Glacier National Park Bike Tour, Lizard Head Cycling Guides
 
101 Bobtail or Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 Phone: 970.728.5891
Email: info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com

Glacier National Park

Thanks to all of our past clients and now friends – you’ve made our tours tremendously successful! Join your friends at Lizard Head Cycling Guides for a northern locale that meets our standard for unique cycling, lodging and dining experiences. Glacier National Park is a bucket-list road cycling and hiking journey!

Each year Glacier National Park and its Canadian sister, Waterton Lakes National Park, deliver among our highest guest satisfaction rate. The mountains are huge, the riding is invigorating, and the scenery is second to none.  This is your year for Glacier!

Why Ride Glacier National Park with Lizard Head Cycling?

Because a tour to Glacier National Park is not complete without riding into Canada’s Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park! Many of our competitors don’t ride to Ohhhh Canada. Why? Heaven knows, but Lizard Head Cycling Guides certainly does to take in the heavenly beauty of Waterton National Park, plus it’s fun to ride across an international border on the bike. 🙂

I LOVED every minute of the ride/trip. Emily and Michael (the guides) were very helpful and kind. Thank you for creating rides that have a good amount of mileage and climbs. I’m soooooo glad I did this & would love to to do another. Lizard Head is fantastic and you “run” a great adventure business. Thanks for the spectacular adventure. 🙂 – Monique T.

Glacier National Park Bike Tour: Highlights

glacier-lead

Going to the Sun, Anyone?

Check out the following link to explore a very cool story map focusing on Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road. It was put together by Leslie Zolman, GIS coordinator for the Montana Office of Tourism. http://ow.ly/UYORZ

Glacier National Park Bike Tour: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

Please note that the following tour dates are for 2018.

2018 Summer Tour Dates:

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Glacier National Park Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

***A Passport is Required to Ride into Canada!***

Starting & Ending Town: Whitefish, Montana (Guests fly to Kalispell & take shuttle to Whitefish).
NOTE: Alternatively guests can now fly to Missoula, MT & shuttle to Whitefish with Glacier Charters (406.892.3390)

Meeting Hotel: Grouse Mountain Lodge (many lodging options exist in Whitefish)

Tour Length: 6-Days Cycling/5-Nights Lodging

Total Miles: 150 to 325, additional mileage options available. (Can I keep up on this tour?)

Daily Mileage Range: 15 to 92

Ability Level: 2/3 (Intermediate to Advanced)

Group Size: 6 to 13 cyclists

Tour Cost: $2,795 per person. Group discount of $200 per person for groups of 4 or more.
Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Single Room Supplement: Add $550- to the Tour Cost for a private room each night of the tour (5 nights). Add $275 if cyclist is willing to share with a same sex rider and none are available.

Tour Includes: 6-days of guide service, 6-days of meals (5-dinners), 5-nights of lodging, all taxes & entrance fees, lunch en route daily, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, massage & bike rental are additional.

Lodging Includes 5-Nights: (subject to change)

Road Bike Rental: Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rent Scott CR-1 Pro and Scott Solace carbon road bikes with full Shimano Ultegra components for only $250/week, or $150 for 3 or 4 day tours. Both the CR-1 and Solace models are sub- 17 lb comfortable, high performance bicycles geared for climbing hills. In addition we also have electric bikes available for rental at $375/week. And finally we have a selection of straight bar road bikes and kids bikes in our rental fleet. Just let us know what you need and we can probably find it.

Please also see this blog post for more information on bike rentals.

Electric Bike Rental: We now have a limited selection of SCOTT electric bikes that can be reserved for our tours. These are road bikes with straight bars that make the slowest rider the fastest rider in the group. Rental Price is $375/week.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free bike high performance rental per couple ($250 value).

Tandems and Recumbents: Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on its tours.

Meals On Tour

Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post ride element.

Lunches on Tour: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Riding the Glacier National Park Bike Tour

Glacier Bike Tour Ability Level: Lower-Intermediate to Advanced Cyclists. Although there are BIG climbing and challenging options miles here, this is a good bike tour for mixed abilities. Neither advanced nor intermediate cyclists will be disappointed.

