The Great Northern Route

Situated along US-2 at the southwest edge of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, the town of East Glacier Park, as the name suggests, is the eastern gateway to Glacier National Park. It has a number of services, including general stores and gas stations, plus Serrano’s (29 Dawson Ave., 406/226-9392), a good Mexican restaurant just south of US-2. North of US-2, on the way to Glacier National Park, there’s more good food available at the Whistle Stop Restaurant (1024 Hwy-49, 406/226-9292).

With the main park entrance over 30 miles northeast at St. Mary, East Glacier Park is not an especially convenient base, though it does have one compelling attraction: the Glacier Park Lodge (406/892-2525 or 406/226-5600), the grandest of all the historic park lodges. Built by the Great Northern Railway to attract visitors to the park (and to its trains), the lodge centers on a magnificent lobby built of 40-foot-tall Douglas fir logs—each of which runs floor to ceiling, with the bark still on it. It’s an impressively rustic space, and well worth a look.