Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Local Services and Attractions
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Local Services and Attractions
Are hotels, restaurants, retail, and other businesses open in Whitefish?
Yes. It’s important to know that services might be limited and new safety protocols are in place. For more detailed information regarding individual businesses, we suggest calling those businesses directly or checking their status on their Facebook pages.
Am I required to wear a mask in public while in Whitefish?
YES. FACE MASKS ARE REQUIRED IN WHITEFISH. While Governor Gianforte lifted the state-wide mask mandate effective February 12, 2021, the City of Whitefish enacted Emergency Ordinance 21-01 requiring the use of face coverings in public.
- Masks are REQUIRED IN WHITEFISH to be worn in all indoor spaces open to the public.
- Masks are REQUIRED IN WHITEFISH to be worn for outdoor activities where social distancing is not possible or is not observed.
Notable exceptions to ordinance 21-01 include:
- Children under the age of five. All children between the ages of two and four, however, are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in accordance with the provisions of this emergency ordinance.
- Persons consuming food or drinks in an establishment that offers food or drinks for sale while seated.
- Further exceptions can be found here.
What safety protocols are in place at Whitefish Mountain Resort?
Whitefish Mountain Resort requires face coverings when in outside lines, and while loading and unloading the lift. Face coverings are required indoors in our public buildings. Face coverings can be removed while seated for eating and drinking purposes. They are required when riding the shuttle and S.N.O.W. Bus. Face coverings are required for ages 5 and up.
More information on additional steps Whitefish Mountain Resort is taking to keep residents, visitors and employees safe can be found here.
Is Glacier National Park Open?
Yes, Glacier National Park is open and face masks are required in all buildings and on park lands when physical distance cannot be maintained.
Current Status as of February 11, 2021
- Access to Going-to-the-Sun Road is available at the west entrance (West Glacier) only. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open at the West Entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge. Occasionally in extreme conditions the road may be closed at the foot of Lake McDonald. The inside North Fork Road is currently closed at Polebridge.
Check the Road Status webpage for up-to-date information.
The roads on the east side of the park are closed, as is typical for this time of year. Additionally most areas within the park, east of the Continental Divide, remain closed to all access due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, just outside the park. Non-essential travel on roads within the Blackfeet Indian Reservation is prohibited. Check the GNP road status page and glacierpark.info for most up-to-date information on road closures.
- All east side park entrances are closed for the season.
- Click HERE for a map of what is currently open.
Other Glacier National Park Winter information:
Skiing and Snowshoeing
Winter recreation access is permitted beyond the vehicle closure on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Skiing and snowshoeing along the road is a popular winter activity. The snow is beginning to get too deep for hiking on the road. Guided snowshoe trips are not being offered this winter.
Loop B of the Apgar Campground has opened for first-come, first served primitive camping. There is no water available and only vault toilets. Loop B will remain open for primitive camping through the winter.
Boating season closed on November 1, 2020.
Lodges, Restaurants, and Other Services
Glacier’s concessioners operating lodging, restaurants, boat rentals, horseback rides, and bus tours have closed for the season.
Private businesses in Apgar Village may be open periodically during the winter. Plan to bring food and other items you may need, just in case they are not open.
Trails and Backcountry Camping
Snow has accumulated on park trails. Winter conditions are in effect throughout the park trail system.
From November 20th to May 1st, special backcountry camping regulations are in effect. Due to COVID-19 precautions, permits will be issued electronically by advance reservation only. Call 406-888-7800 and press 5 to leave a call-back number. A ranger will return your call within 3 work days. Permits may be obtained up to 7 days in advance.
- Entrance fees are being collected by gate attendants. The self service kiosks are available at the entrance station for visitors when gate attendants are not present. Visitors can also purchase their park pass in advance at Recreation.gov
- The Glacier National Park Safety Guide can be see HERE
- The Glacier National Park Dashboard overview of the status of campgrounds, roads, etc. can be seen at: glacierpark.info
- Check the park website for updates.
Reminder: Visitor services are very limited. Visit the Glacier National Park Status Update Page for more information.
What about travel restrictions on tribal lands, specifically the east side of Glacier National Park?
Visitors to Montana should be aware travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic may vary on the seven Indian reservations in Montana. Click here for a map of their locations. As tribal governments continue to assess public health risks, travel restrictions may change at any time depending on current conditions.
In Glacier Country, visitors may drive through the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the Flathead Indian Reservation; however, services may be limited or unavailable, and recreation areas on tribal lands have been closed to non-residents. Plan to save any on-reservation activity for a future visit. Additionally, the eastern entrances to Glacier National Park will be closed for the summer. Specifically:
- Chief Mountain
- Cut Bank Creek
- Many Glacier
- St. Mary
- Two Medicine
Travelers are encouraged to contact the tribal governments for the latest information before beginning their trips in order to plan accordingly.
Where Can I Find Information on Health Care?
North Valley Hospital and Kalispell Regional Medical Center: https://www.krh.org/krhc/patients-and-visitors/covid-19-preparedness-and-updates If you are experienceing symptoms of cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, please call their 24-hour call center at 406-890-7272 for adults or 406-890-7273 for children.
Flathead County Health Orders and Phased Safety Measures: https://flatheadhealth.org/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
Flathead County Covid-19 Case Map can be found HERE
Where can I get tested for the Coronavirus?
Information on local testing sites can be found HERE
What happens if I test positive for COVID-19 while I am visiting the area?
If an individual tests positive in Flathead County, they will be required to isolate until they meet CDC criteria for release from isolation. Release from isolation must be cleared by the Health Department (MCA 50-18-107). If the individual is unable to leave Flathead County, isolation may result in someone staying in their current lodging situation for a longer period of time than initially planned. Please contact your host immediately. Click HERE to read the full protocol from the Flathead County Health Department.
Where can I find information about the Airport & Flight statuses?
What is the status of the U.S. / Canada Border?
The border between Canada and the United States is closed to all non-essential travel through at least March 21, 2021
Where can I find more visitor information in Whitefish?
- Visit ExploreWhitefish.com
- Visit the self service visitor information kiosks located in downtown Whitefish. Free Wifi is available at the kiosks as well as maps and travel guides:
- Central Ave. and Railway Street (O'Shaughnessy Center)
- Spokane Ave. and Depot Street (between Library and Whitefish Train Depot)
- E. 1st St. and Spokane Ave. (two kiosks located in free parking lot)
- Baker Ave. and E. 1st St (two kiosks located in free parking garage)
- E. 3rd St. and Central Ave.
- Visit, call, or email the Whitefish Visitor Information Center located at 505 East 2nd Street. They can also be reached via phone (877-862-3548) or email ([email protected]). The Visitor Center is open Mon-Fri from 9am - 3pm.
If you have questions or updates, please contact us at [email protected].