Touring The Byway 
50 Miles | 4 Days / 3 Nights | Gateway City: Kalispell, Montana

We recommend starting your journey in Kalispell, gateway to Glacier National Park. After you learn a bit about the city on the Downtown Historic Walking Tour, visit the Conrad Mansion Museum and the Northwest Montana History Museum before staying at the Kalispell Grand Hotel. The next day head for Whitefish to explore the Whitefish Museum, Sunti World Art Gallery, and the Going to the Sun Gallery before heading to Columbia Falls. 

From there, you’re on to Glacier National Park, often called the Crown of the Continent, which backs up to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park across the Canadian border. Along with 700 miles of hiking trails, there are three historic areas: Apgar, which was settled in 1892 to offer cabins and guided tours to early visitors; the East Side, which was settled by prospectors seeking to strike it rich before it became a protected part of the park in 1900; and North Fork, which had 44 homesteads east of Glacier before it also became a part of the park.   

View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!

Highlighted Attractions

Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park is a stunningly beautiful, ice-carved terrain of serrated ridges, jutting peaks, dramatic hanging valleys, 50 glaciers, more than 200 lakes and waterfalls, and some 1.2 million acres of forest.  Some call it the Crown of the Continent and few know that it backs up to the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park across the Canadian border. In frontier days, visitors to the remote mountain valleys were likely to be horse-mounted hunters seeking hides and heads as trophies. Today’s visitors are photographers, hikers, birders and scenic drive lovers. The Park is big, wild, majestic, awesome and spectacular – and when their open mouths begin working again, visitors seeing it for the first time say something profound, like “wow.” A portion have returned with their work, urban tastes and expectations, and settled in, working to sustain and save working ranches, clear streams, and free ranging wildlife from the intrusions of modern life. 

Conrad Mansion Museum

The residence of Charles Conrad sits proudly on three landscaped acres atop a bluff overlooking the valley. The shingle-style Norman building, a revivalist version of vernacular architecture in Normandy, France, is surrounded by large ever-blooming flower beds that provide constant color during the summer season, plus hedges, evergreens, and lawns.

Glacier Park Lodge

With unpeeled log pillars and open campfire-like fireplaces in the lobby, this Great Northern Railroad Lodge acted as the grand entry to the wilderness, for visitors who arrived by train from the East. Located outside the park boundary but connected by a trail, visitors stepped off the train platform in East Glacier and walked across the street to the lodge grounds.

St. Mary’s Lodge

Located adjacent to the St. Mary Entrance Station on the Going to the Sun Road, near the town of St. Mary. Open, daily, late May-early Oct. Exhibits feature the Native Americans of the region, are complemented with a park film “Land of Many Journeys” and other activities


Kalispell was platted by Charles Conrad when he realized the railroad was going to come through. Named the Salish word for “flat land” or prairie above the lake, Kalispell became a division point for the railroad between St. Paul, MN and Seattle. Soon after “the iron horse snorted through” the remaining buildings from a neighboring town gone bust were moved to Kalispell on log rollers. The first brewery was established in 1894, and today local craft breweries produce more than 40 varieties of ales and lagers made with Montana-grown malts, hand-picked local hops, huckleberries, and Flathead cherries.

To experience all that America’s Most Beautiful Scenic Road has to offer, purchase the complete itinerary! 

The detailed itinerary includes: