The Glacier National Park Camping Guide will tell you everything there is to know about camping in the crown of the continent. The Glacier National Park Camping Guide will talk about everything you can experience at the park. From the rugged mountains to the alpine meadows to the pristine forests and finally the clear, beautiful lakes.
The park has over seven hundred miles of trails. For the adventurous hikers who seek solitude and wilderness. Glacier National Park Camping is like paradise. Name a better way to spend a chilly summer night than under the stars and by the warm campfire. I bet you can’t.
Glacier National Park Camping is the best camping experience one could have. With 13 campgrounds over 1000 sites to choose from, the list of options is plentiful. Detailed information about the campsites such as – fees, permits, etc. vary per campground.
While some of them are RV, truck, and trailer friendly, the Bowman Lake, Cut Bank, Kintla Lake, Logging Creek, Quartz Creek, and Sprague Creek are not. Reservations for the sites on these campgrounds can be made online. During the summer season, the fees are usually between $10$ to $23 per night.
So, for the camping newbies and those interesting in the Glacier National Park camping experience. To tell you everything that you need to know. Here is the best Glacier National Park Camping Guide:
The Best Glacier National Park Camping Guide
Rules and Regulations to keep in mind
- You can only camp in the designated campgrounds/ campsites.
- There are no utility hook-ups provided. Connections to water, sewer, or electrical outlets are prohibited.
- Between July 1 and labor day, only fourteen days of the Glacier National Park Camping is permitted. This can be in a single period. Or even in combined smaller periods.
- And between labor day and June 30, only thirty days of the Glacier National Park Camping is permitted. This can also be in a single period. Or in combined smaller periods.
- Only a maximum of two tents is permitted per site. Campsite capacity is limited to 8 people and two vehicles where space is available.
- There are group campsites as well. Here, you can have a minimum of 9 and a maximum of 24 campers. But before using these group sites, you must check with a park ranger or a campground host. These sites are available at Apgar, Many Glacier, St. Mary, and Two Medicine.
- There is a recognized way to save your site. On a paper plate, you must write your name and the date. Then hand this across the entrance of your site. This will show that the site is taken. Make sure to take down all of such markings before you leave the campsite after your visit.
- You cannot leave a site unattended for over 24 hours.
- The check out time for these sites is noon. If you wish to stay another night, you must re-register by 11:30 am.
- If you have any valuables, you must secure them out of sight in a locked vehicle.
- The campgrounds have a speed limit of 10 miles per hour. Drive carefully.
Click here to read more about how you can plan your visit to the park.
Some things you should know
1. Storing food
While Glacier National Park Camping, this is something that one has to be very careful about. Why? Because animals are attracted to both food and food odors. All the food that you carry with you, including the lawfully taken fish, garbage, and even the equipment that you’ve used to cook.
Even the food that you’ve served and used for storage. All of the above must be stored in a vehicle or a camping unit. And that vehicle or camping unit must be constructed out of solid, non-pliable material, or suspended from any NPS designated food hanging device, or secured in any NPS designated storage locker.
This must be followed at all times, except when these items are being transported, consumed, or prepared for consumption. You must strictly not burn food or waste in the fire rings. And you must not leave litter around your camp.
Garbage must always be properly disposed of and stored at all times. Look into using bear-proof cans. You must follow all of these regulations. Because if you don’t, then violations of these regulations may cost you a fine up to $75. And also, confiscation of those items.
2. The quiet hours and generator use
Whatever you’re up to, you must ensure that the activities that you are participating in do not disturb the other campers. 10:00 pm to 6:00 am are the quiet hours. The use of generators while Glacier National Park Camping is only permitted during 8:00 – 10:00 am; 12 noon – 2:00 pm; and 5:00 – 7:00 pm.
In some of the campgrounds through the use of generators is permitted at all times. Fish Creek, C Loop. Many Glacier, sites 48-59, 71, and 88-102. Rising Sun – sites 49-84. Spraque Creek, All sites St. Mary, A Loop. Two Medicine sites 1-36. Cutbank Campground, all sites.
Something else that’s prohibited is the unreasonable idling of motor vehicles.
3. About Pets
Many would like to share the Glacier National Park Camping experience with their pets as well.
All areas except the developed areas, front country campsites, and the picnic areas strictly prohibit pets. They are permitted in along roads open to motor vehicles, and in vessels on lakes as well.
Pets must be on a leash that is at least six feet short. If not leashes, they must be on physical pet restraints or in cages. But you cannot leave pets tied to things and unattended either.
Some other rules you have to follow while Glacier National Park Camping area that owners must always clean up after pets. And dispose of their waste in a trash receptacle. And they must not allow their pets to make unreasonable noise.
4. Making Fires and using Firewood
Gathering of firewood or cutting firewood is only allowed in certain areas. If you’re on a Glacier National Park Camping experience and you do so in any other area, it is deemed unlawful.
The few areas where it is allowed are. Long the Inside North Fork Road from Dutch Creek to Kintla Lake. And along the Bowman Lake Road. And lastly, in the vicinity of backcountry campgrounds allowing wood fires.
