Fifteen years ago after running our Bed & Breakfast for 7 years, we decided to add a new dimension to our business and started the plans to build a cabin. We’d been the booking agent for other Glacier Park Cabins for a few years so we’d had a chance to research and discover what features guests preferred in a cabin.
The Grizzly Cabin:
We wanted our remote Glacier Park Cabin:
- To accommodate larger groups – a large family or small family reuions.
- A full kitchen complete with 18 cu ft refrigerator, stove with oven, microwave, and dishwasher.
- A washer and dryer so those staying for longer visits could pack lighter.
- A full service cabin with linens, laundry detergent, and dish soap so our guests only needed to bring personal items and food.
- Lots of windows with views of the Apgar Mountains in Glacier National Park.
We looked at purchasing a log cabin kit but after some research we realized a log structure would have extensive maintenance and design challenges. We decided that was not our best option. After more research, we decided a 2×6 timber structure with excellent insulation and half log siding would be much more efficient, easier to maintain, but we’d still have that log cabin look. Guests are always amazed how cool it is inside this cabin on a hot day – this is possible because of the excellent insulation.
In the fall of 2001, we started to design the Grizzly Cabin. Being a drafter by trade, I took Scott’s ideas and began creating our cabin blue prints in AutoCAD. Of course, as the days and weeks passed, Scott and I discussed new ideas and the blue prints became a work in progress. But by early 2002, we had settled on our blue print design and went in search of a contractor to build it.
We were fortunate to find a great contractor. We had a chance to review some of his projects and the things we like about him, he was a small contractor with a small crew and they constructed the project from foundation to finish. Once they started a project, that was their focus until it was complete so we didn’t have to wait on subcontractors.
At the end of February 2002 in below zero temperatures, we dug the hole for the foundation and we started pouring our concrete foundation. Once the foundation was poured, we advertised the Grizzly Cabin on our website and started taking reservations for it – the first guests scheduled to arrive on July 5th, 2002. Needless to say, it was a quick moving project. The contractor, his crew, and Scott spent the days working on it and since I was working full time at the time, Scott and I spent the evenings working.
Since groups had already booked into the cabin, we thought it would be fun and interesting for them to see pictures of how the cabin was progressing. We had not yet entered the world of digital cameras so getting pictures ready for our website was quite a process – taking the pictures, developing the roll, scanning each picture to digital format, and then uploading them to our website. Uploading the pictures was time consuming as dial-up was our only option at that time. But once June arrived, life became very intense to complete the cabin on time and there wasn’t much time for picture taking and processing and getting them uploaded to our website. So about 2 weeks before the first group was to arrive, they had viewed our website to see the progress of the cabin. But the last picture that had been posted was a cabin without a roof. Needless to say, they were a bit concerned and called to make sure there was going to be a finished cabin for them to occupy when they got here. We assured them it would be finished in time.
On July 5th, 2002, the Grizzly Cabin became the first of our Glacier Park Cabins – a 1300 sq ft cabin. This cabin has 2 bedrooms and a bathroom in the upstairs half loft along with 2 bedrooms and a bathroom on the main level – enough to sleep 10. The 2 rooms upstairs are furnished with queen beds. One of the rooms downstairs is furnished with 2 sets of bunk beds and the other room is furnished with a queen bed. The bunk beds and the queen headboards are all made of log and handcrafted by Scott. Most of the beds are covered with my handmade quilts and I’m working on quilts for the remaining beds – a unique touch which gives this cabin a very homey feeling.
On one half of the cabin great room, is the full kitchen also furnished with all the pots and pans, dishes and plates, glasses and mugs, serving and eating utensils, baking pans, coffee maker, and even a crock pot, a waffle maker, mixers, a toaster, an electric can opener, and much more for up to 12 people. To complete this half of the great room is a 4′ x 8′ log table, handcrafted by Scott, with chairs and Scott’s handcrafted log bench – large enough to seat 10 or more people around it.
The other half of the great room is furnished with a log full size foldout futon which will sleep 2 more, a couple of rocking chairs, a DVD player with TV, and a log desk. The great room is a very comfortable living space for larger groups. And I mustn’t forget the Country wood stove with it’s glass door sitting on a rock slab. This wood stove will more than warm the Grizzly Cabin on the coldest of nights. Sitting by the fire on a cold day watching the snow fall outside makes for a real cozy wilderness experience.
This Glacier Park Cabin also has 2 covered decks that run the full length of both sides of the cabin. These decks are furnished with rocking chairs and folding canvas chairs so everyone can enjoy an evening watching the sun set – or sunrise if you’re an early riser. You can also enjoy an evening around a campfire in the native rock campfire ring, barbequing on the charcoal grill, playing a game of horseshoes in the horseshoe pit, or eating out on the Scott’s sturdy picnic table. Because this cabin is located on an acre lot, there is lots of room for everyone to spread out and the kids to run and play.
The Little Bear & Little Griz Cabins
But we also wanted a couple Glacier Park Cabins that could accommodate smaller groups – a single family. We built the Little Bear Cabin in 2006 and the Little Griz Cabin in 2007. Once again between Scott’s vision and my drafting background, we developed the blue prints for these cabins to be efficient but comfortable for 4-6 guests. Even though these cabins are smaller, we still wanted them to be full service cabins so we designed them to have an upstairs bedroom loft, their own private bathroom, and a kitchenette – 500 sq ft of living space. They, too, have lots of windows with views of the Apgar Mountains in Glacier National Park.
One would have thought after we allotted such a short period of time to build the Grizzly Cabin, we would have allowed more time to complete these cabins. But not the case. We started these cabins in early May in each of the years with the first guests to arrive the end of June. Nothing like doing our best work under pressure.
The upstairs bedroom loft is furnished with a queen bed, 2 twin beds, and a small closet. The loft bedroom is accessed by a ladder style stairs with handrails under the steps.
The kitchenettes in these cabins come complete with a 2 burner stove top, microwave, coffee maker, toaster, and a 3.5 cu ft refrigerator. They also have pots & pans, dishes and plates, cooking and eating utensils, and glasses and mugs for up to 6 guests. They have a cute breakfast nook just off the kitchenette. On the other side of the great room is a foldout futon to sleep 2 more.
Both of these cabins have a covered decks on one end furnished with folding canvas chairs. The Little Bear Cabin overlooks Smoky Bear Creek and the pond which is frequented by wildlife and the Little Griz Cabin has a great view of the Apgar Mountains in Glacier
National Park. You can enjoy an evening sitting around a campfire in the native rock campfire rings, barbecue on the charcoal grills, and enjoy a meal at the sturdy picnic tables constructed by Scott.
We originally constructed these cabins for easy shut down for the winter months. The water supply into these cabins is a frost free well which turns the water off 6 ft underground. However, after winterizing them for a couple of years, there was enough interest in renting them during the winter, we installed a blue flame propane heater in the Little Griz Cabin. Believe me, that propane heater keeps that cabin toasty warm on a cold winter day.
One of the great things about our Glacier Park Cabins is they are new construction and well maintained. You can come enjoy a relaxing vacation and not have to worry about problems with the cabins. Another great thing is each cabin has it’s own space – at least 200 ft between them. And there is easy access to the North Fork of the Flathead River which is the western border of Glacier National Park. After a short walk, you can sit and relax watching the river go by or enjoy some great fly fishing.
So we invite you to come spend your vacation with us and enjoy some peace and quiet in a very scenic remote setting. Hope to see you soon!