Vehicle Reservations

Visiting Glacier? Graphic with text. Details in text below.

What You Need

  • May 24 through September 8 vehicle reservations are required for the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road and North Fork from 6 am to 3 pm.
  • July 1 through September 8 vehicle reservations are required for Many Glacier from 6 am to 3 pm.
  • Visitors entering the park in a vehicle or on a motorcycle in one of these areas during these dates need two things: (1) A vehicle reservation OR service reservation and (2) Park Entrance Fee OR valid Park Pass (Annual, Senior, Military, etc.). See details for Entrance Fees and Passes below.

Already Booked an Activity?

Visitors with lodging, camping, or commercial activity reservations (e.g., boat tours and horseback rides) within the specified reservation areas can use proof of their reservation for entry instead of a vehicle reservation to gain access to the vehicle reservation area for which they have a service reservation. See details below.

Vehicle Reservation Release Dates

  • A portion of vehicle reservations will be available 120 days or approximately four months in advance, starting on January 25, 2024, at 8 am MST on a daily rolling basis.
  • Next Day vehicle reservations will be available at 7 pm MDT for next-day entry starting on May 23, 2024 on a daily rolling basis.

Vehicle reservations can only be booked on Recreation.gov

Pursuant to the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, vehicle reservations are not required for tribal members throughout the park. Landowners inside the park are not required to have a vehicle reservation to access their properties.

 

Dark green infographic outlines the three steps to enter the park during the vehicle reservation system in multicolored graphics.

White header text on the infographic reads: “Visiting Glacier National Park in summer 2024? Between the hours of 6 am and 3 pm, visitors need a vehicle reservation in addition to an entrance fee or pass to enter vehicle reservation areas.

First step: A smartphone icon contains a calendar graphic with a large yellow checkmark in the middle. Next to the smartphone is a checkmark. The text for this step reads: “Secure your vehicle reservation, available in advance online at Recreation.gov.”

Second step: A parks pass icon with a checkmark next to it. The text for this step reads: “Get your park pass OR pay the entrance fee online or in person at the park entrance."

Third step: A picture of a vehicle reservation with a QR code and a checkmark next to the graphic. The text for this step reads: “Have your reservation ready to scan, arrive at the park on your selected date. Cell service is limited.”

Below the steps, four small, squared, black and white pictograph icons are lined up. The icons include a boat for boat tours, a bed for lodging, a horse for horseback rides, and a tent for camping. The text for this area reads: "Already booked an activity? Visitors with lodging, camping, or commercial activity reservations (ex. boat tours and horseback rides) can use their service reservation to access the portion of the park for which they have a reservation."

 

 

Vehicle Reservation Areas

In 2024, a vehicle reservation is required for three areas of the park: Going-to-the-Sun Road (coming from the west), the North Fork, and Many Glacier from 6 am to 3 pm. Each location has unique details and requires a separate vehicle reservation. Please see the details of each area below.
Visitors will be able to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the east side at St. Mary and Two Medicine without a vehicle reservation.
 
Through the windshield looking at Going-to-the-Sun Road.
(1) Going-to-the-Sun Road (West)

Vehicle reservation required
Entry past Apgar Check Point going east
May 24 – September 8
6 am to 3 pm

Bridge in front of a mountain reflecting in Bowman Lake on a summer day.
(2) North Fork

Vehicle reservation required
May 24 – September 8
6 am to 3 pm

Trail leading to mountain view on a sunny day.
(3) Many Glacier

Vehicle reservation required
July 1 – September 8
6 am to 3 pm

 
Map of Glacier National Park with Vehicle reservation areas highlighted. Reservations include, (1) Going-to-the-Sun Road via the West Entrance, (2) North Fork and (3) Many Glacier.

Approximate Drive Times

Times listed below are estimates and will vary based on road construction, traffic, and time of day.

