Self Guided

Self-guided trips for educational groups are possible. Visit our "Entrance Fees" page to see if your group qualifies for an academic fee waiver. Fee waiver guidelines and application information is also available on the "Entrance Fees" page.

The following suggestions and reminders will help you plan your field trip to Glacier National Park:

  • Safety is a number one priority for a field trip! See our "Your Safety" page for more on water, wildlife, and other safety information.
  • The weather can change quickly no matter what time of the year it is, so be sure to remind students and chaperones to be prepared. Bring extra warm layers, rain clothes, hats and gloves, etc.
  • Chaperones are an important part of taking students on a successful field trip. On our "Scheduling and Guidelines" page, you'll find tips on planning a field trip and a reminder of chaperone responsibilities.
  • Most areas in the park will not have cell phone coverage, so please take this into account when planning your trip. Remember to have a planned meeting place and time if your group will be arriving in multiple vehicles.
  • Also be sure to take into account driving time and available bathrooms when planning your trip. This will allow you to prepare a realistic schedule for the day.
  • Leave No Trace ethics are a crucial part of enjoying national parks.
    • Remember to pack out all of your trash and properly store any food in buses or private vehicles when you are not eating it.
    • Please try to keep groups in a single-file line on trails in order to avoid resource damage.
    • Remind students that they are not allowed to take anything from the park - rocks, plants, pine cones, and everything else should stay where they found it for the next visitors to enjoy.
    • Wildlife should be viewed from a distance, so as not to disturb it in its natural habitat.

Some of the trails in the Lake McDonald area that work well for field trips in the spring and fall include the Bike Path and Oxbow Trail, Trail of the Cedars, the Avalanche Lake Trail, and the Rocky Point Trail. The Apgar area also remains accessible in the winter. Trails well suited for field trips throughout the year also exist on the east side of the park. For more information and ideas, see the trail maps on our "Hiking the Trails" page.

We have a variety of curriculum materials available including pre- and post-visit activities and Glacier National Park vocabulary and resource information. These materials will help you plan a trip that is not only fun, but educational as well.

For more ideas on planning field trips, choosing appropriate trails, or finding lesson plans, contact Glacier's education specialist at 406-888-5837.

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