The details: Our Glacier National Park Bike Tour has suitable options for cyclists of all abilities. Ride as much or as little as desired. There are BIG climbs and bonus mileage options available each day. Both parks provide not to be missed hiking options to waterfalls, verdant meadows filled with wildflowers and mountain summits. We’ll take a few of these treks to add variety to the week’s activities. While we’ll remain in the confines of Glacier and Waterton, the scenery more than makes up for the relatively compact area of the tour. And since we will be venturing out in summertime, the far northern latitude brings extended evenings. Don’t be surprised if sunset arrives until 10:30 at night! Our Glacier National Park Tour is one for any “bucket-list”.

What about the altitude? Cyclists from lower elevations ride Glacier each year without issues. Just prepare well, have patience and drink more water than you normally would. As in the mountains of Colorado, Glacier will challenge your fitness level. You might find that you pedal a little slower and breathe a little harder. But you’ll find that once you’ve acclimated to the elevation (which ranges from 3,150 ft. at Flathead River to 10,466 ft. atop Mt. Cleveland), you’ll be fine. Your efforts will be rewarded with unforgettable vistas, crisp mountain air and the camaraderie to fellow travelers. (Read a Bicycling Magazine article about riding at altitude)

The weather: Summer in the Rockies demonstrates the full range of Mother Nature’s moods. You might enjoy bright sunshine at first. But in a matter of hours, you’ll hear thunderclaps and witness lightning across darkening skies. We are experienced in providing a safe riding experience for your and your fellow cyclists, should inclement weather arise.

Why choose this tour? If you’ve never visited Glacier National Park or its Canadian sister, Waterton-Glacier, you just might want to see it the Lizard Head way. You’ll marvel at the intricate beauty of the landscape as you can only see on a bike.

View from the Porch: The Summer Splendor of Glacier National Park

View from the Porch: The Summer Splendor of Glacier National Park

Ability Level: Can I Ride This Tour?

How Fit do I Have to Be?
If one month prior to the tour, you can ride 2 to 3 times a week equalling a total of 75 or more miles a week, you'll do just fine. We like to jokingly say that "one is ready for a Lizard Head Cycling Tour when they are finished with tour" and this is true! The only way to simulate a week long bike tour is to go on a week long tour.

Our average rider age is 55 years. These are bike tours, not races so we take our time to stop, take pictures and see the sights. We have all day to reach our destination and most riders take "bumps" at some points. We offer reduced mileage options for each day. Of course if someone wants to ride E.F.I. (Every Freaking Inch), we love to show them all the extra climbs, loops and hidden canyons that can be included!

Do the Bump!
Daily mileage options allow cyclists of varying abilities to enjoy this tour. One of our favorite options is to give cyclists a "bump" via the support vehicle, or a 10 to 20 mile lift down the road representing an hour of pedal time. After the bump the rider is "off the front" and riding at his or her own pace without feeling they are being left behind the group. They'll then have time to linger and take in the spectacular scenery. All cyclists come together in time for lunch. Afterwards, cyclists can take another bump and/or continue riding.

Seamless Mileage Options
Lizard Head Cycling Guides designs multiple mileage options for each tour – something we're well known for in our business. This technique is similar to heliskiing in that one does not ski everything, they ski the best. :-)

Slow or Fast?
Many cyclists who sign up for our tours have worried themselves silly about not being able to keep up, but then they're surprised to find that all the worrying was about nothing. They do just fine! Slow and Fast only exist relative to other cyclists. Speed does not matter as long as one is moving on the bike. As long as one is moving, they are truly going fast enough.

If you have questions about your ability to ride this tour, please contact our office via email or call us at 970.728.5891 - we'll more than happy to guide you!

Please also see this blog post for more information.

Overall Route Map

My sister and I were recent participants on (the) trip to Glacier and Waterton Lakes. Emily and Michael were our trip leaders. I want to relate my thanks to them and my praise for their work. They were competent in all aspects of the trip–knowledgeable about biking tips and the terrain, a source of tons of information about the natural landscape we were surrounded by, and quite good cooks. They were also able to provide the proper amount of coaching to get us up the hills (our trip was a split of very experienced mountain cyclists and those who were not), and also know at what point a little “bump” would be helpful. I looked forward for most of the year for this trip. It went far beyond my expectations. – Michelle G.

