Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park was designated the nation's 10th national park on May 11, 1910. Biking, boating, horseback rides...it's all here. It preserves over 1,000,000 acres of forests, alpine meadows, and lakes. Its diverse habitats are home to over 70 species of mammals and over 260 species of birds. The spectacular glaciated landscape is a hikers paradise containing 700 miles of maintained trails that lead deep into one of the largest intact ecosystems in the lower 48 states. The park contains over 350 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Sites and six National Historic Landmarks. In 1932 Glacier and Waterton Lakes National Park, in Canada, were designated Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This designation celebrates the longstanding peace and friendship between the two nations. Glacier and Waterton Lakes have both been designated as Biosphere Reserves and together were recognized, in 1995, as a World Heritage Site.
Seasonality / Weather
Glacier National Park is open every day of the year. Winter weather however, tends to dictate when most visitor facilities open. Generally from late May to early September, facilities are open to welcome the flush of summer visitors. Plowing on the Going-to-the-Sun Road begins in April. Other park roads generally open in May, weather permitting.
Glacier's western valleys generally receive the most rainfall. Daytime temperatures can exceed 90 degrees F. It is frequently 10 to 15 degrees cooler at higher elevations. Strong winds and sunny days predominate on the east side of the park. Overnight lows throughout the park can drop to near 20 degrees F, and snow can fall anytime. In August of 1992, a foot of snow fell on the northeastern corner of Glacier. Prepare for a variety of conditions and pack accordingly. You may start the day in a T-shirt and shorts, and need a parka by evening. Dress in layers. Always bring raingear.
West Entrance - Near the communities of Kalispell, Whitefish, and Columbia Falls, the West Entrance provides access to the Lake McDonald area, Park Headquarters, the Apgar Visitor Center and is the west entry point to the Going-to-the-Sun-Road. From Kalispell, take Highway 2 north to West Glacier (approximately 33 miles).
St. Mary, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier Entrances - Closest to the town of Browning, all three entrances can be reached by taking Highway 89 north from Great Falls to the town of Browning (approximately 125 miles) and then following signage to the respective entrance. The St. Mary Entrance is the east entry point of the Going-to-the-Sun-Road and provides access to the St. Mary Visitor Center and services at Rising Sun. The Many Glacier Entrance provides access to the Many Glacier Valley and visitor services at the Many Glacier Hotel and the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.
Public transportation options are limited. Shuttles from airports and train stations provide some service to visitors to the park.