Glacier National Park has been recognized in recent years for its scenic beauty and cultural significance, and its rise in popularity is no coincidence. RVers are in a unique position to experience this iconic park, with the ability to stay close by and check out nearby adventure spots along the way. Here is everything you need to know when planning your RV trip to Glacier.
Glacier is truly a four-season park, and winter lingers into summer months at high elevation. That means that many areas of the park are not accessible until late June, or even July, if you're traveling by vehicle. You can check road conditions and closures on the park website, so you are prepared ahead of time. And remember, some areas might be closed to cars, but that doesn't mean you can't bike, hike, snowshoe or ski your way up.
To manage summer crowds, Glacier is implementing a reservation ticket system for the Going-to-the-Sun Road in 2021. The tickets are required on top of an entry fee or national parks pass, and you can pick one up through the NPS online system. But if you have a tour booked, whether a historic boat tour or the classic red bus tours, your reservation for that will get you in along with your pass as well. And the tours are a great way to see the park without having to get behind the wheel on white-knuckle sections of alpine road.
When you're hauling a big rig around on winding mountain roads, you need to know what you're getting into. Inside the park, the Going-to-the-Sun Road has a total length restriction of 21 feet long (including the truck if you're hauling a trailer), 10 feet tall, and 8 feet wide. But even if you're just barely within that size limit, it still may be best to take a shuttle or unhitch, since the Going-to-the-Sun is notorious for breaking side mirrors and offering limited parking.
To get around the park with a big RV, the road less traveled is your friend. Highway 2 skirts the park's southern boundary, and the whole ride is just as scenic as the views you'll find inside Glacier.
Glacier's previously free and first come, first served shuttles are now on a reservation system with a ticket price set at $1 each. But that only makes the system more convenient, since it won't leave you waiting on the road as full shuttles pass you by. This is a great way to ditch the rig while inside the park and enjoy the views without stress.
Once you've dreamed up your trip, finding a place to park during a busy summer season is the next step. Make sure you plan ahead and book early, as things fill up quickly.
For amenities and hookups in a scenic, wooded area, Glacier Peaks Campground and RV Park is a gem just a 30-minute drive from the west entrance of Glacier National Park. Plus, it's located in nearby Columbia Falls, close to supermarkets and breweries, and on the way to all the other attractions of the Flathead Valley. Get ready for your stay, and book your spot at the gateway to Glacier.