But even in these areas, only the deadwood that is on the ground is to be used as fuel for campfires. And the fires that you make Fires must be attended to at all times. They must only be inside the designated grates.
Whenever you’re leaving, confirm that your fire is dead and has been put off. You can also purchase firewood at most camp stores. Make note that fireworks are prohibited in the park.
5. Sanitation and use of water
At the Glacier National Park Camping grounds, you cannot use the campsite faucets to wash dishes, clothing, clean fish, prepare food, or to bathe.
And all the wastewater must be disposed of in utility sinks or RV dump stations. The wastewater even includes showers or dishwashing; it must be contained and then disposed of. And all RV’s have to use drain hoses at these dump stations. Never leave wastewater unattended.
At the Rising Sun and Swiftcurrent Motor Inns and private campgrounds adjacent to the park, fee showers are available. Fish Creek and St. Mary Campgrounds have showers available for registered campers as well.
About the Top Five Campsites
Glacier National Park Camping offers 13 front-country campgrounds. These give you over a thousand sites to choose from or even compete for. It depends on the season.
Luckily the park has a webpage that will tell you what time of day the campground filled, which is good for planning purposes. It’s easier for one to check which sites are available and which ones are sold out.
There are a few commercial campgrounds outside the park as well. But here’s all you need to know about the top grounds in Glacier National Park Camping.
1. The Apgar Campground
This is the largest campground that Glacier National Park Camping has to offer. It costs about $20 per night. It is near Apgar Village. In this village, you will also find the Apgar Visitor Centre, gift shops, a camp store, and a casual restaurant.
But it doesn’t just end here. The village has more to offer: horseback riding reservations, boat rentals, shuttle service, and even a bus tour service.
The campground is situated in trees and provides tent and RV campers with shade and some privacy. Potable water is accessible in the campground, and restroom facilities have both flush toilets and sinks with running water.
Apgar Campground is open for primitive camping April 1 through May 1 and again in the Fall from October 14 through November 30. Primitive camping is $10 per night.
2. The Fish-creek Campground
The second-largest campground that Glacier National Park Camping has to offer at $23 a night. It is located just off the Camas Road approximately 2.5 miles from Apgar Village on the west side of Glacier.
Potable water is accessible in the campground, and restroom facilities provide flush toilets and sinks with running water. Fish Creek serves as a central location to many day hikes in the area, including the Rocky Point Trail, where you have the opportunity to hike through a burn area from the Robert Fire of 2003.
Some of the campsites though, might not directly be on the shore of Lake McDonald, offer filtered views of the lake. Take advantage of morning and evening drives along Camas Road, where there is a good chance of seeing wildlife. It is also one of the two campgrounds that take reservations.
3. Kintla Lake Campground
The most remote front country and car camping campground in Glacier National Park Camping will cost you around $15 a night.
It is located in the uppermost northwest section of the Glacier National Park, known as the North Fork. It is approximately 40 miles from the west entrance and the Canadian border. The drive to this place might give you a tough time thanks to the slow and bumpy dirt roads. But the scenic views on the way are worth it.
Due to its remote location, the campground is tranquil and very rarely filled, offering tent campers a sense of solitude. A hand pump is available for potable water, and pit toilets are located in the campground as well.
For those who canoe and kayak, Kintla Lake is a paddler’s paradise; no Motorcraft is allowed. Fisherman will also enjoy Kintla Lake for the trout found in it.
If you’re fond of lakes, then we’ve got just the spot for you. Click here to read more about the infamous Lake Louise, Canada.
4. Bowman Lake Campground
Located in the North Fork area of the Glacier, this ground at Glacier National Park Camping will also cost you about $15 a night.
It is approximately 32.5 miles from the west entrance and 30 miles from the Canadian border. Over the pristine Bowman Lake, mountains tower. The campground is close to the shore, and campsites have trees for shade and some privacy.
This will give you the best Glacier National Park Camping experience if what you are looking for is serenity. But a lot of mosquitos often also camp at the Bowman Lake with you, so make sure to carry insect repellent and bug nets with you.
Potable water is available from water spigots in the campground; pit toilets are nearby. And the sites at this campground are on a first-come-first-serve basis.
5. Quartz Creek Campground
The smallest campground at Glacier National Park Camping. This primitive ground will cost you $10 a night.
Tent campers will enjoy a true wilderness Glacier National Park Camping experience at this campground. This small campground is located within trees, and views are limited. It is only about a 6-mile hike to Lake Quartz.
The campground is equipped with pit toilets. Limited amenities can be found in the Pole bridge. RVs and truck and trailer combinations are not recommended here due to the nature of the long, narrow road to the campground.
The sites here are also on a first-come, first-serve basis. And remember to carry your drinking water with you as this campground does not have water.
With a total of 700 miles of trails, many picturesque lakes, and towering mountains. The designated UNESCO World Heritage site and biosphere reserve, Glacier National Park, has a lot to offer visitors.
If you have any camping tips, experiences to share from your Glacier National Park experience, or any comments and views than do share them with us! We’d love to hear what you have to say.