Contact: Lauren Alley, 406-888-5838
Contact: Kelly Stevens, 406-888-7895
West Glacier, MT – Many services and facilities in Glacier National Park will be open for Memorial Day weekend.
Visitors should plan ahead to have a safe Memorial Day weekend for themselves and family members. Use extreme caution near water and steep terrain. Rivers and streams are running very high, and snow depths are higher than average this spring. Carry bear spray, and maintain 25 yards of distance from most park wildlife. Maintain 100 yards of distance from black and grizzly bears. Hikers and bikers traveling to alpine avalanche terrain should visit the Flathead Avalanche Center website to learn about spring avalanche conditions. Rangers have already responded to several car crashes this spring, and report a general uptick in distracted and dangerous driving behavior. Visitors should minimize in-car distractions, prepare for narrow and winding roads, and stay alert for wildlife and bicyclists. Learn more about safety at the park’s website.
This year, Sun Point has reopened after being closed for many years while serving as a staging area for Going-to-the-Sun Road construction materials, and as it underwent improvements. Sun Point is located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and can be accessed through the St. Mary park entrance this weekend. This summer, the picnic area at Sun Point will be closed intermittently to vehicles while watering occurs for newly planted native trees.
The Trail of the Cedars at Avalanche Creek is fully reopened as a loop trail following foot bridge construction this winter. The footbridge will be opened later this year after once additional boardwalk is constructed. Visitors in the Avalanche Creek area should use the restroom at the picnic area as the restroom along the trail is currently closed while it is rehabilitated to be accessible to persons with disabilities.
This year, only hand-propelled watercraft is allowed on park waters. Waters on the west side of the park are open. Waters on the east side of the park will open June 1. Motorized watercraft and boat trailers will continue to be restricted for the summer of 2017 following the detection of aquatic invasive mussels within the State of Montana last fall. Boaters with human powered watercraft visiting lakes on the west side of the park over Memorial Day weekend must stop at the boat inspection station located in Apgar Village to receive a free permit prior to launch.
Some campgrounds are already open for the season, including Apgar Campground, which is the largest in the park. Limited campsites are open at Two Medicine due to snow. Specific information about each campground, including a map of the sites, operating dates, available services, current and historic fill times, food storage protocols to protect wildlife, and more is available on the camping page of the park’s website.
Most campgrounds in Glacier are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Reservations are available for Fish Creek, St. Mary, and Many Glacier Campgrounds beginning June 1 (June 15 for Many Glacier), and may be made up to six months in advance through the National Recreation Reservation Service at https://www.recreation.gov/. Campers without prior reservations are also welcome at these campgrounds, as space is available.
Campers are reminded to keep a clean camp, and obey food storage regulations. Animals are attracted to food, and food odors. All food, garbage, and equipment used to cook, serve or store food must be kept sealed in a vehicle or in an approved bear-resistant container.
The park’s campground opening and closing dates are below:
Currently visitors can drive 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche Creek along the Going-to-the-Sun-Road. Hikers and bikers may travel beyond the closed gate as far as conditions allow on weekends and holidays and after 4:30 pm on weekdays.
Vehicle access is permitted 13.5 miles from the St. Mary Visitor Center to Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Hikers and bikers will have access beyond the gate during the Memorial Day weekend as far as conditions allow.
Visitor centers are open at Apgar and St. Mary. Each visitor center has unique exhibits and activities. Interpretive rangers are available at visitor centers during operating hours. The park’s visitor center opening and closing dates are as follows:
Park stores within each visitor center are operated by the Glacier National Park Conservancy, an official park partner. Visit glacier.org to learn more about the Conservancy and the products and materials available to assist with trip planning and enjoying the park.
Park concessioners offer a variety of activities from hospitality services to hiking, boating, horseback riding, and driving tours. Information may be found on each service at the park’s website.
Glacier Institute is the park’s official education partner. Classes for adults and children can be found at glacierinstitute.org.
Entrance fees for 2017 are as follows:
Last updated: May 26, 2017