There is so much to say about West Glacier, Kalispell and Whitefish…and even the KOA at which we stayed. Our first surprise was what a neat campground we found. The Whitefish/Kalispell KOA is a family paradise. We pulled up to check in and the kids were off and running before we even got to our site.
The first thing they spied were the low to the ground bikes (found at almost all KOAs). To their delight, this time they didn’t have to pay a dime for them and could use them at will. This was the same for the bouncy houses at the playground, the paddle boats and the petting zoo – which consisted of several ponies, a few llamas, a burro, several bunnies, and three squealing teacup pigs. My mother and I were thrilled as they served a full hot breakfast for free.
This place was so cool. Every evening after we got back from an outing, the kids took off to play and do “their” thing. One evening there was a bunny – I think not so wild – beside our camper. Brodie approached the bunny and got to feed it. It was so cute! We had great neighbors and a campsite no more than 100 feet from my mother’s cozy KOA Kabin tucked in beside the woods. The sites were each unique and constructed with thought. The campground was located in between Kalispell (with all of the big box stores we’ve come to expect) and the hip downtown area of Whitefish and only a mere 35-40 minute drive to the west gate of Glacier National Park – the perfect triangle.
Upon the advice of our campsite neighbors…and due to iffy weather…we decided to take the shuttle service through Glacier NP up to Logan Pass. We didn’t realize that it would only make a few stops, but that turned out to be okay as the weather grew more questionable as the day wore on. We arrived at the Apgar Visitor Center and jumped the shuttle bus to Lake McDonald, then on up to the next stop where we would need to jump on a small shuttle van necessary to make it up the Rising-To-The-Sun Road. Our driver was quite informative and we throughly enjoyed the trip up.
Luckily, I was invited to sit up front with the driver and counted myself fortunate as we began the arduous, yet scenic drive up to Logan Pass. I saw long lake views of mineral aqua blue water. I saw grand vistas stretching out over forests ravaged by decades old fires, rocky inclines, ribboned waterfalls descending from last seasons’ snow melts and craggy peaks miles and miles away. I felt the temperature drop and saw sleet fall. I saw the excited faces of all the others who were sharing in this strange and new environment with me that very day.
My son lost his wallet on the shuttle at Logan Pass and managed to hail the driver to retrieve it. By chance, we took the same shuttle back down and my son discovered my nephew’s sunglasses. We hopped on the shuttle bus to Lake McDonald for a bite of lunch. While waiting our turn, my nephew realized that he had left his walkie talkie on the bus. We learned that we would have to check in the next day to see if it had been returned. We ate pizza and the boys saved the remainder of theirs. We stopped into a convenience store to get out of the cold while we waited for the next bus to come by. By chance, the very same shuttle arrived and the driver had discovered the walkie talkie and held it aside, in case the owner should come back looking for it. Once the shuttle started back for the Visitor’s Center, my nephew realized he had left the pizza at the convenience store. <sigh!>
However, we did get to witness a most adorable native to the park – the Ground Squirrel in all of its chirping delightfulness!
We would’ve loved to have seen more, done more, but the weather was just not cooperating. However, what we did see gave us a desire to come back again with our own car and see much, much more!