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Going-to-the-Sun Road Ticketed Entry Info and FAQ

Glacier National Park has announced the implementation of a ticketed entry system for the Going-to-the-Sun Road for the 2021 summer season. Since this is a new program, there are a lot of questions and we're here to help.


What is an Entry Reservation Ticket?

Glacier National Park has implemented an Online Entry Reservation System (ticketed entry) for the summer 2021 season. This is a ticket that allows visitors entering at St. Mary or West Glacier to enter Glacier National Park to travel on Going-to-the-Sun Road.

When do I need an Entry Reservation Ticket?

  • During peak visitation times for the park which include:
    • From May 28, 2021 (Memorial Day weekend) through September 6, 2021 (Labor Day weekend)
    • Between 6 am and 5 pm MST during those dates

Where do I need an Entry Reservation Ticket?

  • The West Glacier Entrance Station
  • The St. Mary Entrance Station

Who needs an Entry Reservation Ticket?

  • Day-use visitors who arrive by private vehicle or motorcycle must have an online day-use entry reservation ticket and a current park pass when entering the park

How do I purchase an Entry Reservation Ticket?

  • Entry reservation tickets can be purchased at www.recreation.gov beginning at 6 am MST on April 29, 2021.
  • Tickets can be purchased up to 60 days in advance of your arrival date.
  • All entry reservation tickets must be purchased through www.recreation.gov. Entry reservation tickets will not be available for in-person purchase at the entry gates.
  • For more detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this article to the section titled: "Reserving Online Entry Reservation Tickets"

Exceptions:

  • Visitors arriving before 6am and after 5pm from May 28 to Sept 6, 2021 do not need an entry reservation ticket.
  • Visitors entering the park on or before May 27, 2021 AND visitors entering the park on or after September 7, 2021 do not need an entry reservation ticket.
  • Visitors arriving on foot or bicycle do not require a day-use entry reservation ticket.
  • Day-use reservations are included with any overnight lodging and service reservations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor between the West and St. Mary Entrance Stations.
    • This includes visitors with overnight accommodations, including Village Inn, Lake McDonald Lodge, Rising Sun Motor Inn, Granite Park and Sperry Chalets, Fish Creek Campground, or in-park private lodging, and visitors with reservations for wilderness camping, boat rides, guided hikes, horseback rides, or bus tours offered between the West and St. Mary Entrances of the park. This includes sightseeing tours and cycling tour booked with Whitefish Tours and Shuttle.
    • An entry reservation ticket for the day is included in your service reservation. The included entry reservation applies only to the dates of your service reservation.
    • Proof of a service reservation (e.g., lodging, tours, etc.) is required and will serve as your entry reservation ticket.

Questions:

Do I still need a park pass in addition to an entry reservation ticket to enter the park?

  • Yes, all visitors to Glacier National Park must purchase or possess a park pass to enter the park regardless of date or time.
  • A seven-day, annual, or lifetime entrance pass can be purchased at park entrance stations with a credit card or online here: https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74280

How many entry reservation tickets are available?

We don't know an exact number of how many will be available, but we do know that day-use entry reservation tickets will be limited. Approximately 2/3 of the entry reservation tickets will be available up to 60 days in advance with the remaining 1/3 of entry reservation tickets being released two days in advance. Prior to the full opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road there will be fewer tickets available each day.

What about the other park entrances?

Visitors entering the park at Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Polebridge, or along Highway 2 do not need an online entry reservation ticket. Access to these areas may be temporarily limited during times of peak visitation.

So I have my park pass and my entry reservation ticket. Do I need anything else?

Please be prepared to show your reservation confirmation and photo ID at park entrance stations upon arrival.

Do I need an online Entry Reservation Ticket if I have lodging or activity reservations inside the park?

Visitors with reservations for in-park lodging, camping, wilderness camping, boat rides, guided hikes, horseback rides, bus tours, or park shuttles along the Going-to-the-Sun Road do not need to reserve an online entry reservation ticket for the day of your reservation. An entry reservation ticket for the day is included in your service reservation. The included entry reservation applies only to the dates of your service reservation. Proof of a service reservation (e.g., lodging, tours, etc.) is required and will serve as your entry reservation ticket.

Do I need a separate online Entry Reservation Ticket for each day I visit the park?

No. Entry reservation tickets are valid for seven days and you can enter and exit the park at any point during this time. You will need a second entry reservation ticket if you visit for more than seven days or return for a second visit later in the summer.

How much does an Entry Reservation Ticket cost?

Tickets are free but require a $2 nonrefundable reservation processing fee.

Do I need an online Entry Reservation Ticket in addition to a park entrance pass if…

…I am only entering the park for one day to hike?
Yes, you will need to obtain a day-use entry reservation ticket through www.recreation.gov if your hike requires you to enter the park through the West or St. Mary Entrances, or your hike is along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor.

…if I am only passing through the park on Going-to-the-Sun Road?
Yes, you will need to obtain a day-use entry reservation ticket through www.recreation.gov to enter the West or St. Mary Entrances and drive Going-to-the-Sun Road.

…if I have reservations to stay overnight or take a tour in the park?
Day-use reservations are included with any overnight lodging and service reservations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor between the West Entrance and St. Mary Entrance. This includes visitors with overnight accommodations, including Village Inn, Lake McDonald Lodge, Rising Sun Motor Inn, Granite Park and Sperry Chalets, Fish Creek Campground, or in-park private lodging, and visitors with reservations for wilderness camping, boat rides, guided hikes, horseback rides, or bus tours along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the West and St. Mary Entrances of the park. An entry reservation ticket for the day is included in your service reservation. The included entry reservation applies only to the dates of your service reservation. Proof of a service reservation is required and will serve as your day-use entry reservation ticket.

Why is the online reservation system being implemented?

Glacier National Park has experienced record visitation and congestion issues in recent years. This management tool will improve traffic flow along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, reduce crowding and congestion, and enhance visitor experiences and safety. The reservation system also enables the park to better manage COVID-19 public health guidelines and mitigate impacts from the extensive construction projects on Highway 2 and Highway 89 planned by the Montana Department of Transportation in summer 2021.

Can I expect less crowded conditions along the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Visitors should still expect busy conditions in the park. The online entry reservation system (ticketed entry) will reduce crowding and congestion along the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, but will not relieve visitor demand and congestion in high visitation areas such as Avalanche, Logan Pass, and St. Mary Falls.


Reserving Online Entry Reservation Tickets

Day-use entry reservation tickets are only available online at www.recreation.gov or by using the recreation.gov mobile app (iOS/Android). Entry reservation tickets are free but require a nonrefundable $2 reservation processing fee. Visitors are encouraged to set up their account in advance. Once you set up an account, you will select the day you plan to visit the park, add it to your cart, and process payment. Visit the article on the Recreation.gov Help Center for detailed information on purchasing a reservation. After payment, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with an attached entry reservation ticket. Visitors should save the entry reservation ticket (e.g., print, download, screenshot). Day-use reservation tickets are non-transferable and resale or auction of reservations is prohibited.


More information on Going-to-the-Sun Road ticketed entry can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrticketedentry.htm