Why go to Glacier National Park

Named after the remnants of Ice Age glaciers, Glacier National Park is located on the border of Canada and Montana. It is often called the “crown of the continent” due to its dizzying array of natural beauty. A favorite with hikers, the park offers a variety of trails for all skill levels, ranging from the easy Cedar Trail (home to towering and beautiful cedars) to the challenging Grinnell Glacier (which offers stunning views). Additionally, the park has over 700 lakes, numerous waterfalls, and two mountain ranges spread over more than a million acres that are home to a variety of wildlife.

Apart from its breathtaking geological features, it is also home to a fair amount of history. The Going-to-the-Sun Road – a 50-mile scenic drive through the park – is a National Historic Landmark and engineering marvel that offers spectacular views, as well as access to popular hiking trails. Additionally, many of the park’s lodges, chalets, and hotels were built by the Great Northern Railway in the early 20th century and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Want to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site? You’ll find it here, too: the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

To restrict the quantity of visitors to the park, Glacier National Park has implemented a ticketed entry system through September 6, 2021, for select park entrances. 

Best months to visit

July and August are the best months to visit Glacier National Park. This is the peak season for visitors due to daytime temperatures averaging in the 80s and night temperatures dipping into the 40s (pack layers, plus a good rain jacket). You can The east side of the park is often colder and windier than the west, with higher elevations even seeing snow in June and July. It’s also dry on the east side. due, while the valleys to the west receive most of the precipitation. Although accommodation rates and entrance fees are higher during peak season, most facilities will be open, and the free shuttle service will operate. You will also encounter fewer road and trail closures than in the fall, winter, and spring. The park is open throught year.

How to Save Money in Glacier National Park

Off-Season Visit Accommodation prices and park entry fees are highest during the peak summer season. Plan a winter trip (November to April) for the lowest fares. Vehicle entry fees are valid for seven days and cost $35 (or $ November 25 through April).

Take Advantage of Free Days The National Park Service waives admission fees on certain national park holidays and celebrations (such as the first day of National Parks Week). Check the NPS website to see if any fit your trip.

Camping fees run between $10 and $23 per night for full-service campgrounds – a fraction of the overnight rate at nearby lodges and hotels. Glacier National Park offers 13 drive-in campgrounds, five camping stores, and a variety of backcountry options.

what to eat

The developed areas of the park – Lake McDonald, Apgar, Many Glacier, and Rising Sun – offer accommodation and dining options, but visitors should always bring food and drink as they may not be accessible from many park roads and trails. Also note that the restaurants are only open in high season, from late June to Labor Day.

Eddie’s Café & Mercantile in Apgar offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as an ice cream shop and gift shop with camp supplies and souvenirs. The menu features classics like sandwiches and salads alongside some regional favorites, including bison burgers, and the patio overlooks Lake McDonald. Lake McDonald Lodge offers three dining options: Russell’s Fireside Dining Room offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and Lucke’s Lounge and Jammer Joe’s Grill & Pizzeria serve lunch and dinner. Try the elk burger at Russell’s paired with a Montana craft beer. Lucke’s also offers a traditional menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches, while Jammer Joe’s is a kids’ favorite, serving up all-you-can-eat pizzas, sandwiches, soups, salads, and buffet lunches.

The Many Glacier Hotel’s Ptarmigan Dining Room doesn’t take reservations, but it’s worth the wait to dine on local ingredients served in the gourmet continental style, highlighted by the panoramic lake view. The menu includes seared duck breast and grilled salmon, as well as classics like Cobb salad and burgers. The hotel’s Swiss Lounge offers light fare from lunch until late: think Montana-style bar food, from bison chili to sausage platters with pretzel chips. At the Rising Sun Motor Inn & Cabins, Two Dog Flats Grill serves American comfort food.

