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Glacier and Banff National Parks — Montana

Author: svoimmer
Date of Trip: July 2004

11 days travel by train and rental car to two national parks in two countries with three children. We prefer to stay in cabins and cook our own meals to preserve nutrition and save money. Our family walks most nights year round and thinks a 3-hour hike is ideal.

East Glacier Motel & Cabins:
We were too late to get a cabin, but our room had a kitchenette and bottled water. They will pick you up from the Amtrak station free of charge. Car rental is next door.

Two Medicine Lake:
Our first stop was Two Medicine Lake, surrounded by huge mountains and fed by runoff from the snowfields in the mountains. The day was beautiful for hiking and the girls got their first experience with numerous ground squirrels that live near the parking lot. We purchased our boat tickets to ride to the other side of the lake, about 25 minutes. We rode in a beautifully maintained wood sightseeing boat called Sinopah, named after an Indian princess who came to this lake as part of her vision quest. There is also a mountain named after her. The lake is crystal clear and 200 feet deep and well preserved. We docked and began our hike towards Twin Falls at the base of one of the mountains. It felt so good to be walking in the woods after sitting and waiting for so long. The falls were beautiful and the hike inspiring as we gazed at the giant Tamarack Pines and the mountain vistas.

Our next stop was Trick Falls, which we soon learned is a waterfall that pours out from underneath some large boulders. In spring it looks twice as tall due to the volume of water being too much and some flowing over the top as well as down under the boulders. Upon returning in the boat we witnessed a wedding about to begin– what a beautiful setting for them.

Glacier Village Resaurant:
The buffalo burger was delicious and they had kid-friendly offerings too. The kids especially loved “grandma’s art book”, a three-ring binder that other young patrons have drawn and colored in. It was fun to see kid’s sketches of what they did or saw that they loved, and when they were drawn.

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