Just Go to Glacier National Park - Campgrounds – Just Go Travel Studios

Just Go to Glacier National Park - Campgrounds

Glacier National Park Montana

Glacier National Park is large with many different areas to visit, so choosing from the numerous Glacier National Park campgrounds to find the right one or two for your visit can be challenging.  While the options may seem overwhelming, you’re likely to find many different campsites that will suit you and your traveling companions well. After all, with whatever site you pick, you are going to be sleeping in one of the most beautiful places in the country!

With a little luck, our guide here will help you narrow down your options to a first choice as well as a few backups in the event that your top selection is not available.

Glacier National Park

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS: OVERVIEW

There are thirteen campgrounds in total inside of Glacier National Park, not including the numerous backcountry campgrounds.  They are spread around the park and many are reachable right from the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road. There are several along North Fork Road (in the North Fork Area), one in the popular Many Glacier Area, and two down toward the Two Medicine Area.  All of these are reachable by car, unlike the several dozen backcountry sites.

Glacier National Park is extremely popular, and most people come to visit between the months of June and September.  That means that if you plan on camping here, you are going to want to do your best to obtain reservations ahead of your visit if you are staying at one of the three campgrounds that take them (see below).  These campgrounds fill up very fast, and any first-come, first-served spots are usually filled by the middle of the morning. Keep in mind that many people stay for several days, so it’s very common that there are only a few vacancies every morning, particularly on weekends.

If you need camping supplies, it’s best to get them before you head into the park.  Columbia Falls (to the west) is a great place to get groceries and any camping gear that you might need.  St. Mary (to the east) also has groceries, but camping supplies are limited. Another great option (if you have the time) is Kalispell, MT to the west.  You will be able to find anything you need, as there are large outdoor chain stores to help you out if needed.

Glacier National Park Itinerary

Our downloadable guide for Glacier National Park has a ton of information on hiking, scenic drives, what to pack and reserve ahead of time and what else to do while you are in the area.  Make sure you check it out prior to heading into the park!


GLACIER NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS – GOING TO THE SUN ROAD AREA

going to the sun road map from glacier national park

Map of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service

Apgar Campground:

  • Location: The Apgar Campground is located at the beginning of the Going-to-the-Sun Road on Apgar Loop Road on the southwestern shore of Lake McDonald.  It is right behind the Apgar Visitor Center. Directions from the West Glacier entrance to the Apgar Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None.
  • Capacity: 194 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Apgar Bike Path runs right from the campground to the West Glacier Entrance and is paved.  It is flat and quite pleasant. It is also pet friendly, which isn’t too common inside of national parks.  The Apgar Lookout Trail leaves from near the West Glacier Entrance. It is a moderately challenging 7.3-mile (round-trip) hike that climbs 2,000 feet to a gorgeous view of Lake McDonald and the west Glacier Valley.  
  • Additional details: The Apgar Campground is the largest of all campgrounds in Glacier National park.  It is located in a beautiful spot near Lake McDonald. Sites are wooded and mostly in the shade.  Near to the campground is Apgar Village, and West Glacier is located right outside the park with plenty of services.  Since this is the first campground that most see as they enter into the park, sites fill up especially quickly (many by 11:00 in the morning), so if you see a spot when you go in, don’t wait for a perfect one-grab it!  Sunsets and sunrises from the shore of Lake McDonald are incredible as well, and you can see them by a short walk from anywhere in the campground. Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Apgar Campground

Fish Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Fish Creek Campground is located on Fish Creek Campground Road.  It is on the north side of the southwestern shore of Lake McDonald (just north of the Apgar Campground).  Directions from the West Glacier entrance to the Fish Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: Offered late May through early September. Fish Creek Campground Reservations
  • Capacity: 178 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers (the showers are all in “loop A”).
  • Nearby: The Rocky Point Trail leaves right from the Fish Creek Campground and travels north along the shore of Lake McDonald for 0.8 miles (1.6-mile round-trip).  There is a total of around 100 feet of elevation gain on the hike, but the trail is easy. Along the entire trail are great views of Lake McDonald. There is also a flat trail that travels from Fish Creek to Apgar, the aptly named Fish Creek to Apgar Hiking Path.
  • Additional details: The Fish Creek Campground is one of only a few campgrounds that take reservations.  There is a lot of shade, so if you plan on using solar power then this is not a great spot for you.  Fish Creek is known as being quieter than the Apgar Campground, though it isn’t as near to the services offered in Apgar Village.  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Fish Creek Campground

