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Glacier National Park is a stunning testament to unfettered wilderness and shifting geology. And day trips only uncover a fraction of the grandeur presented through all 1,500 square miles of the park. Traveling to Glacier, in far Northwest Montana, isn’t necessarily a quick trip. This means overnight visits are the best way to experience the Crown of the Continent, known as Glacier National Park.
Despite the drive to access the park, Glacier is one of the most popular national parks in the country, and campgrounds tend to fill up fast. Only a few campgrounds accept advanced reservations, while the rest offer sites on a first-come, first-served basis. And bigger campgrounds that cater to both tents and RVs tend to fill to capacity during the peak season between June and September.
The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road traverses Glacier National Park from east to west. Five of 13 campgrounds within Glacier National Park are along this route, making this architecturally impressive roadway the main thoroughfare within the park. These campgrounds tend to fill up most quickly, while other areas like Bowman Lake and Two Medicine gradually fill throughout the day.
Campgrounds are also available outside the park, offering alternative camping options nearby. These campgrounds range from Forest Service campgrounds to private enterprises. And like every campground in the region during the summer, expect every site to fill throughout the week.
A note about camping in Glacier National Park in 2021: Due to global events, camping opportunities in Glacier National Park are limited. The following campgrounds are not operating in 2021: Avalanche Creek, Cut Bank, Rising Sun, and St. Mary. These campgrounds are expected to re-open in future seasons.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.
1. Apgar Campground
Apgar Campground is the largest campground in Glacier National Park. It’s located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road less than three miles from the West Entrance and within a short walk of the Apgar Village with restaurants, gift shops, and camping supplies available. Campers also find other resources like a visitor center and Ranger Station nearby, as well as concessionaires offering services like guided horseback rides and kayak rentals.
The campground has nearly 200 sites, accommodating both tents and RVs. Individual campsites at Apgar Campground are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Securing a site can be a bit stressful and involves circling the campground in the morning and waiting for someone to pack up their things. Five group sites that accommodate up to 24 people are available for advance reservation.
All campers have access to running water and bathhouses. The sprawling shore of Lake McDonald is only a short walk away where its easy to spend the afternoon near the water. The free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle has a stop inside the Apgar Campground, enabling access to many of the top places to visit in Glacier National Park,
Apgar Campground operates year-round with free primitive camping available during the winter.
Official site: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/camping.htm
2. Many Glacier Campground
the Many Glacier Campground is on the east side of Glacier National Park and is surrounded by day hikes, wildlife, and big mountain attractions. It’s next to the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn–a combination gift shop, restaurant, and lodging option.
Prior to 2020, approximately half of the 109 sites at the campground were available for advance reservation. In 2021, the park service made the entire campground reservation-only. Reservations are available six months ahead of time.
Many Glacier Campground sites cater to tent camping and camper vehicles, and a few accommodate RVs over 21 feet. Numerous best hiking trails in Glacier stem from the Many Glacier Campground, including routes to iconic spots like Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake. The picture-perfect Many Glacier Hotel is also nearby, overlooking the stunning Swiftcurrent Lake.
The Many Glacier region of the park is not located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Commercial services do offer private shuttles back and forth to the St. Mary Visitor Center. Many Glacier Campground closes for the season on October 31st.
Address: Continental Divide Trail, Browning, Montana
3. St. Mary Campground
St. Mary Campground is the largest campground on the east side of the park and is one of three campgrounds with campsites reservable ahead of time. The campground is near the banks of St. Mary Lake, and a short hiking trail connects the campground to the St. Mary Visitor Center. At the Visitor Center, visitors pick up the free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle to explore the rest of the park.
St. Mary Campground accommodates both tents and RVs, though no electric hookups are available. All overnight guests have access to potable water. Loop A at the campground is generator-free and generally recommended for tent campers. Showers are available in Loop C of the campground.
Nightly ranger talks occur throughout the summer and shoulder seasons at St. Mary Campground amphitheater. And the St. Mary Village, located a mile from the campground and just outside the park, offers services like restaurants, gas stations, and a grocery store. Intrepid explorers can primitive camp for free at the picnic area of St. Mary Campground throughout the winter.
Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, East Glacier
4. Fish Creek Campground
Fish Creek Campground is the second largest campground in Glacier National Park and is also one of three campgrounds that accept reservations for standard campsites. It’s on the west side of the park along the scenic Camas Road, and less than four miles from the West Entrance.
All 178 campsites at Fish Creek have access to running water and registered campers are welcome to use the camp showers located in Loop A. Evening ranger programs occur nightly throughout the peak season at the Fish Creek Amphitheater, and the campground is located next to an abundance of hiking trails including the Rocky Point Nature Trail.
Fish Creek has a slightly shorter operating season than other campgrounds in the park, with no availability between September 1st and May 31st. The morning and evening are particularly good times to spot wildlife in and around the campground.
Address: Fish Creek Campground Road, West Glacier, Montana
5. Two Medicine Campground
Eleven miles from the East Glacier Park Village, this 100-site campground is in a less-busy region of the park not connected to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Tent campers and RV dwellers still fill the campground to capacity during the summer months, though. Only 10 sites are available for RVs up to 36 feet in length.
The campground is on the banks of the postcard-worthy Two Medicine Lake, with numerous hiking trails stemming from the campground alongside opportunities to boat across the water. All sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Two Medicine Campground offers running water between June and September, with primitive camping available in October. The campground closes throughout the winter.
Address: East Glacier Park, Montana
6. Avalanche Campground
Adjacent to the popular trailhead for Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars, this first-come, first served campground caters to both tents and RVs. Though less than half of the 87 sites at Avalanche Campground can accommodate RVs over 26 feet in length. Sites fill up fast throughout the summer season.
Avalanche Campground is 15 miles from the West Entrance of the park, and is easily accessible from the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The campground and adjacent trailhead have their own shuttle stop. Running water is available for all overnight campers.
Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier
7. Rising Sun Campground
Rising Sun Campground is six miles from the St. Mary Entrance of the park. Every one of its 84 sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The campground is halfway along the banks of St. Mary Lake and adjacent to the Rising Sun Motor Inn, which features casual dining and a small store, as well as coin-operated showers.
Campers can catch the free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle from the campground, and all overnight visitors have access to running water.
Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, East Glacier
8. Sprague Creek Campground
Nine miles from the West Entrance of the park and accessed from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, this coveted campground has only 25 sites available, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. No towed vehicles are allowed in the campground.
A few of the sites at Sprague Creek have great views of Lake McDonald. Alongside quick access to other west side attractions and hiking trails, campers at Sprague Creek have abundant shade and access to running water.
Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier
9. Bowman Lake Campground
For a more remote campground in Glacier National Park, the Bowman Lake Campground is in the North Fork area of the park with quieter surroundings, about 33 miles north of the West Entrance. Those looking to camp at Bowman Lake need to navigate the twisting and gravel North Fork Road. The road to the campground is not accessible to vehicles over 21 feet in length.
Running water is available for all 46 sites at Bowman Lake Campground between May and September. And the scenic shore of Bowman Lake is less than a quarter mile from the campground, where both the sunsets and sunrises put on quite a show.
Hiking opportunities abound from this less-crowded area of Glacier, and many backcountry trips originate from this part of the park. The closest visitor resources to Bowman Lake can be found in the tiny community of Polebridge seven miles from the campground. In Polebridge, the Polebridge Mercantile & Bakery offers a sweet place to stop and resupply.
Address: West Glacier, Montana
10. Kintla Lake Campground
With only 13 sites in the far northwest corner of the park near the Canadian border, Kintla Lake Campground is Glacier’s most remote frontcountry campground. Vehicles over 21 feet in length aren’t allowed in the campground much in thanks to the 40-mile drive on a gravel road from the West Entrance to access the campsites.
This solitude and lack of recreational vehicles makes Kintla Lake popular with tent campers looking to escape the usual crowds at Glacier. Running water is available between June and September.
11. Cut Bank Campground
Cut Bank campground is a quieter primitive campground on the east side of the park, offering 13 first-come, first-served campsites with no access to running water or flushing toilets. It’s located between St. Mary and Two Medicine. A five-mile dirt road to access the campground, and the campground layout, prevents RVs from using this isolated tent camping spot.
