Our Glacier National Park road biking tour is the absolute best way to experience Glacier. The riding is unmatched in its beauty and diversity. There are options for a wide range of cyclists and the historic hotels are reminiscent of the time when the average visit to the Park was 3 weeks, not 3 hours! On our 5-day itinerary you will travel back in time to the grand hotels of the golden age of travel as you pedal through fantastic glacial valleys.
We begin with a half hour shuttle out of the Whitefish Valley towards the peaks looming to the north. We start in the village of Apgar and begin with a great warm up ride on the Camas Creek Road. The fire of 2006 covered much of this area, and the resulting views give us a peek at what is in store for us the rest of the week—majestic peaks towering above glacial cirques in almost every direction! We will do a short hike to learn more about fire and its role in forest life before having lunch on the western edge of the park. We then return to Apgar, where we will have a moment to explore the visitor center and enjoy Lake McDonald. The red and green pebbles of Apgar Beach were carried by the glaciers from sedimentary rocks 40 miles up the valley. In the afternoon we finish with a short ten mile cruise along the shores of this magical lake to the Lake McDonald Lodge the first of the historic park lodges we will enjoy this week. We will have appetizers on the porch before dinner at the lodge. TOTAL MILEAGE: 32 miles
Today is big! We must begin our ascent of the Going to the Sun Road early in the morning, as the road on the west side of Logan Pass closes to cyclists at 11 AM. Our early start in warm clothes gives us the advantage of significantly less traffic and much better potential for wildlife sightings. The views today are so awe inspiring you will hardly notice you are climbing 3,000 feet to the pass! From a distance, the road is a faint cut right into the Garden Wall. The giant arête was formed 1 million years ago by ancient glaciers. We will ride right by the Weeping Wall as we make our way to the Continental Divide at the top of the pass. Once arriving at Logan Pass, we will check out the visitor center, before heading down to our lunch at Sun Point. A short hike here gives us a great view of St Mary Lake and its ring of spectacular peaks. From here we will shuttle up to the fantastically situated Prince of Wales Hotel with its incredible views of Waterton Lake and Mount Alderson. TOTAL MILEAGE: 40 miles
After breakfast, while enjoying one of the best views on the planet, we will pedal out of the Waterton Valley on our way to Many Glacier. The morning’s ride finds us in the shadow of Chief Mountain, where the native Blackfeet Indians had may a vision quest. Our rolling route brings us to lunch just outside the park’s eastern border. From here we drop down into Lake Sherburne Valley. Our hotel tonight is situated right on Switftcurrent Lake and from the back porch both mountain goats and bear can often be seen. The sunset from this spot is quite impossible to forget! TOTAL MILEAGE: 52 miles
As we leave our cozy lodging, we will ride to the tiny town of Babb. Along the way, we may see some bears out enjoying the morning. From Babb, we will ride south along the eastern border of the park. This will bring us along the shores of Lower Saint Mary Lake. We go up and over the shoulder of Divide Mountain and every corner brings another spectacular view. After a delicious picnic lunch, we begin the rolling descent to East Glacier, where yet another beautiful historic hotel awaits us. The lobby at the Glacier Park Lodge is lined with 40 foot tall Douglas fir pillars and is quite dramatic. TOTAL MILEAGE: 67 miles
Our last day begins with a short backtrack up to the Two Medicine turn off. This lovely valley was a home for the native Blackfeet. After visiting the lake, we will stop for a quick hike to Running Eagle Falls. This unique waterfall changes its course as the water level drops and is named for a Blackfoot woman who was a warrior and led raids on the enemy. Our cruise back into East Glacier is a great way to finish our voyage. After a picnic on the beautiful grounds of the hotel, we will shuttle back to Whitefish. TOTAL MILEAGE: 26 miles
This trip will meet at 9:30 AM MST at Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge 6510 Hwy 93 S, Whitefish, Montana, 406-862-2569. You will need to spend the
night before in Whitefish.
We will return to Whitefish between 2:00-3:00 PM on the last day.
GETTING TO WHITEFISH, MT
Whitefish is 15 miles north of Kalispell on Hwy 13.
Flying into Kalispell, MT
Airport Code: FCA
To get to Whitefish, MT you actually fly into Kalispell, MT and either take Flathead-Glacier Transport or use the airport shuttle if you are staying at the Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge (you need to call them in advance to have them meet your flight).
Flathead-Glacier Transport: 406-892-3390
This is the best taxi company we have found in the area. Please call them at least one day in advance to make a reservation.
