Montana Public Radio

Glacier National Park

Rental car desks at an airport

The tourism industry on Glacier National Park’s west side expects a record-breaking season this summer, but there’s concern a nationwide rental car shortage could dampen the comeback of visitors flying into northwest Montana.

Glacier National Park is implementing a ticketed entry system for visitors wanting to use Going-To-The-Sun-Road this season between West Glacier and St. Mary.

Park officials had been considering the idea in the wake of record visitation in recent years. This summer officials anticipate one of the park’s busiest seasons ever. Officials say a ticketed entry system offers visitors increased certainty they’ll be able to enter the park, and could eliminate the need for closures at the park’s west entrance.

Glacier Park Adopts Going-To-The-Sun Road Management Plan

Mar 22, 2021
The parking lot at Logan Pass at the top of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, July 1, 2016.
Jacob Frank / National Park Service

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — Glacier National Park officials have finalized the long-awaited Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor management plan to help improve the visitor experience and protect natural resources along the iconic alpine byway.

Cars travel on Glacier National Park's Going-To-The-Sun Road, August 02, 2019.
Glacier National Park (PD)

Glacier National Park is considering a ticketed reservation system for visitors wanting to use Going-To-The-Sun-Road on the park’s west side. Park officials held a virtual meeting Thursday to discuss the idea.

St. Mary Visitor Center near Glacier National Park's east entrance.
National Park Service (PD)

The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council voted Wednesday to reopen roads to and from the east gates of Glacier National Park. The move to reopen roads on the Blackfeet reservation leading to the bordering Glacier National Park comes after a full year of pandemic-related closures.

A photo from June 06, 2020 shows the closed St. Mary entrance into Glacier National Park, which borders the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. The Blackfeet Nation has maintained travel closures longer than Glacier Park or the state of Montana.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

A full year into the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses on or near the Blackfeet Indian Reservation are waiting to hear if the east gates of Glacier National Park will reopen. MTPR’s Aaron Bolton reports on how the Blackfeet Tribe is navigating the upcoming tourism season as businesses push to reopen their doors to travelers.

Blackfeet tribal leaders announced Wednesday that the Blackfeet Indian Reservation will move into phase three of its reopening plan — exactly one year after they declared an emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Federal agencies are figuring out how to treat masks on public land in the wake of Gov. Greg Gianforte’s repeal of Montana’s statewide mask mandate.

President Biden issued a national mandate for masks on federal lands and in federal buildings on January 20. Just over three weeks later, Gov. Gianforte lifted Montana’s mask mandate — although masks are still required in some counties and cities, and in state-owned buildings. 

Glacier National Park sign at the park's St. Mary entrance.
Glacier National Park (PD)

Glacier National Park is considering a visitor reservation system to handle park congestion amid the coronavirus pandemic. Park officials are also working with the bordering Blackfeet Nation to reopen eastern park entrances that have been closed since last summer.

Grizzly bear. Stock photo.

After two record-breaking years of grizzly bear deaths in Northwest Montana, bear mortalities have dropped back down.