A Campervan Experience in Glacier National Park - Native Campervans

A Campervan Experience in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Campervan

Glacier NP, otherwise known as the Crown of the Continent, is one of the most beautiful National Parks in the United States. Located in Northwestern, Montana, Glacier National Park has become a must-see for all National Park enthusiasts.

With more than 700 miles of hiking trails, picturesque scenery, and glacier-carved peaks beckoning backpackers, cyclists, and camping enthusiasts a like – who wouldn’t want to visit? In this article, we’re going to answer the most common questions asked by first-timers to Glacier National Park.

We’ve also compiled an epic road trip to Glacier National Park in a Campervan Rental, complete with all the must-see stops and camping spots. Rent your campervan from Salt Lake City and let’s get on the road to Glacier National Park!

Glacier Van Rentals

Glacier National Park FAQ

Where is Glacier NP?

Glacier National Park is in Montana and sits among the Rocky Mountains. It’s near the Canadian border in northwestern Montana. It’s 14 hours drive from Denver, CO, and just under 10 hours from Salt Lake City.

What is the best time to visit Glacier NP?

You can visit Glacier in any season, but most people enjoy visiting in the summer months between late June and early September. All campgrounds are open during the summer months and the temperate weather leaves the most options to explore the park.

Where to camp in Glacier National Park?

There are a number of beautiful, out-of-this-world, camp spots to stay at on your visit to Glacier. Some of our favorite campsites include Apgar Campground, Many Glacier Campground, St. Mary Campground, Two Medicine Campground, Avalanche Campground, and Sprague Creek Campground. There are fifteen campgrounds inside Glacier.

What is the weather like in Glacier National Park?

The weather in the summer months is mild, reaching a high of 70 degrees Fahrenheit in the July and August months. You’ll likely be comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts during the day, but you’ll want warm clothes for the evening and early mornings.


Now that we’ve answered some of your burning questions, let’s hit the road in your campervan for a seven-day adventure from our Salt Lake City Office to Glacier National Park.

Day 1 – SLC to Lava Hot Springs, ID

Distance: 149 Miles
Time: 2 hours

Since Glacier is about 9 hours from Salt Lake, we’re going to take our time and enjoy the journey. It’s Day 1 and you’re ready to hit the road! Pick up your van from Native Campervans along with some items at the grocery store. You’ll want to stock up with some van-friendly meals, drinks, and snacks before you hit the open road.

We’re not going too far today, we’re stopping at Lava Hot Springs, Idaho for the evening. For your camp spot tonight, find a place to pull in at the Lower Portneuf campground. Lower Portneuf campground is right off the road and conveniently near Lava Hot Springs.

A beautiful river runs through this campground, you’ll be surrounded by other van nomads looking for a nice place to lay their heads at night. Be wary that an active train track is nearby, so you may hear some train horns in the early hours. We’re only here for one night so it shouldn’t be too bad.

Once you’ve found your spot, we recommend heading over to Lava Hot Springs for a relaxing soak. You have a long trip ahead and it’s okay to start slow! Drinks and snacks are available so you can truly relax! When you’ve had your fill, head back to camp and get a good night’s sleep. We’re on the road early tomorrow.

Day 2 – Lava Hot Springs, ID to Yellowstone National Park

Time: 3 Hours
Distance: 192 miles

Boy, do we have a treat for you! Yellowstone National Park is on the way to Glacier and is a great stopping point. If you hit the road early enough, you’ll have plenty of daylight to explore the park.

This portion of Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming. Canyons, alpine rivers, lush forests, hot springs, and geysers including the famous Old Faithful, make up this wonderous American treasure.

Take a load off at Tower Fall Campground. You might want to head straight there to claim a spot before you head out on an adventure. The best part of Tower Fall Campground is that it is located in the Northeast Section of the Park and offers easy access to various hiking trails.

Once you’ve claimed your spot, head over to Tower Fall trailhead, from there you can access two popular hikes: Tower Creek Trail and Roosevelt Lodge to Tower Fall Trail. The first is a seven-mile out-and-back hike and the second is a short and sweet two-miler.

If you’re not feeling a hike or are a fast hiker and get done early, here are a few must-see attractions to check out:

Don’t stay out too late, we still have a lot of driving ahead of us! When you’re yellow-stoned out, head back to the campsite and get some shut-eye. We’ve got another big day ahead!

