Visiting in Fall

Brilliant yellow aspen leave shine in the sun
Aspen grove in brilliant fall colors

NPS

The eastern entrances to Glacier National Park remain closed as the park continues with modified operation in responce to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Roads are Open this Time of Year?

All eastern entrances to the park are closed. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to Rising Sun. Weather permitting, the road will remain open through Sunday, October 18, and close on Monday, October 19. The closure gate will then move to either Avalanche Creek or Lake McDonald Lodge, as dictated by weather.

Fall can still be a wonderful time to visit, however, visitors at this time of year have to be more self-sufficient when they are in the park. Generally, the park is a lot quieter, wildlife is more active, and the trees are turning colors. On the west side of the park, the trees begin changing color mid-September. The last color change is when the larch trees (a deciduous conifer that loses its needles), mainly on the west side of the park, turns a gold color in mid October. Sometimes the best road for viewing the larches is on Hwy 2 around the southern boundary of the park.

Visitor Centers and Restrooms

The Apgar and Logan Pass Visitor Centers close in early October. Throughout the fall and winter informational exhibits will be available at Park Headquarters and the Apgar Visitor Center.

Restrooms at the Apgar Visitor Center will be open throughout the winter.

Hiking Trails

Trails are less crowded in the Fall. Read the wildlife safety information on the park website. When on the trail be alert for signs of wildlife and carry bear spray.

Trail maps are available in the hiking section of the park website.

Once the gate on the Going-to-the-Sun Road moves to Avalanche Creek or Lake McDonald Lodge, the road beyond the gate is available for hikers and bicyclists.

Wildlife Viewing

Fall is a great time to watch for wildlife. Winter preparations are being made at this time by all animals, especially by bears, as the long winter requires them to fatten up as much as possible. You may notice wildlife along roadsides as they graze and eat. Please do not approach or feed wildlife, and observe them with binoculars, spotting scopes, or long telephotos lenses.

Camping

Frontcountry Camping
Loop “B” of the Apgar Campground is available for primitive camping. The campground has a vault toilet. There is no running water. Availability is first-come, first-served.

Backcountry Camping
A permit is required for backcountry camping. Permits may be obtained, in-person, up to 24 hours in advance at the Apgar Backcountry Permit office.

Food and Lodging

The campstore in Apgar Village may be open and provides snacks and drinks. There are full-service grocery stores outside the park in Hungry Horse and Columbia Falls.

Lodging is not available in the park this time of year. The State of Montana maintains a tourism website that may be helpful in finding accommodations outside the park. Check out the visitmt.com website for more information.

Drinking Water

A water bottle filling station is located at the Apgar Visitor Center located approximately two miles north of the West Entrance.

Additional Information

  • Information needed to plan a visit to the park at any time of the year is available on the park website.
  • Near park entrances visitors can take advantage of updated information on the Travelers’ Information Station at 1610 AM.
  • Information is also available at 406-888-7929.

Last updated: September 24, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone:

(406) 888-7800

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