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“Whiners, go home” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sperry Chalet

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Sperry Chalet
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Whiners, go home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 2, 2012

I don't see how anybody could gripe about this place. Go stay at the Hilton in Scottsdale or some other generic place instead, people! The room accomodations aren't plush, no, and the food is not Michelen Star cuisine, but it all is very, very comforting amid the harsh and awe-inspiring settings. Four of us middle-aged boys stayed in one of the rooms with two full and one twin bed, and it was just fine. Yes, we heard other guests getting up in the night, but we were so exhausted we slept just fine. If you can't sleep through a little noise, you aren't doing this trip right.

A few tips for those who see this trip as a no-brainer (no-complainer): Plan on going in the late season if you want to get over Gunsight Pass (we went in mid-July and it was virtually impossible to get over through snow); consult the staff on hand about all the other trail conditions; also, one concern we had before going up, it's OK to bring a little beer or wine up and drink it on the patio or around the chalet (just not in the dining hall), nobody seemed to care we had it.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank ChrisR35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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85 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Chicago
Level Contributor
73 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 25, 2012

We spent two nights at the Sperry Chalet at the end of August. We hiked up Gunsight Pass to get there, then hiked to Sperry Glacier the next day, and returned via the Sperry Trail to Lake McDonald Lodge, where we shuttled back to our car at the Gunsight Trailhead.

The setting is perfect. The views are beautiful and the remoteness is special. It's not quite "getting away from it all" when you are surrounded by 30 or 40 other guests, but for those who are not backcountry campers, this is about as good as you'll get, I imagine. We tend to keep to ourselves, so dining with other people gave us pause, but even for us introverts, it turned out okay. We heard some interesting stories and, as tired as we were, found some enjoyment there.

A lot of people rave about the food, but I think maybe they were just very hungry. The portions were large, which is important after a long day of hiking, but the quality was your average national park cuisine. I think breakfast was the best meal, with fresh eggs and pancakes on the menu. The pack lunch was plentiful. Dinner was too. You definitely won't go hungry.

The rooms are really quaint, and we were lucky enough to get a room with a private balcony. The bed was probably one of the worst--no--it definitely was the worst--I've ever slept in. They are generous with the blankets, though, and we ended up remaking the bed using all the extra blankets as a bit of a mattress pad, which helped. People have commented that the walls are thin, and they aren't lying. Ear plugs don't help. Don't count on much sleep, no matter how tired you are. Maybe bring a sleeping pill. I will next time!

Speaking of next time, I would stay here again, simply because of the hiking. Gunsight Pass up to the chalet and the Sperry Glacier hikes are two of the best I've ever seen. Well worth the expense of the chalet, in my opinion. And not having to do the hike up and down with backpacking gear is pretty great. Our daypacks crammed full for our two nights felt like lead weights by the end of our hike up.

The people working are really nice (the cook gave me cough drops from their personal supply when I got a cold the first morning up there). Most of them are young kids working for the summer, so while they don't have a ton of experience they are well-intentioned and friendly.

Logistics: There are two sinks with running water for brushing your teeth. There's hand sanitizer outside the vault toilets (which are among the best I've seen). Bring a flashlight. Bring a sleep aid. Bring an open mind.

Room Tip: You need to call the moment the reservation lines open. It is highly competitive to score a room.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank potatopants
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
Level Contributor
562 reviews
127 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 202 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2012

My friends and I were privileged to spend two nights at Sperry in early September. We hiked in the trail from Lake Macdonald; it is a very well graded trail so even though you are climbing 3300 feet you don't feel like you are working really hard! The lodge itself is a gem; dining room very comfortable; the wash house/toilets clean - two cold water sinks with running water - chemical toilets - very clean and lots of them...our room was very spacious - with a balcony so we enjoyed the sunsets both nights. The staff was great in every way. Food was fine but I would not suggest it was a highlight - way too much processed food - rolled turkey breast, potatoes from a box and no fresh vegetables - guess the pack horses hadn't made it in...lunch was a sandwich with processed deli meat and processed American cheese made the day before and frozen...along with fruit leather, juice box and a chocolate bar - again no fruit or veg...I realize it is probably easier for many reasons but I guess I have been spoiled by our Canadian backcountry lodges where food is definitely a highlight! I will say breakfast was from my point of view the best meal of the day - homemade bread, fresh eggs to order, bacon or sausage - your choice - oatmeal and very good coffee...We enjoyed our day hike to the glacier and were delighted to meet goats along the way. Next morning we awoke to several goats grazing below our balcony. We would go back - the scenery is amazing and all of us want to see more of the area so we have resolved to go back next year and hike in over Gunsight Pass and out the shorter trail.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank skychaserCalgary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh NC
Level Contributor
60 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2012

