Staying at the Glacier Outdoor Center Cabins, West Glacier, Montana
The Glacier Outdoor Center cabins are the perfect place for large families or groups traveling together to stay and explore West Glacier and Glacier National Park.
The Glacier Raft Company invited us to stay at the Glacier Outdoor Center Cabins, and we gladly accepted the invitation. We knew that these were beautiful cabins, but we were happily surprised at just how wonderful this entire resort is.
The Glacier Raft Company owns the Glacier Outdoor Center, located on Highway 2 just west of West Glacier, Montana. Behind the Glacier Outdoor Center is where you will find the gorgeous cabins we stayed in. The cabins are far enough from the highway that you will feel like you are in the wilderness, surrounded by trees and close to Glacier National Park.
These newer cabins boast space, views, and amenities. When we travel, I love having a kitchen to save money on eating out. There are not a lot of options for eating out in and around West Glacier. So having the large kitchen with everything you need to prepare a meal is handy. The two decks are fantastic for eating outside overlooking the mountains in the summer, and the upper deck has a BBQ for grilling.
The cabins look into the stunning mountains of the North Fork and Glacier National Park. It will take you less than 5 minutes to drive to Apgar and Lake McDonald from the cabins. These cabins are just outside of West Glacier, meaning that you could walk to West Glacier if you wanted to. The close proximity to the west entrance to Glacier National Park truly makes it a great place to base out of for your Glacier Park trip.
We arrived on a Friday evening, and checked in at the Outdoor Center on Highway 2. We were immediately welcomed with friendly smiles and incredible hospitality by the owners of the Glacier Raft Company. They will make you feel like you are family visiting.
Our oldest daughter ran into the cabin and immediately ran around, yelling, “I luz it here!” (Her v’s sound like z’s.) We stayed in cabin number 11, which is a deluxe 3-bedroom cabin higher on the hill. The top level has a large bedroom with a trundle bed that pulls out, as well as a queen size bed. We fit our entire family of four in this bedroom easily. Upstairs there is also the kitchen and the living room, with satellite TV and a large dining table.
Downstairs you will find two more bedrooms, each with a queen size bed. One of the bedrooms even had a sink in it. The bathroom downstairs is very large, because it also has a washer and a dryer. There is a large living room with trundle bed and another TV downstairs. There is plenty of space for a few families to stay together.
One of my favorite things about the Glacier Outdoor Center cabins were the outdoor decks. Upstairs there is the BBQ and tables for eating outside, and the downstairs deck has an additional two picnic tables. I could have sat on the deck forever and stared at the view:
For the best view at sunset, I recommend walking up to their Park View Pavilion located at the highest point on the property. Watch the sun set while taking in the views of the surrounding mountains.
The pavilion is also where weddings take place throughout the summer. This pavilion is the picture perfect place to get married, and is fantastic for a destination wedding. Say your vows on the deck facing Glacier National Park, and then move into the pavilion for dinner and dancing. Your wedding party and family can stay in the cabins, making this a wonderful vacation for the entire family. The Glacier Raft Company offers wedding packages that include two nights use of the Park View Pavilion, a two night stay in the Ridgetop Retreat (a larger house next to the pavilion that sleeps 10 or more), tables, chairs, and linens, and the ceremony on the deck. They will even offer you discounts on rafting and fishing trips! 0-100 guests will cost $7,000, and 100-200 guests will cost $7500 (in 2015). The Glacier Raft Company is excited to offer weddings and will work to customize your event to make it everything you have dreamed of. For more information, visit http://www.glacieroutdoorweddings.com/.
There are four stocked cutthroat trout ponds on site, and gear is available down at the Outdoor Center. Try your luck at fishing! This is a fun activity for the family. I would recommend trying to sneak up to the pond and not letting them see you, because they are smart and won’t grab on if they see two girls in white and pink standing there. Haha! We did get lucky and caught a few, though. These ponds made our toddler love fishing. This was by far one of the most difficult things for our children to leave — our toddler was pretty convinced that we would never get to fish again if we left these ponds.
The owners are extremely friendly and genuinely want to ensure you enjoy your time spent with them. If you have special requests or need a customized trip, be sure to ask and they will do their best. They went above and beyond to bring items for our baby.
The Glacier Raft Company also offers many other trips for you to pick from during your stay, including rafting on the nearby Middle Fork of the Flathead River. Even young children can enjoy their scenic trips.
Even though we were pretty close to home, leaving was by far the hardest part of the trip! We hope to stay at the Glacier Outdoor Center cabins again soon!
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country!
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog
**Thank you so much to the Glacier Raft Company for having us stay. While we were welcomed to the Glacier Outdoor Center cabins courtesy of the company, this review is, as always, my own opinion.**