WEST GLACIER - As the Labor Day holiday weekend approaches, Glacier National Park visitors are encouraged to plan ahead, prepare for crowds in the popular park areas, and expect shifting weather conditions.
The weather forecast indicates cooler temperatures and high winds are expected in the park this weekend, with the possibility of snow in higher elevations on Monday. Visitors are reminded to come prepared for fluctuating weather patterns when visiting the park. Temperatures can vary greatly throughout the park depending on elevation and atmospheric conditions.
As of 11 p.m. on September 6, GNP closed Going-to-the-Sun Road at Avalanche Creek due to winter weather conditions.
Fish Creek Campground is the only front-country campground currently open in the park. Camping at Fish Creek requires advanced reservation and the campground is scheduled to close Monday, September 7 at noon. Backcountry camping is available by permit only, which can be obtained at the Apgar Backcountry Permit Office up to 24 hours in advance. The backcountry permit office is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check the backcountry campground status page for current availability. Camping out-of-bounds or along roadsides is prohibited.
Lake McDonald is the only body of water open to watercraft in the park. All watercraft must be inspected by park staff for aquatic invasive species prior to launch. The boat inspection station is located in Apgar Village and hours are currently 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., 7 days a week.
All east entrances to the park remain closed due to COVID-19 operating requirements. Visitors can drive 43 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west entrance to Rising Sun. Visitors are reminded no gas stations are located inside the park.
The health and safety of our visitors and staff is paramount. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the park strongly encourages the use of face masks indoors and anywhere social distancing is not possible, such as crowded trails and scenic overlooks.
Visitors are reminded that wildlife, including bears, are active in the park. Never feed wildlife or leave food items unattended. Many popular hiking trails have been posted for bear frequenting. Check the park’s trail status webpage for current postings and closures. When hiking in bear country, visitors are encouraged to hike in groups, make noise while hiking, have bear spray available and know how to use it. If you encounter a bear inside the minimum recommended safe distance of 100 yards, move away and let the animal pass. Talk quietly and back away slowly, but do not run and never offer a food reward as a distraction. Review Glacier’s bear safety video for additional tips.
Fire danger rating is currently at “Very High” for Glacier National Park and surrounding areas. Very High fire danger means forest fuels are exceptionally dry and fire risk is serious. Campfires are allowed in designated fire grates only and must never be unattended. Use water to extinguish campfires until no heat remains. Ensure fires are completely out before leaving the area.