and the opportunity to hike unguided in that area; Rafting on the Flathead River; Zipline adventure; 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; One lunch and two dinners; Personal items including: alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls; gratuities for guides and HE Travel host.
Optional Tour Choices:
$1300 Single Supplement (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
“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
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.
This tour starts and ends in Whitefish, Montana.
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.
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.
No, we will be staying in hotels and park lodges.
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.
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.
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.
For answers to your additional questions, please email email@example.com or call 305-294-8174