Glacier National Park

Photo Courtesy of nps.gov

Photo Courtesy of nps.gov

Glacier National Park was created by President Taft on May 10, 1910. Serviced by the Great Northern Railway at East Glacier and West Glacier, tourism quickly grew even before roads were carved into the landscape. Historically traversed on horseback and by wooden boat, the early visitors enjoyed rustic lodgings erected by Louis Hill and appropriately spaced a day’s ride apart.

Today’s visitors still enjoy the historic lodgings at the Belton Chalet, Lake McDonald Lodge, Glacier Park Lodge, Many Glacier Hotel and Prince of Whales Hotel in Waterton. Two backcountry chalets continue to cling to the craggy heights of Glacier’s mountains at Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet, serving guests when the snows recede enough to grant access. Mountain top fire lookouts are still staffed with lone watchmen, and the grizzly bears still roam free eating huckleberries and ruling their ecosystem.

As the rail line made progress towards the Pacific Ocean in the 1890’s, towns sprang up along the way. Columbia Falls was, and is still, a timber town with a pioneering history where the mighty Flathead emerges from Bad Rock Canyon and flows south to Flathead Lake. The communities of Hungry Horse and Martin City boomed during the Great Depression era with the construction of the Hungry Horse Dam. Coram was a rail stop with a lumber mill, and Essex got its start with a lodge for rail workers at the Izaak Walton Inn. Polebridge was, and always will be, a remote off-grid outpost with a historic mercantile. West Glacier and Apgar retain their historic character today, even with millions of visitors passing through each summer.

Planning a Trip?

Live Campground and Parking Status in Glacier National Park

Live Webcams

Plan your Visit Information 

graphic describing passes needed for entry to the Going-to-the-Sun Road

Entering Glacier National Park at West Glacier, St. Mary, or the Camas Road

Online Entry Reservation System (Ticketed Entry)

A Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Vehicle Reservation is required for each vehicle accessing the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Reservation Area from May 27 through September 11, 2022, from 6 am to 4 pm.

  • Vehicle reservations to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor west of the Rising Sun checkpoint from the St. Mary Entrance will not be required until the full length of Going-to-the-Sun Road opens for the season (i.e., typically late June).
  • Visitors with service reservations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor do not need a vehicle reservation. Valid service reservations will serve as a vehicle reservation for the day of the service reservation.
    • Valid service reservations include lodging, camping, commercial tours, etc. in areas located inside the West Entrance, Camas Entrance, and St. Mary Entrance.
  • Vehicle reservations are not required for tribal members, landowners inside the vehicle reservation area and their guests, or visitors who enter by foot or bike.
  • Vehicle reservations and service reservations do not guarantee parking spaces in popular areas. Expect congested and busy conditions throughout the park.

See Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Vehicle Reservation Infographic 

North Fork Vehicle Reservation Requirements

A North Fork Vehicle Reservation is required for each vehicle accessing the North Fork area of the park through the Polebridge Entrance Station from May 27 through September 11, 2022, from 6 am to 6 pm.

  • Vehicle reservations are not required for tribal members, landowners inside the vehicle reservation area and their guests, or visitors who enter by foot or bike.
  • Valid service reservations will serve as a vehicle reservation for the North Fork Area of the park for the day of the service reservation.
    • Valid service reservations are limited to wilderness camping permits for trailheads located in the North Fork area of the park and registered campers at first-come, first-served campgrounds in the North Fork area of the park.
    • Proof of a valid service reservation will serve as a vehicle reservation for the day of the service reservation only.
    • Service reservations outside of the North Fork area of the park (west of the Polebridge Entrance Station) will not serve as valid vehicle reservations.
  • Vehicle reservations do not guarantee parking spaces in popular areas. Expect congested and busy conditions throughout the area.
  • More Information

Park Pass Required

In addition to a vehicle reservation or valid service reservation, visitors must also have a park pass to enter the park. A park pass is your paid entrance fee to the park and applies to visitors traveling by vehicle, motorcycle, foot, bicycle, etc.

  • A park pass is required to access any entry point within Glacier National Park. Park passes do not serve as vehicle reservations or service reservations in vehicle reservation areas.

America the Beautiful Passes

  • Volunteer Pass (free)
  • 4th Grade Pass (free)
  • Military Pass (free)
  • Senior Pass ($80 lifetime, $20 Annual)
  • Access Pass (free)
  • Annual Pass ($80)

Glacier National Park Passes

  • Glacier Annual Pass ($70)
  • Private Vehicle Pass ($35)
  • Motorcycle Pass ($30)
  • Individual Pass ($20)

Park passes are available for purchase at the park or online at Recreation.gov (Site Passes).

Shuttle Systems

Glacier Park Inc Shuttle System for 2022 Information 

2022 Going-to-the-Sun Road Shuttle Map

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The Glacier Institute Going-to-the-Sun Road Day Programs

Choose The Hike That Is Best For Your Group
Tours meet at 320 Nucleus Ave, Columbia Falls at 8:30 am and return at 4:30 pm
Cost: $100 Per Person

Not only do you get an amazing educational experience, you also get into the Park! Participation in a Glacier Institute course acts as your Going-to-the-Sun Road ticket for the day.

Register for Day Program Here