Going-to-the-Sun Road (Paved road) St. Mary (Paved roads)
West Glacier to St. Mary: 2 hours
From Kalispell via HWY 2: 2.5 hours
West Glacier (Paved roads)
From Great Falls: 2.5 hours
From Kalispell: 45 minutes
Many Glacier (Dirt and paved roads)
From Great Falls: 3 hours
From St. Mary: 30 minutes
North Fork (Dirt Roads)
From West Glacier via HWY 2: 2 hours
From Kalispell: 1.5 hours
From West Glacier: 1 hour
 

Vehicle Reservation Area Details

 
Map Features the Apgar and Lake McDonald area of Glacier National Park. A gold star is on the map at the Apgar Check Point for Going-to-the-Sun Road Access from the west side of the park. Text: Going-to-the-Sun Road (West) Valid for 1 day.

(1) Going-to-the-Sun Road via the West Entrance Vehicle Reservations

Valid for 1 day. Required for each vehicle going east past the Apgar Check Point May 24 through September 8, 2024, 6 am to 3 pm. Not required for vehicles entering from the east side at St. Mary.

Constructed in the late 1920s and early 1930s, the historic Going-to-the-Sun Road has long been one of the park’s most popular destinations.

The lower elevation sections of Going-to-the-Sun Road remain open all year and provide access to many locations and activities. The summer opening date of the alpine portion varies from year to year, based on snowfall and plowing progress. Plowing usually begins April 1 each year. There is no set date for the road to open over Logan Pass. Typically, the road has been fully open by early July. You can track live snow plow updates on our Road Conditions Page.

The road offers many opportunities for adventure including hiking and biking. There are size regulations for vehicles. Click here to see detailed information for areas inside Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor including Apgar, Lake McDonald, Logan Pass, and Rising Sun area services and amenities.

Visitors will be able to access Apgar Village amenities, including the Apgar Visitor Center, without a vehicle reservation. Lodging, camping (including front country developed campgrounds and backcountry camping permits), transportation, or commercial activity reservations originating in Apgar will not provide access beyond the Apgar Check Point on Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Lodging, camping (including front country developed campgrounds and backcountry camping permits), transportation, or commercial activity reservations originating east of Logan Pass cannot be used instead of a vehicle reservation for access past the Apgar Check Point heading west on Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors with service reservations along Going-to-the-Sun Road in locations east of Logan Pass (ex: Rising Sun and St. Mary campgrounds/boating) will need to enter Going-to-the-Sun Road via the St. Mary Entrance if they do not possess a vehicle reservation for Going-to-the-Sun Road (West). All visitors will be able to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road without a vehicle reservation going west from St. Mary.

 

This list includes all services and facilities in the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor. Services that provide access instead of a vehicle reservation past the Apgar Check Point going east are marked.

Lodging

Boat Rentals

Bus Tours

Horseback Rides

  • Swan Mountain Outfitters (Apgar & Lake McDonald locations, Lake McDonald location has access past Apgar Check Point)

Facilities, Services, and Activities

 
Map features the North Fork area of Glacier National Park. North Fork roads are highlighted in gold. Text: North Fork Valid for 1 day.

(2) North Fork Vehicle Reservations

Valid for 1 day. Required for each vehicle accessing the North Fork area from May 24 through September 8, 2024, 6 am to 3 pm.

This area’s name refers to the North Fork of the Flathead River, which forms much of the park’s western boundary. With limited amenities and services, the area invites a more self-reliant visitor. Pack a lunch and allow all day to drive to and from Kintla and Bowman Lakes on rough, single-lane gravel roads. The only services here are outside the park entrance in the small community of Polebridge. There is no cell phone coverage. A four-wheel-drive vehicle and the ability to change a tire are recommended, as flat tires are common. Vehicles over 21 feet and/or trailers are not permitted on any roads in the North Fork area, with the exception of private horse trailers accessing the Bowman horse corral. First come, first served camping for this area can be arranged at the Polebridge Ranger Station on the first day of the visit.

 

 
Map features the Many Glacier area of Glacier National Park. The road to Many Glacier is highlighted in gold. Text: Many Glacier Valid for 1 day.

(3) Many Glacier Vehicle Reservations

Required for each vehicle accessing the Many Glacier Valley from July 1 through September 8, 2024, 6 am to 3 pm.

