Glacier Guides and Montana Raft | West Glacier, Montana
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, founded in 1983, has a mission to provide exceptional active travel vacations and experiences in and around Glacier National Park, while preserving and protecting Glacier’s unique ecosystem using the best available, ecologically-sound practices.
Who Are We?
We founded Glacier Guides in 1983 to provide ecologically sensitive backcountry guiding and interpretation in Glacier National Park. Back then, there were just three of us! Four years later we added rafting on our Wild and Scenic rivers. Hence: Glacier Guides and Montana Raft.
Rafting led us into fishing, and then we obtained a permit to guide on the Smith River, too. In 2010 we built Glacier Guides Lodge to give our guests an eco-friendly lodging option in West Glacier. Glacier Guides Guest House came along a few years later. Our newest move is guiding bike and e-bike tours of Glacier when the roads are closed to vehicle traffic. We thrive on change!
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Today, with more than ninety guides and support workers on staff, we provide Glacier’s most comprehensive, ecologically sensitive rafting, hiking, fishing, and biking services. Some of us speak Spanish, French, and German! We also excel at having a great time together, and sharing that with others.
Meet Our Guides
At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, we owe our success to our amazing staff. We’re not just a company, we’re friends. Many of our guides are students or teachers in the off-season, balancing their schedules with the summer season here in West Glacier. Others ski, hike, fish, raft or bike professionally in other parts of the country. All are dedicated outdoors people who hone their skills constantly, sharing hard won insights with our guests and teaching them how to #ProtectGlacier. You can meet our guides here.
We love what we do, and we do it for you. Experience Glacier National Park’s rivers, roads, and trails with us.
Family owned and operated by Denny Gignoux, Whitefish, and Mark O’Keefe, Helena.
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft has offered Glacier National Park adventures since 1983! We are an eco-conscious company based in West Glacier. Our specialties include guided rafting, hiking, biking, and fishing adventures. Don’t miss our Granite Park Chalet tours. In addition, we offer equipment sales and rentals. We also operate the Glacier Guides Lodge and Guest House. Anglers, be sure to ask about our Five Day Smith River Exploration!
Let our experienced guides show you Glacier’s secrets. Join a scheduled half, full, or multi-day trip, or let us customize a private Glacier adventure just for you. As we like to say: you won’t know if you don’t go!
Glacier Guides and Montana Raft has hosted “Rafting For Refuse,” an annual river clean up, since 1997. Every year on a Saturday in June, we clean up trash at the public river access points and along the river corridor on the North and Middle Forks of the Flathead River. We provide all of the necessary rafting equipment, expert guides, and staff to coordinate the day.
Please call our office for the exact date and details. 406-387-5555. Encourage your friends and family to come along and make this annual event another great success!
Favorite Trip Story
As always, around here, the phone’s been ringing and I’ve been making friends. A particularly sweet voice this week beseeched me: how can I sleep under Glacier National Park’s star studded skies without carrying a heavy pack?And although I could’ve quickly given her a three word answer, of course I listened to her story, and thought of other people with the same question.
Maybe you are in charge of the new to this world — she is a young mama, and has enough to carry.
Perhaps you are approaching your sunset years.
Or it could be that carrying a backpack into the wilderness just isn’t your thing — that’s okay.
But the experience of getting to sleep under Glacier National Park’s star studded skies without carrying a heavy pack should be for everyone. I promise you it is one you will never forget.
How to sleep under Glacier National Park’s star studded skies without carrying a heavy pack? Overnight whitewater rafting!
That’s the three word answer. Go overnight whitewater rafting on the lightly traveled, upper section of the Middle Fork of the Wild and Scenic Flathead River is the long answer.
So, let’s think about this. We pack the gear. You step into the raft and enjoy the ride, soaking in hidden views of Glacier’s interior. Your highly trained and entertaining guides will educate you and amuse you along the way. Want to learn more about Glacier’s geological, anthropological, and historical aspects? You will on this trip. Want to fish or swim along the way? Just ask. This experience is all about relaxation and fun.
Pro Tip: Did you know dinner cooked riverside tastes better than dinner not cooked riverside?
At day’s end, we’ll set up camp riverside while you relax in a cozy camp chair, or go for a walk. Then we cook delicious — largely locally and organically sourced — riverside dinner. Do you like marinated steak, seasoned salmon, homemade lasagna, and fresh veggies? We sure do. And a decadent dessert is mandatory on a river trip. Bring your own beverages if you’d like to have riverside nightcap.
After the stars come out, you might get a little lost within yourself contemplating their enormous number and your tiny existence. We believe part of the Glacier National Park experience is time for a little introspection. Overnight whitewater rafting guarantees that moment. When you’re ready, crawl into your roomy tent, with a real pillow. Drifting off to sleep to the gentle rush of the glacier fed water is an experience unto itself.
In the morning, wake up to a steaming cup of organic coffee, riverside. While we can never guarantee a wildlife sighting, early in the morning often proves the best time of the day. Some of the species we see include mountain goats, osprey, eagles, and all sorts of river dwellers. Going fishing with your eyes in the clear waters of the Flathead is nearly better than fishing with a rod and reel!
