Glacier in the fall is a special place. The seasonal change of colors on the landscape starts in mid-September and lasts through the end of October. Color comes in two wave. The first trees to turn are the aspens and cottonwoods. The lower slopes on the east side of the park can be a blaze with bright yellow aspen, tipped in orange. The cottonwoods line the streams with yellows and browns. As they start to fade the larch trees begin their dramatic show. Larch are a deciduous conifer and can blanket a hillside is vibrant color. Look for particularly good displays of yellow-orange larch along the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and all along the west side of the park. Peak larch color is typically in mid-October.
Weather is always unpredictable but especially so in Glacier. Cold snowy days and warm sunny days are both common any time of year. Temperatures vary with time of day and elevation, so be prepared with layers of clothing.
Many animals in Glacier are active year-round. Stay vigilant as you drive park roads. All park visitors should carry bear spray in a readily accessible location, should know how to use it, and should remember required safe wildlife viewing distances. If an animal reacts to your presence you are too close. Please remain at least 100 yards away from bears or wolves, and no closer than 25 yards of any other wildlife.
Tips for Dealing with Crowds
May through September is the busiest time of the year in Glacier National Park. Within that, July and August are the busiest of all.
Leave No Trace
Many visitors fall in love with Glacier and then want to know how to reduce their footprint.
Water is the number one cause of fatalities in Glacier National Park. Please use extreme caution near water.
Last updated: October 31, 2019