Camping in Glacier National Park

A blue and dark olive tent sits lonely and undisturbed in the Apgar Campground during the winter.
Tent camping in the winter brings special challenges but is rewarding for the well prepared.

NPS

Pick a Campground  /  Secure a Campsite  /  Regulations  /  Bear and Mountain Lion Safety  /  Bicycle Use  /  Primitive Status  /  Evening Programs

 

Choose a Campground

Glacier has 13 campgrounds and approximately 1009 front-country campsites. Three campgrounds allow reservations for individual sites, and Apgar campground takes reservations for five group sites. Details on individual campgrounds are available at the following links:

 

Secure a Campsite

  • Camping fees vary between $10 and $23 dollars per night during the summer season, and refunds are not available.
  • Reservations for individual campsites at Fish Creek and Many Glacier Campgrounds are made through Recreation.gov.
  • The St. Mary, Rising Sun and Cut Bank Campgrounds will not be open in the summer of 2021, due to staffing limitations resulting from ongoing COVID-19 mitigations.
  • Other campgrounds within the park are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. Instructions for securing a first-come, first-served campsite are available at the entrances to the non-reservation campgrounds.

Hiker/Biker Campsites

A limited number of sites at Apgar, Fish Creek, Sprague Creek, and Two Medicine are usually set aside for those arriving by bicycle or on foot. Sites are shared, with a capacity of up to 8 people; larger groups must split up or use group sites where available. The fee is $5 per person per night for Apgar, Two Medicine, and Sprague Creek. In the reservation campground at Fish Creek, the fee is $8 for the first person and $5 for every individual beyond the first.

Motorcyclists must use regular unoccupied campsites. Hiker/biker sites are for non-motorized campers only.If hiker/biker sites are full or campers do not want to share a site, they must use regular unoccupied campsites.

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Regulations

  • Camping is permitted only in designated campgrounds.
  • Utility hook-ups are not provided, and connection to water, sewer, or electrical outlets is prohibited.
  • Between July 1 and Labor Day, camping in the park is limited to 14 days, either in a single period or combined separate periods.
  • Between Labor Day and June 30, camping in the park is limited to 30 days, either in a single period or combined separate periods.
  • Campsite capacity is limited to eight people and two vehicles, where space is available. A maximum of two tents per site is permitted.
  • Group sites for 9-24 campers are available at Apgar, Many Glacier, St. Mary, and Two Medicine. Check with a park ranger or campground host prior to using.
  • Sites may not be left unattended for over 24 hours.
  • Check out time is noon. If staying another night, re-register by 11:30 am.
  • Secure your valuables in a locked vehicle out of sight.
  • Campground speed limits are 10 mph.
  • Bicyclists are responsible for complying with all traffic regulations and are permitted only on roadways.

Food Storage

All food, lawfully taken fish, garbage, and equipment used to cook, serve, or store food must be kept sealed in a vehicle, sealed in a camping unit that is constructed of solid, non-pliable material, suspended from any NPS-designated food hanging device, secured in any NPS-designated storage locker, secured in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) approved bear resistant container, or secured in a structure or dwelling at all times, except when these items are being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption.

Do not burn waste in fire rings or leave litter around your camp. Garbage must be properly stored at all times. Use bear-proof trash cans.

Violation of food storage regulations may result in a $75 fine and/or confiscation of improperly stored items.


Quiet Hours and Generator Use

Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am. Noise must be kept to a low level that does not disturb other campers.Generator use in campgrounds is permitted only during the following times: 8 am – 10 am, noon – 2 pm, or 5 pm – 7 pm.

Generator use is prohibited AT ALL TIMES in the following campground areas:

  • Fish Creek, C Loop
  • Many Glacier, sites 48-59, 71, and 88-102
  • Rising Sun, sites 49-84
  • Spraque Creek, all sites
  • St. Mary, A Loop
  • Two Medicine, sites 1-36
  • Cutbank Campground, all sites
Unreasonable idling of motor vehicles is also prohibited.

