Tag Archives: Visitor Center

Visitor Centers – Glacier National Park – Montana

Visitor Centers and Information Resources

Glacier National Park

St[1]. Mary VC No matter how much pre-planning I’ve done before a National Park visit once I arrive one of our first stops is usually the nearest visitor center. Whether it’s watching an introductory film, learning from interpretive displays, getting answers to specific questions or purchasing a hiking guide or detailed map an official visitor center provides the orientation and background for a successful park experience.

Three centers provide information and visitor services in Glacier. St. Mary Visitor Center welcome those entering the park from the east, Apgar Visitor Center serves those arriving through West Glacier and Logan  Pass Visitor Center stands atop the Continental Divide on Going-to-the-Sun Road. The parking lot for Logan Pass VC often fills to capacity mid-day in the summer. To ensure access plan to arrive early morning or late afternoon.

Logan Pass VC

Logan Pass Parking Lot

During our most recent visit to Glacier we found the rangers and information desk staff especially friendly and helpful. They were eager to share the latest trail conditions, wildlife sightings and even where to get the best cinnamon roll in Montana.

The Apgar center is extremely busy yet the personnel stayed cheerful and responsive to each individual’s specific questions. I recall the pleasingly plumb lady in front of me inquiring about a hike. She was from Ohio and had a four year old with her, the family clad in sandals. She had already Apgar VC selected a particular trail, insisting that she could walk at a rate of 5 miles per hour. The ranger tried his best to explain that altitude, elevation gain and trail conditions were not the same as circling a track in Ohio. He suggested attractive alternatives but she wasn’t budging from her decision. I only wished I could have applied a tracking collar to see how far she got.

Many Glacier Ranger Station In addition to the visitor centers there are two staffed ranger stations to provide information on specific areas, backcountry permits and book/map sales -Many Glacier, Two Medicine. Both are open from late May to late September, 7am-5pm. Backcountry permits are also available at the Polebridge Ranger Station.

Glacier joins with across-the-border neighbor Waterton Lakes National Park to form the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Parks Canada operates a Waterton Visitor Center.

Take advantage of the visitor centers and ranger stations during your Glacier National Park visit. You too may be directed to an appropriate trail or enjoy a yummy cinnamon roll.

Visitors Center – Loveland, Colorado

Western Information and Hospitality

  As a frequent user of visitor centers I believe I have some sensitivity to what makes one worth the stop. The Loveland, Colorado Visitors Center gets my A+ rating because:

  • Restrooms are clean and well maintainedLoveland Visitor Center with Bronze Sculpture
  • Information is well organized and easy to browse
  • Good variety of information not just on Loveland but throughout the state and Wyoming
  • A well chosen selection of Colorado travel, nature and history books for sale.
  • Free coffee or cup of Celestial Seasonings tea
  • Unique Loveland and Colorado souvenirs for sale
  • Computer allows email and Internet access
  • Local art
  • Helpful volunteers – friendly and willing to answer questions or help you find what you need.
  • Need to stretch your legs? There’s a nice walk around a pond with several sculptures along the way.
  • Convenient to I-25 and US34

Loveland Visitor Center with Heart When we stopped this week volunteers searched the back room until they found two pieces of literature that gave me the information I requested. Their effort was over and above the call of duty. Several restaurants were recommended that we’ll need to return to Loveland and try. The volunteers have a great deal of pride in their community but give honest, insightful information. We leave well supplied with current travel publications (at least five pounds), a desire to make new discoveries in the area and warm feelings of welcome. What more can we ask of a visitors center?

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Visitors Center - Loveland Colorado
Visitors Center – Loveland Colorado