Sprague Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Sprague Creek Campground is located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road near the village of Lake McDonald.  It is 9.9 miles east of West Glacier Village. Directions from the West Glacier entrance to the Sprague Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 25 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: Several long trails are right nearby the campground, including the Lincoln Lake trail.  This 15.6-mile (round-trip) hike is challenging, travels through country historically heavy in bears but ends at Lincoln Lake (with a waterfall) after hiking up over 3,000 feet.  The Gunsight Pass Trail starts right near Lake McDonald Lodge parking and heads up to the Sperry Chalet, Mount Brown and Snyder Lake. All of these trails involve a lot of climbing and are very challenging.  For easier hiking, head up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to the Avalanche Lake area.
  • Additional details: The Sprague Creek Campground is on the smaller side, which means that it fills up fast.  It is conveniently located on the shore of Lake McDonald, which is great as much of the park’s major hiking is located east of Lake McDonald.  The Sprague Creek location (much like Avalanche Creek) allows you to get a head start on the day. The small village of Lake McDonald has supplies as well as places to eat.  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Sprague Creek Campground.

Avalanche Campground:

  • Location: The Avalanche Campground is located in the Avalanche Creek area along the Going-to-the-Sun Road north of Lake McDonald.  It is 16.3 miles east of West Glacier Village. Directions from the West Glacier entrance to the Avalanche Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 87 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: Across the road from the campground is the trailhead for Trail of the Cedars.  This 0.7-mile loop has very little elevation gain and is wheelchair accessible. The trail enters a thick grove of cedars without much work at all.  The Avalanche Lake Trail begins on the far side of the Trail of the Cedars loop and is 4.6-miles long (round-trip).  It leads to Avalanche Lake and beautiful waterfalls.  
  • Additional details: The Avalanche Campground is in a very popular part of the park, with access to some of the most popular hiking trails in West Glacier.  Since it is the last park west of Logan Pass, it is ideally situated if you are looking to explore points east along the road without having to face the crowds entering the park early in the morning.  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Avalanche Campground.

Rising Sun Campground:

  • Location: The Rising Sun Campground is located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, in between Logan Pass and St. Mary, MT.  It is 6.1 miles west of the St. Mary Visitor Center. Directions from the St. Mary Visitor Center to the Rising Sun Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 84 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers (there is one stall for men and one for women, so the lines can get very long).
  • Nearby: Leaving right from the campground is the Otokomi Lake Trail.  This 10.3-mile (round-trip) trail climbs just over 2,300 feet in total as it leads to Otokomi Lake.  It is challenging, but it is totally worthwhile going on if you have the time and energy. Just west of the campground is St. Mary Falls and Virginia Falls, which are fantastic hikes as well and easier than the Otokomi Lake Trail.
  • Additional details: The Rising Sun Campground is the last campground accessible by campers with trailers / RVs and is located near some great hiking and the beautiful St. Mary Lake.  There is a small store near the campground as well for last minute supplies. Be advised that bears frequent this campground, so make sure you bring bear spray with you!  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Rising Sun Campground

St. Mary Campground:

