Operating Hours & Seasons

A large yellow snow plow machine clears deep snow from a road with trees behind.
Plowing away winter snows from Glacier's roads can take two and a half to three months.

The park is open year-round, but park conditions and accessible areas vary greatly by season. Most businesses and services are only open during Glacier's summer season, which generally runs from late May through September.

With services limited in the spring months, visitors need to plan ahead and be self-sufficient. Most services in and near the park do not reopen for the season until late May or early June.

  • Accommodations inside the park are very limited. Visit the Travel Montana website to find accommodations outside the park.
  • Higher elevation trails can be dangerous and snow-covered until late June. See our Trail Status and Trail and Area Closings and Postings pages for more information.
  • Most wildlife, including bears, are very active in the spring, so remain alert and carry bear spray.
  • While Going-to-the-Sun Road is being plowed, and as conditions permit, it is often open to hikers and bicyclists only. This season usually runs from early May through late June or early July. The road is normally plowed to Logan Pass by late June.
  • Primitive camping is available year-round at Apgar and St. Mary Campgrounds. For more information on campgrounds, please visit our Camping page.
  • A permit is required for Wilderness Camping year-round.

Road Status in Spring
Plowing winter snows from Glacier's roads can take two to four months. By late May, most roads are open for vehicle travel except Going-to-the-Sun Road over Logan Pass. Lower portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road are open year-round, but the entire road does not usually open until late June or early July, and the Logan Pass area is not accessible by vehicle until then. Please visit our Plowing and Road Status pages for the most up-to-date information.

Fall is a wonderful time to experience Glacier, but visitors at this time of year need to plan ahead and be self-sufficient. Generally, the park is less crowded, wildlife is more active, and the trees are turning colors by mid-September. The last color change is when the western larch (a deciduous conifer that loses its needles) turns yellow in mid-October. Sometimes the best road for viewing the larch display is Highway 2, which runs along the southern boundary of the park.

What Roads are Open?
Conditions permitting, Going-to-the-Sun Road usually remains fully open until the third Monday in October. The closure gate on the west side then moves to either Avalanche Creek or Lake McDonald Lodge, as dictated by weather. The location of the closure gate on the east side is also determined by weather. Many Glacier Road closed for the season on September 20, 2021. No vehicle access is permitted. Two Medicine Road will close for the season once inclement weather and snow accumulation requires it.

Visitor Centers and Restrooms
The visitor centers close in late September and early October. Restrooms at the Apgar Visitor Center remain open year-round.

Hiking Trails
The trails are generally less crowded, but visitors can expect to pass many fellow hikers throughout the month of September. When hiking, stay alert for signs of wildlife and carry bear spray. Read the wildlife safety information and access trail maps on the park website. Once Going-to-the-Sun Road closes at Avalanche Creek or Lake McDonald Lodge, the portion beyond the gate is available for hikers and bicyclists.

Wildlife Viewing
Many animals, especially bears, spend more time foraging for food as they prepare to enter hibernation. You may notice wildlife along roadsides as they graze. Please do not approach or feed wildlife, either in a vehicle or on foot. Observe them with binoculars, spotting scopes, or long telephotos lenses.

Camping
Apgar Campground is usually available for primitive camping. The campground has a vault toilet, but there is no running water. Availability is first-come, first-served.

Wilderness Camping
A permit is required for wilderness camping. Permits may be obtained in-person up to 24 hours in advance at the Apgar Wilderness Permit Office. The office remains open through the end of October.

Food and Lodging
The camp store in Apgar Village may still be open and provides snacks and drinks. There are full-service grocery stores outside the park in Browning, Hungry Horse, and Columbia Falls. The grocery store in St. Mary may sometimes remain open in the fall.

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 nearby accommodations: visitmt.com.

Drinking Water
A water bottle filling station is located at the Apgar Visitor Center, which is two miles north of the West Entrance.

Additional Information
Information needed to plan a visit at any time of the year is available on our website. Near park entrances, visitors can take advantage of updated information on the Travelers’ Information Station at 1610 AM. Information is also available by phone at (406) 888-7800.

With services very limited in winter, visitors need to plan ahead and be entirely self-sufficient. Most business and services in and near the park are closed from early October through late May.

  • Accommodations near the park are very limited. Visit the Travel Montana website to find accommodations.
  • Weather forces most roads in the park to close. The portion of Going-to-the-Sun Road from West Glacier to Lake McDonald Lodge is usually plowed and open year-round, weather permitting, but most other roads remain inaccessible by vehicle.
  • Wildlife, including bears, may still be active, so remain alert and carry bear spray.
  • As conditions permit, Going-to-the-Sun Road is often open to Skiing and Snowshoeing.
  • Primitive camping is available year-round at Apgar and St. Mary Campgrounds. For more information on campgrounds, please visit our Camping page.
  • A permit is required for Wilderness Camping year-round.
 
Two cars drive along a cliff's edge narrow road with trees all around.

Getting Around in Glacier

Most visitors travel by car or RV, and most make the scenic drive over Going-to-the-Sun Road part of their park experience.

Crowds of people walk over a snowy trail in an alpine area.

Tips for Dealing with Crowds

May through September is the busiest time of the year in Glacier National Park. Within that, July and August are the busiest of all.

A hiker stands on a rock in the mountains with a vast landscape beyond.

Leave No Trace

We all have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the places we love.

Last updated: November 5, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier , MT 59936

Phone:

406 888-7800

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