LODGING BEFORE YOUR TRIP
Whitefish is a popular summer vacation spot. It is a good idea to book your rooms several months in advance if possible; here are a few recommendations:
Best Western Rocky Mountain Lodge
This is where the trip meets. They have an airport shuttle, just call them in advance to set this up.
Big Mountain Lodge
Grouse Mountain Lodge
ACCOMMODATIONS DURING YOUR TRIP
Prices are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling alone, we will pair you with another guest. If you prefer your own room, ask about the single
supplement and we will accommodate if available.
Be sure to bring everything on this list. We have carefully developed this list to insure your comfort on the tour regardless of the weather. If you are prepared for extreme weather, it is an adventure. If you are not prepared it can be a serious problem. We recommend the layering system, including a wicking or long underwear layer, an insulating layer and a weather barrier for wind and rain. This list reflects that philosophy. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed! You will need to bring your passport for this trip.
HOW TO PACK: The bulk of your gear and clothing will ride in the Western Spirit support vehicle (preferably in a large duffle bag) and will not be accessible during the day. While this trip is vehicle supported, there will be extended times when you are away from the vehicle. For this trip, you will need to be able to carry some extra clothing while riding. You can either bring a riding pack or carry these items in your jersey.
A small day bag is optional and may be used to store things you’d rather not ride with, but would like to have access to during the day. This daypack will remain with the support vehicle and will be available periodically throughout the day.
WHAT WE PROVIDE:
✓ meals, snacks, water, electrolyte drinks, non-alcoholic drinks
✓ camp mugs, all kitchen and dining ware
✓ 2 large cycling water bottles
✓ sunscreen & bug spray
✓ bike stand and lube
✓ guides bring their own tools
✓ first aid kit with basic medications
BRINGING OR RENTING
o road bike (Our rentals come with flat pedals. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.) o helmet (gratis w/rental bike)
o cycling or hiking shoes o 3 - 5 pair cycling shorts o 3 - 5 cycling jerseys o long sleeve jersey o cycling socks o windbreaker o tights/knee warmers o cycling gloves (including warm gloves) o booties o rain jacket (Gore-Tex or similar) o rain pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
o camp shorts o shirts o warm socks o long underwear, top and bottom (wicking layer, not cotton) o 2 pair warm long pants o long sleeve fleece or sweater o pile or down jacket (insulating layer) o warm gloves and hat o brimmed hat or visor o bathing suit (for solar showers on the trip and at the hotel before/after your trip) o hiking shoes o sandals o cheap PVC rain gear (to wear in camp)
o casual shorts o casual long pants o shirts (long and short sleeve) o one nice dinner outfit o socks o jammies o pile or fleece jacket o warm gloves and hat o swim suit o comfortable walking shoes o sandals
o toiletries o medication (daily and emergency) o towel o biodegradable soap o wet-wipes o flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries) o sunglasses o optional day bag o stuff sacks or reusable grocery bags (or separate compartments for your dry bag) o cash for tipping guides: your guides work as a team and share all of their gratuities. A tip of 10-20% of the price of your trip given to either one of your guides when you return to civilization is a great way to say thanks for a job well done.
o passport o sunscreen & lip balm o medication (epi pen, inhaler) o personal items and toiletries o toothbrush/paste o brush/comb o cash for souvenirs o cash for tipping guides: your guides work as a team and share all of their gratuities. A tip of 5-10% of the price of your trip given to either one of your guides when you return to civilization is a great way to say thanks for a job well done.
o sunglasses o hat or visor o 2 large water bottles (provided by WSC) o riding hydration pack o day pack (see HOW TO PACK, above)
o camera, extra batteries o binoculars o alcoholic beverages (your guides will pack these) o books or maps
Need more information about our bike trips? Check out what a bike trip is all about by visiting our camping and FAQ page or be the first to know about new trips, last minute trip openings and future discounts by subscribing to our newsletter.
Rise & Shine
How do you like to start your day? If you like waking up to hot coffee and unforgettable sunrises you’re in luck. Delicious cowboy coffee, fresh fruit salad, pancakes, bacon, granola, yogurt and more.
“I was worried riding and camping with a group… could I keep up?… would I “fit in”? I was able to keep up and push myself and was challenged by the terrain, I loved it! The group was great I had nothing to worry about, everyone was friendly and supportive.”