  • Location: The St. Mary Campground is located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road near the St. Mary Visitor Center.  Directions from the St. Mary Visitor Center to the St. Mary Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: Offered late May through early September. St. Mary Campground Reservations
  • Capacity: 148 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers (showers are located on “Loop C”).
  • Nearby: Just south of the visitor center is a trailhead for two trails.  The Beaver Pond Trail is an easy 3.4-mile loop with around 400 feet in elevation gain.  This is a great walk through the woods without many people and great views of St. Mary Lake and the nearby mountains.  If you want a longer hike, Red Eagle Lake is a 15.1-mile round-trip hike that climbs only 1,100 feet. It leads to a lake with great views of the park the entire way.  This trail is not well traveled, so some of the trail is a bit overgrown but the reward is a peaceful hiking experience.
  • Additional details: The St. Mary Campground is the largest east of Logan Pass and is quite busy.  Some of the sites have sun, but over half are well-shaded which can present a problem if you plan to use solar power.  The visitor center is nearby as well (a short walk) and has wifi available. Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the St. Mary Campground

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS – MANY GLACIER AREA

many glacier map in glacier national park

Map of the Many Glacier Area in Glacier National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service

Many Glacier Campground:

  • Location: The Many Glacier Campground is the located in the Many Glacier area just south of the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn at the end of Route 3Directions from the St. Mary Visitor Center to the Many Glacier Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: Offered early June through early September.  Many Glacier Campground Reservations
  • Capacity: 109 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers (located near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn).
  • Nearby: There is a ton of great hiking right from the Many Glacier Area.  The Iceberg Lake Trail is a favorite of ours.  It is a 9.6-mile (round-trip) hike that climbs just over 1,700 feet on the way to the incredible Iceberg Lake, which is at the base of a rockface with floating icebergs.  Along the way you’ll see waterfalls and just amazing views. Other popular hikes in this area include the hike to Grinnell Glacier, which is a 9.8-mile (round-trip) hike to the famous Grinnell Glacier.  There are many other hikes from this area, including the Cracker Lake Trail (moderate difficulty, 13.5 miles) and the Swiftcurrent Nature Trail (easy, 2.3 miles). 
  • Additional details: The Many Glacier Campground is the only campground in the Many Glacier area, which is a very popular part of the park, so spots can be hard to find.  The good thing is that since this area of the park is fairly remote, stays are shorter and turnover at the campground can be high so there are plenty of spots opening up every day.  The Many Glacier Hotel is nearby with great dining options and groceries. Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Many Glacier Campground.

Many glacier campground in glacier national park

Many Glacier Campground, photo courtesy of Daveynin


GLACIER NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS – NORTH FORK AREA

north fork and polebridge area in glacier national park

Map of the North Fork Area in Glacier National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service

Logging Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Logging Creek Campground is located along North Fork Road.  It is the southernmost campground in the North Fork Area and is thus the easiest to get to.  It is 21.7 miles away from the West Glacier entrance. Directions from the West Glacier entrance to the Logging Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 7 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Pit toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Logging Lake Trail is right near the campground.  This trail is an 8.8-mile (round-trip) hike to nearby Logging Lake with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain.  The trail is very quiet with plenty of bugs, but it will allow you to experience the backcountry of Glacier, without a doubt!
  • Additional details: The Logging Creek Campground is very secluded and great if you want privacy.  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Logging Creek Campground.

Quartz Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Quartz Creek Campground is located along North Fork Road.  It is 24.1 miles away from the West Glacier entrance. Directions from the West Glacier entrance to the Quartz Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 7 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Pit toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Quartz Creek Trail is right at the campground.  This trail travels 13.8 miles (round-trip) and gains 1,300 feet in elevation as it heads up to Lower Quartz Lake.  It is not a difficult trail by any means, but it is a fairly long hike with few people.
  • Additional details: The Quartz Creek Campground is similar to the Logging Creek Campground in that it is very private with little services.  It can fill up on busy days. Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Quartz Creek Campground.

Bowman Lake Campground:

  • Location: The Bowman Lake Campground is located at the end of Bowman Lake Road.  It is 5.7 miles east of the Polebridge Ranger Station. Directions from the Polebridge Ranger Station to the Bowman Lake Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 46 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Pit toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: From the campground there are several trails.  The Bowman Lake Trail is a flat trail that hugs the shore of the 6.8-mile long Bowman Lake with little change in elevation.  The trail continues to meet up with other backcountry trails as well. Other trails in the area include the Quartz Lake Loop (12.7 miles, challenging), the Akokala Lake Trail (11.4 miles, moderate) and the Nuna Ridge Lookout Trail (11.6 miles, challenging).  
  • Additional details: The Bowman Lake Campground is the largest of the campgrounds in the area and is conveniently located on Bowman Lake, which is absolutely beautiful and not crowded at all due to the remote nature of this area of the park.  The nearest entrance to the park from here is from Polebridge, MT, and be prepared for a bumpy ride on the dirt road out to the campground. Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Bowman Lake Campground.

