NewsMTN Outdoors

Actions

What you need to know about visiting Glacier National Park this summer

Going-to-the-Sun Road is open for the season and this year there are some changes to the vehicle reservation system
Glacier National Park Summer 2024
Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 26, 2024

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — Going-to-the-Sun Road is open for the season and this year there are some changes to the vehicle reservation system, including the Apgar area being open to visitors without a vehicle reservation.

Apgar being open without a vehicle registration allows visitors easier access to Lake McDonald, dining, shopping and lodging, and the Apgar Visitors Center and park shuttles.

“And so far it's going okay, but we haven't hit that peak point of visitation. So we know that as the summer heats up as more people are coming to the park, Apgar may become more congested,” said Glacier National Park spokeswoman Gina Icenoggle.

Other changes to the vehicle reservation system this year include reservations becoming available at 7 p.m. the night before you want to enter. Also, no reservations are required to enter the East entrance at St. Mary’s.

“The tricky part about that the visitors need to remember is if they come over — westbound from the east side — they should not go through that checkpoint if they don't have a vehicle reservation. Because if they come through the west side checkpoint at Apgar near the Apgar campground, they're not going to be able to go back in to return back over the past without a vehicle reservation until 3 p.m. Reservations are required from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m." - Glacier National Park spokeswoman Gina Icenoggle.

There are also new biking restrictions on Going-to-the-Sun Road this summer. Bikers cannot travel east or west on the road between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. when traffic is at its maximum.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road opened to vehicles on June 22, which falls in the average opening dates of mid-June to early July.

“This year, Mother Nature just continued to sock it to us at the higher elevations and our crew battled through it and was finally able to get it open,” said Icenoggle.

Apgar Visitors
Going-to-the-Sun Road is open for the season and this year there are some changes to the vehicle reservation system. One of them is that the Apgar area is open to visitors without a vehicle reservation.

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, the park will be hosting its stargazing parties at Logan Pass on July 26, Aug. 9, and Sept. Tickets are required and go on sale the day before the event at the Apgar and St. Mary Visitor Center bookstores.

As always, the safety of park visitors is a top priority for park rangers, and with Glacier National Park having its own unique microclimate, visitors need to be prepared for anything — even in the summer.

Glacier National Park Vehicle Reservations
Changes to the vehicle reservation system this year include reservations becoming available at 7 p.m. the night before you want to enter. Also, no reservations are required to enter the east entrance at St. Mary’s.

“But it's Montana you know you can have any kind of weather anytime we can have snow on the Fourth of July at Logan Pass. So always be prepared — be prepared if it's warm out and you're hiking. Stay hydrated," Icenoggle advised. "We also have bears in the park so have your bear spray with you.

"And this time of year we still have runoff in our rivers. The rivers are moving fast, they're high and they're very cold. So use extra precaution around water when you're in the park so that you can enjoy those beautiful pristine waters and still be safe,” Icenoggle concluded.