“Food was WAY better than I expected. I like to eat healthy and was worried about “camping food.” The guides prepared amazing food. The trip was a blast in general with gorgeous scenery and good campsites. Guides were very friendly, patient and helpful”
“This was our 3rd trip with Western Spirit, so we knew what to expect from the guides and the support they’d provide. The trip itself was spectacular – the scenery was unbeatable and the weather was perfect.”
“Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!”
“Warmth, humor, seriously good people skills,professionalism, competence. They execute their very serious responsibilities with confidence-inspiring grace.”
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on any organized event and this one was simply amazing. My skill and fitness level were not up to those as others in the group but never once did I feel intimidated…”
“I was tired at the end of each day and to have everything taken care of as far as dinner and cleanup, it was so nice to have that not be my issue. The guides were amazing, simply amazing….the food was always excellent, their personalities are different but blended with everyone perfectly!”
Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!
The food was fantastic! I didn’t expect such meals. The guides were so friendly, helpful, and entertaining. They really worked well together. Also, they made sure that everyone in their various skill levels enjoyed the rides and that there was enough for everyone.
“To begin with the landscape and scenery was majestic and awesome. The guides were all instrumental in enhancing the experience with their knowledge, skills, and out of the goodness of their character.”
“I had been to Canyonlands two years prior so knew scenery was outstanding but it takes on even more magnificence when seen from seat of bike. The guides were awesome and supportive. Food was better than in most restaurants and more than you could eat.”
“The trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life… the scenery, the views, the guides, and the food! I loved how great the meals were!!! The guides were unbelievable cooks! After biking all day, to be able to sit down and eat a great meal & drink a beer …man, it was great!”
“Normally I do self supported but having someone else make excellent food makes me want to do it again”
Your guides are your ambassadors, they are fun, energetic and very knowledgeable. I would not do anything different.
The guides made the trip totally beyond awesome. They were fun, the food was WAY better than I expected, the rides could be were tailored, guiding was superb, trails were a blast, our campsite was sweet. I have zero complaints.
“Very accommodating of me being vegan, very cheerful and nice.”
We base our itineraries around the trails that we love to ride, but also around great camp locations. We love to find the perfect place next to rivers or lakes, or by vistas and sunset spots. In many of our camps you can take a dip in the lake or take a solar shower to get cleaned up, before kicking back and enjoying the view. We want you to relax and enjoy your home for the night. That is why we have camp set-up, cold drinks ready to enjoy, and appetizers ready to serve. We have all the tables, chairs, and shelters to make a small village and it is surprisingly easy to call our camp home. We take pride in our menu and our backcountry cooking skills. We build our menus on your dietary preferences and restrictions and happily accommodate each individual in the group. You’ll enjoy campfires, legendary chocolate brownies, and great conversation, accompanied by the best stargazing ever. After nearly 30 years of sharing the great outdoors with people from around the world, we know you’ll enjoy the comforts of Western Spirit style camping.
Whether your trip includes: riding the Rainbow Rim Trail; enjoying breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon; leading your friends on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands; or ripping down the singletrack of the North Umpqua Trail, we look forward to sharing our favorite rides and trails..After reviewing our route that we lovingly call our “map talk” we will head out for the day. If you are a faster rider we will happily let you lead ahead at your own pace. For folks who want more instruction, our guides are all trained in teaching mountain bike skills and helping you ride successfully on whatever type of terrain the day presents. There will always be a tail guide at the end of the group to make sure everything is going smoothly. If you need assistance we will take care of maintaining and repairing your bike throughout the day. Lunchtime is usually met with excitement as we prepare, our famous Western Spirit salads, custom sandwiches, along with fruit and snacks to keep you going. After lunch, we get back on our bikes and for more great riding. We always take time to enjoy our surroundings, share knowledge about the natural and cultural history of the land around us and snap lots of photos.
How do you like to start your day? If you like waking up to hot coffee and unforgettable sunrises you’re in luck. Delicious cowboy coffee, fresh fruit salad, pancakes, bacon, granola, yogurt and more await you. We take our cooking seriously and for good reason. We want to make sure you are well fueled and ready for the day ahead. In the morning you can expect to enjoy the comforts of a well-prepared breakfast, quiet mornings at camp, and plenty of time to prepare for a day in the backcountry. Your guides are expert backcountry chefs who magically take care of everything: cooking, clean up, bike maintenance, and loading our custom build support trucks. All you have to do pack up your luggage, and get ready to ride your bike.