Before you go, you’ll want to try some blueberries, a staple Montana treat. These little berries are cousins ​​of blueberries but are less sweet. In stores in and around the park, you’ll likely find a variety of blueberry-based items like candies, syrups, and preserves. Alternatively, several restaurants in the area offer blueberries on the menu as a sandwich spread or a drizzle of cheesecake. And if you’re up for a drive, travelers say you can’t go wrong with a blueberry bear claw at Polebridge Mercantile in the North Fork area.


As is typical of most national parks, the weather and wildlife are more of a threat to your safety than other visitors’ actions.

Unless you are near a lodge or visitor center, you will find very few facilities in the parking area. You should plan to fill up the gas tank before entering the park (there are no gas stations in Glacier). You’ll also want to pack a map (which you can find at any of the visitor centers), as you can’t rely on cell service in the park.

Unless you know the area very well, never hike or camp alone. Always have plenty of food and water with you if you are hiking. You should Stay alert to avoid steep terrain and be especially careful near park lakes or streams. In According to the National Park Service, water is the number one cause of death in the park. Wildlife, particularly bears and mountain lions, can also pose a threat to public safety. Do not approach animals, alw lots of noise on your hikes, carry pepper spray, and secure your food and trash. For more information on security advice, see the NPS website.

Hike around Glacier National Park

car is The best way to get around Glacier National Park . or using the park shuttle service. If you come by car, Highway 2 runs along the southern boundary of the park, and Highway 89 provides access on the eastern side. Glacier Park International Airport (FCA), located approximately 40 km south of the park and 16 km northeast of downtown Kalispell, is serviced by a variety of airlines, including Delta, United, Alaska, and Allegiant. The airport offers rental cars from several major companies. There are also several shuttle and transport services that depart from the airport.

Shuttle service

The park is home to the Apgar Visitor Center and St. Mary Visitor Center offers a variety of shuttle services, including a free hop-on hop-off shuttle system that travels point-to-point along the Sun Route. A paid shuttle service, operated by Xanterra, departs from the St. Mary’s Visitor Center and most of the Glacier Hotel/Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, connecting to the Going-to-the-Sun Road Shuttle. You can take the paid shuttle from West Side locations, including Lake McDonald Lodge, Village Inn, or West Glacier Station. One-way fares are $14 for adults and $7 for children; One must reserve. The shuttle system operates during the peak summer season, which varies each year slightly.

Glacier National Park Shuttle


Although the car is the best way to get around the park and take in the spectacular views, keep in mind that road closures are common throughout the year, especially in winter; check the park’s website or stop at a visitor information center for real-time updates on trail and hiking trail closures, as well as important safety information. Parking is also scarce, and most parking lots in the park fill up by 7 a.m. during the busy summer season. Facilities along the park’s roads and trails are minimal, so be sure to fill up your gas tank and pack extra snacks, water, and clothing.

Red bus tours

The park features 1930s red buses with pop-up roofs perfect for mountain views. Tours depart from the east side and west sides of the park. Tours depart during the summer season, but exact times and hours of operation vary each year. Each of the 33 vehicles can accommodate 17 passengers, so tours sell out quickly. Book your tickets online or by phone at 855-733-4522.


Is visiting Glacier National Park worthwhile?

A visit to Glacier National Park ought to be on your bucket list regardless of where you dwell. If you want to see a glacier in the lower 48 states, you must go to the region since they are retreating more and more each year. Every camper will find something to enjoy at Glacier, from breathtaking views to thrilling drives.

When is the best time to visit Glacier National Park?

In order to drive the Going to the Sun Road, float and fish the rivers, climb the trails, visit the backcountry Chalets, and explore numerous regions of the park on both sides of the Continental Divide, for the majority of visitors, late June through mid-September is the ideal time to visit Glacier.

How long should you plan to spend at Glacier National Park?

You need at least three days (which is what our plan emphasizes) to visit the highlights and walk the most well-known trails. You need at least five days to trek Glacier’s most challenging, breathtakingly beautiful paths. You need to stay at Glacier National Park for at least one whole week if you want the best first-timer experience.

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