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Simple Guide to Glacier National Park Reservations

Looking to visit Glacier National Park this summer? Read this simple guide to Glacier National Park reservations to find out who needs Glacier reservations, when you need them, where you need them, and how to make reservations in Glacier for a great summer trip.

Yep, the rumors are true. Glacier National Park now requires reservations to access any part of the park…at least, for the summer.

For the LAST 4 years, a vehicle reservation/permit was required to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The same system is now extending to the majority of the park.

Glacier National Park now requires a reservation permit in order to access MOST roads into the park including:

  • Going-to-the-Sun road from the west side (Apgar entrance),
  • Many Glacier Road,
  • North Fork Road 

Note: Each entrance road requires a separate reservation.

Important: This year (2024) a reservation is not required for the Two Medicine area, the Going to the Sun Road from the east entrance (St Mary entrance), or to just access the Apgar Village area.

Glacier National Park reservation areas from nps.

Whether you’re visiting Glacier on a Grand Teton to Glacier road trip, it’s your first time to visit Glacier, or you’re headed back to explore more of the 50 greatest hikes, we want to help you get reservations so you can visit this summer.

If you’re looking to visit Glacier National Park in 2024, the reservation system may seem overwhelming and confusing. Don’t worry, in this blog, I’m going to share everything you need to know about making reservations in Glacier National Park without confusion!

Do You Need Reservations in Glacier National Park

If you have trouble getting a permit, there are still a lot of great hikes to do around Glacier NP that don’t require a permit.

Hiking near Glacier National Park
Hiking Mount Aeneas outside of Glacier requires no permit and rivals the beauty of Glacier National Park

When Do You Need Reservations in Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road from West Side (Apgar) Reservations

Reservations are required from May 24 through September 8 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Reservation is good for ONLY 1 day now.

Visitors will be able to access Apgar Village amenities, including the Apgar Visitor Center, without a vehicle reservation this year.

Remember that you can drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road without a vehicle reservation from the Apgar Entrance before 6am or after 3pm.

Going-to-the-Sun Road from East Side (St Mary) Reservations

No reservations are required.

North Fork Road Reservations

Reservations are required from May 24 through September 8 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. North Fork reservations are good for 1 day.

Many Glacier Road Reservations

Reservation is required from July 1 – September 8. Reservations are good for 1 day.

Two Medicine Road Reservations

No reservations are required.

Iceberg Lake, Many Glacier, Glacier National Park
Many Glacier is such a hidden gem!

Who Needs A Reservation Permit?

If you have lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity reservations near Apgar, you will need an additional reservation to access the Going-to-the-Sun-Road.

What If I Have Glacier National Park Camping or Lodging Reservations?

You may still need a reservation to access other areas of the park that you are not staying in.

For example, if you have a campground reserved in Many Glacier, you don’t need an additional vehicle reservation permit to drive on Many Glacier Road.

You DO still need a vehicle reservation permit if you want to visit other areas of the park like Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west side.

Your other reservations serve as vehicle reservations for the day or days of the service reservation. So if you’re camping for 1 night, you get both days of valid vehicle reservations. If you booked a boat tour, you have vehicle reservations for the 1 day your boat tour takes place.

Here’s an overview of services in the park that count as reservations.

Reservation Release Dates

In 2024, the reservation system will have two booking windows.

A percentage of reservations become available 120 days in advance with a rolling system. On January 25th, reservations for May 25th are released. On January 26th reservations for May 26th are released, and so on.

New in 2024: The remaining percentage of vehicle reservations will be released on a rolling 24-hour in-advance basis at 7 pm MDT for next-day entry starting on May 23, 2024. So starting on May 23rd, whatever remaining vehicle reservations are left will be released at 7 pm the day before on Recreation.gov.

How To Make Reservations for Glacier N.P.

Log into your account at Recreation.gov. If you don’t have an existing Recreation.gov, make sure you set up your account before the day that permits are released. Visit the Glacier National Park Vehicle Reservations page.

Select your desired date/date range and select the number of vehicles. Click “Request Tickets” and follow the prompts to checkout.

Reservations are free but there is a $2 processing fee.

Tips For if You Can’t Get A Glacier National Park Reservation

  1. If you have trouble getting a permit, there are still a lot of stunning hikes to do around Glacier NP that don’t require a permit. Visit our blog about the best hikes outside Glacier.
  1. Ride the shuttle and no need for a vehicle reservation.
  1. From May 24 through September 8, you can drive into the park without vehicle reservations before 6 am and after at 3 pm.
  1. Reservations sold out? Try making a service reservation for bike rentals, paddleboard rentals, a boat tour, etc
  1. Visitors who enter by bike (or by foot) don’t need reservations. Go for an adventurous bike ride!
  2. Wait to visit Glacier until after September 8 (see our blog Glacier in September)

FAQs

Will Glacier National Park require reservations in 2024?

Yes, between July 1 and September 8, 2024, many access roads into Glacier National Park require reservations. In the spring between May 24th and June 30th, Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west and North Fork Road will require reservations as well.

How far in advance do I need to book Glacier N.P.?

Ideally, make reservations 4 months in advance. Reservations are released daily for 4 months in the future.

Do I still need camping reservations in Glacier National Park?

Yes. Your vehicle reservation does not provide any lodging or camping. It just allows you to enter the park for 1 day.

If I already have camping reservations in Glacier National Park, do I still need vehicle reservations?

Depends. If you have camping or lodging reservations near Apgar, then you will still need a vehicle reservations. In Many Glacier your camping or lodging reservations will get you access to everything. You will need additional vehicle reservations if you want to visit other areas of the park.

What proof of vehicle reservation do I need to bring to the park?

At the given entrance station, you’ll need to present proof of a valid reservation to the park staff.

You can print a copy of the reservation that is emailed to you, or, make things easier and present it digitally. Screenshot or save the information on your email to present to park staff (because you probably won’t have cell service in the park).

Do I still need to buy a park pass?

Yes. You permit does not include the entrance fee. You’ll need to buy a day or annual pass ($20-$80) online or at the window.

What if I’m planning on getting a first-come first-serve campsite?

If you are planning on camping at an established first-come first-serve campground in the North Fork, the Ranger Station at the entrance will issue your site upon arrival, if there are sites available. If you get a campsite, a vehicle reservation will be included for the duration of your stay there.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments if you have any questions left unanswered! You can also check out the official National Park website for other details.

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