If you plan to visit Glacier National Park this summer, you’ve hopefully heard of the vehicle reservation required to enter parts of the park from May 24 through September 8, 2024. If not—don’t panic. This blog will provide you with options to enter the park without a vehicle reservation.

First, it’s important to note that it’s not too late to get a vehicle reservation. Vehicle reservations are available now for 120-day advance purchase on a daily rolling basis. In addition, approximately 50% of vehicle reservations are released at 7 p.m. MDT for next-day entry starting May 23, 2024. This system helps manage congestion within the park. It applies to the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the North Fork and Many Glacier during peak hours. Each location has unique details and requires a separate reservation. Learn more here.


New this year, visitors will be able to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the east side St. Mary entrance without a vehicle reservation. St. Mary provides access to the Going-to-the-Sun Road driving east to west. Please note, if you drive past the Apgar checkpoint on the west side, you will not be able to return to the east side via the Going-to-the-Sun Road until after 3 p.m. The Two Medicine entrance also does not require a vehicle reservation ticket for 2024.

In 2024, the St. Mary entrance will not require a vehicle reservation. Photo: Andy Austin


Visitors on the west side will be able to access Apgar Village amenities, including the Apgar Visitor Center, without a vehicle reservation. Lodging, camping (including front-country developed campgrounds and backcountry camping permits), transportation, and commercial activity reservations originating in Apgar will no longer provide access beyond the Apgar checkpoint. The Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle, operated by Glacier National Park, will pick up in Apgar. You do not need a vehicle reservation to ride the shuttle, however, long lines are expected to access the shuttle in Apgar this year. Shuttle services begin July 1, or when the road opens to vehicles, whichever date is later.

In 2024, visitors will be able to access Apgar Village without a vehicle reservation. Photo: Chris Sawicki


Go with a guide; if you book an activity within an area requiring a vehicle reservation, that is your vehicle reservation into the park for that day. While booking, verify with your guide that their service covers your vehicle reservation. Reserve a trail ride with Swan Mountain Outfitters, book an educational hike with Glacier Institute, or hop aboard a historic boat tour on Lake McDonald. Look for tours at Lake McDonald to access the west side entrance of the Going-to-the-Sun Road or tours at Many Glacier to access the Many Glacier area.

In 2024, booking certain commercial activities inside the zones requiring a vehicle reservation will cover your vehicle reservation entry for the day. Photo: Jason Savage

Examples of valid service reservations for commercial activities are listed below.

Activity Reservations


Additionally, a lodging, or camping reservation at Many Glacier or along the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road can be used in lieu of a vehicle reservation for that day. These exceptions do not apply to the North Fork corridor because that area does not offer lodging or guided activities and camping is first come, first served. A wilderness camping permit for both the Going-to-the-Sun Road west side and North Fork area will also be accepted as your vehicle reservation entry for the day.

In 2024, a lodging or camping reservation inside the zones requiring a vehicle reservation will cover your vehicle reservation entry for the day. Photo: Tony Bynum

Examples of valid service reservations for lodging and camping are listed below.

Camping Reservations

Lodging Reservations

Wilderness Camping Permits

  • For trailheads located inside vehicle reservation areas


From May 24 through September 8, 2024, visitors without vehicle reservations may enter vehicle reservation areas before 6 a.m. or after 3 p.m. without a vehicle reservation. This includes the west entrance of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Many Glacier and North Fork areas. Fortunately, in the summertime in Montana our sunrise begins at 5 a.m., and it stays light until after 10 p.m. A sunrise or sunset in Glacier National Park is unforgettable.

In 2024, you can enter Glacier National Park before 6 a.m. without a vehicle reservation. Bonus: a sunrise view is phenomenal.

Lastly, each vehicle entering the park must have an entrance pass for any entry point into the park. These passes could include any of the following: a $35 park pass, good for seven days; a valid Interagency Annual/Lifetime Pass; or a Glacier National Park Annual Pass. A vehicle reservation does not include a park entrance pass, and the park entrance pass does not serve as a vehicle reservation. Learn more facts and read FAQ about Glacier National Park and the vehicle reservation system, including accessing the park without one, here.

And, of course, the beauty of the park extends beyond the park’s boundaries, and there are plenty of awe-inspiring places to discover and amazing things to do just outside the park. For inspiration, read our Top 10 Things to Do Near Glacier National Park blog.

Please note: We ask that all our visitors and residents Recreate Responsibly by being mindful of the following: know before you go; plan ahead; play it safe; leave no trace; tread lightly; and help build an inclusive outdoors.

May 27, 2024

Related: About, American Indian, Glacier National Park, Montana, Outdoor Fun, Recreate Responsibly, St. Mary, Summer Fun, Vacation, West Glacier