Glacier National Park Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 1: Polebridge Out & Back Ride
50 miles with 2,400 feet of climbing

We start the first day in Glacier National Park with a scenic 50 mile ride from Apgar Village to the unincorporated community of Polebridge, so named for the log bridge that formerly connected the North Fork Road in Glacier National Park to Montana Secondary Highway 486, over the North Fork Flathead River. In Polebridge we will enjoy a stop at The Polebridge Mercantile – a gourmet restaurant and general store with perhaps the best cookies and baked goods in all of Montana.

From Polebridge w return past the Apgar Mountains and back to Apgar Village where we check into the Village Inn, our lodging for the night. Those looking for additional cycling in the evening can take a spin on the legendary Going-to-the-Sun Road along Lake McDonald when it re-opens to bicycle traffic at 4pm.

The best baked goods in Montana at The Polebridge Mercantile

The best baked goods in Montana at The Polebridge Mercantile

The serenity and beauty of Lake McDonald

The serenity and beauty of Lake McDonald

Glacier National Park, Day 1 Elevation Profile

Day 1 Elevation Profile: +2405 ft / -2405 ft

Day 2: Going-to-the-Sun-Road to Many Glaciers Valley
40 to 70 miles

Beginning at daybreak, we begin a 22-mile ascent of The Going-to-the-Sun Road to the summit of Logan Pass (6,646-feet). Due to the daily road closure cyclists must reach Logan Pass by 11am. Don’t worry – there’s plenty of time. The ascent follows McDonald Creek through old growth forests to emerge above tree line, with 360-degree views of alpine tundra and mountains. The-Going-to-the-Sun Road is simply one of the best cycling climbs in North America.

Savor the descent from Logan Pass as we fly beneath the bergschrunds and moraines of the surrounding glaciated peaks. Continue all the way down to the emerald colored Upper and Lower Saint Mary Lakes. Our lodging for tonight will be fabled Many Glacier Hotel, with its famous Swiss-style architecture and picturesque views of Swiftcurrent Lake.

Going to the Sun Road

Going to the Sun Road

Many Glacier Lodge

Many Glacier Lodge

Glacier National Park, Day 2 Elevation Profile

Day 2 Elevation Profile: +4865 ft / -3170 ft

Day 3: Many Glaciers to Waterton National Park, Canada
51 miles

Leaving the spectacular confines of the Many Glacier Valley, you’ll spin north on the Chief Mountain Highway towards the Canadian border. The terrain here involves three larger climbs, including a 5-mile ascent to Chief Mountain Overlook. The topography, outside the eastern boundary of Glacier National Park, comprises rolling ranch land and countless rivers sprinkled with aspen glades.

After enjoying a riverside picnic lunch, we’ll climb to the Canadian border crossing, descend to the Belly River, then climb two miles into the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The Peace Park designation pays tribute to the long history of friendship between Canada and the United States. We’ll stay at the Bayshore Inn, the only hotel on the Waterton Lake shores and with a spa. You just might be tempted to take advantage of that convenience with a relaxing massage.

Waterton Glacier Peace Park

Waterton Glacier Peace Park

Prince of Wales

Prince of Wales

Glacier National Park, Day 3 Elevation Profile

Day 3 Elevation Profile: +3335 ft / -4075 ft

Day 4: Alberta’s Waterton National Park
20 to 50 miles

Ahhh, a layover day to relish and do as one pleases in Canada! You can choose to ride an out and back into Red Rock Canyon (20 to 30 miles) or ride to beautiful Cameron Lake for an invigorating swim (20 miles). Or go for an unforgettable hike. They include world-class trails to Rainbow Falls or Kootenai Lake, which start with a ferry ride across Crypt Lake.

Additional activity options include: fishing, kayaking, a cruise on Waterton Lake, shopping or simply enjoying a day of bird watching. No matter what you decide, the breathtaking mountains and numerous lakes of Waterton National Park surround your experience.

Guests are on their own this evening to sample one of the many restaurants in the village of Waterton.

