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Contact: Gina Icenoggle, 406-888-5838
WEST GLACIER, Mont. [September 1, 2023] – As the autumn season approaches, operations in the park will start winding down. On September 10, the park’s 2023 vehicle reservation pilot will end.
Glacier National Park is completing a two-year construction project to rehabilitate 13 bridges in the North Fork area, Camas Road, and Chief Mountain Highway. A full closure to vehicle traffic is required at the Kintla Creek and Bowman Creek bridges so that crews can replace deteriorated abutment piles under the bridges. The Kintla Creek bridge is expected to close to all vehicle traffic as early as September 5. There will be no vehicle access past Big Prairie to Kintla Lake during this time. In mid-September, crews expect to finish work at Kintla Creek and begin working at Bowman Creek. There will be no vehicle access to the North Fork area of the park until the expected completion of work in early October. Hiker/Biker access will be available. The North Fork bridge, located at the north end of Camas Road and the Lee Creek bridge, located on the Chief Mountain Highway, are also a part of this project and will have short delays through October.
Construction will continue along Going-to-the-Sun Road from the south end of Lake McDonald near Apgar Campground to Upper McDonald Creek Road through fall, causing delays in both directions. Visitors should check the park’s website for the latest construction updates. Although closed for construction last winter, Going-to-the-Sun Road is expected to remain open to Lake McDonald Lodge for winter recreation.
Going-to-the-Sun Road is scheduled to remain open to Logan Pass until Sunday, October 15 at midnight, unless winter weather forces an earlier closure. There will be no access to potable water at Logan Pass starting September 11. Logan Pass Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, September 24.
After Going-to-the-Sun Road closes to the pass for the season, hiker/biker access will be permitted on the road closure while the GNP Road Crew is not working. A daily road crew closure will be in place while crews are working.
Park shuttles will remain in operation until September 17 with reduced services. Beginning September 5, shuttle service will run from 9 am to 5 pm daily with all stops in service. Wait times may be longer as there are fewer shuttles on the road. Visitors planning to use the shuttle should check the Shuttle page for additional details.
St. Mary Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, October 8. Potable water will be unavailable at St. Mary after Monday, October 9.
Apgar Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Monday, October 8 and then move to weekends through October 22. Restrooms and potable water are available at the Apgar Visitor Center plaza year-round.
Front country campgrounds will adjust as follows:
Apgar: Reservation required through October 2, primitive status in Loop B only until October 31, and winter camping through spring 2024.
Avalanche: Reservation required through September 17 closure.
Fish Creek: Reservation required through September 4 closure.
Sprague Creek: Reservation required until September 27 closure.
Bowman: First come-first served until expected construction closure in mid-September. Expected to re-open to primitive status upon completion of Bowman bridge rehabilitation until weather dependent closure.
Kintla: First come-first served until expected construction closure on September 5. Expected to re-open to primitive status upon completion of Bowman bridge rehabilitation until weather dependent closure.
Cutbank: Primitive status and first come-first served through September 21 closure.
Many Glacier: Reservation required through September 17 and primitive status through October 31 or weather dependent closure. Reservation required through primitive status with a one day out booking window.
St. Mary: First come-first served through September 14, primitive status in Loop C only through October 31, and winter camping until spring 2024.
Rising Sun: First come-first served through September 8 closure.
Two Medicine: Reservation required through September 17 and primitive status through October 31 or weather dependent closure. Reservation required through primitive status with a one day out booking window.
Campgrounds in primitive status have vault toilets available and fees are reduced. Visit the park's Campground page for additional camping information.
Wilderness camping requires a permit, which can be obtained at one of the listed permit offices below. Wilderness permits will be issued until 30 minutes prior to closing. Walk-in permits are issued up to 24 hours in advance. Check the Wilderness Camping page for more information.
Apgar Wilderness Permit Center: 7:30 am to 5 pm through September 30, 8 am- 4 pm October 1 through October 31
Permit Location at St. Mary Visitor Center: 7:30 am to 5 pm through September 28
Permit Location at Many Glacier Ranger Station: 7:30 am to 5 pm through September 28
Permit Location at Two Medicine Ranger Station: 7:30 am to 5 pm through September 30
Permit Location at Polebridge Ranger Station: 8 am to 5 pm through October 12
Lake McDonald, Bowman Lake, and Kintla Lake will be the only vehicle accessible bodies of water open to watercraft in the park after September 30. Access to Bowman and Kintla Lakes will be limited during construction in September (see construction information above).
Lake McDonald boat inspection station hours are 7 am to 5 pm daily. Polebridge boat inspections will continue after bridge construction is complete, 8 am to 4 pm through September 30. Beginning October 1, inspection hours will change to 8 am to 4 pm at both Lake McDonald and Polebridge. The Polebridge inspection station will close for the season on October 12. All park waters are closed to watercraft beginning November 1.
Concession services (lodging, food service, retail shops, horseback rides, boat and bus tours) have begun winding down. Guided hiking and backpacking will continue through Oct. 15. All other concession services will close for the season by October 1. Visitors should check directly with services on our website for operational hours.
Autumn visitors to Glacier National Park will find cooler temperatures and are encouraged to prepare for shifting weather conditions with potential for rain or snow, especially in alpine areas. As fall approaches bear activity will increase. Visitors are asked to be mindful of attractant storage requirements and remember that pets are not permitted on trails at any time. Learn more about bear safety on the park’s website.
The park is open year-round and recreational opportunities can be found during all seasons. For additional information, visit the park’s website or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.
Last updated: September 1, 2023