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.


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. Application packets, which consist of the application, non-refundable application fee (if applicable), 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. Complex uses or activities may need additional time, however, applications will not be accepted more than one year before your event. Please note that there are usage limits for the number of people and vehicles for any special activity.



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


Commercial Filming, Still Photography and Sound Recordings

Please visit our Commercial Filming, Still Photograhy and Sound Recordings webpage for more information about what requires a permit and the application process.


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.

Do Business With Us


Large/Organized Groups

Groups providing packaged, organized, or guided activities within Glacier National Park may require a Special Park Uses permit to manage their anticipated activities. Please complete the application for a Special Use Permit and return with your non-refundable $125 application fee and proof of general liability insurance with the United States of America listed as "additional insured" and Glacier National Park, PO Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936, listed as the Certificate Holder. Additional documentation may be required for groups wishing to obtain a Special Park Uses permit in lieu of a Commercial Use Authorization. Please email the Special Park Uses office at with all applications and supporting documentation, or any questions about anticipated activities, group status, or permit requirements.

With the Special Use Permit, 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: January 30, 2024

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



Contact Us