The Best time to visit Glacier National Park According to tourist and Expert Step by Step Full Guide

Glacier National Park- Because most people want to drive the Going to the Sun Road, raft and fish in the rivers, hike the trails, visit the backcountry Chalets, and explore several areas of the park on both sides of the Continental Divide, late June to mid-September is the best time to visit Glacier. We also encourage you to take part in all of those amazing activities, especially if this is your first time here!

But maybe you’re not like that. It’s possible that you really dislike crowds or that you’ve already tried all of those things. Despite the fact that we have hiked the trails and floated in the rivers each summer since 1983, we still find them to be too new each time. Just to be clear.) Continue reading to learn more about other times that might work best for you to visit Glacier!

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Glacier National Park

Despite being one of the most popular national parks in the country, Glacier National Park maintains a sense of solitude thanks to its 1,583 square miles of wilderness, which include more than 762 lakes and 1126 kilometers of hiking trails. The preserved piece of land is home to 71 animal species, 276 types of birds that have been documented, and three million people who visit it every year.

There is a lot to do and see, even virtually, whether you visit for a week or just one day, whether you prefer to hike or drive around. This holds true regardless of when you visit in January or July. Even though the park is open all year, there are some advantages to visiting during specific seasons. We’ve compiled a brief guide to the best and worst times to visit Glacier National Park to help you plan your trip.

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The Best time to visit Glacier National Park According to tourist and Expert Step by Step Full Guide

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The Best Time to Visit to Avoid the Crowds

In 2021, approximately three million people went to Glacier National Park. The majority of them chose to visit during the summer, when the Going-to-the-Sun Road is open and the weather is warm. However, plan your trip to take place during one of the park’s off-season times if you want to avoid crowds and pay less for admission.

If the weather cooperates, you can see the fall colors in October; however, keep in mind that portions of the Going-to-the-Sun Road begin to close in the middle of October. On the closed sections of the road, visitors can cross-country ski or snowshoe in the winter. In contrast, spring might be the park’s quietest season. As the ice melts, hiking trails in lower elevation areas of Glacier National Park will begin to reopen. “Trails on the edges of the park tend to be snow-free faster than towards the Continental Divide or middle of the park,” states the park’s website.

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The Best Time for Wildlife Spotting

Since its inception in 1910, Glacier National Park has served as a haven for wildlife. Many animals live there, including moose, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, mountain goats, wolves, bears, and mountain lions, in its diverse terrain. The fall is the best time to see most of these animals because the park is quiet and the animals are getting ready for winter.

Even though many people visit parks to see wild animals, you’ll want to do so safely. When camping in the park, keep a safe distance of at least 75 feet from all other wildlife and 300 feet from bears.

The Best time to visit Glacier National Park According to tourist and Expert Step by Step Full Guide

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The Best Time for Photography

It goes without saying that Glacier National Park has a lot of beautiful places to take pictures. Visit between the end of June and the middle of August for fields of wildflowers with mountain backdrops, including yellow lilies, purple fleabanes, and pink monkeyflower blooms, among others. In general, the best place to begin your search for wildflowers is Logan Pass.

Visit in the spring for waterfall photography when the water is flowing and the snow above is melting.

You can also take pictures of wildlife (the best time is in the fall), the night sky, including the northern lights, glaciers, and endless sunrises and sunsets.

The Best Time to Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road

The Going-to-the-Sun Road, which runs 80 km between the east and west sides of the park and cuts through the middle, is probably the park’s most popular attraction. Prioritize this if you only have one day to explore. You can cover a lot of ground while stopping off at Jackson Glacier Overlook, Logan Pass, and Lake McDonald, which are some of the park’s most popular attractions.

Going-to-the-Sun Road takes you over Logan Pass, which has a peak elevation of 6,646 feet, and across the Continental Divide. Certain sections of the route are closed in the winter and spring due to heavy snowfall and its elevation. Plan your trip for the months of July through October, when the road is typically completely open, if you want to see the entire route, which you should. The months of July and August may be your best bet for wildflowers.

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The Best Time for Warm Weather

The weather in the park is never predictable because of its northern mountainous terrain. It can change from sunshine to rain in a matter of minutes. Try to visit the park between the beginning of July and the end of October, when nearly everything is accessible and the weather is mild, if you want to experience the park on a sunny day with warm, hike-friendly weather.

If the weather changes midday, bring layers, such as a raincoat and hat, with you no matter when you go.

The Worst Time to Visit Glacier National Park

Driving the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road is impossible in the winter and spring, despite the summer’s noticeable increase in traffic. Unless you are willing to explore on skis, you should avoid going during the winter, when there are fewer wildlife sightings and access is more limited.

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The Cheapest Time to Visit Glacier National Park

Passes to Glacier National Park are less expensive from November to April. During the winter, the price of a seven-day private vehicle pass, which typically costs Rs 2855, drops to Rs 2,039. Additionally, the entrance fee per person ranges from Rs 1631 to Rs 1223.

“Vehicles entering Going-to-the-Sun Road and the North Fork area between May 27 and Sept. 11, 2022, must reserve a vehicle,” states the NPS. You will require a park pass in addition to a vehicle reservation.”

Planning your lodging and dining options in advance is also a good idea. There are a variety of lodging options, including a historic lodge, wilderness campsites, motels, motor inns, and even two backcountry chalets; however, you will need to book in advance.

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