Discover Glacier National Park, Montana

Welcome to Glacier National Park, Montana, where adventure and beauty collide in one of America’s most breathtaking natural landscapes. Encompassing over one million acres of pristine wilderness, Glacier National Park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a diverse array of recreational opportunities amidst stunning mountain scenery, pristine lakes, and ancient glaciers. Established in 1910, the park is renowned for its rugged terrain, towering peaks, and rich biodiversity, making it a haven for hikers, wildlife enthusiasts, and photographers alike.

At the heart of Glacier National Park lies the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road, a scenic highway that winds its way through the park’s spectacular landscapes, offering jaw-dropping vistas and access to some of its most famous attractions. From the towering peaks of the Continental Divide to the crystal-clear waters of Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park is a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be explored.

Whether you’re embarking on a backcountry hiking adventure, cruising along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, or simply soaking in the serenity of a mountain lake, Glacier National Park promises an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.


Top 3 Facts About Glacier National Park, Montana


Glacier Numbers

Despite the park’s name, its glaciers are rapidly retreating due to climate change. From an estimated 150 glaciers that existed in the late 19th century, only about 26 remain today. Some of the most notable glaciers include Grinnell Glacier, Jackson Glacier, and Sperry Glacier.


Going-to-the-Sun Road

Glacier National Park is home to the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, an engineering marvel and scenic highway that spans approximately 50 miles through the park’s rugged terrain. Completed in 1932, this iconic road offers breathtaking views of glaciers, valleys, waterfalls, and alpine landscapes.



Glacier National Park boasts a rich diversity of plant and animal life, with over 1,100 species of native plants and more than 70 species of mammals, including grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, and elk. The park is also a haven for birdwatchers, with over 260 species of birds recorded.

Camping and transportation in Glacier National Park, Montana

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Glacier National Park, Montana

Getting to Glacier National Park in Montana can be done by various means of transportation:

  • By Car: The most common way to reach Glacier National Park is by car. The park is accessible via several entrances along the perimeter, including the West Entrance near West Glacier, the St. Mary Entrance near St. Mary, and the Many Glacier Entrance near Babb. Visitors coming from the east typically take U.S. Highway 2, while those coming from the west often use Montana Highway 2 or U.S. Highway 93.
  • By Air: The nearest major airports to Glacier National Park are Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell, Montana, and Great Falls International Airport (GTF) in Great Falls, Montana. Both airports offer rental car services, allowing visitors to drive to the park from there.
  • By Train: Amtrak’s Empire Builder route runs through Montana and has stops in East Glacier Park and West Glacier, providing another option for travelers to reach the park. From the train stations, visitors can arrange for transportation to various points within the park.
  • By Bus: Some tour companies and shuttle services offer bus transportation to Glacier National Park from nearby cities and towns, such as Kalispell and Whitefish. These services may provide guided tours or drop-off/pick-up services at popular destinations within the park.

Places to Stay Near Glacier National Park, Montana

There are various lodging and camping options near Glacier National Park in Montana to suit different preferences and budgets. Here are some suggestions:

  • Lodges and Resorts: There are several lodges and resorts located near the entrances of Glacier National Park, offering comfortable accommodations and convenient access to the park’s attractions. Some popular options include Lake McDonald Lodge, Many Glacier Hotel, and Glacier Park Lodge. These lodges typically offer a range of amenities, including dining options, guided tours, and outdoor recreational activities.
  • Cabins and Vacation Rentals: Many cabins, cottages, and vacation rentals are available for rent near Glacier National Park, providing a cozy and private lodging option for visitors. These accommodations can be found in nearby towns such as West Glacier, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls, offering a home-away-from-home experience with amenities such as kitchens, fireplaces, and outdoor spaces.
  • Campgrounds: Glacier National Park offers several campgrounds for visitors who prefer to stay overnight in the park. Some of the popular campgrounds include Apgar Campground, Many Glacier Campground, and Two Medicine Campground. These campgrounds provide tent and RV sites with basic amenities such as picnic tables, fire pits, and restroom facilities. Reservations are recommended, especially during the peak summer season.
  • RV Parks and Campgrounds: For visitors traveling with RVs or trailers, there are numerous RV parks and campgrounds located near Glacier National Park. These facilities offer full hookups, laundry facilities, and other amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Some options include West Glacier KOA, Glacier Campground, and Johnson’s of St. Mary.
  • Backcountry Camping: For those seeking a more adventurous experience, backcountry camping is permitted in designated areas within Glacier National Park. Permits are required for backcountry camping, and visitors must follow Leave No Trace principles and practice wilderness safety while camping in the backcountry.
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Best Time to Go to Glacier National Park, Montana



Summer is the peak season for visiting Glacier National Park, offering long daylight hours and mild temperatures ideal for outdoor exploration. During this time, the park’s famous Going-to-the-Sun Road is fully open, providing access to breathtaking vistas, alpine meadows, and sparkling lakes.

