The #PursuitLife is about more than simply exploring a place. It’s about letting the power of the incredible places where we live and work make their mark on us. Are you a current or future team member of Pursuit? This story is for you.
Along the southern edge of Glacier National Park runs a route that connects Whitefish and West Glacier Village to East Glacier. Highway 2 winds between the park and the Flathead National Forest, uncovering views and hidden treasures along the way.
The route traces the historic path of the Great Northern Railroad and winds along the Flathead River. Our team members who travel regularly from East to West Glacier have been known to develop a love-hate relationship with Highway 2. Mainly love though — there's plenty to see and do along the way.
Five Must-Sees of Highway Two
1. Glacier Way Fountain
You'll often see travelers quenching their thirst at the Glacier Way Fountain near the West Entrance of the park, about 13 miles from Whitefish. A pipe extending directly from the face of the mountain filters out clear spring water 24/7. While this isn't an approved source of drinking water, locals frequent the fountain for an authentic and easy way to taste Glacier's fresh water and keep hydrated.
2. Hungry Horse Dam
About fifteen miles from the West Entrance of the park heading east, the Hungry Horse dam lies at 564 feet high. The dam was completed in 1953 on the South Fork of the Flathead River. The dam is rich in history and 100% worth checking out.
3. Silver Staircase Falls
Best viewed in the early season when snow melt is rushing down from the mountains, the Silver Staircase Falls are a local's secret. Keep your eyes peeled for the turn-off on the south side of the highway near mile marker 188. Take the short walk to the falls for a refreshing and invigorating view.
4. Hiking Trails
It wouldn't be Glacier National Park if there weren't some of the best hiking trails around. The options are endless, but our top three trails are:
- Goatlick Overlook: a short, accessible trail southest of the Walton Ranger Station. The trail leads to an exposed riverbank where animals come to lick the mineral-covered cliffs.
- Skiumah Lake: close to West Glacier, this 1.9 mile roundtrip hike is a great way to stretch your legs and connect with nature, even on a tight timeline.
- Stanton Lake: a slightly longer 4.3 mile round-trip walk that is rated easy. Find the trailhead at -48.38 N° and 113.73 W°. Gain 748 feet of elevation along the trail to reach the lovely Stanton Lake.
5. Classic Montana dining
Looking for some tasty fare on the way home from a long day of exploring? Be sure to check out the Snowslip, owned by a local Montanan. The menu offers homestyle options that are simple yet downright delicious. The prices are average and affordable ranging from around $8-15. Other classic restaurants to check out on Highway Two are Firebrand outside of East Glacier, the Huckleberry Patch in Hungry Horse and (if you want to treat yourself) Summit Mountain Lodge & Steakhouse.
Take the time to explore Highway Two like a local. You never know what you might find!