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This Stunning Montana National Park is a Camper’s Paradise

glacier national park camping

Glacier National Park camping is a must-do for any enthusiast. It is home to 13 campsites, eight of which are RV-friendly, and hundreds of primitive, backcountry campsites. Two campsites are open year-round?Apgar and St. Mary. The rest are available from June through September.

Glacier National Park in Polebridge, Montana, was established as a National Park in 1910. It was the first International Peace Park, combining forces with neighboring Canada’s Waterton Park. Spanning over a vast 1,583 square miles, it houses over 130 named lakes, over 600 unnamed lakes, hundreds of streams, 26 glaciers, 175 mountains, and over 150 trails.

Here is your guide to camping at Glacier State National Park in Montana.

Camping at Glacier National Park

The campsites at Glacier National Park are Apgar, Avalanche, Bowman Lake, Cut Bank, Fish Creek, Kintla Lake, Logging Creek, Many Glacier, Quartz Creek, Rising Sun, Sprague Creek, St. Mary, and Two Medicine.

Campsites are limited to eight people and two vehicles, and a maximum of two tents per site is permitted, and there are no utility hookups at any of the campsites.

Apgar, Sprague Creek, Avalanche, Rising Sun, and St. Mary are all located along Going-to-the-Sun-Road.

RV-Friendly Campgrounds

 

Apgar Campground

Apgar campground, open year-round and closest to the Apgar Visitor Center.

Sites: 194; 25 sites for a 40 foot RV or truck and trailer combination.

Amenities: Flush Toilets, sinks with running water. Group sites available.

Highlights: Sunsets at Lake McDonald, evening ranger programs at the amphitheater.

Fish Creek Campground

Located 2.5 miles from Apgar Village on the west side of the park. Reservations are available.

Sites: 178; 18 sites for a 35 foot RV or truck and trailer combination.

Amenities: Flush toilets, sinks with running water, some loops have showers available.

Highlights: Central location for many hikes, including the Rocky Point trail.

Avalanche Campground

Located in one of the most popular sections of the park. First come, first served.

Sites: 87, 50 sites for 26 foot RV or truck and trailer combination.

Amenities: Flush Toilets, sinks with running water.

Highlights: Great campground for hikers – two popular trails, Trail of the Cedars, and Avalanche Lake, start near the campground.

Many Glacier Campground

One of the most popular campgrounds in the park. Advance reservations only in 2021.

Sites: 109, 13 sites for a 35 foot RV or truck and trailer combination.

Amenities: Flush toilets, sinks with running water, disposal station. Camp Store. Group sites available.

Highlights: Opportunities to view wildlife like bighorn sheep, moose, and bears. Access to popular hiking trails.

Rising Sun Campground

Located where the mountains meet the prairies, just west of St. Mary and halfway along St. Mary Lake. Sites are first-come, first-serve basis.

Sites: 84, 10 sites for a 25 foot RV or truck and trailer combination.

Amenities: Flush toilets, sinks with running water, showers, disposal station. Camp Store.

Highlights: Trailhead to hike to Otokomi Lake. Park ranger-run nightly programs.

St. Mary Campground

This is the largest campground on the park’s east side, near the St. Mary Visitor Center. Reservations are available.

Sites: 148, 3 sites for a 40 foot RV or truck and trailer combination, 22 sites for 35 foot.

Amenities: Flush toilets, sinks with running water, showers, disposal station. Group sites are available.

Highlights: Views of Singleshot, East Flattop, and Red Eagle Mountains. Near restaurants, gift shops, camp stores, gas, and a country store.

Two Medicine Campground

Located approximately 13 miles from East Glacier. First come, first served.

Sites: 100, 10 sites for a 35 foot RV or truck and trailer combination.

Amenities: Flush toilets, sinks with running water, and a disposal station. Group sites are available.

Highlights: Two Medicine Chalet, a national historic landmark now a camp store and gift shop. Boat tours and Red Bus tours available.

Tent Camping Options

Sprague Creek Campground

Located on the northeast shore of Lake McDonald, 9 miles from the west entrance of the park.

Sites: 25

Amenities: Flush Toilets, picnic area

Highlights: Camp store, restaurant, gift shop, horseback riding available at Lake McDonald Lodge. 

Bowman Lake Campground

Located in the North Fork area of the park, 32.5 miles from the west entrance, accessible by a rough dirt road.

Sites: 46

Amenities: Water spigots.

Highlights: Day hiking, kayaking, fishing, and canoeing.

Cut Bank Campground

Located on the east side of the park. Accessible by a 5-mile dirt road.

Sites:14

There is no running water at Cut Bank – it is a primitive campground.

Highlights: Solitude and quiet, day hiking opportunities.

Kintla Lake Campground

This is the most remote front country campground, located in the uppermost northwest section of the park, 40 miles from the West Entrance. First come, first served.

Sites: 13

Amenities: Hand pump and a pit toilet.

Highlights: Small, rustic camping experience. Motorcraft is not allowed on Kintla Lake, providing a genuinely serene environment if you want to take a kayak or canoe onto the lake.

Logging Creek Campground

Located south of Polebridge, it is one of the smallest campgrounds in the park. First come, first served.

Sites: 7

Amenities: None

Highlights: Trailhead to Logging Lake.

Quartz Creek Campground

The smallest campground in the park, accessed by Inside North Fork Road, a long dirt road.

SItes: 7

Amenities: None

Highlights:  A 6.2 mile (one-way) day hike to Lower Quartz Lake.

Winter Backcountry Camping

Backcountry camping is allowed at Glacier National Park, with a permit.  Be sure to have the right equipment for winter camping: clothing, GPS, snowshoes, camp stove, a 4 season sleeping bag, etc. Backcountry campers must leave no trace.

Backcountry Camping

To go backcountry camping at Glacier National Park, you will need a permit. There are hundreds of spots to camp; however, in 2021, they received an overwhelming amount of applications. So if you do apply for a permit, be patient as they process each one. Like winter backcountry camping, you must take the necessary precautions to stay safe. For those campers who want to go backpacking, planning your trip is vital.

For more information, visit the National Park Service website.

Nearby Attractions

Swiftcurrent Motor Inn

Lake McDonald Lodge

Kalispell

Whitefish

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