We are aware that there is currently a media frenzy concerning wildfire in our area and in Montana as a whole. Wildfires are a natural and normal part of our Summers here and we adapt to them in the same way that we adapt to snowstorms in Winter, or any other natural event. We have outstanding wildfire management teams that are fully competent and capable of doing everything possible to limit the effect of wildfire on property and people and we leave the management of the wildfire situations to them whilst everyday life continues as normal.
As I am typing this I am sitting on my deck located within a mile of the Park entrance. I can see Apgar mountain and Belton Hills, and also the occasional helicopter flying overhead towards the Sprague fire. The sky is blue. The sun is shining and there is only a slight blur of haze over the peaks in the distance. However, if I turn the tv on, the news stations (that aren’t covering the devastation in Texas) paint a picture of Montana as a blazing inferno with zero visibility due to smoke and wildfire conditions.
Don’t believe the hype.
It is true that there are areas that have been badly hit by fire, it is true that the Sprague Fire is burning in Glacier National Park.
HOWEVER, Montana is larger in size than the country of Germany.
Less than 1% of this is currently affected by wildfire.
Glacier National Park is more than one million acres of wilderness.
The fires are affecting 5,000 acres of this. That’s 0.5%.
There is still plenty to enjoy in the Park, from the newly restored spiral staircase at the lodge in Many Glacier, to hiking at Two Medicine. Enjoy a boat trip on St Mary Lake and hike to Virginia Falls to see how quickly an area regenerates after fire.
The largest lake west of the Mississippi, Flathead Lake, is approx 40mins away with its lakeshore communities of Bigfork, Lakeside and Polson offering microbreweries, restaurants, antique stores and art galleries alongside fishing trips, SUP, kayak and boat rentals.
You can take a gondola ride to the top of nearby Whitefish Mountain for views into Glacier National Park, across the Flathead Valley and even into Canada. For indoor entertainment we highly recommend the Miracle of America Museum and Kalispell’s Conrad Mansion.
These are just a few examples of places to see and things to do during your trip. Your vacation will still be an outstanding experience of America’s natural beauty and wilderness, and you will still experience that Montana hospitality we are famous for.
Check your sources. If you are worried about a particular fire – turn off the tv and check inciweb for the latest, most accurate information; look at the webcams in the Park; and talk to us about what is actually happening right here. Blue sky, warm sunshine, relaxed pace of life, and acres and acres of wilderness. There is no need to change your plans. If things should change and we are in ANY danger at all, the fire management teams will let us know and we will let you, our guests, know.
We take seriously our roles as ambassadors of the Treasure State and honor the reputation of Montana as a tourist destination. Our loyalty is to you and the State we live in.