Sequestration Impacts Will Affect Visitors

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: March 26, 2013
Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888 5838

Effective March 1, 2013, Glacier National Park was required by "sequestration" (a series of automatic, across-the-board permanent spending cuts) to reduce its annual base budget by five percent. The park's base budget of approximately $13.5 million was reduced by $682,000. The park must absorb that cut in the remaining months of this fiscal year that ends September 30.  The federal law imposing sequestration requires that each park take this cut.


Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent Kym Hall said, "We took a thoughtful and analytical approach to implementing program reductions as outlined by Congress, while taking into account the number of visitors served, number of visitors impacted, revenue loss versus savings gained, economic impacts to the surrounding communities and businesses, resource stewardship, and critical life, health and safety concerns for employees and visitors. Hall continued, "It is challenging, and the reality is that we all will see and feel the effects of sequestration." She said that these are the impacts for this season, and it is unknown what the impacts will be next year, but she anticipates that 2014 will be filled with many more challenges and changes."


A delay in the spring opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road was considered in response to sequestration. A generous offer from the Glacier National Park Conservancy and salary savings from unanticipated personnel changes will be used to maintain the seasonal positions and the overtime needed to facilitate snow plowing efforts with the opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.  Hall said, "We greatly appreciate the financial offer from the Glacier National Park Conservancy. Their timely support will allow for the continuity and emphasis we place on snow plowing activities, especially as crews approach the "big drift" near Logan Pass and the culmination of the tremendous road opening effort."     


Snow plowing efforts throughout the park are being initiated, with weather and road rehabilitation being key factors in visitor access to Logan Pass and the entire 50 miles of the road.  Hall said, "We understand the value of access to the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road and we will be able to maintain the general snow plowing schedule. She said some other road maintenance activities, such as grading, striping and patching, will be reduced in the fall.


In response to sequestration, the park reduced travel, training, overtime, vehicle leases, and supply and equipment purchases for the remainder of the fiscal year. Travel and training restrictions are currently imposed, only allowing employees to travel and attend meetings or training sessions that are in the local area, or that fulfill a certification required for the position held.     


Other actions in response to sequestration include a delay in hiring of vacant permanent positions and the elimination and reduction in length of season for some seasonal positions. The park employs approximately 135 permanent employees, and approximately 350 summer seasonal employees, with a core season of Memorial Day to Labor Day.  


The impacts from reduced seasonal staff will affect several areas of park management, including:

§ Delayed trail access and decreased trail maintenance,

§ Reduction in native plant restoration,

§ Reduced shoulder-season access to campgrounds and visitor centers,

§ Decrease in entrance station hours,

§ Less maintenance work on park facilities, roads and utility systems,

§ Limited and delayed emergency response outside the core season,

§ Decreased educational programming and ranger-led activities,

§ Less back-country volunteer coordination,

§ Reduction of revenue from impacted campgrounds, and

§ Reduced partner financial aid assisting interpretive programs resulting from loss of revenue of partner bookstores in park.


Changes to facilities include the following, and a table with all campground and visitor center opening and closing dates follows.

Apgar Visitor Center

Seven-day operations delayed by two weeks in spring and transition to weekend only operations five weeks earlier in the fall and reduced daily hours of operation


Logan Pass Visitor Center

Close two weeks earlier in the fall

No water available when visitor center closes, vault toilets available

St. Mary Visitor Center

Close approximately one month earlier in the fall and reduced hours of operation in the evening


Bowman Lake Campground

Services reduced one week earlier in the fall and primitive camping may be limited


Cut Bank Campground

Close one week earlier in the fall


Kintla Campground

Open three weeks later and reduced services one week earlier and primitive camping may be limited


Many Glacier Campground

Open one week later in the fall and primitive camping will be limited in the fall


Rising Sun Campground

Close one week earlier in the fall


Sprague Campground

Delay 10 days in spring opening and close one week earlier in fall


St. Mary Campground

Services reduced one week in spring and one week in fall


Two Medicine Campground

Close one week earlier and no primitive camping in the fall

Picnic and day-use areas available through end of September

Goat Lick

Close three weeks earlier in the fall


 Glacier National Park

Campgrounds and Visitor Centers

2013 Opening and Closing Dates



Operating Dates

 (Through night of dates listed)

