Glacier National Park transitions to fall operations amid first snowfall of season | Local
WEST GLACIER, MONTANA – As the fall season approaches, operations in the park will begin to wind down. On September 11, the fleet’s 2022 vehicle reservation pilot study will end. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and be prepared for temporary traffic restrictions at the west entrance due to congestion.
Construction of the Lake McDonald Utilities Project will continue along Going-to-the-Sun Road from the south end of Lake McDonald near Apgar Campground to Sprague Campground Creek through September causing short delays in both directions during the day. The construction zone will be closed Monday through Saturday, 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. every night until October 1.
On October 1, the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road will be closed for the season from the Apgar four-way intersection to Logan Pass due to the Lake McDonald Utilities project and team operations. road. On the east side, Going-to-the-Sun Road is expected to remain open from St. Mary to Logan Pass until midnight Sunday, October 16, unless winter conditions force an early closure. There will be no access to potable water at Logan Pass beginning September 11.
Hiker/Cyclist access is permitted on the road closure west of Logan Pass to North McDonald Road while the GNP Road Crew is not working. A daily road crew closure will be in place while crews are working. Visitors are advised that the return to Logan Pass consists of steep uphill terrain.
The park shuttles will remain in service until September 18 with reduced services. Beginning September 6, the shuttle service will operate from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with all stops in operation. Wait times can be over 20 minutes as there are fewer shuttles on the road. Visitors planning to use the shuttle should see the Shuttle page for details.
The Logan Pass Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, September 25. Potable water will not be available at Logan Pass beginning September 11.
St. Mary’s Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, October 2. Drinking water will no longer be available at St. Mary’s after Monday, October 11.
The Apgar Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services until Monday, October 10, then transition to weekends until October 23, weather permitting. Restrooms and potable water are available in the Apgar Visitor Center plaza year-round.
Frontcountry campgrounds will adjust as follows:
- Apgar: reservation required until September 11, first come, first served until October 3, and primitive status in loop B only until spring 2023.
- Fish Creek: Reservations required until September 4 closing.
- Sprague Creek: Reservation required until September 11 closing.
- Bowman: First-come, first-served through September 9, and primitive status through weather-dependent closing.
- Kintla: First come, first served until September 8 and primitive status until closing depending on weather conditions.
- Several ice cream parlors: half reservation, half first come, first served until September 18 and primitive status until closing on October 31.
- St. Mary: first-come, first-served until September 15 and primitive status in Loop C only until spring 2023.
- Rising Sun: first come, first served until closing on September 8.
- Two Medicine: First-come, first-served until September 19 and primitive status until closing depending on weather conditions.
Primitive status campgrounds have vault toilets available and fees are reduced. No campground reservations are issued at primitive campgrounds and all camping is first come, first served. Visit the park’s Camping page for more information on camping.
Avalanche Creek, Cut Bank, and Logging Creek Campgrounds remained closed for the 2022 season. Quartz Creek Campground is temporarily closed due to the Quartz Fire. Visitors can check the campground page for updates.
Wild camping requires a permit, which can be obtained at the Apgar Wilderness permit office. The permit office is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. until September 30 and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. until October 31. Wilderness permits will be issued up to 30 minutes before closing. Advance reservations for wilderness permits are available through September 23. Walk-in permits are issued up to 24 hours in advance. See the Wild Camping page for more information.
Lake McDonald, Lake Bowman and Lake Kintla will be the only vehicle-accessible water bodies open to watercraft in the park after September 30. Boat Inspection Station hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Lake McDonald and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Polebridge until September 30. Effective October 1, inspection hours will change from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lake McDonald and Polebridge. All waters in the park are closed to boats as of November 1.
Concession services (lodging, food, retail, horseback riding, boat and bus tours) began to shrink. All concession services will close for the season in early October. Visitors should check directly with the services on our website for hours of operation.
Fall visitors to Glacier National Park will find cooler temperatures and are encouraged to prepare for changeable weather with the potential for rain or snow, especially in the alpine regions. As fall approaches, bear activity will increase. Visitors are asked to consider attractant storage requirements and remember that pets are not permitted on the trails at any time. Learn more about bear safety on the park’s website.
The park is open year-round and recreational opportunities can be found in all seasons. Winter recreation will be limited on Going-to-the-Sun Road along Lake McDonald for the 2022-2023 winter season due to the utility project. For more information, visit the park’s website or call the park’s headquarters at 406-888-7800.