GNP decides against ticketed entry system amidst congestion

Courtesy: Glacier National Park Facebook

WEST GLACIER - Glacier National Park has decided against implementing a ticketed entry system after discussing with park staff, local businesses and parks already implementing similar systems.

On June 27, GNP officials learned that access across the Blackfeet Reservation would remain closed for the summer due to COVID-19 and staff immediately began to explore implementing a ticketed entry system similar to what Yosemite National Park had put in place.

GNP has seen high levels of congestion at the west entrance of the park due to other areas being closed, fewer recreational opportunities, and limited services.

Superintendent Jeff Mow engaged with over 100 local businesses and met with park officials that implemented a similar system and discussed their experiences at length. After considering input from many sources and the uncertainty of upcoming conditions, park officials decided that the timing isn't right to implement a ticketed entry system this summer.

“We heard support for a reservation system from community constituents because they know the park is at maximum capacity,” said Mow. “But there were serious concerns about implementing such a system with such short notice and midway through the visitor season.”

Right now visitors are reminded that the park is very busy and can quickly become congested throughout the summer. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and arrive to the park early.

“This continues to be a summer like no other. It is uncertain if visitation will continue to increase or how COVID-19 may require us to change how the park is managed for visitors,” said Mow. “As we have for the last several weeks, our goal is to provide the best visitor experience under these challenging and uncertain conditions.”

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