When Is The Best Time To Visit Glacier National Park

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The Glacier National Park is located in Montana, USA and it displays melting glaciers, alpine grasslands, amazing lakes, and over 700 miles of trails.

As amazing as it sounds, there is one thing: the weather constantly changes. So, read on to find out when is the best time to visit Glacier National Park.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Glacier National Park

For glacier lovers, summer (June through September) is the best time to visit Glacier National Park.

Time for Visiting Glacier National Park
Visiting Glacier National Park

If you are a biker enthusiast or into whitewater rafting, then spring (May through June) is the best time to visit Glacier.

Fall (September through October) is reserved for people who like to avoid crowds and see the leaves change colors while winter is best for people that love skiing.

Most people visit the Glacier in summer (late June through mid-September). During these months, you can raft, fish, hike, or drive the Going to the Sun Road.

The temperatures range between 70 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit which is perfect for outdoor activities. However, these being the most popular months, it is known to get crowdier.

People that enjoy biking usually visit the Glacier in spring (May through mid-June). This is mainly because Sun Road isn’t open for vehicles yet, but it is for bikes.

Glacier National Park visit in Spring
Glacier National Park in Spring

Some of the roads might still be covered in snow, but the lower sections of the road are cleared in early May.

The most famous biking trail is from West Glacier to Logan Pass.


Springtime is also great for whitewater rafting in the Glacier rivers.

The Flathead River provides amusement and bumpy whitewater trips while still being family-friendly (July through September).

In May, however, the river is at its height and rafting might not be a good idea for underage kids.

September brings the golden glow to Glacier. Trees start to change colors into this beautiful yellow that simply gives the place charisma.

Suddenly the Glacier becomes calmer and quieter. The only thing you can hear is the leaves making a sound as you hike.

If you are not a fan of crowds, September or October is the best time to visit Glacier.

If you like to ski, winter is the best time to visit Glacier. Although not many people visit the Glacier in winter, the Apgar Visit Center is open on the weekends. If the weather allows it, you can explore the Sun Road and Camas roads with snowshoes.

What Is The Weather Like In Glacier National Park Year-Round

Weather info Glacier National Park
Weather Glacier National Park
MonthLow FHigh FSnow in inches

7 Things To Do While In Glacier National Park

The Glacier National Park offers a ton of activities, regardless of the time of your visit.

Here are the best 7 things you can do while in Glacier.

1. Driving on the Sun Road

Driving Sun Road
Sun Road
  • Best Time: July through October.

Sun Road is probably the most breathtaking drive in the United States.

The road is about 50 miles and the full drive takes approximately two hours without stopping for photos.

The Sun Road usually opens in early July and closes in mid-October. Since this is the most famous road over there, expect a lot of traffic.

Luckily, there are a lot of places where you can park, take a break, and enjoy the view.

2. Logan Pass (the 6,646 feet view)

Logan Pass Sun Road
Logan Pass
  • Best Time: July through October.

Logan Pass is the highest point (6,646 feet) on Sun Road and can be reached by car.

The view from up there is amazing. From fields of wildflowers to sheep and mountain goats, it is the perfect hiking trail.

The only thing you should pay attention to here is parking. Make sure to get there before 7 am if you want to get a spot.

3. Hiking In Glacier

Hiking experience Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park hiking routes
  • Best Time: May through October.

The only way you can truly experience the beauty of the Glacier is to go hiking.

The Glacier offers a whopping 700 miles of hiking trails.

The most famous hiking trails include:

  • Trail of the Cedars: This is a one-mile trail through a cedar tree forest.
  • Avalanche Lake: From the Trail of the Cedars to Avalanche Creek, this trail is 4,5 miles. It is a great hike with tons of views of the lovely lake.
  • Hidden Lake Overlook: A 2.8-mile uphill and dirt trail that will take you to the overlook.
  • St. Marry Falls: A 1.7-mile downhill walk to a waterfall. This is a trail that was hit by wildfire in the past, so expect limited shade.
  • Highline Trail. A bit longer hiking trail but still manageable. With 11.6 miles in length, it is one of the best hiking trails in the park.

4. See The Glaciers

Grinnell Glacier Iceberg lake
Grinnell Glacier
  • Best Time: April through October.

The Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg lake are one of the most popular hikes in the park.

It’s just massive mountains covered in snow and breathtaking lakes.

The hike trails here are around 10 miles. They might be a bit longer but are totally worth visiting.

5. See The Lake McDonald Valley

Lake Mc Donald Valley Glacier
Lake Mc Donald Valley
  • Best Time: May through September.

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier. There is a historic lodge there called McDonald Lodge.

There you can choose how you want to spend the day. You can go hiking on the many trails or horseback riding.

There is also a boat tour of the lake which is also fun.

6. Wild Goose Island (Perfect for photography)

Wild Goose Island Glacier
Wild Goose Island
  • Best Time: May through September.

Wild Goose Island is one of the most photographed places in the Glacier. It is located on Saint Mary Lake and it is a tiny island.

The location is marked on Google Maps as Wild Goose Island Lookout which is a parking space on Sun Road.

7. Boat Tour On The Lakes

Swiftcurrent Lake Boat Tour
Swiftcurrent Lake
  • Best Time: May through September.

Apart from amazing mountains and glaciers, Glacier National Park also has lots of beautiful lakes.

A boat tour of some of the lakes will come as a break from hiking and driving.

The most popular places for boat tours are:

  • Swiftcurrent Lake
  • Josephine Lake
  • Two Medicine Lake
  • Saint Mary Lake
  • and Lake McDonald

In Conclusion

The best time to visit Glacier National Park will depend on the activities that you want to do. Hikers, bikers, and river rafting lovers usually visit when the weather is nicer (May through September).

If you want to experience Glacier with fewer crowds, then the best time to visit will be fall (September through October). The winter is reserved for people that enjoy skiing and snowshoe walking.

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