Accessed via a separate entrance just west of the town of Babb, Many Glacier is a popular alternative to Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor. Being the confluence of four major valleys, two of which contain glaciers, this area offers spectacular views as well as some of the most famous landmarks and hikes in the park.

Access to this portion of the park includes driving a long dirt road to get to the Many Glacier Entrance.


Visitors with lodging, camping, or commercial activity reservations (e.g., boat tours and hotel reservations) beyond the Many Glacier Entrance can use proof of their reservation for entry instead of a vehicle reservation to gain access to the valley. See details below.

 

Lodging

Boat Rentals and Scenic Boat Cruises

Bus Tours

Horseback Rides

Additional Services

 

Exploring Glacier Without a Vehicle Reservation

 
Graphic: Visiting Glacier without a reservation. Icon of a map with dotted line and x.
Learn more

There are several ways visitors may enjoy Glacier National Park without a reservation.

Graphic: Exploring outside of Glacier National Park. Icon of a brochure.
Learn more

Glacier is surrounded by many alternative recreation opportunities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Glacier National Park piloting a temporary vehicle reservation system?
How do I get a vehicle reservation?
How can I see the park without a vehicle reservation?
How do I prove I have a vehicle reservation?
Do I also need a Park Pass or Entrance Pass in addition to a vehicle reservation?
How do I get a first come, first served campground in a vehicle reservation area?
Do I need a vehicle reservation if I have booked a tour or commercial activity inside a vehicle reservation area?
Do I need a vehicle reservation if I have booked a hotel or campsite inside a vehicle reservation area?
How many vehicle reservations are being released per day?
How does Glacier National Park determine the number of vehicle reservations to make available during each release?
Where did 2023 vehicle reservations sell out the fastest and how quickly?
The park is reporting around 3 million recreation visits each year. The number of vehicle reservations being released does not represent this number. Why is that?
Vehicle Reservation Communication Toolkit

Why is Glacier National Park piloting a temporary vehicle reservation system?

There are two issues driving the pilot: impacts to resources and impacts to visitors. These impacts became more apparent with the dramatic increase of about 1.5 million annual recreation visits from 2008 to 2017.

Resource impacts like vegetation loss and braiding trail systems are common in areas of high use. Visitor experience quality is also being affected as sustained, high levels of use become common. Visitor access to the park, parking areas, and trailheads has been unpredictable and frustrating for visitors as the park implements unplanned closures to address these issues. Visitor safety becomes an issue when emergency vehicles are not able to respond efficiently due to congestion. The pilot vehicle reservation system spreads visitation throughout the day during peak hours and provides a measure of certainty and safety to visitors.

We will gather visitor use data and refine strategies throughout the summers. This data will help to inform future public and stakeholder engagement as we work towards long term strategies and solutions to balance resource protection and quality visitor experiences at Glacier.

Read more about these efforts on the park's Visitor Use Management Page.

How do I get a vehicle reservation?

Vehicle reservations will be available on https://www.recreation.gov/, the Recreation.gov mobile app, or the Recreation.gov Call Center (Reservation Line: 877-444-6777). Each of the specified areas of the park will require a separate vehicle reservation. Visitors will need to set up an account on Recreation.gov to obtain vehicle reservations. The only cost associated with booking a vehicle reservation is a $2 Recreation.gov processing fee.

Vehicle reservations will be available through two booking windows, 120 days in advance and the day before.

A portion of reservations will be available 120 days or approximately four months advance, starting on January 25, 2024, at 8 am MST on a daily rolling basis. This means that on January 25, vehicle reservations will be released for May 24, 2024, on January 26, vehicle reservations will be released for May 25, 2024, and so on.

The remaining vehicle reservations will be available at 7 pm MDT for next-day entry starting on May 23, 2024. This will occur on a daily rolling basis. This means that on May 23, the remaining vehicle reservations will be released for May 24, 2024, on May 24, the remaining vehicle reservations will be released for May 25, 2024, and so on.

In addition to a vehicle reservation, each vehicle entering the park is required to have an entrance pass for any entry point into the park. These passes could include any of the following: a $35 vehicle pass, good for seven days; a valid Interagency Annual/Lifetime Pass; or a Glacier National Park Annual Pass. A vehicle reservation does not include an entrance pass/fee, and the park entrance pass/fee does not serve as a vehicle reservation.