Four of us spent two night in Sperry September 2012. We hike the strenuous 13.7 mile, 3300 ft Gunsight pass trail. 9 hours to a little piece of heaven on earth. We scored the last two night of the 2012 season yet the staff treated us like we were opening night. Yes the "rooms" are unlit and unheated but seriously, you are in the back country. The food was terrific (unfortunately lost no weight on this part of the trip). The best part is the people you meet and bond with who too did the hard work to get to this place. Two nights are a must because the trek to Sperry Glacer is not to be missed. Two mountain goats were chillin outside our rooms during our blissful happy hour. Beds are warm and the lodge is cozy with a fire and gas lights.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank RaleighBigR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cascade, Montana
Level Contributor
114 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 4, 2012

Miles into the back country of Glacier, with more than 3,000 feet elevation gain and no electricity or running water, you'll find this gem of a chalet that is little changed from when it opened in 1914. The dining room is the highlight. Fine dishes, silverware, extremely helpful servers and generous portions of home cooked food with home made bread, and everything made from scratch. We overheard two different people talking about the home made apple pie, saying it was the best ever, yet it was gone when we got there. So I had cherry. YUM!

The dorm walls are way thin, but after hiking all day the bed is a welcome relief. It's like backpacking without having to carry food, tent, water or sleeping bag.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Hardycreek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
138 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 174 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 2, 2012

We hiked into the Sperry Chalet on the Gunsight Pass trail, which was an incredible and challenging 13 mile hike that passes through a wooded area, and over two mountain passes, each with a spectacular view of the lake beneath. During this all day hike to the chalet we saw a bull moose, mountain goats on the trail, amazing wildflowers, and countless waterfalls.

Upon arrival we sat on the balcony of our room to rest before dinner. The room was simple, but nice. It consisted of a bed, a table, two chairs and a water spigot. There is no electricity or heat at the chalet. The lack of electricity was not an issue for us at all since we were so exhausted we went to bed right when the sun was setting (tip: bring a flashlight for nighttime bathroom trips). Plus the temps were hot when we were there, so the lack of heat was no big deal. However, there were ample blankets in our room, if the temps had dropped. It should be noted that the walls are super thin and you can clearly hear the conversations of those in the rooms next you. This also was not a problem because everyone was courteous and/or exhausted, and the place was silent by 9 p.m.

The food at the restaurant was good. Hardy meals for breakfast, and dinner. A full bagged hikers lunch is provided for each guest, which had enough food and snacks to hold you over until dinner. You have somewhat of a choice for breakfast - eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, choice of meat ... No choice at dinner, but I loved the pot roast and turkey dinners that were served during our stay.

The bathroom and sink facility was about 100 feet from the Chalet. There were ample toilets, so there was never really any wait.

Our second day there we hiked to the Sperry Glacier, which was about an 8 mile hike from the chalet. We again were amazed by wildflowers, waterfalls, and wildlife during this hike. Plus the last mile of the hike, we walked through snow to the edge of the glacier. Hiking through snow in August was pretty cool. Definitely a first for me. The glacier, to be honest, was somewhat anti-climactic, but at least I got to see it before it disappears in a decade or so.

On the final day we hiked to Lake McDonald, which is about 6 miles, pretty much all down hill. This trail had lots of horse poop, and was not that scenic, but we had expected it. Once at Lake McDonald, we took the free shuttle to retrieve or car on the other side of the park.

Overall, we had a great great time. We were extremely happy with our room, the food, the bathroom facilities, and the tranquil surroundings. The staff at the Sperry Chalet was great. Everyone was very energetic and courteous. They all went out of their way to make every aspect of our stay enjoyable.

If you are able to get a room here, don't pass up the opportunity!!

Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank MilesMereV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago,il
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 29, 2012

One we will remember always. 6 miles straight up! Spent 2 nights so we could hike to the Sperry Glacier, and we really enjoyed that hike as well.

We are going back! Next time we will do the 14 mile hike!

Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank norasnews
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sperry Chalet

Property: Sperry Chalet
Address: South Central Glacier National Park, West Side of Gunsight Mountain, Glacier National Park, MT 59936
Location: United States > Montana > Glacier National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Specialty Lodging in Glacier National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Sperry Chalet Hotel Glacier National Park
Sperry Chalet Glacier National Park, Montana

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