Learn About Glacier Park Here

Glacier Park Questions

1. When does the park open and close?

The park is open all year round although winter weather dictates when certain facilities will be operational, it’s best to call if you’re visiting from October through the middle of June

Glacier National Park, Phone: +1 406-888-7800

2. How much does it cost to enter the park?

Entrance Fee by car – 7 day permit
$35.00 (Winter Rate – $25.00, November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019)

Entrance Fee – single entry
$20.00 (Winter Rate – $15.00, November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019)

Entrance Fee by motorcycle
$30.00 (Winter Rate – $20.00, November 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019)

There is no entrance fee charge on the following days:

January 21, 2019 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
April 20, 2019 – First Day of National Park Week
August 25, 2019 – National Park Service Anniversary
September 28, 2019 – National Public Lands Day
November 11, 2019 – Veterans Day

3. Can you buy a season pass?

Yes, there are two ways to purchase a season pass

At the gate – $70.00

Online at Your Pass Now

4. Where are the entrances to the park?

There are 7 entrances to Glacier National Park, three of which connect to the Going-To-The-Sun Road – they are the West Glacier Entrance, the Saint Mary Entrance, and the Camas Creek Entrance. The other four entrances are the Polebridge Entrance, the Two Medicine Entrance, the Many Glacier Entrance, and the Cut Bank Entrance

The main entrance to Glacier Park is the West Glacier Entrance, located just outside the town of West Glacier, MT. This entrance is open 24 hours a day all year around

5. Is there a gift store in the park?

There are numerous gift shops in Glacier Park

Several are located in the Lake McDonald and Apgar Village areas, but you’ll also find gift shops in the Two Medicine, the Rising Sun, and the Many Glacier areas.  Plus, there are numerous gift shops located just outside the Park in West Glacier, East Glacier, and Saint Mary

The Cedar Tree is the largest gift shop in Glacier National Park, featuring Montana-Made items, a wide assortment of huckleberry specialties, Pendleton woolens, and a large selection of T-shirts and clothing accessories

200 Going-to-the-Sun Road
West Glacier, MT 59936
+1 406-888-5232

Season: May – October
Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm

The Glacier National Park Conservancy operates non-profit bookstores to support park activities and programs, there are numerous locations, offering a wide variety of souvenirs and gifts

Historic Belton Train Station in West Glacier
Apgar Visitor Center
Logan Pass Visitor Center
St. Mary Visitor Center

Call for seasonal information and hours of operations: +1 406-888-5756

Visit them online: https://shop.glacier.org/

6. Can I exchange currency in the park?

Although there is no place to exchange currency inside the park, most places will accept Canadian currency.  There are banks in nearby Columbia Falls that can also exchange Canadian currency, but if you’re traveling from other countries, it’s best to travel with USD or use a credit card

7. Are there parking fees?

Parking is included in your entrance fee

8. Are there accommodations inside the park?

There are a number of lodging facilities inside the park as well as quieter offerings away from the crowds

9. Can you fish or hunt in the park?

Hunting is not permitted

There are many places in Glacier National Park to enjoy lake, river, bank and fly fishing keeping in mind the primary purpose of national parks is to preserve natural ecosystems

Regulations and guidelines: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/fishing.htm

Some of the more common species include:

  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Dolly Varden (Bull Trout)
  • Lake Trout (Mackenaw)
  • Mountain Whitefish
  • Grayling

10. Are there guided tours in the park?

Boat Tours: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/boat-trips-and-rentals.htm

Bus Tours: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bus-tours.htm

Guided Hikes: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/guided-hiking-trips.htm

Raft Tours: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/rafttours.htm

Horesback Rides: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/horseback-rides.htm

Field Courses: https://www.nps.gov/glac/getinvolved/glacierinstitute.htm

11. Can you rent boats or other watercraft in the park?

There are various places to rent boats and other watercraft

Glacier Park Boat Company

Price Range: $10/hr to $25/hr


Glacier Outfitters

Price Range: $24/2hr to $116/24hr


12. Are there places to camp inside the park?

Yes, here are few campgrounds in Glacier Park

Fish Creek Campground:

St. Mary Campground:

Apgar Campground:

Rising Sun Campground:

Many Glacier Campground:

13. Are there places to eat in the park?

Here’s our shortlist of our favorite eateries inside Glacier Park

Russell’s Fireside Dining Room at Lake McDonald Lodge is known for Alaska Salmon, Columbia River Steelhead Trout, Idaho potatoes, Oregon crab, and Alaska pollock (for a traditional Montana taste, try the Huckleberry Elk Burger)

Eddy’s Cafe offers traditional cafe-style food when you want something light and quick; sandwiches, wraps, salads, cafe style breakfasts and dinners

Jammer Joe’s Grill and Pizzeria for something a little heartier; pasta, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and pizza

14. Can you hike in the park?

Glacier National Park is considered a hiker’s paradise by many

Hikers of all experience levels travel from different parts of the world to trek through hundreds of miles of beautiful landscape

