What is it like in Glacier right now? The following information should help you in understanding current conditions in Glacier National Park.
NPS Photo, Mark Wagner
The Park is Open
Glacier National Park is always open; it never closes. The winter season is upon us, snow has fallen to the valley floor and more is on its way. Check our Road Status page for current open and closed sections of roads. If you are wondering what awaits you during winter in Glacier National Park, visit our visiting in winter page.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to 11 miles from West Glacier to Lake McDonald Lodge and 1 1/2 miles from the boundary of the park in St. Mary to 1 1/2 gate. Apgar Village road is also maintained all winter. Most other roads are closed at the park boundary at this time with the exception of the Camas Road. It is always a wise idea to check Road Status before heading out, there can be temporary closures due to weather.
A severe winter storm on Friday, November 28, 2014 brought down a tremendous amount of trees in the West Glacier, Apgar, Walton and Lake McDonald areas. All roads that are open to vehicles and some trails have been cleared of downed trees. For updated conditions on our trails, visit our skiing and snowshoeing page.
Most Visitor Centers and Ranger Stations have closed for the season. For brochures and information, Apgar Visitor Center is open on weekends through the spring and Park Headquarters is open during the week excluding federal holidays. For operating dates and hours of visitor centers and ranger stations, please visit our Operating Hours and Seasons page. Pass sales are available at the Entrance Stations, Headquarters or through the U.S. Mail. For more information on passes and pricing, please visit our Entrance Fee page.
Although not as popular as summer, campers are still camping during the winter. There are two auto campgrounds open during the winter, Apgar and St. Mary Campgrounds. Both campgrounds are primitive, no running water, nor flush toilets and are free of cost during the winter. If you are planning on backcountry camping, a permit is still necessary, please go to our backcountry page for more information.
NPS Photo, Brad Blickhan
Skiing and Snowshoeing
And just like that, hikers must trade in their hiking boots for skis and snowshoes. With the snow falling, the avalanche activity increases. For the most current avalanche advisories, please visit the Flathead Avalanche Center. For information on closures please visit our trail and area closures page. For information on cross country ski trails and snowshoeing, please visit our skiing and snowshoeing page.
Although bears can still active at this time of year, most bears have gone into their dens for the winter. Winter is a great time to look for signs of animals such as moose, elk, deer, martens, and wolves. If you do get to experience a wildlife sighting in the winter, it is important to remember that approaching, remaining, viewing or engaging in any activity within 100 yards of bears or wolves, or within 25 yards of any other wildlife is prohibited. It is always a good idea to check our safety information concerning wildlife and humans.
NPS Photo, David Restivo
Weather is always unpredictable in the mountains. As we move closer into winter, be prepared for all types of weather! For a clickable map of Glacier National Park weather visit the National Weather Service Recreation Safety Forecast for Glacier National Park. For a text version of the weather forecast for Glacier visit their Glacier National Park Forecast page. Visit our Weather page for information on temperature averages.