Guide to Glacier National Park Ticketing System
We know all about the excitement that comes with planning a vacation to Glacier National Park. We also know that, at times, planning a vacation can be stressful. That is why we wanted to create a guide to help you navigate the Glacier National Park ticketing system and answer any questions you may have. This way, you can spend more time enjoying your vacation and less time stressing.
We encourage you to check in with Glacier National Park for resources and information about the ticketed entry system. Their website will have the most current and up-to-date information.
All of our rafting trips float along the southwestern border of Glacier National Park on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. You will get a unique look into Glacier National Park that you can only experience from the river! The trips Glacier Raft Company and Glacier Anglers run will not grant you entry into the park.
As one of the top 10 most popular national parks in the United States, Glacier National Park has seen more than 3 million visitors per year. Though it is great to see everyone outdoors and exploring their backyard, many park destinations, including Glacier National Park, are experiencing overcrowding issues. The Glacier National Park ticketing system was implemented to reduce congestion and improve the overall visitor experience.
How does this affect you?
Glacier National Park is 1,583 square miles! Many people like to plan which sections of the park they would like to explore and build their itinerary around that. You will likely want to keep coming back because there is so much to explore. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself planning a returning trip before you have even left.
What kind of tickets do you need?
There are several entrances to access different parts of the park. Every vehicle needs a standard Park Pass. If you would like to enter Two Medicine, Many Glacier, or St. Mary valleys, you only need a Park Pass. Passes can be purchased online at recreation.gov or the park entrance stations with a credit card.
Glacier National Park Passes
Private Vehicle 7-day pass – $35
Motorcycle 7-day pass – $30
Glacier National Park Annual Pass – $70
America the Beautiful Passes
Annual – $80
Every Kid in a Park Annual 4th Grade Pass – Free to 4th Graders
Annual Pass for Military – Free
Annual or Lifetime Senior Pass – $20 or $80
Access Pass – Free
Volunteer Pass – Free
Lifetime Golden Age Passes are also honored.
A photo ID is required for the National Park pass holder and the visitor who reserved a $2 vehicle reservation ticket. In addition to the Park Pass, two driving corridors require a vehicle reservation ticket from May 27th to September 11th, 2022.
Vehicle Reservation Ticket
The two ticketing areas of the park that require a vehicle reservation ticket are the Going-to-the-Sun Road (GTSR) and the Nork Fork entry. We recommend that if you want to do both GTSR and the North Fork, you get the North Fork ticket on a day that you don’t plan on doing the GTSR. The North Fork will fill your entire day!
You can get a vehicle reservation ticket online at recreation.gov. This online system requires visitors to set up an account to get a vehicle reservation. The cost is $2, and is non-refundable. Glacier National Park does not operate Recreation.gov. Visitors may also make a reservation through recreation.gov’s call center. The call center does not give you an advantage towards securing a reservation but provides help for those who don’t have access to the internet or are not familiar with the technology. Call centers are open every day from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM MDT. Vehicle reservation tickets are not available for purchase at the entry stations in the park.
Ways to make a reservation:
You can reserve a vehicle reservation ticket starting Mar 2, 2022 at 8:00 am MDT by going to recreation.gov. About half of the vehicle reservation tickets will be released and available 120 days in advance from the date you want to visit the park. A second booking window will open up with the remaining vehicle reservation tickets the day before the effective date.
Going-to-the-Sun Road Vehicle Reservation
This ticket is valid for three days and costs 2 dollars.
Going-to-the-Sun Road includes all points between the West Glacier Entrance Station, Camas Entrance Station, and St. Mary entrances (Rising Sun area is 5 miles west of St. Mary Entrance Station). Vehicle access beyond these points during the hours of 6:00 am to 4:00 pm MDT requires a Going-to-the-Sun Road Vehicle Reservation, in addition to the park pass.
You can enter and exit the park at any point during three days of your reservation. If you wish to drive this corridor outside your reservation window, you must purchase another ticket.
**A utility project this summer may require the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road to be closed at night, except for emergency vehicles. Visitors should anticipate a late night through early morning closure from Apgar to Lake McDonald Lodge from June to September.**
North Fork Vehicle Reservation
This ticket is valid for one day and costs 2 dollars.
The North Fork is located in the park’s Northwest corner and includes all points east of the Polebridge Entrance Station. A vehicle reservation ticket is required from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm MDT.
You can enter and exit this section of the park anytime for the duration of your vehicle reservation ticket.
Here are some tips we learned from last year:
⋅Mark your calendar 120 days before your visit and set your alarm for 8:00 am MDT
⋅Create an account ahead of time on Recreation.gov so you are ready to go as soon as the clock strikes eight.
⋅Many people are trying to get a ticket, so be patient and keep trying.
⋅If tickets sell out, try the next day again. (Tickets are valid for three days on the GTSR corridor)
⋅You only need one ticket per vehicle
⋅If you still strike out on getting a ticket, you can try the day before you want to enter the park when the park releases more tickets.
⋅Visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial reservations within the ⋅GTSR corridor can use their service reservation receipt for entry instead of the vehicle reservation from Recreation.gov. This included reservation applies only to the date of your service reservation.
⋅You may enter the park without a vehicle reservation ticket on the GTSR corridor if you enter before 6 am and after 4 pm MST. You may enter the North Fork Polebridge entrance without a vehicle reservation ticket before 6 am and after 6 pm.
⋅Print a copy of your ticket or download it on your mobile device before arriving at the park. (Lack of cell service and wifi may make it difficult to pull up.)
⋅You can always go rafting with us, and we can show you panoramic views of Glacier National Park from the river! (Trips with us do not count as a vehicle reservation ticket)
What are my alternatives to getting a vehicle reservation ticket?
⋅Arrive on foot or bicycle
⋅Book a tour that runs inside the park
⋅Purchase a shuttle pass at Reation.gov
⋅Overnight lodging inside Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor
⋅Book an activity that runs inside the park
⋅Get a backpacking permit
*A Park Pass is still required to enter the park even if you don’t have a vehicle reservation ticket.
Finding parking inside the park can be challenging during peak visitation times. Especially in popular areas like Avalanche Lake, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Falls. Having a vehicle reservation ticket does not guarantee a parking spot. We suggest that you make a list of where you would like to hike or explore and rank them highest to lowest. If your desired parking area is full, move on to the next spot on your list or try again at a later time.
Find more information about the Glacier National Park ticketing system: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrticketedentry.htm
We are looking forward to your visit this summer and hope you have one of the best experiences you could ever imagine!