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Helicopter Ride Over Glacier National Park

There are awe-inspiring moments in your life that have you pinching yourself wondering how you got here, and then there are moments one step up from that even. Getting to see one of America’s most impressive, expansive national parks from such a unique perspective definitely falls into the latter category.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterOur first few days in Montana’s Glacier Country were spent drinking beer in Missoula, paddling the Clearwater River Canoe Trail, and playing around Whitefish (more on that to come), and while all were absolutely lovely and charming and a blast to say the least, there was no doubt we were all eagerly awaiting to reach the main attraction: Glacier National Park.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterAnd what better way to get acquainted with the park—particularly our friends who were Glacier newcomers—than to see it from above?

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterYOU GUYS. I have done a lot of cool things in my life—I never take a moment of it for granted, rest assured—but there has yet to be a cooler experience than hopping a chopper for a 60-minute flight over my favorite park in the world.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterGlacier Jet Center’s Mike was our pilot and the very one who took Sean The Bachelor up over Glacier a few seasons ago. We met him over at the international airport in Kalispell, where the company is headquartered, and I was the lucky one who drew the right straw, landing me the prime shotgun seat next to our esteemed leader.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterThe other five sat in the back, which was so plush and fancy that each seat had its own drop-down TV. Definitely the Rolls Royce of helicopters!

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterWithin five minutes of taking off from Kalispell, we reached the fringe of Glacier National Park and watched the terrain turn from flat to undulating to full-on mountain monstrosities. The weather was on our side: A nice layer of clouds sat high in the sky with patches of blue periodically peeking out from behind them—a far cry from the nonstop rain I experienced on my last Montana vacation.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterMike asked us how fast we thought we were going; I guessed 50 miles per hour, but I was off—by 100. It’s hard to believe we were whizzing past glaciers at 150 miles per hour and barely felt like we were moving. The sign of a fancy chopper, for sure. I had worried about motion sickness—you know it forever plagues me—and I didn’t feel a thing (other than pure exhilaration) during the hour we were in flight.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterWe passed (slow) moving ice and lakes as smooth as glass and the color of turquoise. We spotted gushing waterfalls and hikers far, far below. I didn’t speak for an hour, as I had nothing to say. You feel so small when dwarfed by 10,000-foot peaks, but at the same time like a superhero when they’re nearly within fingertips’ reach.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterAfter it was all over, none of us could adequately speak for the rest of the day. We kept turning to look at each other, as if to say: “Did that really happen?” I’m just glad I was sitting in the front, as I heard there were tears in the backseat and, well, I don’t do emotions.

Montana's Glacier National Park by HelicopterWords truly can’t describe how magical this experience was. Instead, I turn to photos as an aid.

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Comments ( 19 )

  1. These pictures are beautiful. When I think of Montana, I don’t immediately think of glaciers – it’s nice to know this exists in the USA. Thanks for sharing!
    Danee Sarman recently posted..Pollock’s Studio & Hampton’s Beach WeekendMy Profile

  2. STUNNING! Never even knew about this park and now it’s on the bucket list. You’ve GOT to stop doing this to me ;)
    Angie Away recently posted..Planning an #Unminivan Road Trip from Denver to SeattleMy Profile

  3. Admittedly, I didn’t love Glacier National Park when I was there (though it’s been about ten years ago now). It was so crowded and there was so much traffic. But your photos are stunning. Maybe I need to revisit and try again. Thanks for sharing.
    JoAnna recently posted..Five Thoughts from a Two-Week Trip in EuropeMy Profile

  4. Wow, super cool! Helicopter rides are always crazy fun, but doing it in a park like Glacier National Park, wow. This park is near the top of my must-visit list…..can’t wait to get there one day!
    Red Hunt recently posted..Hiking Along the Lycian Way to Oludeniz Blue LagoonMy Profile

  5. What a great recap, Kristen! The photos are unreal.

    You can probably add some inspirational quotes on a couple of those that look totally photoshopped and make a few bucks from stock photos, too. ;-) JK. But the lush green & and a couple of the mountain ones DO remind me of those posters you see in offices.

    Thanks for sharing! :-)
    Julie recently posted..Where are Philly’s Great Consignment Shops? WCI WednesdayMy Profile

  6. Your photos are so beautiful. We haven’t been lucky enough to ride in a helicopter yet, but apparently that’s something we need to change, if your experience is any indication of what we might be in for.
    Laura recently posted..Regain Your Senses at Tintswalo Atlantic Cape TownMy Profile

  7. Damn, those views!!! We took a heli tour in Maui, and now I’m hooked. Hopefully one day I can get to see GNP in one. And what wonderful company!!

  8. Didn’t know there were glaciers in Montana! A helicopter ride with such great views is still in my to-do list… Definitely something to check when I go there!
    Federico recently posted..What Should You Do if You Lose Your Passport?My Profile

  9. Montana really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to; awesome photos.
    Ayngelina recently posted..New Site Design!My Profile

  10. Ugh, favorite people doing one of my favorite things, FOMO in retrospect is in full effect! And nice work on landing the shotgun seat :-)
    Alex recently posted..A Different Kind of Dive: Going Under in the Atlantis SubmarineMy Profile

  11. How absolutely amazing you lucky girl. :) I can see what you mean by the sniffing in the backseat. I don’t do emotion either but if there’s anything guaranteed to make me shut up and stop chatting, it’s the glorious, in awe, pinch-me-’cos-I-can’t-believe-it, breath-taking, mountain views. Wow!
    Victoria recently posted..Glitzy burlesque, and utter SHEER MADNESS!My Profile

  12. I SO want to go here. How magnificent!
    Diana Edelman recently posted..Behind bars in Ljubljana: Hostel Celica reviewMy Profile

  13. This is looks so unbelievably exhilarating! We’re extremely envious :)
    Mindy & Ligeia recently posted..Vege Creek – Vegan Restaurant in Taipei, TaiwanMy Profile

  14. Wow! Thanks for sharing! I absolutely hate flying but I went to Nevada last year and the flight out was so beautiful I forgot for a few hours how horrible flying was! haha These photos remind me of that flight times 1,000!
    Vanessa recently posted..Sundays VIMy Profile

  15. Really nice! It is not really easy to take pictures from the helicopter and you did it!
    Olielo recently posted..The best hotels in Las VegasMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] I honestly didn’t care much for Glacier National Park when I was there about 15 years ago, but this post by Kristin makes me think I need to return […]

  2. […] Camels & Chocolate got an awe-inspiring view of Montana’s Glacier National Park on a Glacier Jet Center helicopter ride. […]

  3. […] Camels & Chocolate got an awe-inspiring view of Montana’s Glacier National Park on a Glacier Jet Center helicopter ride. […]

  4. […] Camels & Chocolate got an awe-inspiring view of Montana’s Glacier National Park on a Glacier Jet Center helicopter ride. […]

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