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Old 05-08-2024, 03:45 PM   #1
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Glacier- Going to the Sun update

Many of you may be confused about the new regulations regarding camping in Glacier National Park, and using Going to the Sun Road while camping. Because of the "abuse" of the last few years when they went to the reservation system, where folks were "reserving" multi day campsites, only to get the GTSR pass, and then not camping, they put in a new system this year. On West side, just past Apgar campground, there will be a check point, and you must show a pass to go thru. This will help them regulate traffic from 6am-3pm, is the goal. No pass; no "pass". I have been going to Glacier for 50 years from when I was a kid, and while an Airstream owner last 16 years we have camped all over Glacier without issue, until past 4 years as people started abusing the new reservation system. Really a shame, but anyway: Here is the currant overview I was sent when I asked the Rangers yesterday about the new procedure: (I have reservations in Apgar July 16-29th)

For the past three years, we have been piloting a vehicle reservation system to learn as much as we can about the effectiveness of this management tool in improving visitor experience and protecting park resources. Each year we have adapted the system, based on data, lessons learned and feedback from the public. This system can also change due to other management concerns. It is built around our mandate to manage the park in a way that protects resources and visitation for the best experience.  

During the last two years of the pilot, there has been an increase in complaints from campers that campsites are reserved but go unused. It is speculated, and confirmed in some cases, that visitors who are unable to obtain a vehicle reservation are making camping reservations with no intention to use them, except for a way to access areas of the park that require vehicle reservations.  By reducing the number of campgrounds within the reservation area, there is less of a chance of campsites being reserved but going unused. 

Since you are staying at the Apgar Campground for this year of the pilot program, and it is outside of the reservation area, you will be required to have a vehicle reservation to access certain areas of the park.

Areas of the park requiring reservation:
• The Going-to-the-Sun Road when entering from the west side (Apgar)
o Reservations required May 24 - September 8, 6 am - 3 pm
o Going-to-the-Sun Road via the West Entrance 1-Day Vehicle Reservation, Glacier National Park Vehicle Reservations -
• The North Fork
o Reservations required May 24 - September 8, 6 am - 3 pm
o North Fork 1-Day Vehicle Reservation, Glacier National Park Vehicle Reservations -
• Many Glacier
o Reservations required July 1 - September 8, 6 am - 3 pm
o Many Glacier 1-Day Vehicle Reservation, Glacier National Park Vehicle Reservations -
You can snag a vehicle reservation from the above links. While a portion of the reservations are released 4 months in advance, portions of them are released the day before Next Day vehicle reservations will be available at 7 pm MDT for next-day entry. For example, if you wanted to have a pass for July 16th, you would log in and book a reservation at 7 pm on July 15th. The reservations do go very quickly.

If you do not get/or want a vehicle reservation you can visit the Two Medicine valley, The Going-to-the-Sun Road from east side, (St. Mary) or visit outside the hours of 6 am - 3pm.

To view more on Vehicle Reservations including where the checkpoints are, please visit our website at vehicle reservations - Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service) (
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