Frequently Asked Questions


Going-to-the-Sun Road

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When will Going-to-the-Sun Road open?
Plowing Going-to-the-Sun Road is a monumental challenge each year. Unpredictable spring snow storms or other weather related events can slow down plowing progress. It is not uncommon for plowing crews to need to re-plow sections of park roads when weather events happen. Safety for our plowing crews, contractors, and the public is our utmost concern and priority. These unknown factors make predicting the opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road impossible, although the road typically opens by mid-July. Our Directions, Transportation, & Road Conditions page provides information on where plows are working. As the status of the road changes, we will immediately update the page immediately.

Portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road remain open all year and provide access to locations like Apgar Village and Lake McDonald Lodge. Please check our Directions, Transportation, & Road Conditions page for the sections of road that are open.

What if I have more questions about the Going-to-the-Sun Road?
We have a Going-to-the-Sun Road General Information page that covers all the basics about travel on Going-to-the-Sun Road.



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What does it mean when a campground is in Primitive Status?
Campgrounds in primitive status do not have flush toilets or potable water.

Do the campgrounds have showers?
The St. Mary, Fish Creek, and Apgar campgrounds have showers only for guests staying at those campgrounds. Many Glacier and Rising Sun campgrounds have showers for purchase from the Swiftcurrent and Rising Sun Campstores. There are also private campgrounds outside the park that sell shower service. Check with the Campground Host to find out where there are showers available near your campground.

Does someone check me in at the campgrounds? How do I find a campsite?

All reservation-only campgrounds in the park (Apgar, Fish Creek, Sprague Creek, Avalanche Creek, Many Glacier, Two Medicine, and St. Mary Campgrounds) do not have check-in kiosks; proceed directly to your site and a Campground Host will check you in at your site.

If you are camping at our first-come, first-serve sites, there may be different procedures, depending on the location. Generally, campers will stop at the fee station and pick up a fee envelope, proceed into the campground and find an available campsite. Place your fee envelope in the fee tube within a ½ hour of picking your site. Credit cards are accepted at all our campgrounds

Can I make reservations for an auto campground?
Yes, reservations can be made online for Fish Creek, Apgar, Sprague Creek, Avalanche, St. Mary, Two Medicine, and Many Glacier campgrounds. Some campsites have reservations available 6 months prior, while others are available beginning 4 days in advance. All bookings are made through at 1-877-444-6777 or online at

We have a large group of campers, do you have group sites? Can you reserve these group campsites?
Group sites are for groups of 9 to 24 campers. For group site reservations, Apgar Campground's 5 group sites can be reserved up to one year in advance (after the summer of 2024, these sites will only be reservable six months in advance). St. Mary Campground has 1 group site that can be reserved up to one year in advance. Many Glacier and Two Medicine campgrounds have 1 group site each, both are reservable six months in advance.. For reservations at St. Mary and Apgar Group sites, call at 1-877-444-6777 or reserve online at

How do I know how early I need to show up for a first come, first serve campsite?
Campgrounds fill quickly. It is recommended to arrive by 9:00 am. If you want to receive live updates when campgrounds fill, sign up for Glacier National Park Notifications. It’s as easy as texting GNPCGS to 333111 to sign up!

Are campgrounds open year round?
Most campgrounds are closed in the winter. Apgar Campground and St. Mary Campground each have one loop open for winter camping.

Do you have any generator-free campsites?
Yes, the entirety of Sprague Creek Campground, Loop C in Fish Creek Campground, Loop A in St. Mary Campground, sites 49-84 in Rising Sun Campground, sites 86-100 in Many Glacier Campground and sites 1-36 in Two Medicine Campground.

While camping, where do I store food to keep it safe from wildlife?
All food, caught fish, trash, and any equipment used to cook, serve, or store food must be stored securely at all times (except when these items are being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption). Safe places include sealed in a vehicle or solid, non-pliable camping unit. Most campgrounds have NPS designated storage lockers and bear-proof trash cans available as well.

For backcountry campsites, secure by suspending from any NPS designated food hanging device or in an Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) approved bear resistant container.



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When do your trails open?
Trail status is unpredictable because trails may be closed for many reasons including snow cover and wildlife activity. The Highline Trail and Grinnell Glacier Trail are two of Glacier’s most popular trails and are often closed well into the summer season due to snow. Lower elevation trails tend to melt-out by late April or early May. Snow and other hazards exist on most of Glacier’s higher elevation trails until mid-July. Please check our Trail Status Reports page before your visit. Weather conditions change year to year and the status of a trail can change from day to day. Even after a trail is opened, there may still be small snow fields. Hikers should assess their comfort level and be ready to turn around if they cannot cross a snow field safely. Trails may also be closed at any time of the year due to wildlife behavior, such as bear frequenting.

When arriving at Glacier, all three visitor centers (Logan Pass, St. Mary, and Apgar) will have daily trail status reports posted. These reports include all wildlife-related trail postings and closures.

Is hiking the Highline Trail scary?
There are portions of the trail that have exposure, the most noticeable beginning one hundred yards or so from the trailhead at Logan Pass. The trail can be 3-5 feet wide in places, with a large drop-off on one side of the trail. There is a hand cable available for about 50 yards. The Highline Trail is a gorgeous trail and provides access to the high country's stunning scenery.

When does the Ptarmigan Tunnel open?
Trail crews attempt to open the tunnel around the second week of July, depending on snow conditions. If you have a scheduled backpack trip and are coming around that time, it is advisable to call or check in at a visitor center or ranger station upon arrival.

When can I hike all the way to Grinnell Glacier?
Portions of the trail are accessible to hiking, but the trail is not completely accessible to Grinnell Glacier until mid to late July. This closure is because there are high-angle snow fields on the Grinnell Glacier trail. Crews must wait for snow to melt enough to access and clear higher portions of the trail.

Do you have Ranger-led hikes?
Yes, we do! We have many daily Ranger-led activities including long hikes, short walks, wildlife safety demonstrations, short talks, evening programs, and astronomy programs. Our programs begin around the third week of June and begin tapering off around Labor Day. We have limited Ranger-led activities through the end of September.


Driving Times

Times within and around the park are estimates and will vary with construction and time of day.

St. Mary to Many Glacier Valley: 20 miles, 30-40 minutes
St. Mary to Two Medicine Valley: 34 miles, 1 hour
St. Mary to Waterton Lakes National Park: 50 miles, 1 hour plus customs
West Glacier to East Glacier: 56 miles, 1 hour
West Glacier to St. Mary (Going-to-the-Sun Road): 50 miles, 2 to 2 1/2 hours
West Glacier to St. Mary (US Hwy 2 to Hwy 89): 90 miles, 2 to 2 1/2 hours
West Glacier to Many Glacier: 70 miles, 2 1/2 to 3 hours
West Glacier to Polebridge: 28 miles, 1 hour



If you want to know about park visitation or how many mountains there are in Glacier, check the Park Statistics page or the Glacier Fact Sheet.

Last updated: September 13, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



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