Tag Archives: Glacier Park Campgrounds

Glacier National Park

RED LODGE POST

What is the weather like in Glacier National Park? How crowded is the park? And when do visitors arrive? Savvy visitors usually  weigh all three factors when timing their visit to Glacier. Data in the charts below is useful for planning a trip to Glacier.

Glacier park weather
Weather at West Glacier, Montana. Chart courtesy NPS.

Data in this chart is for West Glacier, Montana, at 3,200 feet in elevation. This weather station is at the west entrance to Glacier National Park. At Logan Pass, along Going-to-the-Sun Road, inside the park, the elevation is 6,647 feet. Expect much cooler temperatures at Logan Pass, as temperatures decrease with increasing elevation.

During July and August, the weather is very pleasant with comfortable, warm, daytime highs and cool nights. As can be expected for northerly latitudes, average daytime highs are still nice in June and September. In May and October, however, it’s time to wear cold weather clothing.

With average low temperatures in the 40s or less in every month, extra clothing is always a necessity.

Most visitors to the park arrive from May through September.  The peak months are July and August, with somewhat fewer visitors in June and September. Earlier and later in the season, the number of visitors is low. The park’s opening and closing, plus the weather are big factors in the number of visitors going to the park. And, of course, mid-summer is when many Americans and others hit the trail.

During the peak tourist season, Glacier National Park gets very crowded. Only one road, Going-to-the-Sun Road, runs through the Park. In a word, think traffic. It’s not uncommon for NPS to report that Apgar parking lot near Lake McDonald is full early in the day. NPS on its Website says, “Expect crowding and congestion in many areas of the park. Plan accordingly.”

Visitors Glacier NP
Visitors Glacier National Park 2019. Chart courtesy NPS.

Data in the chart show visitors to Glacier National Park in 2019. The table provides statistics for categories of use and by month. Annual totals for each category of use:

  • Recreation visitors (3,049,839)
  • Non-recreation visitors (13,103)
  • Concession lodging (119,960)
  • Tent campers (118,181)
  • RV campers (126,099)
  • Concession camping (0)
  • Backcountry campers (34,759)
  • Misc. campers (926)
  • Total overnight stays (399,924)

Many visitors choose to stays in tents or RVs. This arrangement puts visitors close to nature. The National Park Service provides wonderful campgrounds to accommodate. Tents and RVs are  expected as regular lodging is limited inside the park. And the lodging, such as Many Glacier Hotel and Lake McDonald Lodge, may be too expensive for some family budgets.

Some Facts About Glacier (source: NPS)

  • number of glaciers: 26
  • number of lakes: 762
  • number of species of mammals: 71
  • number of species of birds: 276
  • number of mountains: 175
  • number of class A campgrounds: 8; 943 sites
  • number of class B campgrounds: 5; 61 sites
  • number of backcountry campgrounds: 65; 208 sites
  • number of trails: 151; total length, 745.6 miles

As for size of Glacier National Park, measured on Google Earth,  east-west distance is about 35 miles; from north to south, distance is about 60 miles.

Travel Tip:

https://www.MontanaTraveler.com
Copyright © 2020 John Sandy




Many Glacier Campground

RED LODGE POST

Many Glacier Campground is a favorite of many folks who like to stay close to nature in Glacier National Park. The setting is unrivaled in nature with high mountain peaks in view from inside the campground. Swiftcurrent Creek and Lake are nearby.

Many Glacier Campground is located on the east side of the park, along Many Glacier Road which runs east to west inside the park and is a continuation of Glacier Route 3 from near the tiny village of Babb, Montana. Elevation at the campground is about 4,500 feet, so after sunset it can get cool outside.

Many Glacier Campground
Map of area in vicinity of Many Glacier Campground. Map courtesy National Park Service.

The area around the campground is heavily forested. Large lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, quaking aspen, and other vegetation blanket the landscape. Wildlife including bear, bighorn sheep, and moose live in the mountains near the campground.

Space is available for tents and RVs: 109 sites. The campground has potable water, restroom facilities, and bear proof food lockers. Each campsite has a picnic table.

This campground is a good stop for hikers, since Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg-Ptarmigan, Swiftcurrent Pass, and Cracker Lake Trailheads are nearby. Swiftcurrent Nature Trail in this area is an outdoorsy delight.

Many Glacier Trails
Trailheads near Many Glacier Campground. The Many Glacier Campground is near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn. Map courtesy National Park Service.

For services, Swiftcurrent Motor Inn is a short distance from the campground. The Inn has a restaurant, some groceries and shower facilities (for a fee). More services are available in the town of Babb, about 12 miles east of the campground, outside the east entrance to the park. Babb has general store, gas station, general store, restaurants, and a U.S. Post Office.

Check for details about the Many Glacier Campground on the park’s Website. Notice: NPS says Many Glacier Campground is closed for the 2020 season.

Campgrounds in Glacier National Park have regulations on length of stay and the types of RVs allowed. Other rules for using the park’s campgrounds must be followed, as well.

In addition to Many Glacier Campground, other popular campgrounds in Glacier are at Apgar (west side); Avalanche (west of Continental Divide); and St. Mary’s (east side). All three campgrounds are along Going-to-the-Sun Road inside the park.

Most campgrounds in the park are first-come, first-served, signed up for at entrances to the park. For some campgrounds, however, advanced reservations may be allowed. Check the park’s Website.

https://www.MontanaTraveler.com
Copyright © 2020 John Sandy