Pets

All areas are closed to pets except developed areas, front-country campsites, picnic areas, along roads, and in vessels on lakes where motorized watercraft are permitted. Pets must be secured on a leash no longer than six feet, under physical restraint, or caged at all times. Do not leave pets unattended. Owners must pick up after their pets and dispose of waste in a trash receptacle, and they must not allow pets to make noise that is unreasonable.


Fires and Firewood

Firewood is available for purchase at most camp stores. Gathering or cutting firewood in the park is unlawful, except in the following areas:

  • Along the Inside North Fork Road from Dutch Creek to Kintla Lake
  • Along the Bowman Lake Road
  • In the immediate vicinity of backcountry campgrounds allowing wood fires

In the areas listed above, only dead wood on the ground may be collected. Fires must be kept inside fire grates and attended all times. Be sure your fire is dead out when leaving for any reason.

Fireworks are prohibited in National Parks, including Glacier.


Sanitation and Water Use

Using campground faucets to wash dishes or clothing, to clean fish, to prepare food, or to bathe is prohibited. All wastewater, including water from showers and dishwashing, must be contained and disposed of in utility sinks or at RV dump stations. Do not leave wastewater unattended. Recreational vehicles must use drain hoses at dump stations.

Fee showers are available at the Rising Sun and Swiftcurrent Motor Inns and private campgrounds adjacent to the park. Showers are available for registered campers only at the Fish Creek, Apgar, and St. Mary Campgrounds.

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Camping in Bear and Mountain Lion Country

Bears, mountain lions, and other wild animals can be dangerous! Maintain 25 yards (23 m) distance from all animals and 100 yards (91 m) from bears and wolves. See the park’s Safety page for more information.

Closely supervise children whenever they’re outdoors, even in developed areas. Unattended pets may attract a lion and result in the loss of your pet.

Feeding wildlife is prohibited. In their pursuit of their usual food sources, animals will be attracted to improperly stored food. Allowing wildlife to obtain human food or trash is harmful to the animal, disrupts natural behaviors, and can create dangerous situations for both wildlife and humans. Follow the food storage regulations listed above, and always maintain a clean camp. Violation of park regulations will result in the issuance of a citation (fine).

Report all bear and mountain lion sightings or encounters to the nearest ranger, campground host, or visitor center, or by calling (406) 888-7800.

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Evening Programs

Ranger and Native America Speaks evening programs are offered throughout the summer and cover a variety of topics. Generally, programs start at 7:30 PM or later and last around 45 minutes. More information can be found on our Ranger-led Activities page. The following campgrounds have program amphitheaters:

  • Apgar

  • Fish Creek

  • Rising Sun

  • St. Mary (Loop C)

  • Two Medicine (Loop B, site 40)

  • Many Glacier

Additionally, programs are held at Lake McDonald Lodge Auditorium (nearest campgrounds: Apgar, Sprague Creek, and Avalanche) and St. Mary Visitor Center Auditorium (nearest campgrounds: St. Mary and Rising Sun).

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Primitive Status Campgrounds

When campgrounds are open in primitive status, there are special considerations regarding water and sanitation. No potable water sources or dump station facilities are provided. Lake water or melted snow obtained for drinking or food preparation should be boiled (at least one minute) or treated using an approved filtration system.

Comfort stations are closed; campers should use the campground’s vault toilets. Washing dishes or discarding wastewater near campsites or water sources is prohibited. Filter food scraps (pack out as garbage) from dish water and scatter water on the ground at least 100 feet (30.5 m) away from campsites, lakes, and streams.

Interested in hiking to a remote campsite? Learn more about Wilderness Camping in Glacier.

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Have more camping questions? See our FAQ section for possible answers.

 

Last updated: December 2, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier , MT 59936

Phone:

406 888-7800

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