Short Hikes: https://smokybear.com/glacier-national-park-day-hike-short-hikes/

Long Hikes: https://smokybear.com/glacier-national-park-day-hikes-long-hikes/

Long Hikes: https://smokybear.com/glacier-national-park-day-hikes-long-hikes-part-ii/

15. When are the Red Buses operational?

Red Bus Tours begin 05/18/2019 and end 10/20/2019 (depending on weather and road conditions)

More Information: http://www.glaciernationalparklodges.com/red-bus-tours

16. Is there a golf course in the park?

There are two public golf courses very close to Glacier Park, Montana

Glacier Park Lodge Golf Course:

Glacier View Golf Course:

There are numerous golf courses throughout Montana

17. Is there mini-golf in the park?

Very close to the park, enjoy mini-golf and other family fun activities at the Amazing Fun Center

Website: http://amazingfuncenter.com

18. Are there shuttles from nearby towns?

Inside the park (free):

In the area (paid):

Glacier Taxi: http://glaciertaxi.com

Arrow Shuttle:

Consider renting a vehicle, public transportation is very limited

19. What type of wildlife will I see in Glacier Park?

Wildlife you may see inside the Park

Big Game: Mountain Goat, Big Horn Sheep, Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Moose, Elk, Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Wolf, Coyote, Red Fox, Mountain Lion, Bobcat, Lynx, Wolverine, North American River Otter

Small Animals: Hoary Marmot, Columbian Ground Squirrel, Golden Mantel, Pika, Red Squirrel, Chipmunk

Birds: Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Steller’s Blue Jay, Gray Jay, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Pigmy Nuthatch, Evening Grosbeak, Pine Grosbeak, Meadowlark, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Mountain Wren, Oregon Junco, Common Redpoll, Northern Oriole, Western Tanager, Clark’s Nutcracker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Northern Goshawk, Osprey, Ruffed Grouse, White-Tailed Ptarmigan, Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Loon, Harlequin, Mallard Duck, Wood Duck, Great Horned Owl, Common Raven, Great Blue Heron to name just a few

Wildlife you may see at Smoky Bear Ranch

Big Game: Black Bear, Grizzly Bear, Moose, Elk, Whitetail Deer, Mule Deer, Wolf, Coyote, Red Fox, Mountain Lion

Small Animals: Columbian Ground Squirrel, Red Squirrel, Chipmunk

Birds: Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Calliope Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Mountain Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Steller’s Blue Jay, Gray Jay, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Red Breasted Nuthatch, Pigmy Nuthatch, Evening Grosbeak, Pine Grosbeak, Meadowlark, Barn Swallow, Tree Swallow, Mountain Wren, Oregon Junco, Common Redpoll, Northern Oriole, Western Tanager, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, Ruffed Grouse, Canada Goose, Mallard Duck, Wood Duck, Great Horned Owl, Common Raven, Great Blue Heron to name a few

20. What type of trees and plant life will I see in Glacier Park?

Aspen, Western Hemlock, Western Red Cedar, White Spruce, Black Cottonwood (balsam Poplar), Paper Birch, White Pine, Grand Fir, Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, Subalpine Fir, Engelmann Spruce, Western Larch, Whitebark Pine, Limber Pine

Junipers, Mountain Maples, Mountain Ash, Huckleberry

Beargrass, Glacier Lilies, Clematis, Pinesaps, Indian Pipes, Purple Asters, Butterwort, Northern Eyebright, Three-flowered Rush, False Alphodel, Bicknell’s Geranium, Rock Harlequin

Want to learn more about wildflowers in Glacier Park?

A real-life rainforest in Montana?

21. Where can I see pictures of the park?

Please visit our comprehensive photo gallery

22. What are typical temperatures in the area?

July and August daytime temperatures normally range between 70°F and 80°F (22°C to 27°C) although it is possible to have temperatures above 90°F (32°C). Nighttime temperatures during July and August normally range between 45°F and 55°F (7°C to 13°C) but it is possible to see temperatures as low as 20°F (-6°C). Although rain is always possible in these months, July and August are our two driest months of the year and the humidity level is quite low.

May and June temperatures tend to be cooler with daytime highs normally ranging between 60°F and 75°F (16° to 24°C) but you can also see highs above 90°F (32°C) again. May and June also tend to have more moisture with June being one of our wettest months of the year. Rain gear is definitely a must if you are vacationing in Glacier Park during May and June.

Once we get into September and October, the temperatures cool down again with highs normally between 60°F and 70°F (16°C to 22°C) but it is not unusual to have some days in September with a high in the upper 80°F (27°C). The lows also are cooler and tend to range between 30°F and 45°F (-1°C to 7°C). September can also bring on a bit more moisture than July and August.

