Kalispell’s backyard national park, Glacier National Park, is one of the state’s must-visit destinations. With 1 million acres of glacial-carved terrain, the park is open year-round and is home to some of the most stunning landscapes in the United States. From downtown Kalispell, Glacier National Park is a scenic 32 miles from the park’s west entrance in West Glacier, Montana. With easy access and our convenient location, many visitors opt to stay in our mountain town and explore the park at their own pace, all while enjoying what Kalispell has to offer, from tasty restaurants to guided activities and a hopping downtown.
Over the last few years, the National Park Service has been testing a pilot program to help manage congestion and visitation in Glacier National Park. And while the program has seen a few variations, Glacier National Park recently announced its plans for 2024. And, in great news, there are some changes and updates for 2024 that will make it easier to visit the Backbone of the World.
If you’re planning on visiting Glacier National Park in 2024, here’s what you need to know.
1. The Going-to-the-Sun Road
For 2024, vehicle reservations will only be necessary for the west entrance at West Glacier from May 24-September 8, 2024 from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations for the park will be valid for one day only.
New for this year: visitors can access Apgar Village (including the Apgar Visitor Center) without a vehicle reservation. Keep in mind that this means Apgar Village will be a popular destination and everyone will need to practice their patience. Keep in mind that with this update, if you have a reservation in Apgar Village (motel stay, kayak rental, campground, etc.), you will not automatically have access to the Going-to-the-Sun Road and you will need a vehicle reservation.
Good to Know: No vehicle reservations are needed to enter the park and the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the east side’s St. Mary entrance.
2. The North Fork
Access to Glacier National Park’s North Fork (which is home to Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake) will require a vehicle reservation from May 24-September 8, 2024 from 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Vehicle reservations for the North Fork are valid for one day.
3. Many Glacier
A vehicle reservation is needed from July 1-September 18 – between the hours of 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. – at Many Glacier, which is located in the northeast section of the park. If you do not acquire a reservation, you can still head into Many Glacier before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. Reservations are valid for one day.
Other Things to Know
-A park pass is always needed, regardless of when a vehicle reservation is required.
-All vehicle reservations are valid for ONE DAY for every section of the park.
-Visitors can access the free shuttles along the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the St. Mary Visitor Center or Apgar Village Visitor Center.
-Individual reservations are needed for the west entrance of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier and the North Fork.
-Reservations are available through two booking windows. The first will begin approximately 120 days in advance, with the first ticket block going on sale on January 25, 2024 at 8 a.m. Mountain Time. The second booking window will have reservations available for next-day entry, starting on May 23, 2024. (For example, if you plan to visit on July 2, a block of reservations will be available at 7 p.m. Mountain Time on July 1.)
-Visitors are encouraged to visit outside of peak hours, which are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Be prepared for waits, especially at popular areas like Logan Pass and Apgar Village.
-If you have activities, lodging or tours with confirmed bookings within a specific area of the park where a vehicle reservation is required, no additional vehicle reservation is needed. However, if you have a tour booked along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and want to visit Many Glacier, you will still need a reservation for Many Glacier during the date you’d like to visit. Or if you are staying in Apgar Village, you will still need a reservation to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west side.
-Construction will still be taking place in spring 2024 along the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Lake McDonald.
-Vehicle reservations are not needed for the following areas of the park: Cut Bank, Two Medicine and St. Mary entrance to the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Have additional questions regarding planning your visit to Kalispell and Glacier National Park in 2024? Call us at 406-758-2811.
Don’t have a vehicle reservation for Glacier National Park? Here are 7 Ways to Play in the Park Without One.