We thrive on pushing boundaries. It’s what drove our founders to build the very first CAVA location, and it’s what fuels our passion for unexpected ingredients and addictive flavors every day. We don’t stand for bland or boring – in our food or in our lives. So we get out into the world and experience it – and we invite YOU, our customers and friends, to join us on the journey.
So when a few members of our Brand and Supply Chain teams had the chance to travel halfway across the country to learn firsthand what makes one of our signature menu items – black lentils – so great, we knew we had to seize the opportunity. We’ll be sharing more about the exclusive partnership we’re building with a renegade farmer who’s transforming the Montana farming scene… later.
But first, let’s talk about Glacier National Park. Because when our team heard Montana, we saw the chance to take a risk. To dive headfirst into glacier water, to brave the heat of Montana’s limited summer season in the name of the best views, to face bears and live to tell the tale.
Ok, we didn’t see any bears. But we did pick up a few favorite spots along the way. So here you go: our top 5 must-sees in Glacier National Park.
1) Lake McDonald
Our first stop after disembarking from our flight into Kalispell, Montana? Lake McDonald. This glittering body of water provided the perfect sweeping views to introduce us to Glacier. Head to the Glacier Park Boat Company in the minuscule “town” of Apgar, and grab a solo kayak, tandem kayak, or canoe. They have standup paddle boards as well, so you have plenty of options for whatever water vehicle is calling your name.
#ProTip: Don’t forget boat beer. But beware, the current is stronger than you might think.
After a few hours gliding around Lake McDonald, it’s time to hit the road. The aptly named Going-to-the-Sun Road is your main route through the park – and it BRINGS THE VIEWS. There are plenty of first-come, first-serve campsites throughout the park, as well as a smattering of cabins and other lodging options.
#ProTip: If you’re planning on visiting during busy season (aka the limited time of year when the park is even open and the roads are clear of snow), then book your lodging in advance or plan on arriving at the campsites early to nab your spot.
At the peak of the Going-to-the-Sun Road as you make your way from the west side of the park to the east, you’ll find the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. Located at the border of Montana and Alberta, Canada, this stunning overlook was established in 1932 as the world’s first International Peace Park.
#ProTip: This is also a good spot to get your sea legs back after some crazy winding roads through the park. This is also your bathroom break.
Glacier feels like the land of endless views – and that’s really what makes national parks such an incredible distinguishing feature of our nation, right? Lake Josephine, nestled in between the Many and Grinnell glaciers, is a picturesque spot to post up for a picnic or take a dip.
#ProTip: Look out for the pier a little while past the Swiftcurrent boat dock for your chance to dive right in.
Lake Josephine is actually located along the Grinnell Glacier trailhead, a route that takes you from the chilly waters of the lake through wooded lowlands and then up, up, up, along a winding route that culminates at the foot of Grinnell Glacier. Did we mention anything about VIEWS yet? This hike is not for the meek, but the 11-mile up-and-back route is a great day hike if you come prepared with lunch and plenty of water.
#ProTip: There’s a small waterfall you’ll need to walk under about four-fifths of the way up the trail. Expect to get wet. And expect to love it because you’ll have been trekking for a few miles already.
Remember when we said to book your travel well in advance? Well. Our team forgot to do that. So we wound up reserving a cozy cabin in Babb, Montana, a cheery scenic town to the east of the park. A few things learned from that part of our trip:
- Babb is close enough to the park that it’s a great backup option if you aren’t able to find in-park accommodations.
- Don’t miss the Cattle Baron Supper Club. Just trust us.
- Make sure to pick up huckleberries from roadside stands outside the park.
- Bring a tripod for your camera so you can capture BIG SKY COUNTRY in all of its glory.
STAY TUNED to hear more about the real reason we were in Montana this summer. And in the meantime, share your #withmoretime travel moments on Instagram.