Mountain Views

Day 3 – Yellowstone National Park to Glacier National Park

Time: 6 hours
Distance: 366.7 miles

Good morning!! It’s early, so get your coffee brewing and get on the road. Take a second to enjoy that magical moment of drinking coffee among the pines, your jacket on in the summer, cool air, and silence settling in around you; there is nothing like it!

We have a big drive day ahead so hit the road and fill up on snacks at your nearest gas station.

When you get to Glacier you’ll want to stop off at the Great Northern Railway Café for some lunch or early dinner. The Great Northern Railway Café is an antique train caboose with patio seats. It’s the perfect place to rest your laurels because you have a grand, few days ahead!

Many Glacier Campground is a beautiful place to lay your head or park your van for the next few days ahead. This campground is on the east side of Glacier. Be aware: there is no cell phone service.

The Many Glacier Campground affords access to the river, hiking trails, a general store, and a ranger station. The campground is very secluded and peaceful while offering some of the best views in the entire park.

You’ve had a long day, so use the daylight hours you have left to explore your home base and get comfortable.

Day 4 and 5 – Glacier National Park!

You have two full campervan days in Glacier National Park so let’s get exploring! There is so much to do within the park that you’re going to have a hard time choosing! We’d suggest one water day and one land day.

Day 4 – Glacier National Park Water Day

We’re going to spend some time today exploring all the bodies of water and water activities Glacier National Park has to offer! You can choose from boating, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, or stand-up paddle boarding.

You can fit your paddle board in your camper van so we suggest bringing that along! If you’re looking for a little bit more adventure, try out a rafting trip. There are multiple rafting companies to choose from. Make sure to schedule your rafting trip a few months in advance if that’s what you want to do.

If you’re looking for a chill day, pull out your paddle board and head to Lake McDonald for some fun in the sun. Make sure to pack snacks, drinks, and towels! If you’re more into river paddle boarding, then we’d suggest heading out to Flathead River. You’ll get a little more water action than on Lake McDonald.

After you’ve had enough lake, river, and sun, head back to camp and get ready for dinner! Pull out your hamburgers and enjoy a quiet night under the stars.  We’ll check back in with you tomorrow.

Day 5 – Glacier National Park Land Day

Cock-a-doodle-doo campers! It’s time to get up and get moving. Spend a few hours waking and relaxing but then get ready to head out for some fun!

There are so many beautiful hikes in Glacier, that you can’t really go wrong. Some of our favorites include:

We highly recommend Highline Trail and Grinnell Glacier. Highline Trail will take you through the alpine ecosystem and across the Garden Wall. Prepared to be blown away by the beautiful scenery on both sides.

Grinnell Glacier is breathtaking, but it will take you all day. This trail is home to some of the most iconic glaciers in the park. You’ll find yourself traversing through alpine meadows and along expansive cliffs. You may even see a black bear!

After that exhausting day, you’ll sleep like a baby! We have to get on the road tomorrow and start heading back toward SLC, so take your time and enjoy all the park has to offer.

Vans and Mountains

Day 6 – Glacier National Park to Flathead Lake to Bozeman, MT

Distance: 6 hours
Miles: 340 miles

As we leave the park, we’re going to travel 49 minutes down the road to spend some time at Flathead Lake. Flathead Lake is a beautiful recreational lake, carved by million-year-old glaciers. You’ll absolutely marvel at the emerald waters.

Now is a great time to break out your paddleboard again and spend a few hours floating around on the lake, soaking in that crisp summer sun. When you’re ready to pack it up, we’re going to hit the road to Bozeman, MT.

When you arrive in Bozeman, spend some time bopping around the downtown area. Grab some grub at Brewsker’s. We hear the hamburger, and a pint is a way to go! When you’ve explored and taken in the sites, head to your campground at Bozeman Hot Springs Campground & RV.

Try to really relax and enjoy it because it’s your last night. We’re heading back to SLC tomorrow!

Day 7 – Bozeman MT to Salt Lake City, UT

Time: 6hrs 38 min
Distance: 409.7 miles

Gear up for the long haul back. Drop your Salt Lake City Campervan Rental off and we’ll handle the rest!

We hope you had the most wonderful trip in your Native Campervan. Glacier National Park is a site to behold, and this road trip is an epic introduction to all the West has to offer and the campervan life. Don’t forget to post your pictures and tag us @nativecampervans. We can’t wait to see what you got up to in your camper!

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