Permits & Reservations

historic image of man at lodge reservation desk with employee holding luggage
Lake McDonald Lodge reservation desk, 1920s

NPS Archive/R.E. Marble


Some services and activities in Glacier National Park either require reservations or reservations are recommended.

Vehicle Reservations

In summer 2023, a vehicle reservation is required for four areas of the park: Going-to-the-Sun Road, the North Fork, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier. Each location has unique details and requires a separate reservation. Please see the Vehicle Reservation page for details.


Lodges fill up quickly and reservations are very strongly encouraged. Addresses and phone numbers are found on the Eating and Sleeping page.


Glacier manages both first-come first-serve campgrounds and reservation-based campgounds. For a complete breakdown and latest information, visit our campground page

Wilderness Camping

A wilderness use permit is required for visitors wishing to camp in the backcountry.

Wilderness use permits may be acquired one of two ways:

  1. Reserving them online in advance.
  2. Obtaining them in person on a first-come first-service basis at one of the Backcountry Ranger Stations.

For complete details and most up-to-date information, visit our Wilderness Camping Page.

Ranger-led Activities

A handful of our ranger-led activities require reservations or tickets due to limited space. Details can be found in the monthly Ranger-led Activity Schedule.

Other Services

Guided Tours, like bus tours, guided hikes, horseback rides, and boat trips are often available without reservations, but if your trip plans are not flexible you should contact the companies providing those services directly and make reservations prior to coming to the park.




Aquatic invasive species are a growing concern. Freshwater zebra and quagga mussels have steadily advanced westward, transported on trailered boats. Protecting the waters of the Glacier requires immediate action, both by the parks and by every boater (be they kayaker or sport fisher). Learn about the park's boat inspection and permit program.


Scientists representing academic institutions, government agencies, or private research organizations who are interested in obtaining a research and collection permit should visit the Research Permits page.


Special Use

Glacier National Park is home to many beautiful landscapes and settings that are ideal venues for a variety of special activities such as events, wedding ceremonies, and film and photography projects. Most special events and activities held in the park require a special use permit, issued only after the National Park Service determines that the activities involved will not impair park values and resources. Please note that there are usage limits for the number of people and vehicles for any special activity.

Special Park Uses Permit Offices have modified operations for the 2022 season due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

  • Applicants should be prepared for unanticipated permit changes, and even cancellations, of permits with little notice due to the possibility of unforeseen circumstances surrounding the unprecedented nature of COVID-19, and should plan accordingly. Due to short staffing and volume of permit requests, delayed NPS response time should also be anticipated.

  • Application packets, which consist of the application, non-refundable application fee, and liability insurance (if needed), must be received at the park a minimum of 20 business days before the requested permit date or your permit request can be denied.

  • Wedding Permit Restrictions
    Glacier National Park has set a limit of a total of 30 people for all wedding ceremonies (please keep in mind that most wedding locations within Glacier NP have a limit of 15 people). Total group size cannot exceed 30 people at any location, including the wedding couple, guests, officiants, and photographers. We appreciate your understanding in our efforts to keep visitors and staff safe.


If you are interested in getting married in Glacier National Park please visit our Wedding Permits page.



Effective October 28, 2022, the National Park Service rescinded interim guidance put in place during litigation regarding commercial filming. The National Park Service and has returned to longstanding laws and regulations governing commercial filming in parks.

Under federal law, all commercial filming that occurs within a unit of the National Park System requires a permit. "Commercial filming" means the film, electronic, magnetic, digital, or other recording of a moving image by a person, business, or other entity for a market audience with the intent of generating income. Examples include, but are not limited to, feature film, videography, and documentaries. Commercial filming may include the advertisement of a product or service, or the use of actors, models, sets, or props.

Federal law requires a permit for all commercial filming, no matter the size of the crew or the type of equipment. This includes individuals or small groups that don’t use much equipment, but generate revenue by posting footage on websites, such as YouTube and TikTok. All those partaking in commercial filming, no matter the size, must comply with all rules that apply in park areas, just like other visitors.

If you are interested in obtaining a film permit for Glacier National Park, or have any questions about filming in the park, please inquire with the office of Special Park Uses at e-mail us.

Filming in Wilderness Areas
The National Park Service manages and protects more than 67 million acres of park lands and waters as wilderness areas. These areas have additional laws and policies to preserve their wilderness character for future generations. Filming activities in wilderness areas must follow all applicable laws and regulations that govern wilderness areas in the park, including prohibitions on structures, installations, motor vehicles, mechanical transport, motorized equipment, motorboats, or landing of aircrafts.

Except for casual filming by visitors, special use permits for filming are required for all filming activities in wilderness areas, no matter the group size or equipment used.

Permit Information Sheet for Filming and Still Photography
Application for Special Use Permit (filming)

Still Photography

When is a permit needed?
Price v. Barr had no impact on how the National Park Service regulates still photography, so there are no changes in how the National Park Service regulates that activity.

If you are interested in conducting a commercial instructional photography workshop, please visit Commercial Use Permits.

Permit Information Sheet for Filming and Still Photography
Application for Special Use Permit (still photography)


Commercial Operators

Federal regulations prohibit engaging in or soliciting any business in park areas, except in accordance with the provisions of a permit, contract, or other written agreement with the United States. As in other National Park Service areas, commercial visitor services or other commercial activities may be provided only by those holding an authorization from the United States.

In Glacier National Park, concessions contracts have been issued to provide certain visitor services. These services include transportation and tour services, food services, backpacking and day hiking guide services, boat tours and small boat rentals, horseback riding, lodging, and retail sales.

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Noncommercial or Nonprofit Groups

Noncommercial or nonprofit groups leading trips into Glacier require a permit. Please complete the application for a Special Use Permit and return with and your $100 non-refundable application fee ($125 for applications received after March 1, 2021), proof of your organization's nonprofit status (such as recognition from the IRS of tax-exempt eligibility) and proof of liability insurance with the additionally insured listed as "United States Government, the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, Glacier National Park, PO Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936". Mail everything to the following address:

Attn: Special Use Permit Office
Glacier National Park
PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

With the Special Use Permit, nonprofit groups are charged normal visitor entry fees for a 7 day pass for each vehicle with a capacity of 15 or fewer. More information about other vehicle sizes and pass options is available on our website under Entrance Fees.


Spreading of Ashes

Regarding spreading of ashes in Glacier National Park, we, must abide by the terms outlined in Title 36, "Code of Federal Regulations, Section 2.62(b), which states in part: "the scattering of human ashes from cremation is prohibited, except pursuant to the terms and conditions of a permit, or in designated areas according to conditions which may be established by the Superintendent."

In Glacier National Park, human ashes may be disbursed only in undeveloped areas of the Park; that is, not within 200 feet of any developed location, such as a road, trail, building, parking lot, boat ramp, swimming beach, campground, lake, etc. The ashes must be scattered and not deposited in any type of container. No marker or memorial of any sort may be placed at the site.

Also, please keep in mind that winter-like weather can occur at any time during the year, usually November through April, which may make access to a particular area impossible.

When you are ready to disburse of the ashes, send in a special use permit application and a letter will be sent to you which will serve as the official permit required by the citation referenced above and the instructions regarding location and notification will serve as the terms and conditions required by the citation. This letter or a copy thereof must be in the possession of at least one member of the party present when human ashes are scattered in the park.

Last updated: February 28, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



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