by: Dave D’Abate
Glacier National Park in Montana is celebrating its Centennial year in 2010 and the summer season will certainly packed with the park’s nearly 2 million annual visitors. Few visitors enjoy the crowding and noise levels in wilderness areas during the peak season. The best time to get out and experience Glacier Natl. Park is during the off-season when there are no crowds, and you’re unlikely to see more than a dozen people at any given time while on the trails.
Glacier Natl. Park is more than one million acres, and with nearly 800 miles of trail, deciding what landmarks to see can be a daunting task. This is where the Glacier Outdoor Center comes in. The Glacier Outdoor Center has been operating in and around Glacier Natl. Park since 1976 and is celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2010 along-side the park’s Centennial.
The Glacier Outdoor Center is also one of the few companies operating inside Glacier Natl. Park itself and this is the first year that the company is offering guided cross-country skiing and snowshoeing half day or full day tours. All the Guides are trained in the most up to date backcountry medicine and rescue techniques, avalanche safety certification, and are active patrollers with the Flathead Nordic Ski Patrol & Professional Ski Instructors Association in addition to being local so there is no shortage of information you can gain from them.
Glacier Raft Company’s Glacier Outdoor Center is the hub of activity featuring a full service fly shop and outdoor gear store along with the base for the Reservations operation. Behind the Glacier Outdoor Center, you can find 10 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails and year-round log cabin rentals; all within 5 minutes of west entrance to Glacier Natl. Park. If you haven’t quite built up your gear collection or are looking to try something new, the Glacier Outdoor Center also has a very wide selection of rental equipment ranging from backpacks to snowshoes.
The winter activities provided by the Glacier Outdoor Center are just a few of the things you can do while visiting the West Glacier area in Montana. If you feel like taking a day off from trekking through the park, Whitefish Mountain Resort offers a magnificent view across the landscape toward Glacier Natl. Park along with great downhill skiing for people of all ages. So whether you’re just looking to make headway on your new year’s resolution to exercise, looking to get outside during the cold winter months or just plain excited to check out the views in Glacier Natl. Park during the most stunning time of year, the Glacier Outdoor Center is the go-to guide service for your outdoor excursions.