Hello! My husband and I will be visiting Glacier July 7-14 and are looking for some guidance on hikes. He visited GNP once as a kid; this is my first visit. We love getting outside and are avid hikers.
Our tentative plan is:
Arrive into Great Falls around 1 pm, pick up rental car, buy food and bear spray in Great Falls, and drive to St. Mary Lodge (where we will be staying the entire trip; we're hoping it will be a good base location, as most of what we're planning to do is in East Glacier/Many Glacier).
*Any suggestions for a short hike this evening?
Hike Grinnell Glacier trail (9.7 miles according to AllTrails)
Hike Two Medicine Lake Loop (16.4 miles)
Drive Going to the Sun Road
*About how long is the drive likely to take if we start at the east entrance shortly after sunrise? Any must-sees along the way, especially on the western portion, since we won't be spending much time over there?
Hike Ptarmigan Lake Trail (8.9 miles)
Horseback ride on the Cracker Flats route along Lake Sherburne
Hike Bullhead Lake Trail (6.9 miles)
2 pm flight out of Great Falls
*Are we missing any must-see hikes or other activities?
*How likely is it that all of these hikes will be open? Suggestions for others to consider if some are still too snowpacked?
*Do we need to be overly worried about bears? Though it will just be the two of us hiking together, I'm thinking most of these trails are well-traveled enough to make any encounters unlikely.
Any and all guidance is appreciated. Thank you very much!