There are a limited number of vehicle reservations available for each day and demand will exceed supply.

How can I see the park without a vehicle reservation?

From May 24 through September 8, 2024, visitors without vehicle reservations may enter vehicle reservation areas before 6 am or after 3 pm without a vehicle reservation.

St. Mary and Two Medicine entrances do not require vehicle reservations in 2024. St. Mary provides access to Going-to-the-Sun Road driving east to west. Please note that visitors who enter from the east side will not be able to return through the Apgar Check Point without a vehicle reservation between 6 am and 3 pm.

Many Glacier does not require a vehicle reservation before July 1, 2023.

For Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor, vehicle reservations will be checked going east at the Apgar Check Point. Visitors will have access to the Apgar and St. Mary Visitor Centers and park shuttle locations outside of the vehicle reservation area.

Visitors who are waiting until 3 pm can explore additional options outside Glacier National Park here.

Visitors can also participate in guided hikes through Glacier Guides or educational programs with Glacier Institute, which meet outside of the park and travel as a group into the park.

How do I prove I have a vehicle reservation?

Vehicle reservations and park passes/entrance fees will be checked along with a photo ID at the time of entry. Vehicle reservations cannot be sold, auctioned, or transferred. Print or save a digital copy (e.g., screenshot) of the vehicle reservation or valid service reservation prior to your arrival. Cell service is unreliable and usually unavailable in the park. Proof of valid vehicle reservation or service reservation should be prepared and ready to present to park staff at vehicle reservation check points.

Do I also need a Park Pass or an Entrance Pass in addition to a vehicle reservation?

Yes, in addition to a vehicle reservation or valid service reservation, visitors must also have a park pass or pay an entrance fee to enter the park.

A park pass or entrance fee is required to access any entry point within Glacier National Park. Park passes and entrance passes are not the same as vehicle reservations.

Park passes and entrance passes are available for purchase at park entrances or online at Recreation.gov. Visitors who already possess a valid entrance pass, such as an Annual, Senior, Access, Military, etc., do not need to purchase another pass.

How do I get a first-come, first-served campground in a vehicle reservation area?

If you are planning on camping at one of the front country campgrounds in the North Fork, the Polebridge Ranger Station (located at the Polebridge Entrance) can issue any available sites upon your arrival. Mention that you would like to stay at one of the campgrounds (specify which one). If there is an available site, park staff will issue the site to you. A vehicle reservation for the North Fork is included with the campground site for the duration of your stay there.

Visitors without a vehicle reservation will have access to the Rising Sun Campground coming from the east side of Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Do I need a vehicle reservation if I have booked a tour or commercial activity inside a vehicle reservation area?

No, visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity service reservations in a vehicle reservation area can use their service reservation to gain access to the portion of the park for which they have a service reservation.

Service reservations originating east of Logan Pass cannot be used instead of a vehicle reservation for access past the Apgar Check Point heading west on Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors with service reservations along Going-to-the-Sun Road in locations east of Logan Pass (ex: Rising Sun and St. Mary campgrounds/boating) will need to enter Going-to-the-Sun Road via the St. Mary Entrance if they do not possess a vehicle reservation for Going-to-the-Sun Road (West). All visitors will be able to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road without a vehicle reservation going west from St. Mary.

  • Valid service reservations include commercial tours, lodging, etc.
  • Proof of a valid service reservation along with a photo ID will serve as a vehicle reservation for the day of the service reservation only.
  • Service reservations in areas outside of the designated reservation area will not serve as valid vehicle reservations.

Examples of valid service reservations for commercial activities are listed below. Additional service reservations may apply.

Commercial Tour Reservations

Horseback Riding Reservations

Non-Profit Partner Reservations

Permit Holders

  • Special Use Permits inside vehicle reservation area including weddings, special events, film/photography projects, first amendment activities, etc.

Watercraft Reservations

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government.

Do I need a vehicle reservation if I have booked a hotel or campsite inside a vehicle reservation area?

No, visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity service reservations can use their reservation to gain access to the portion of the park for which they have a reservation.

