We spent 5 nights at the Great Bear Inn in July and have no doubt the inn made our Glacier National Park vacation so magical. Its secluded location is so wonderfully "off the beaten path" from all the other West Glacier housing, but surprisingly so close to the West Entrance of the park and the start of Going-to-the-sun Road (just an 8 mins drive to the park entrance). We came to the Great Bear Inn after spending the first half of our Montana trip in an upscale resort, so were expecting this to be the "roughing it" part of our trip, but we could not have been more wrong. The pictures posted do not do this property justice as every inch inside and out is gorgeous and epitomizes Montana beauty. This is a family operation and they have found the perfect balance between professional service and the warmth of a friend's home.
We stayed in perhaps the best room of the property - "The Great Bear Grande", which is a sprawling room with a King size bed, fireplace, well stocked bathroom, and a HAMMOCK right outside our room. Perhaps our favorite feature of the room was the breath-taking view from our private patio door. We sat on the patio every morning sipping coffee (made from our in-room coffee maker) while being mesmerized by that mountain view. The room was remarkably naturally cool without any need for air conditioning despite the record breaking temperatures outside.
The experience at The Great Bear Inn was really like having a friend in the area who gave us their house keys to come and go as we please during the day, but who made sure that there was a home cooked meal waiting for us every night when we returned and an eager ear to hear about our day's adventure. Before our first hike in the park, Mary made sure we got the lecture on what to do if we encountered a bear and gave us a full tutorial on how to use our bear sprays. We started every day at our own pace and went to the dining room where an array of breads, muffins, and bagels along with a variety of spreads and cereals were available for the picking. Then we headed out to the park for a day of hiking and exploring. We returned each evening to a variety of guests sitting around the dinning table exchanging tips about the hiking trails and sharing pictures from their day's activities. We were guests at the Inn long enough to benefit from those tips and were able to in turn give suggestions to the new guests toward the end of our stay. Of course, the ambiance is one thing, but Chef Ryan whipped up some truly delicious dishes every night; all the while paying very close attention to EVERY person's food preferences and allergies. He and his crew also joined in on the variety of conversations at the table and that made the experience even more like being in a friend's home. On the practical side, the price we paid for the accommodation, service, food, and overall experience...best value of our entire trip.
And we would be remiss if we did not mention that the property is also home to 7 of the most remarkable dogs we have ever met. Emmett, Jackson, Wrangler, Frenchie, etc.. They were gentle giants who not only protect the property from the natural predators in the area, but they make great babysitters as well since they entertain the kids tirelessly before dinner. We gave as many of them kisses as we could as we were leaving.
Thanks for making this such a magical trip, and we look forward to returning.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Great Bear Inn proudly provides deluxe lodging accommodations in a spectacular setting, surrounded by the grandeur of Glacier National Park. Choose from deluxe rooms in the main lodge or comfortable cabin accommodation on our property. The unspoiled beauty of Montana awaits you just outside our magnificent Inn. Glacier National Park is less than ten minutes away. Hiking, white water rafting, fishing, hunting (seasonal), and horseback riding - the recreation possibilities offered by Northwest Montana are endless and the beauty is unlike anything found anywhere. The Inn is tastefully decorated in a style consistent with our location at the doorstep of Glacier National Park. An Oversized Continental is provided each morning. This includes Oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruits, muffins, toast, fresh juice, cereals, and gluten free cereals, jams, jellies, honey, peanut butter, fresh butter, etc. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Great Bear Hotel West Glacier
- The Great Bear Inn West Glacier, Montana