Kintla Lake Campground:

  • Location: The Kintla Lake Campground is located at the end of North Fork Road.  It is 14.2 miles northeast of the Polebridge Ranger Station. Directions from the Polebridge Ranger Station to the Kintla Lake Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 13 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Pit toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: From the campground there are several backcountry trails, as well as a trail that heads along the share of Kintla Lake, which is about 7 miles to the end of the lake with about 200 feet in elevation gain along the way.  Trails extend from here all the way to the Goat Haunt area if you are looking for several day backpacking trips.
  • Additional details: If you are looking for peace and quiet, the Kintla Lake Campground is definitely for you!  IT takes about an hour to get here from Polebridge, as the roads require slow-going. Make sure you have your supplies before heading out here.  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Kintla Lake Campground.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS – TWO MEDICINE AREA

Two medicine area map in Glacier National Park

Map of the Two Medicine Area in Glacier National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service

Two Medicine Campground:

  • Location: The Two Medicine Campground is located in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park at the end of Two Medicine Road.  It is the southeasternmost campground in the park and is 34 miles from St. Mary, MT. Directions from the St. Mary, MT to the Two Medicine Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 100 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Running Eagle Falls Trail is an easy 0.7-mile (round-trip) hike that has minimal elevation gain that leads to a waterfall.  Another more difficult hike is the hike along the Upper Two Medicine Lake Trail. This challenging 10.6-mile (round-trip) trail climbs over 1000 feet on the way to views of Two Medicine Lake.  You can also take the boat to cut down on the distance by 3 miles.
  • Additional details: The Two Medicine Campground is a great spot. It is less crowded than the rest of the park and has a nearby camp store that is convenient for supplies.  There is plenty to do in the Two Medicine Area as well, making it a nice home-base for several days. Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Two Medicine Campground.

Cut Bank Campground:

  • Location: The Cut Bank Campground is located in the Two Medicine area at the end of Cut Bank Road.  It is 19 miles from St. Mary, MT. Directions from the St. Mary, MT to the Cut Bank Campground.
  • Accessible via: Car.
  • Reservations: None. 
  • Capacity: 14 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Pit toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: There are a couple of trails from the Cut Bank Campground, but the main one is the Pitamakan Trail.  This is a 30-mile (round-trip) hike that leads to Cut Bank Pass. There is over 6,000 feet of elevation change on this hike (up and down), so be prepared!  The trail, as you would imagine, is not crowded at all.
  • Additional details: The Cut Bank Campground is the most remote of all campgrounds on the East Side of Logan Pass.  You have to bring your own water to the campground, but if you are looking for a quiet experience without the long drive to the North Fork area of the park, this is it!  Click here for the latest information and historic fill times by day for the Cut Bank Campground.

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS - GROUP CAMPING

The Apgar Campground is the only one that offers group camping reservations.  You can find out additional information on how to make group reservations at the Apgar Campground here.  

CAMPING OUTSIDE GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

As you can imagine, there are many options to choose from and many campgrounds near Glacier National Park.  While you may not get the convenience of staying in the park, you will find that the amenities offered at non NPS campgrounds make the camping experience a bit less rustic.  It’s common for wifi, showers and hookups to be available at most of these campsites. St. Mary and West Glacier are the most common areas to camp outside of the park.

If you are looking for camping for free, you can find out more information from this site which shows free campgrounds near Glacier National Park

FURTHER INFORMATION ON GLACIER NATIONAL PARK FROM JUST GO TRAVEL STUDIOS

just go travel studios amy and pete

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