Lodging and camping (including front country developed campgrounds and backcountry camping permits) reservations originating east of Logan Pass cannot be used instead of a vehicle reservation for access past the Apgar Check Point heading west on Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors with service reservations along Going-to-the-Sun Road in locations east of Logan Pass (ex: Rising Sun and St. Mary campgrounds) will need to enter Going-to-the-Sun Road via the St. Mary Entrance if they do not possess a vehicle reservation for Going-to-the-Sun Road (West). All visitors will be able to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road without a vehicle reservation going west from St. Mary.

  • Valid service reservations include lodging, camping, etc.
  • Proof of a valid service reservation along with a photo ID will serve as a vehicle reservation for the day of the service reservation only.
  • Service reservations in areas outside of the designated reservation area will not serve as valid vehicle reservations.

Examples of valid service reservations for lodging and camping are listed below. Additional service reservations may apply.

Camping Reservations

Lodging Reservations

Wilderness Camping Permits

  • For trailheads located inside vehicle reservation areas

Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government.

How many vehicle reservations are being released per day?

The vehicle reservation system allows for adjustments for changing conditions such as seasonal changes, congestion, construction, and parking availability. The 24-hour release window is where the park can adjust and adapt to meet desired conditions. We make adjustments in an attempt to maximize visitor access while still protecting resources and visitor experience quality. The pilot system allows us to continuously learn about and improve the system; therefore, the total number of daily vehicle reservations for 2024 is not an exact number.

In 2023, 257,309 total vehicle reservations (179,489 for Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor, 12,712 for North Fork, 31,430 for Many Glacier, and for 33,678 Two Medicine) were released. Only one vehicle reservation was required per vehicle. In 2023, Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor vehicle reservations were valid for 3 days while the North Fork, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine vehicle reservations were valid for 1 day.

In 2022, 180,832 total vehicle reservations (169,456 for Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor and 11,376 for North Fork) were released. Only one vehicle reservation was required per vehicle. In 2022, Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor vehicle reservations were valid for 3 days while the North Fork vehicle reservation was valid for 1 day.

In 2021, 135,086 total vehicle reservations/ticketed entry were released for vehicle access on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Vehicle reservations were valid for 7 days in 2021 and were only required for the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor.

How does Glacier National Park determine the number of vehicle reservations to make available during each release?

There are several factors that help determine how many vehicle reservations will be released including, but not limited to:

  • The number of vehicles entering the system with a valid camping, lodging, or commercial service reservation
  • Vehicles entering each area before 6 am
  • Changing conditions such as the opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is only partially open in May and June
  • Construction within each of the managed access areas
  • Decrease in availability of commercial services in late summer

The park manages vehicle reservation areas to improve visitor safety, protect sensitive resources, provide a quality visitor experience, assure predictable visitor access, and eliminate the need for temporary closures.

The goal of managing Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor under these pilots is not to limit visitation, but to spread out visitation throughout the day in the most visited area of the park. Areas outside of Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor are managed for a different set of desired conditions. For example, the North Fork is managed as a “wilderness threshold zone” with an emphasis on solitude, a sense of history, difficulty of access, and limited support facilities.

Where did vehicle reservations sell out the fastest in 2023 and how quickly?

In 2023, vehicle reservations for the areas outside of Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor sold out quickly, sometimes in minutes. Areas outside Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, North Fork, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine, are much smaller and provide different types of experience for visitors. The result of this is that there were a smaller amount of vehicle reservations for these areas which can sell out much quicker than Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The park is reporting around 3 million recreation visits each year. The number of vehicle reservations being released does not represent this number. Why is that?

Glacier National Park stats report 1.93 million recreation visits parkwide in June through August 2022 when the vehicle reservation system was in place. In 2023, there were 1.88 million recreation visits parkwide June through August. Recreation visits are determined based on a formula that averages the number of visitors per vehicle and includes all vehicles entering the park during and outside vehicle reservation hours; therefore, the number of vehicle reservations versus the number of total recreation visits is not a sufficient comparison. The park’s Visitor Use Counting Procedures can be found here.

Last updated: January 23, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936

Phone:

406-888-7800

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