If you’re planning a winter vacation to Glacier National Park, come prepared for snow and lots of it. High temperatures generally range between 20°F and 30°F (-6°C to -1°C) but can, on occasion, get above 40°F (5°C). Winter low temperatures normally range between 10°F and 20°F (-2°C to -6°C). We typically get some very cold days during the winter, dipping down as low as -40°F (-40°C).

23. When is the Going-to-the-Sun Road open?

Portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road remain open all year and provide access to many locations and activities. The opening of the alpine portion varies, based on snowfall and plowing progress. There is no set date for the road to open. Typically, the road fully opens in mid to late June

Closing portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road is also weather dependent. Typically, the road is fully open until the third Monday of October, but that can also change due to weather conditions.

To help you plan, view past opening and closing dates:

24. Can you bring pets into the park?

Pets are allowed in limited areas inside the park, check with the park before hand

Service animals are allowed in all national parks

25. How long does it take to get from one side of the park to the other?

Traveling the Going To the Sun Rd from West Glacier to Saint Mary, plan on at least 1½ hours depending on traffic and construction

Traveling Hwy 2 from West Glacier to East Glacier, plan on 1¼ hours

26. Where can I get a map of the park?

When you stay at Smoky Bear Ranch, you receive a park map as part of our free loaner package (hiking book, park map, bear spray). If you would like to purchase a map, they are available in most of the gift shops and visitor centers

We also have additional maps listed here:

27. How many people visit the park?

Visitor information can be found here:

28. Where is the closest train station?

West Glacier, Montana

Whitefish, Montana

Essex, Montana

East Glacier Park, Montana

29. Where is the closest airport?

Glacier Park International Airport

30. Can you drink alcohol in the park?

Alcohol can be consumed in most places on park property. Like anywhere else, it is against the law to drive after consuming alcohol while in the park

31. Can you smoke or vape in the park?

Smoking is permitted anywhere outdoors on park property, it is not permitted in any building

32. Can I swim in the park?

There are numerous lakes and beaches in Glacier National Park where swimming is permitted, keeping in mind most of them are on the brisk side – a worth while trade-off for crystal clear and pollution free water in our opinion

In the Flathead Valley, the warmest lake for swimming is Foys Lake, a short drive west of Kalispell. There is a municipal beach area on the south side of the lake, and it will likely be warmer than any body of water in Glacier Park

In Flathead Lake, the east shore is a bit warmer than the west shore

Whitefish Lake is another option, look for City Beach

Lion Lake is the closest warmer water lake to the park, and good for swimming

Mid-July is about right for jumping into the Valley’s lakes, but GNP lakes never warm up to typical swimming degrees

33. Are there fireworks on holidays?

Due to risk of fire, fireworks are prohibited in Glacier National Park, or anywhere in the National Forest

34. Are there rides in the park?

There is horseback riding in the park:

Outside the park:

For family-oriented activities such as mazes, go-carts, bumper boats, mini-golf, etc., check out the Amazing Fun Center, roughly 10 miles from the West Glacier entrance

35. Are there glaciers in Glacier National Park?

Glaciers from the Pleistocene Epoch carved out the high country of Glacier Park millions of years ago. The Pleistocene Epoch ended about 12,000 years ago. Data suggests Glacier Park was ice free during the last interglacial period about 125,000 year ago when the temperatures were 3°-5°F warmer than they are today. Currently, there are 35 named glaciers in the park which were formed about 7,000 years ago and peaked in size during the Little Ice Age of the mid 1800s. With temperature increases and decreases, these glaciers change and move a little each year


36. Will I get cell phone reception?

Glacier National Park is a remote destination filled with pristine forests and rugged mountains. Most visitors can establish cell reception in West Glacier up to Apgar Village, and limited coverage in St. Mary. Reception greatly diminishes as you move away from these locations and venture further into the park. Visitors should not expect any reception in Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Logan Pass, the North Fork, Goat Haunt, or anywhere within Glacier’s backcountry, even along U.S. Hwy 2 on the southern edge of the park.

37. Are firearms permitted in the park?

Firearms are permitted in the park but not allowed in any federal building which include; all Government offices, visitor centers, ranger stations, fee collection buildings, and maintenance facilities.  We encourage visitors to carry bear deterrent spray for protection when venturing out on trails in the park


38. Can I rent a wheelchair or other mobility devices?

You can rent wheelchairs by the day/week/month and scooters by the month from the following company:


Accessibility information and amenities by area:

Accessible facilities and service brochure:

You can also rent mopeds:

39. Are there bathrooms and showers in the park?

There are ample restrooms throughout the park, and public showers at Rising Sun and Swiftcurrent Campstores, which can be used by anyone – fee applies. There are also showers at other camping facilities but limited to staying guests

40. Where can I get more information?

When you request our discount code, you’ll receive a sequence of emails with great information about the park (whether you stay here or not)

For those who would like to stay with us, we have lived in Montana and operated our facility for over 25 years and would be happy to provide you with as much as information as you need upon arrival, it is our sincere goal to help you create a memorable vacation