Input sought to help improve visitor experiences at Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park Traffic 2023 Opening Day
Posted at 5:52 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 19:52:37-04

WEST GLACIER - Glacier National Park officials are looking to hear from the public about how people will access and experience the park in 2024.

The park is hosting a series of virtual and in-person public meetings to provide information from past vehicle reservation pilot programs and answer questions. Public input will be used to help develop a strategy for summer 2024.

Glacier National Park is in the third summer of piloting a vehicle reservation system for major park entrances. The pilots began as a response to increasing issues with traffic congestion, infrastructure capacity, and impacts to park resources from high concentrations of people in the most popular areas of the park.

Ongoing pilot reservation systems in the summers of 2022 and 2023 have provided opportunities to learn more and explore their viability in achieving desired conditions in the park, a news release notes.

Since the park beagn the pilot, it has collected and analyzed visitor use data, as well as feedback from the local community and others, to refine the parameters of the reservation system and continue to improve the visitor experience.

“We have learned a lot from the last three years of pilot reservation systems,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Dave Roemer. “We’d like to hear from the public about what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what ideas they have for managing high visitation at Glacier for 2024. We are listening, and truly need that input before we begin to develop a strategy for next summer.”

Scheduled meetings include:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 23 - Virtual meeting from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Join by following the link here.
  • Monday, Aug. 28 - Open house from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mary Visitor Center on the east side of the park.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 29 - Open house from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls.

“The goal of this effort is to provide the best possible access while protecting the park and ensuring visitors have meaningful and enjoyable experiences,” Roemer said. “This work is central to the National Park Service mission, and we are looking forward to continued engagement with our partners, communities, tribes, and park friends to make sure that happens.”
The project website provides a summary of key issues, the history of visitation and visitor use management in the park, and instructions for how to formally submit comments Public feedback is being accepted through Sept. 30, 2023.