Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

  US National Parks

VISIT Glacier National Park:

Glacier National Park is a remote wilderness area in Montana’s Rocky Mountains, with glacier-carved peaks and valleys running to the Canadian border. Here you’ll experience Glacier’s pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains, and spectacular alpine lakes. Iceburg Lake is one of my favorites. Glacier National Park has about two dozen active glaciers, which researchers have estimated will all be gone by the year 2100.

Places to Stay While Visiting Glacier

Glacier is a park that is best experienced from staying inside the park. You’ll get to take advantage of the early mornings and late evenings without the need to travel back out of the park. There are a couple places to stay within the park, most surrounding Lake MacDonald. However, it should be noted that these in-the-park accomodations fill up very quickly. They recommend making reservations 13 months in advance.

If you decide to stay out of the park for whatever reason, the towns of Whitefish and Columbia Falls both have a good bit of Airbnbs available. Both towns are about 30 minutes away from the park’s entrance.

Park Details

Glacier National Park was established on May 11, 1910, and has a total area of 1,013,129 acres (1,583 square miles, or 4,102 square kilometers).

Address 64 Grinnell Drive, West Glacier, MT, 59936
HoursOpen 24 hours a day, but the Fall, Winter and Spring seasons may bring massive closures due to snowfall.
Entrance Fee$35 (summer), $25 (winter) - valid for 7 days
Learn MoreOfficial Website

When to Visit: Weather vs. Peak Visitation

Glacier National Park is the 27th most visited park in the country.

The park is open year-round, but park conditions and accessible areas vary greatly by season. Most businesses and services are only open during Glacier's summer season, which generally runs from late May through September. With services very limited in winter, visitors need to plan ahead and be entirely self-sufficient. Most business and services in and near the park are closed from early October through late May.

Conditions permitting, Going-to-the-Sun Road usually remains fully open until the third Monday in October. The visitor centers close in late September and early October. Restrooms at the Apgar Visitor Center remain open year-round.

Using Historical Data to Predict

We crunched 30 years of historical weather and/or park service data to find the best months to visit Glacier National Park. We looked for the optimal temperatures, the least amount of snow and rain, and stayed away from peak visitation months if we could help it. All this data then helped us paint a picture as to what the absolute best time to visit Glacier National Park is.

Our data shows the best months to visit Glacier National Park are July, August & September.

Park Visits13,58111,24023,98935,491167,403544,088879,711771,874488,90978,40820,00815,137
Avg Temp232533435361706960453022
Max Temp343746596976818075634534
Avg Temp131420273541484739291912
Min Temp-12-51132028353426110-11
Temperature values in °F; Precipitation in Inches

Glacier National Park Road Trips

Many family vacations consist of stringing one or more national parks together during a week-long trip. Creating these types of trips is our specialty! Here are the road trips we've created where Glacier National Park is visited.

Trip NameTrip MilesTrip Days
Continental Divide National Historic Trail RV Road Trip2,31514
South to North, Arizona to Montana & Saguaro to Glacier2,12014
Glacier, Yellowstone, Grand Teton & Craters of the Moon1,18811
Glacier to Canadian Banff & Kootenay1,0359

Other Nearby National Park Sites

From national monuments, to historic sites to seashores and more, here are the other parks closest to Glacier National Park.

Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site165 mi
Kootenay National Park195 mi
Jasper National Park202 mi
Banff National Park210 mi
Big Hole National Battlefield215 mi
Nez Perce National Historical Park226 mi
Yoho National Park234 mi

Nearby Campsites & RV Parks

If you are looking to pitch a tent or park an RV at a campsite near Glacier National Park, here is a list of the closest campsites in the surrounding area. They all have slightly different amenitites, so its best to check them all out instead of just chosing the first on the list.

NameDetailsMiles Away
St. Mary Lake - Glacier National ParkSt Mary, MT more 0 miles
Rising Sun - Glacier National ParkSt Mary, MT more 5 miles
Many Glacier - Glacier National ParkBabb, MT more 11 miles
Avalanche Creek - Glacier National ParkWest Glacier, MT more 18 miles
Police Outpost Provincial ParkAetna, AB more 18 miles
Two Medicine - Glacier National ParkEast Glacier Park, MT more 18 miles
Belly River - Waterton Lakes National ParkWaterton Park, AB more 22 miles
Sprague Creek - Glacier National ParkWest Glacier, MT more 22 miles
Payne Lake Provincial Rec AreaMountain View, AB more 26 miles
Fish Creek - Glacier National ParkWest Glacier, MT more 28 miles

Nearest Ski Resorts

For those of you who are the diehard outdoors type, visiting a national park on a ski trip can be quite the adventure. Here are the ski resorts within 100 miles of Glacier National Park:

NameLocationSummitDifficulty ScoreDistance
Whitefish MountainWhitefish, MT6,817 ft65%52 mi
Teton PassChoteau, MT7,200 ft32%59 mi
Blacktail MountainLakeside, MT6,780 ft42%67 mi
Pass PowderkegBlairmore, AB5,183 ft31%75 mi
Castle MountainPincher Creek, AB7,463 ft79%76 mi

Nearest Airports

When visiting a National park, many people are faced with either a very long drive across country, or a much shorter flight. For those of you looking to fly into Glacier National Park, we've listed the closest airports in the area.

Large Airports

A large airport has scheduled major airline service with millions of passengers per year. This type of airport always accepts international flights. Here are the closest large airports to Glacier National Park.

Calgary International AirportYYCCalgary, AB165 mi
Edmonton International AirportYEGEdmonton, AB315 mi
Medium Airports

A medium-sized airport has scheduled regional airline service. This type of airport may or may not accept international flights. Here are the closest medium-sized airports to Glacier National Park.

Glacier Park International AirportFCAKalispell, MT48 mi
Lethbridge County AirportYQLLethbridge, AB67 mi
Cranbrook/Canadian Rockies International AirportYXCCranbrook, BC121 mi
Great Falls International AirportGTFGreat Falls, MT129 mi
Missoula International AirportMSOMissoula, MT130 mi
Medicine Hat AirportYXHMedicine Hat, AB150 mi
Helena Regional AirportHLNHelena, MT163 mi

Credits: Campground data provided by Map shapes from CartographyVectors. Weather data from NOAA. Airport data from Images from Unsplash, Flickr and Parks&Trips. All data has also been updated and augmented by Parks&Trips.

Author Image
Chris Cagle

I love traveling the United States. I hunt down fantastic places to visit in the summer and great slopes to ski down in the winter. The first national park I ever visited was the Smokies, but since then, I've been to dozens. However, my favorite by far has been Zion.