Visiting in Winter

Lake McDonald in winter with alpenglow
The mountains behind Lake McDonald shine with an intense alpenglow at sunset.


What Roads are Open this Time of Year?

During the late-fall and winter, weather forces most roads in the park to close. The Going-to-the-Sun Road from West Glacier to Lake McDonald Lodge is plowed and open year-round, weather permitting. This route provides excellent views of Lake McDonald and the mountains to the east.

Visitor Centers and Restrooms

The St. Mary and Logan Pass Visitor Centers are closed for the winter. Apgar Visitor Center is open Saturday and Sunday during the winter months. Check our Basic Information page for winter dates and hours.

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

Skiing and Snowshoeing

There are several options for visitors to enjoy a guided showshoe trip. Ranger-led snowshoe walks are offered on the weekends during the winter. Other guided snowshoe and cross-country ski tours are available through park partners and authorized commerical companies. Details and additional information can be found on our Guided Winter Activities page.

Viistiors seeking unguided winter skiing and snowshoeing opportunities can find route information on Glacier's Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing page. The unplowed section of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, beyond Lake McDonald Lodge, is a popular winter ski and snowshoe route. However, the park offers a wide variety of places to cross-country ski and snowshoe. Winter recreation brochures and maps are available at the Apgar Visitor Center and in the lobby of park headquarters.

Wildlife Viewing

During the winter white-tailed deer are the most frequently seen large mammals. Several species of birds winter in the park as well. Waterfowl may be observed on Lake McDonald and Ravens will likely make an appearance. Please do not approach or feed wildlife, and observe them with binoculars, spotting scopes, or long telephotos lenses.


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 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 406-888-7800.
Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
53.787 seconds

This short video (0:53) offers a glimpse of what to expect during a winter visit to Glacier National Park.

Last updated: December 13, 2023

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



Contact Us