Glacier National Park Travel Guide

USA  #1 in Best Places to Hike in North America

Best Times to Visit Glacier National Park

The best time to visit Glacier National Park is in July and August. This is the peak season for visitors, with daytime temperatures averaging in the 70s and cool nights that can drop into the 40s (pack layers, as well as a good rain jacket). You may even see snow in June and July in the higher elevations; the east side of the park tends to be cooler and windier than the west side. The east side is also drier, while the valleys in the west see most of the rainfall. Although lodging rates and entrance fees will be higher during peak season, most facilities will be open and the complimentary shuttle service will be running. You'll also experience fewer road and trail closures than in the fall, winter and spring months. The park is open 365 days a year.

Weather in Glacier National Park

Switch to Celsius/MM
Average Temperature (°F)
29
15
35
19
42
23
53
30
65
38
72
44
84
49
82
47
72
40
55
33
37
25
30
18
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Precipitation (in)
0.13
0.09
0.07
0.07
0.1
0.13
0.07
0.06
0.08
0.09
0.12
0.13
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

September-October

Fall is a beautiful time of year to visit, especially if you enjoy foliage displays. The only downside: Many businesses, including restaurants, stores and lodges, close after Labor Day. Look for accommodations in gateway communities just outside the park or plan on camping. Temperatures are still moderate in the fall, with warm sunny days in the 60s and low 70s and cool nights that drop into the 40s, making it a good time of year for hiking. Accommodation rates drop and the complimentary shuttle service moves to a modified schedule. Although you may see some snow, rain is more likely at this time of year.

November-April  

Due to its location on the Continental Divide, the weather in the park is highly variable, especially in the winter months. Temperatures can fall well below freezing and road and trail closures are common. Many of the park's services – including the shuttle service and visitor centers – are closed for most of the winter. However, lodging rates at nearby gateway communities and the park entrance fees are the lowest of the year during this season, making it attractive for cross-country skiers and ice climbers who don't find the climate off-putting. All park lodging is closed, but auto camping is available at the Apgar picnic area and at the St. Mary Campground. There is no charge for campsites during the winter. Also keep in mind, avalanches are a real danger in the winter months when the snowpack reaches 16 feet and blizzards are common.

Key Events:

May-June

Many roads and trails are still closed due to snowy conditions in May and June – including the popular scenic drive along Going-to-the-Sun Road – and shuttles run on a limited schedule and weather-permitting basis. Lodging rates are still low at this time of year, and many hikers prefer the cooler weather with daytime temperatures averaging in the 60s, dropping into the high 30s at night. In early June, the mammoth effort of snow removal along Going-to-the-Sun Road draws several spectators.

July-August

July and August are the peak months of the year for visitors and lodging rates will be at premium prices. Plan to reserve up to a year in advance for this popular season. Days are warm and sunny with temperatures that can climb into the 80s, but nights are chilly dropping into the 40s. At higher elevations, expect wind and temperatures that are 10 to 15 degrees cooler than the valleys. The complimentary shuttle service and the Glacier Park Boat Company tours will run on full schedules during the summer – reserve boat tours and shuttles in advance online or at a visitor center. What's more, the park's ranger-led activities will be in full swing, with many programs offered at Lake McDonald Lodge, Apgar Nature Center and St. Mary Visitor Center. 

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