The vast landscape of Glacier National Park has been carved, scarred, and scourged by gigantic glaciers for millennia. This crown jewel of the National Park Service draws over three million visitors yearly, particularly between July and September, because of the glacier-capped mountains, brilliant aquamarine lakes, amazing alpine scenery, and various hiking trails.
Glacier National Park is great to see waterfalls, wildlife, and mountain slopes covered with wildflowers. You’ll likely see stunning alpine scenery punctuated by jagged peaks, alpine meadows, and glacial lakes along any path you traverse. With more than 700 lakes, Glacier National Park is one of the most lake-rich national parks in the world. There’s just something about this national park that makes you want to get out of the car and explore it. Experience the wonder of Swiftcurrent Lake by boat, paddle a kayak on Lake McDonald, or hike one of the many excellent trails around the park.
We have compiled a list of Glacier National Park activities and travel information for your pleasure. Enjoy!
About Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park began operating as a national park in 1910. The park covers more than 1,500 square miles. Unless you plan an extended visit, you are unlikely to see it all. Glacier National Park does have glaciers, but the average visitor is unlikely to spend most of their time there.
Visitors can go to Logan Pass, the St. Mary Valley, and Lake McDonald Valley. The park’s renowned road, Going-to-the-Sun Road, is one example. Its season can be shorter and is typically only fully operational from late June or early July through the third Monday in October.
Also worth exploring are the North Fork, Goat Haunt, Many Glacier, and Two Medicine regions. You’ll need to plan your route carefully to make the most of your time since it takes several hours to drive between these locations.
How to get to the Glacier
Over the last few years, the Glacier area has benefited greatly from additional flights.
Airlines like American Airlines, United, Delta, Southwest, and JetBlue are adding flights to Montana cities, including Bozeman, near Yellowstone National Park (BZN), and Kalispell’s Glacier Park International Airport (FCA). Peak season tickets can be expensive, so you should compare them with different airlines.
You can save yourself stress and money by booking through Save Late.
Glacier National Park Timed Entry Permit
TIMED ENTRY PERMIT: To gain access to Going-To-The-Sun Road, Polebridge Ranger Station, West Entrance, St. Mary Entrance, and Camas Entrance, you must obtain a Timed-Entry Permit.
Going-To-The-Sun Road requires admission only between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. Ticket sales typically begin in March and you may purchase them up to 60 days in advance through Recreation.gov. The ticket costs $2 and is valid for seven days.
The entrance fee for Glacier National Park is $30 per vehicle ($35 in the summer). If you plan on visiting more national parks within the next 12 months, I recommend purchasing an America Beautiful Pass. This one-time fee becomes fully inclusive after only paying $79 – and it’ll save you from having to pay extra fees when entering all national parks, forests, and monuments, including 2,000 other sites.
Best Time To Visit
Glacier National Park is best-visited when it is fully open during the summer. The best months to visit are July to September – when the trails are primarily not covered by snow, and the park is brimming with wildflowers and wildlife.
Driving In Glacier
Driving in the park can take a long time because it takes longer to navigate the mountain roads, and flying over relatively short distances can take hours due to the existing roads.
If you want to leave less of a carbon footprint in the park and avoid the stress of driving, you can take the Glacier National Park shuttle service. A fare-free shuttle is available along Going-to-the-Sun Road during the spring and summer months on a first-come/first-served basis.
The Glacier National Park is one of the most beautiful places on earth. There are so many things to do and see, you’ll never be bored. From hiking and fishing to exploring the glaciers themselves, there is something for everyone at the Glacier National Park.
Looking to explore everything that Glacier National Park has to offer? Read our post about some of the best things to do in the park!