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Glacier National Park preparing to shift to Fall operations

West side of Going-to-the-Sun Road to close Oct. 1
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Posted at 10:06 AM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 12:06:11-04

WEST GLACIER - Operations at Glacier National Park will soon be winding down as the autumn season approaches.

The park’s 2022 vehicle reservation pilot study will end on Sept. 11. However, visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and prepare for temporary traffic restrictions at the west entrance due to congestion.

Construction on 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 Creek Campground through September, causing short delays in both directions during the day. The construction zone will be closed nightly Monday through Saturday between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. until October 1.

Hiker and biker access is permitted on the road closure west of Logan Pass to North McDonald Road while the road crew is not working. A daily road crew closure will be in place while crews are working. Visitors are advised the return to Logan Pass consists of steep up-hill terrain.

Park shuttles will remain in operation until Sept. 18 with reduced services. Beginning Sept. 6, shuttle service will run daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. with all stops in service. Wait times may be longer than 20 minutes since there will be fewer shuttles on the road. Visitors planning to use the shuttle should check the Shuttle page for additional details.

Logan Pass Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, Sept. 25. Potable water will be unavailable at Logan Pass starting Sept. 11. Meanwhile, the St. Mary Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, Oct. 2. Potable water will be unavailable at St. Mary after Monday, Oct. 11.

Apgar Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Monday, Oct. 10, and then move to weekends through Oct. 23, weather permitting. Restrooms and potable water are available at the Apgar Visitor Center plaza year-round.

Front country campgrounds will adjust as follows:

  • Apgar: Reservation required until Sept. 11, first come first served through Oct. 3, and primitive status in Loop B only until spring 2023
  • Fish Creek: Reservation required until Sept. 4 closure
  • Sprague Creek: Reservation required until Sept. 11 closure
  • Bowman: First come first served until Sept. 9 and primitive status until weather-dependent closure
  • Kintla: First come first served until Sept. 8 and primitive status until weather-dependent closure
  • Many Glacier: Half reservation, half first come first served until Sept. 18 and primitive status until Oct. 31 closure
  • 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 Sept. 8 closure
  • Two Medicine: First come first served until Sept. 19 and primitive status until weather-dependent closure

Campgrounds in primitive status 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 Campground page for additional camping information.

Avalanche Creek, Cut Bank, and Logging Creek campgrounds remained closed during the 2022 season. Quartz Creek Campground is temporarily closed due to the Quartz fire. Visitors can check the Campground page for updates.

Wilderness camping requires a permit, which can be obtained at the Apgar Wilderness Permit Office. The permit office is open from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. through Sept. 30, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31. Wilderness permits will be issued until 30-minutes prior to closing. Advance reservations for wilderness permits are available until Sept. 23. Walk-in permits are issued up to 24 hours in advance. Check the Wilderness Camping page for more information.

Lake McDonald, Bowman Lake, and Kintla Lake will be the only vehicle-accessible bodies of water open to watercraft in the park after Sept. 30. Boat inspection station hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Lake McDonald, and 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Polebridge through Sept. 30. Beginning on Oct. 1, inspection hours will change to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both Lake McDonald and Polebridge. All park waters are closed to watercraft beginning on Nov. 1.

Concession services (lodging, food service, retail shops, horseback rides, boat and bus tours) have begun winding down. All concessions services will close for the season by the beginning of October. Visitors should check directly with services on the Glacier National Park website for operating hours.

Autumn visitors to Glacier National Park will find cooler temperatures and are encouraged to prepare for shifting weather conditions with the potential for rain or snow, especially in alpine areas. As Fall approaches bear activity will increase. Visitors are asked to be mindful of attractant storage requirements and remember that pets are not permitted on 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 during all seasons. Winter recreation will be restricted on Going-to-the-Sun Road along Lake McDonald for the 2022-2023 winter season due to the utility project. For additional information, visit the park’s website or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.