Toddler Friendly Hiking in Glacier National Park: Two Medicine (Part 6 of our Banff/Glacier Trip)
The Two Medicine area makes it onto some lists of what to do in Glacier National Park but no where near as many as it should. It didn’t even make it onto our itinerary despite being on the east side of the park which is where we were staying. It seemed a bit out of the way and there are some big ticket hikes in Glacier National Park like the Highline trail and Grinnell Glacier. Fortunately, the universe was looking out for us. After a full day of hiking up to Grinnell Glacier (check out our pictures and tips here) we were exhausted. I’ve mentioned elsewhere on the blog we are lovers of the outdoors but not necessarily experienced hikers or all that physically fit. Therefore, a whole day of hiking definitely left me sore and more than happy to sleep in (but let’s be real I have a toddler I think waking up at 6am is sleeping in!). Needing some recuperation time we found ourselves lazing around our Airbnb rental. But the sun was shining and it was a perfect day in Glacier and around noon my inability to sit still got the better of me and I decided we needed to go somewhere. But where? Everyone was too tired to hike so we decided to head to Two Medicine to rent a row boat. Best decision of the trip! Two Medicine is a phenomenal area because it is much less frequented than the rest of the park. There were many places in Glacier where I felt a bit overwhelmed by the people but not Two Medicine. Besides the smaller crowds it is also stunning. There are some hikes in the areas that get great reviews but for us Two Medicine was about relaxing on the lake. We rented a boat, again from Glacier Park Boat Rentals and spent our afternoon enjoying the water. There are boat tours on a motorized boat, also offered by Glacier Park Boat Rentals, but we opted for own row boat since we had already done the same type of boat at Many Glacier.
At this point you must be wondering what kind of sane person attempts taking a toddler out in a row boat. And that would be a good question. It was my daughter, husband, in-laws and myself so I felt like I had enough hands on deck to keep her under control out on the water. We only lasted about 15 minutes but it was an absolute blast. Our daughter loved watching my husband row the boat and we all enjoyed the views. After we realized the boat was going to be too much for her my husband dropped us off at the shore and went back out to explore more of the lake. And that left us with…rocks! Do all toddlers love rocks? We spent approximately two hours throwing pebbles into the lake, around the lake, into the air. You name it…we threw them there. It was probably one of the most fun afternoons she had the whole trip.
Logistics: Two Medicine lake is about an hour from St. Mary’s, MT, which is also on the east side of the park. Rentals are first come first serve so depending on how busy the lake is you may have to wait a bit to grab a boat. But the view while you wait is pretty phenomenal so I didn’t hear anyone complaining about our short wait.
Toddler Friendly Rating: 8/10. I loved our afternoon at Two Medicine and so did our daughter but I realize taking a toddler out in a row boat is probably not for the faint of heart. She lasted for about 15 minutes before she started to get so antsy we had to turn back. I then spent the rest of the day playing on the shore with her while the rest of the family rowed around the lake. The Glacier Park Boat Rentals does have toddler sized life jackets which was a really nice amenity! They only have two though so depending on how many children are there for the day it could be problematic for you.