Sperry Chalet -
Glacier National Park, Montana
Sperry Chalet was built in 1913 by James J. and son Louis Hill of the Great
Northern Railway, the prime developer of Glacier National Park. Listed as an
Historic Landmark, these rustic buildings, built of native rock, have
survived their rugged environment relatively unchanged for over 90 years.
Opened in 1914 the main buildings consist of a two story hotel building and
a kitchen/dining room building. Except for modernized kitchen facilities and
the new restroom facility, an effort has been made to keep both the
interiors and exteriors of the chalets much as they were built. Meals are
informal, table d'hote; dinner is served from 6 to 7 p.m., breakfast served
from 7 to 8:30 a.m. A trail lunch is provided or a chalet ala-carte lunch.
Ala carte service is available to all in the dining room from 11:30 a.m. to
5 p.m. Breakfast and dinner are available separately with advance notice.
Sperry Chalet is located about seven miles east of Lake McDonald in Glacier
National Park in the U.S. state of Montana. The chalet was built in 1914 by
the Great Northern Railway and is a National Historic Landmark contributing
property, being one of five structures in the Great Northern Railway
Buildings National Historic Landmark. Along with Granite Park Chalet, Sperry
Chalet is one of the two remaining backcountry chalets in Glacier National
The chalet is reached only by trail, via hiking or horseback. One of the two
trails leading to the chalet are the Sperry Trail, which starts at the Lake
McDonald Lodge parking lot and stretches 6.7 miles to the chalet, climbing
3200 feet in the process. The trail passes along the base of Mount Brown and
over the west ridge of Mount Edwards, with views of U-shaped valleys along
the way. A side trip to Sperry Glacier is also possible, being a 3.5 mile
hike (7 miles round trip). The other means of accessing the chalet is via
the Gunsight Trail, which is a 12.1 mile hike from the Jackson Glacier
Overlook on Going-to-the-Sun Road. This hike averages 9 hours, so it is
important to plan ahead.
The chalet, nestled in a glacial cirque, consists of two buildings from the
Great Northern era: a two story hotel building and a kitchen/dining room
building. A restroom facility has been added, but is not part of the
historic landmark designation. The dormitory building is built with random
rubble masonry, providing a feel of architectural ruggedness, and is topped
with a large gable roof that has two dormers on either side. The kitchen
building is also made of random rubble masonry, but uses smaller stones and
appears less striking in its design. The kitchen building is topped with a
lower gable roof.
Unlike Granite Park Chalet, Sperry Chalet provides meal services: dinner,
breakfast, and either a trail lunch or an ala carte lunch in the dining
room. The guest rooms are private, but in line with the backcountry
experience, there is no electricity, heat, or running water.
P O Box 189
West Glacier, MT 59936
Toll free reservation phone: 1-888-345-2649