Summer is perfect for hiking, camping, boating, and wildlife viewing, with abundant opportunities to spot grizzly bears, mountain goats, and other iconic wildlife species. Visitors can also enjoy ranger-led programs, boat tours, and guided hikes offered throughout the park.



Winter transforms Glacier National Park into a peaceful winter wonderland, offering a different kind of beauty and solitude. While many areas of the park are inaccessible due to snow and ice, winter provides opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling in designated areas.

The park’s lodges and visitor centers may have reduced hours or limited services during the winter months, but visitors can still enjoy the park’s serene landscapes and snowy vistas. Winter is also an excellent time for wildlife viewing, as animals adapt to the challenges of the season and can be spotted against the backdrop of snow-covered mountains.



Spring in Glacier National Park, Montana, brings a sense of renewal as the park emerges from the winter months. During this time, the snow begins to melt, revealing vibrant wildflowers and rushing waterfalls throughout the park.

Spring offers a quieter and more serene experience compared to the busier summer months, making it an ideal time for visitors seeking solitude and tranquility. While some areas of the park may still have snow and limited accessibility, spring provides opportunities for wildlife viewing as animals emerge from hibernation and migrate to higher elevations.

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Must-See Attractions

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Going-to-the-Sun Road

This iconic scenic highway is a must-see attraction in Glacier National Park, offering breathtaking views of glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, and alpine landscapes. Spanning approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) through the heart of the park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is renowned as one of the most scenic drives in the United States.

Lake McDonald

As the largest lake in Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald is a stunning natural attraction surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests. Visitors can enjoy scenic boat tours, kayaking, fishing, or relax on the shores and admire the crystal-clear waters and mountain reflections.

Many Glacier

Known as the “Switzerland of North America,” Many Glacier is a picturesque area of Glacier National Park characterized by rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. Visitors can explore scenic hiking trails, take a boat tour on Swiftcurrent Lake, or visit the historic Many Glacier Hotel.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Glacier National Park, Montana

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Glacier National Park is a popular destination, especially during the summer months. To make the most of your visit, plan ahead and research the park’s attractions, hiking trails, and activities that you’d like to experience. Consider making campground or lodging reservations in advance, especially if you’re visiting during the peak season.

Pack Appropriately

Pack Appropriately

Whether you’re planning a day hike or a backcountry camping trip, it’s essential to bring the necessary gear and equipment. This includes sturdy hiking boots, layers of clothing for changing weather conditions, plenty of water, snacks, a map, and bear spray if you’re hiking in bear country.

Respect Wildlife

Be Bear Aware

Glacier National Park is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. Take precautions to avoid encounters by making noise while hiking, carrying bear spray, and storing food and scented items in bear-proof containers. Familiarize yourself with proper bear safety protocols before your visit.

Stay Informed

Check Weather and Road Conditions

Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, so be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions before you travel to the park. Keep in mind that some areas of the park may be inaccessible due to snow or road closures, especially in the spring and fall.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Glacier National Park, Montana

The best time to visit Glacier National Park is typically during the summer months, from late June to early September, when the weather is warmest, and most park facilities and attractions are open. However, early fall and late spring also offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds.

Glacier National Park is accessible by car via several entrances along the perimeter of the park, as well as by train or plane to nearby towns such as Kalispell or Great Falls.

Yes, Glacier National Park boasts over 700 miles of hiking trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging backcountry treks. Popular trails include the Highline Trail, Grinnell Glacier Trail, and Iceberg Lake Trail.

Yes, Glacier National Park is home to approximately 26 glaciers, including the iconic Grinnell Glacier and Jackson Glacier. Visitors can view these glaciers from viewpoints along the Going-to-the-Sun Road or take guided hikes to see them up close.

Glacier National Park offers a wide range of activities, including hiking, camping, fishing, boating, wildlife viewing, scenic drives, photography, and ranger-led programs.

Essential items to pack for a trip to Glacier National Park include sturdy hiking boots, layers of clothing for changing weather conditions, water, snacks, sunscreen, bug spray, a map, and bear spray if hiking in bear country.

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