Cut Bank Campground is a common launching point for overnight trips within the park. Trails like Triple Divide Pass and Pitamakan Pass stem from the campground.
Address: East Glacier, Montana
12. Quartz Creek Campground & Logging Creek Campground
Quartz Creek and Logging Creek Campgrounds are two of the smallest campgrounds in Glacier, each offering seven sites on the west side of the park. The two campgrounds are located close to one another and are accessible from the West Entrance station with an approximately 23-mile drive. They are designated as primitive campgrounds throughout the year, with no running water available at either campground.
Quartz and Logging Creek Campgrounds cater exclusively to tent campers and small recreational vehicles, and all sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Location: West Glacier, Montana
13. Glacier Campground
With 40 shaded sites available, the privately-owned Glacier Campground is less than a mile outside the West Entrance of the national park. It accommodates full hookup RVs up to 36 feet in length and also caters to tent campers or those looking to spend the night in a cabin.
The on-site Sunflower Cafe at the campground is an affordable place to feed the whole family, and more restaurants can be found in the nearby West Glacier Village.
Address: 12070 US-2, West Glacier, Montana
Official site: http://www.glaciercampground.com/
14. West Glacier KOA
Featuring tent sites, RV spaces, and camping cabins, the West Glacier KOA provides many ways to stay. Located less than three miles from the West Entrance of the national park and the beginning of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, this KOA Resort Campground also has numerous special amenities, including adult-only hot tubs, ice-cream shops, and fly-fishing clinics.
Similar accommodations can be found on the east side of the park at the St. Mary KOA.
Address: 355 Halfmoon Flats, West Glacier, Montana
Official site: https://koa.com/campgrounds/west-glacier/
15. Big Creek Campground
This Forest Service campground is on the outskirts of the park on North Fork Road, heading to the northwest Bowman Lake area of the park. It has 22 sites available, 10 of which are reservable ahead of time. During the summer, every site typically fills by late afternoon.
The sites are nicely spread out along the banks of the North Fork of the Flathead River. The campground accommodates both tents and RVs, though no electric hookups are available. Two potable water hand pumps are within the campground, as well as an indoor vault toilet.
The location is excellent for Glacier adventures and expeditions within Flathead National Forest. The Northwest Entrance of the park, leading to Polebridge and Bowman Lake, is less than two miles away. This part of the park does receive crowds, but not nearly the same traffic as places like the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
16. Chewing Black Bones Campground
On the east side of Glacier National Park in Babb, near the Many Glacier entrance, Chewing Black Bones is one of four Blackfeet Tribal Campgrounds located just outside the park.
With 110 sites available that cater to tent camping and full hookup RVs, Chewing Black Bones is one of the most popular tribal campgrounds to spend the night. An extensive day-use area, including a boat launch, is at the campground, as well as a visitor center, general store, and Tipi Village.
South of Chewing Black Bones Campground near the Two Medicine entrance of Glacier, the Red Eagle Campground provides similar accommodations and fewer crowds. The Buffalo Calf Campground can also be found near the Two Medicine entrance with 12 sites available.
Thirteen miles east of the St. Mary entrance, the Duck Lake Campground lures visitors away from the park with world-class fishing and water activities.
Address: US-89, Babb, Montana
17. Doris Creek Campground, Hungry Horse Reservoir
Less than 20 miles from the West Entrance, approximately halfway between West Glacier and Whitefish, the Hungry Horse Reservoir is another gem of Flathead National Forest. This high-elevation reservoir serves as flood control and a source of electricity, and it also provides several campgrounds to spend the night.
From the town of Hungry Horse, two paved roads lead to the Hungry Horse Dam and extend along either side of the reservoir. Doris Creek Campground is one of the three places to pitch a tent or park an RV immediately on the west side of the reservoir. It has nine sites available, accommodating RVs and tents, half of which are reservable ahead of time.
Doris Point Campground and Lost Johnny Point Campground are also nearby on the west side of the lake. On the east side of Hungry Horse Reservoir, Emery Bay Campground invites overnight visits with more than 24 first-come, first-served sites available. All visitors need to bring their own water when visiting campgrounds at Hungry Horse Reservoir.