Saturday, September 30, 2023


Glacier National Park’s future: Public input requested

WEST GLACIER, Mont. (August 16, 2023) — Glacier National Park is seeking public feedback through September 30, 2023, on how visitors will access and experience the park in 2024. The park will host a series of virtual and in-person public meetings in late August to provide information from the past vehicle reservation pilot programs and answer questions. The public input from this process will be used to inform a strategy for summer 2024.

Over the past two decades, annual visitation at Glacier National Park has increased from approximately 1.5 million to over 3 million. Much of this use is concentrated along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor and other front-country destinations during the peak season of June through September.

The park is in the third summer of piloting a vehicle reservation system for major park entrances. The pilots were initiated in summer 2021 as a response to increasing issues with traffic congestion including backups onto U.S. Highway 2, infrastructure capacity, and impacts to park resources from high concentrations of people in the most popular areas of the park. Ongoing pilot reservation systems in summers 2022 and 2023 have provided opportunities to learn more and explore their viability in achieving desired conditions in the park.

Since the park initiated the pilot, it has collected and analyzed visitor use data, as well as feedback from the local community and others, to refine the parameters of the reservation system and continue to improve the visitor experience.

“We have learned a lot from the last three years of pilot reservation systems,” said Park Superintendent Dave Roemer. “We’d like to hear from the public about what has worked, what hasn’t worked, and what ideas they have for managing high visitation at Glacier for 2024. We are listening, and truly need that input before we begin to develop a strategy for next summer.”

There are several opportunities to learn more about this public engagement process and ask park staff questions. Scheduled meetings include:

Wednesday, August 23 – Virtual meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Join by following the link at

Monday, August 28 – Open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Mary Visitor Center on the east side of the park.

Tuesday, August 29 – Open house from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cedar Creek Lodge in Columbia Falls.

“The goal of this effort is to provide the best possible access while protecting the park and ensuring visitors have meaningful and enjoyable experiences,” Roemer said. “This work is central to the National Park Service mission, and we are looking forward to continued engagement with our partners, communities, tribes, and park friends to make sure that happens.”

The project website provides a summary of key issues, the history of visitation and visitor use management in the park, and instructions for how to formally submit comments.

SOURCE: NPS news release



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1 month ago

would have loved to go there. actually was in the beginning stages of planning but got scared off. was rumor or controlling people by increasing the out of state camper fees and then just the sheer volume of people there all summer long. i have a relative in Kalispell and can mooch dock but that wouldnt get me in to see the sights. no thanks. ill keep enjoying my northern Cali hotspots and skip Zion and Glacier

Nick H
1 month ago

Lived in Great Falls, MT for nearly 30 yrs. Have been to Yellowstone and Glacier countless times. The best times are in the off season with 80-90 percent less people. If you must do the Sun road, go in mid to late September. Late April to mid May is great for Yellowstone.

Arturo and Karen Moya
1 month ago

My wife and I got to visit Glacier National Park from the East side this time in July. Our previous time we were in the west side of the park and the “going to the sun” run was not open past a certain point going east. This time we were lucky enough to enjoy the road and park’s beauty. We did not drive our SUV.
We used the Pop-on-pop off shuttle system. we were very impressed and happy with it. Yes, there were TOO many people, I think there’s got be a way to minimize the traffic perhaps by increasing public transportation and limiting private vehicles.

1 month ago

I agree. It works well at Zion. They are just going to have to build the parking infrastructure to accommodate the cars.

Ed Thomas
1 month ago

We were there in mid July this year. Came in from St Mary’s (north entrance) and drove up to the visitors center. At 2 pm, it was crowded, but not excessively. We had our pass from the lake tour we had purchased and drove straight in and up the road to the Sun.
We were able to find a parking space shortly after arriving and the only wait we had was checking out with our souvenirs.

Split Shaft
1 month ago

My wife and I have never been there. However, with nearly 1 millions visitors per month, likely we will never visit due to the crowds. Bumper-to-bumper cars and guardrail-to-guardrail people are not my idea of enjoying our national parks. I have seen the fire falls in Yosemite in the 60’s. Those do not exit anymore either due to too many people.

Neal Davis
1 month ago

Thank you! DW is keen to visit national parks, but I’m not. They are way too crowded for my tastes. I am uncomfortable among such crowds. When we are at home, there are two of us occupying 120 acres. Add a couple, or even four, visitors and you’ve reached my ideal level of congestion. 😉

Bill Byerly
1 month ago

Love Glacier N.P., hate the crowds. This gives everyone a chance to speak up and voice their opinions. Thanks to the park for this opportunity.

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