Nightly Fees

Primitive Camping Operating Dates   

(No water available)


May 3 - October 13


Primitive camping in picnic area October 14-31, and April 1-May 2: $10 per night, November 1-March 31: Free with valid entrance pass


June 21 -September 2


No primitive camping

Bowman Lake

May 24 - September 2


Primitive camping September 3- October 31 (weather dependent) $10 per night, November 1 through closure: Free with valid entrance pass

Cut Bank

June 7 - September 8


Operated in primitive status all season, closes Noon September 9

Fish Creek

June 1 - September 1


National Recreation Reservation System Campground, no primitive camping

Kintla Lake

June 14 - September 2


Primitive camping September 3- October 31:(weather dependent) $10 per night, November 1 through closure: Free with valid entrance pass

Logging Creek

July 1 - September 22


Operated in primitive status all season, closes Noon September 23

Many Glacier

May 24 - September 22


Primitive camping September 23 - 29 (weather dependent ) $10 per night, Close Noon September 30

Quartz Creek

July 1 - October 30


Operated in primitive status all season, closes Noon October 31

Rising Sun

May 24 - September 2


No primitive camping

Sprague Creek

May 20 - September 2


No primitive camping

St. Mary

May 24 - September 8


May 24 - May 30, and September 2-8: $20 per night

June 1-Sept 1: National Recreation Reservation System $23 per night

Primitive camping April 1-May 23 and Sept 9-October 31: $10 per night

November 1-March 31: Free with valid entrance pass

Two Medicine

May 24 - September 8


No primitive camping  





Apgar Visitor Center

Open weekends September 15 -May 17

Open daily May 18-September 15


May 18 - June 14, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

June 15 - September 2, 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

September 3 - September 15, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

September 16 - Mid May, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. weekends only

Logan Pass Visitor Center

Opens When Going-to-the-Sun Road Access is Available- September 15


Spring opening - Sept 2, 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. daily

September 3 - 15, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily

When visitor center closes vault toilets available, but no water available

St. Mary Visitor Center

May 25 - September 15


May 25 - June 29, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

June 30 - August 17, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

August 18 - September 15, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Auditorium open when summer evening programs are scheduled


Goat Lick

May 1- September 9






Most campgrounds have water available, but there are no electrical or water hookups at any campground in the park. Water is not available when a campground is in primitive status. Many campgrounds can accommodate campers and trailers, with some size restrictions. Specific information about each campground, including a map of the sites, operating dates, available services, current and historic fill times, and more is available by visiting


Fish Creek and St. Mary Campground sites, and five group sites at Apgar Campground, may be reserved for camping from June 1 through September 1 via the National Recreation Reservation Service website at or by calling toll free 877-444-6777. Campers without prior reservations are also welcome at these campgrounds, as space is available, for $23/night.


All campgrounds in primitive status cost $10/night. When campgrounds are in primitive status no water is provided. Any water taken from streams or lakes requires treatment before use. Primitive and winter front-country campgrounds include pit toilets, no running water and only a limited number of sites.


Group campsites are available at Apgar, Many Glacier, St. Mary and Two Medicine Campgrounds. Hiker/bicyclist sites are available at Apgar, Avalanche, Many Glacier, Rising Sun, Sprague Creek, and Two Medicine Campgrounds for $5 per person per night, and through reservation at St. Mary and Fish Creek for $8 per person per night.


The seven-day single vehicle entrance fee is $25 and a seven-day single entrance (hiker, bicyclist or motorcyclist) is $12. When park entrance stations are not staffed, an entrance fee is still required. Follow the posted instructions at the self-payment boxes at each entrance station.


An annual Glacier National Park pass for unlimited access to the park for one year from time of purchase of the pass is available for $35. Other passes with America the Beautiful- The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Program are also available. US citizens 62 years of age and older may purchase a lifetime pass for $10, and citizens with a permanent disability may obtain a free lifetime pass. Active duty military members may obtain a free Military Annual Pass. An annual pass available for $80 allows free entrance to federally operated recreation sites across the county, including many National Park Service, US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management sites.


For additional park information please visit Glacier National Park's web site at or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.  Annual passes may be obtained via credit card over the phone, from Park Headquarters Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or from the west and east entrance stations when staffed.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936


(406) 888-7800

Contact Us