in Glacier National Park
With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier provides outstanding opportunities for hikers of all abilities.
From short hikes to extended backpacking trips to wheelchair accessible trails, there is something in the park for everyone. Our online park store offers several maps and hiking guides to help you plan your trip.
What to bring:
- Sturdy footwear
- Plenty of water
- Bear spray – know how to use it.
- Mosquito and bug repellent
- Sunscreen and a hat to prevent sunburn
- Rain gear and layers for warmth
- Snacks to eat on the trail – remember, if you pack it in, pack it out!
KAYAKing OR PADDLE BOARDing
Kayak and paddleboard rentals are available in Apgar Village to use on Lake McDonald. If you bring your own kayak, canoe or paddleboard, you will need to get it inspected aquatic invasive species. Thanks to donations to the Glacier Conservancy, the park provides these inspections for free.
Inspection stations for non-motorized watercraft are located on the west side of the park in Apgar Village (for Lake McDonald and Bowman lake), and on the east side of the park at the Two Medicine Ranger Station, St. Mary Visitor Center, and Many Glacier Ranger Station.
Inspection stations for motorized (Lake McDonald, Bowman, and Two Medicine Lakes only) watercraft are located on the west side of the park in Apgar Village (for Lake McDonald and Bowman lake), and on the east side of the park at Two Medicine Ranger
The iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road runs through the heart of the park and provides access to many locations and activities in Glacier. Take a drive or guided tour via a historic red bus or Native American interpreted Sun Tours to experience the grandeur of this historical landmark.
Because much of the Going-to-the-Sun Road traverses through alpine terrain, the road does not fully open until late June or early July once snowplowing is complete. Usually, the road is fully open into October, but that can change at any time due to variable weather conditions. Current conditions are available on the park’s website.
Take in the grandeur of Glacier National Park and learn something new on a boat tour along one of the many lakes in the park. Boat tours are available at Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Rising Sun, and Lake McDonald.
Optional guided hikes are offered on some cruises at Many Glacier, Two Medicine, and Rising Sun. Contact Glacier Park Boat Co. for more information and to make reservations.
Small boat rentals are also available at Apgar, Lake McDonald, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier.
Glacier has 13 different campgrounds and approximately 1,009 sites to choose from. Most campgrounds in Glacier are first-come first-served except for Fish Creek, St. Mary, some of Many Glacier, and half of the group sites in Apgar. These sites can be reserved through recreation.gov. Camping is permitted only in designated campgrounds.
Backcountry camping is also popular in Glacier. There are over 60 designated backcountry campgrounds throughout the park. To camp in the backcountry, a backcountry permit is required for all overnight camping. To obtain a permit, visit one of the park’s backcountry permit locations the day before or the day of a desired trip start date.
Approximately half of all sites in a backcountry campground are set aside for walk-in campers. Advance reservations can also be made for backcountry campsites via Pay.gov starting March 15th for groups of 1-8, and March 1st for groups of 9-12 campers.
WHAT TO EXPECT
In July and August, Glacier experiences the warmest temperatures and the least amount of rainfall. Even though the weather during these months is generally pleasant, there is always a chance of rain or snow any day of the year in Glacier.
Wildfires can also occur in Glacier and the surrounding areas during the summer. It is always best to be prepared for a variety of weather and smoke resulting from wildfires.