Starting May 28, 2021, visitors to the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor entering from both the West Glacier and St. Mary entrances will be required to have a reservation for entry between the hours of 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. This system will stay in effect through Sept. 6, 2021.
A reservation can be obtained from recreation.gov starting at 6 a.m. MST on April 29, 2021. Two-thirds of reservations will be available online 60 days in advance and the other third of reservations will be released online 48 hours in advance. The reservation costs $2 and is required in addition to a park pass.
The entry reservation is valid for seven days and visitors can enter the park on any day of their reservation to validate it. During that seven-day period, visitors can enter the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor as many times as they want. A photo ID for the reservation holder will be required in addition to the reservation confirmation upon entering the park.
Visitors to other areas of the park including Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Polebridge and Hwy. 2 will not need a reservation. If you’re entering the park on foot or bicycle, you don’t need a reservation either. If you have a reservation for lodging or camping along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor, or if you have reservations for a commercial tour such as horseback riding or a guided hike, you don’t need an entry reservation for the dates of your lodging or tour. You’ll need to present your lodging or tour reservations, along with a photo ID, upon entry.
The entry reservations are hoping to curb the famous traffic on Going-to-the-Sun Road. (Download a PDF map)
“We have the making of a perfect storm this season,” said Park Superintendent Jeff Mow in a press release. “Not only do we have ongoing COVID-19 mitigations and reduced staffing, but we are also facing construction delays inside and around the park.”
In 2020, temporary closures were required 29 times at the West Entrance. The new reservation system hopes to alleviate that and allow visitors peace of mind that they’ll be able to access the park when they plan to.
Reservations won’t guarantee a parking spot at some of the more crowded parking lots like Avalanche, Logan Pass and St. Mary Falls. For your best bet at snagging a parking spot, enter the park early in the morning, or late in the evening. During Montana summers daylight lasts for 15 or 16 hours, so there’s plenty of time to explore if you get out early or stay out late.
For more information, visit https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/gtsrticketedentry.htm.