Apgar Visitor Center
Apgar Visitor Center
West Glacier, MT 59936
Science & Nature Museum
Apgar Visitor Center Description
There are three visitor centers in the park: Apgar, St. Mary, and Logan's Pass (which is right in the middle of the Going-to-the-Sun Road). All three have rangers on site to recommend hikes or answer questions, sell books and maps, and hand out Junior Ranger packets and family backpacks. (No backpacks are available at Logan's Pass.) The St. Mary Visitor Center has an orientation slide show that Apgar doesn't, but Apgar has the Discovery Cabin, with skins and skulls and hands-on exhibits that are probably more appealing for kids.
Toddlers & Pre-K: Some of the items in the naturalist's backpack may be too complicated for a toddler, but the magnifying glass, coloring stuff, and bug boxes are usually a big hit.
School-Age Kids: Free Junior Ranger packets (for ages 6-12) are available at the visitors centers. When kids finish the activities in the booklet and turn it back in (at any visitor center) they earn a badge. It's a bit like an educational scavenger hunt.
- Go for a hike. Apgar offers a full slate of ranger-led hikes, talks, and campfires. Ask for the Glacier Explorer publication that lists them all. Anything associated with animals -- the Native America Speaks program, or Two Medicine Lake Singers and Dancers -- will be especially popular with kids.
- Get the backpack. In addition to the Junior Ranger booklets, Apgar has a naturalist's "family backpack" that can be borrowed (free with your driver's license number) for 24 hours. It includes a magnifying glass, binoculars, bug box, journal, a pocket naturalist guide for identifying things, colored pencils, and other fun goodies.
- Forget the car. Apgar is also the hub of the park's shuttle system. Park your car here and let the shuttle driver focus on the road while you experience the scenery.
- Winter hiking. In the winter, ranger-led snowshoe hikes start from Apgar.
Just the Facts
Hours: Summer: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. daily; October: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily; Winter: 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., weekends only
Recommended Time: Less than 1 hour