Summer flowers in bloom

Waterton National Park

Waterton National Park

Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon

cameron lake

Canoes on Cameron Lake

Red Rock Canyon Elevation Profile: +1570 ft / -1570 ft

Cameron Lake Elevation Profile

Cameron Lake Elevation Profile: +1860 ft / -1860 ft

Day 5: Waterton to Glacier Park Lodge
40 to 78 mile options

Today is challenging Queen stage, with many climbs and endless views. Rolling out of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, we retrace our steps down to the Belly River and climb back to the U.S. border, rejoining the Chief Mountain Highway. The terrain twists and turns, climbs and dives, and then ascends Looking Glass Pass. You’ll finally descend the rolling terrain towards East Glacier. But before we get there, we’ll divert onto Looking Glass Hill Road, a gorgeous section of pavement cyclists love. Due to the narrow road, the support van cannot follow. So your only option here is to pedal (but you’ll love it).

Our lodging this evening is the historic Glacier Park Lodge. Built in 1913 the hotel is a classic structure of the National Park system with a lobby supported by colossal 40-foot tall Douglas fir pillars. We’ll enjoy our final dinner tonight before tomorrow’s finishing stage.

Chief Mountain

Chief Mountain

Glacier Park Lodge

Glacier Park Lodge

Looking Glass Road

Looking Glass Road

Glacier National Park, Day 5 Elevation Profile

Day 5 78 Mile Elevation Profile: +7070 ft / -6480 ft

Day 6: St. Mary to McDonald Lodge
48 miles with up to 2,710 feet of climbing

On the final day, we shuttle from Glacier Park Lodge to St. Mary to begin our ride. From St. Mary we ride west along Going-to-the-Sun Road along St. Mary Lake, up to Logan Pass and then descend to Lake McDonald Lodge on Lake McDonald to end the ride and our tour.

St. Mary Lake

View from Logan Pass

Elevation Profile: +2710 ft / -4070 ft

Glacier National Park Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

Lodging on the Glacier National Park Bike Tour: This includes lodging from five nights.

Pre & Post Tour Lodging: Riders are responsible for their own lodging on the night prior to and post tour. Lizard Head Cycling’s meeting hotel is in Whitefish, MT. Contact us for details.

Bike Shipping

Lizard Head Cycling recommends shipping with BikeFlights.com. Bikes can be shipped either to our partner bike shop in each meeting town for professional assembly or directly to the meeting hotel for self-assembly. Bike boxes can generally be left at the meeting hotel during the tour. Bikes shipped across the continental US should be shipped 8 days prior to your tour.

Meals on Tour: All meals from lunch on the tour’s first day through lunch on departure day aside from dinner on Day 4. Breakfasts and dinners are in restaurants where clients either order off the menu or choose from a buffet.

Our fresh lunches include salads, local fruit, vegetables and meats are served in roadside parks by the Lizard Head Cycling Guides. Any dietary preferences or allergies should be noted on the registration form. Each of Lizard Head Cycling’s lunches contain gluten free options.

If on any given night a guest is tired or not feeling particularly social, they can choose to eat early and retire. Lizard Head Cycling enjoys hosting its guests for meals each evening, but understands some of us may just need to lie down after a day in the saddle. A meal should not feel like marathon after a big day on the bike.

How the Shuttle Works: Tour Support A 15-passenger van and trailer that carries luggage, food and equipment supports Lizard Head Cycling’s tours. Cyclists keep a day bag that is accessible within the support vehicle. On trips with more then 13 riders a second support vehicle may be employed.

The vehicle will sag and then pass riders to set up aid stations every 15 to 25 miles. This allows cyclists to linger at the back and then take a ten-mile, fifteen-mile or whatever mile “bump” forward to catch-up or get ahead of the group. Energy food, drink mixes, and fresh fruit are available throughout each stage.

It is not uncommon for cyclists on Lizard Head Cycling’s tours to ride their first century with us. Many are surprised by their ability to pedal the majority of miles offered. We have all day to reach the destination. If you have any questions about your ability to ride with us, please contact us today (970.728.5891 or Info@LizardHeadCyclingGuides.com).

The Daily Schedule Cyclists ride their own pace. Lizard Head Cycling does its best to support riders in their varying desires and efforts. Cyclists can either use our tours to simply support their tour experience or to engage in a guided experience along the route. Q-sheets with directions, profiles and locations of aid stations are given out for each stage.

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through MH Ross Travel Insurance. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below or Lizard Head Cycling Guides can also set-up a policy for its clients.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:

https://www.mhross.com/index.php/consumer/portal/LIZA0855CO

  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.