After a hearty breakfast, we’ll break camp and prepare for the whitewater section of the Middle Fork of the Flathead River! Traveling through the John Stevens Canyon, you’ll enjoy class II-III thrills, which means fun and splashy water. This is a whitewater experience that’s fun for nearly everyone 6 and up, although minimum age will fluctuate with the river levels. Safety is always our #1 priority.
Your overnight rafting trip will end mid-afternoon, and you’ll be back to the office around 5pm. I will likely be among the office staff who greets you, and we will all want to hear about your overnight adventures. Because overnight rafting Glacier National Park’s southern border is one of the most amazing Montana adventures around!
Ready to sleep under Glacier National Park’s star studded skies without carrying a heavy pack? Call us today to make your overnight whitewater rafting experience happen!
406-387-5555 or email@example.com
About the Author: Courtney Stone
Southern expatriate. Montana devotee since 1989. As Marketing Director for Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, I strive daily to meet our mission of providing exceptional active travel vacations and experiences in and around Glacier National Park, while preserving and protecting Glacier's unique ecosystem using the best available ecologically sound practices. Otherwise, you'll find me hiking, backpacking, rafting, skiing, or cleaning up the trail of glitter my kids leave in the wake of their own adventures.
Local Knowledge & Certifications/Training
At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, our 90+ guides return to us at rate of over 90% each year, and their collective knowledge of the Crown of the Continent ecosystem is second to none. We live here, and it shows. We are trained in Wilderness First Aid, CPR, Swift Water Rescue, National Park Service Bear Management, and more. We are very proud of our safety record since 1983.
At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, we take our commitment to environmental efforts, in conjunction with our mission statement, very seriously. After all, we live in an area that is experiencing rapid change due to climate patterns.
Our mission is to provide exceptional active travel vacations and experiences in and around Glacier National Park while preserving and protecting Glacier’s unique ecosystem using the best available ecologically sound practices. And that means the best environmental efforts, too.
We are committed to being an environmentally responsible business and are continually looking for new ways to improve our environmental efforts and practices. At Glacier Guides and Montana Raft, we look forward to sharing Glacier National Park with guests for generations to come. Join us in supporting the National Park Service, the United States Forest Service, and the surrounding communities in our collective efforts to preserve and conserve the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.
Other Environmental Efforts Include:
- Preserving the entrance to Glacier National Park by maintaining a vegetative screen and refusing to use billboards.
- Teaching and practicing Leave No Trace ethics on all our trips.
- Recycling paper, cardboard, aluminum, glass, plastics, steel, automobile oil, and batteries.
- Using post consumer paper in our printing and brochures.
- Purchasing wind power and hydro power (as a second option) to fulfill our electric needs.
- Using free trade and Energy Star products when available.
- Using refillable dispensers for shampoo and conditioner in our lodge.
- Using reusable dinnerware (plates, silverware and cups) instead of disposable ones on our trips.
- No longer selling bottled water (we sell refillable bottles instead).
- Selling more souvenirs with “Made in the USA” and “Eco-Sensitive” materials.
- Converting all of our light bulbs to more efficient compact fluorescent.
- Building our Glacier Guides Lodge, located in West Glacier, to many LEED certification standards.
- We are proud to be one of the founding sponsors of ClimateRide.org, a bicycle ride promoting responsible energy use and positive action toward climate change.
- Glacier Guides and Montana Raft has been honored multiple times by Montana State University, in conjunction with the Montana Governor’s Office, with EcoStar Awards for our pollution prevention efforts.
- We are supporters of TAP (Travelers Against Plastic). Their goal (and ours) is to get travelers to consider cleaning their own water while traveling. By doing so, we can avoid the disposal of billions of water bottles around the world each year.
- Glacier Guides and Montana Raft was in the first class from the Flathead Valley to graduate from the UnCommon Sense Program, a two year program set up by the Yellowstone Business Partnership that helps businesses further their environmental efforts.
- Climate Smart Glacier Country 2017 Business Champion
Types of Experiences and Trips Provided
Trips and Experiences Provided:
- Day Hikes and Backpacking Trips - Scheduled or Custom!
- Granite Park and Sperry Chalet Trips
- Combination Trips (Hiking/Rafting/Horseback Riding/Yoga/Biking/Fishing)
- Family Friendly Hiking Trips
- Whitewater Rafting Trips - Half, Full, or Multi Day!
- Scenic Float Trips
- Smith River Trip - 5 Day Adventure
- Professionally Guided Fly Fishing
- Fly Fishing School
- Guided Biking on the Going to the Sun Road
- Bicycle Rentals
- Hiking and Camping Gear Rentals
- River Equipment Rentals
- Glacier Guides Lodge
- Glacier Guides Guest House
- We can customize any trip for you - just call our office for help! 406-387-5555
May 1 - October 15
Hours Vary with the Seasons - Call 406-387-5555 for more info!