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Old 10-02-2018, 04:40 PM   #1
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Glacier Without Reservations

I am looking at going to Glacier National Park next July/August and would like to camp in the park. My trailer is in the 25-30 range. How difficult is it to get a non-reserved site? I would like to not be tied to a schedule if possible. If need be, I can try to reserve a site but it sounds like it is not easy thing to do either.


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Old 10-02-2018, 05:34 PM   #2
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Last time I went to Glacier, they didn't allow reserving campsites. First come, first serve
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Old 10-02-2018, 05:56 PM   #3
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We were there in June 2016 on our way to Alaska. Called KOA the afternoon before, reserved a spot for 4 days with no problem.YMMV
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Old 10-02-2018, 10:48 PM   #4
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Glacier big place. Where, specifically?

Many Glacier is very difficult, afaik. We got a reservation and planned the trip around it....
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Old 10-02-2018, 11:22 PM   #5
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First, check out this page for camping. https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/camping.htm

When we went there a couple of years ago, we made reservations at the KOA on the east side of the park and it's a good thing we did. A bear made its way into one of the campgrounds and they closed all the campgrounds 'til they could relocate the bear. The KOA on the east side had one of the best views around and is really close to the visitors center.
It was a bit pricey, but it gave us an opportunity to drive the park and figure out where we wanted to camp on the west side of the park for the second half of our visit.
You can't take a rig on the 'going to the sun' road from the east to the west side of the park.
During the time you want to go, it's going to be busy and reservations might be hard to get. However, many people cancel at the last minute and there are many first come/ first serve sites.
It's a beautiful place and we'd love to go back.
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Old 10-03-2018, 05:31 AM   #6
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Many of the campgrounds inside of Glacier are first come, first serve. We didn't have problems in the middle of June. July/august will be ver y busy. If you are camping in the park get to the campground early in the day for a site.
Parking at all of the pull offs is very limited. I would suggest taking the shuttle. Eliminates the parking hassles and you can spend time looking around instead of watching the road.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:35 AM   #7
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We stayed at the KOA on the East side last year as we came back from Canada. T had great views. Cannot take rig up the going to the sun hwy, but can go part way. The park is beautiful.
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Old 10-03-2018, 06:56 PM   #8
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KOA in WEST Glacier is much nicer than the one in EAST Glacier. We just spent 3 nights in each of them. Prices about the same, but many of the sites in East KOA were quite unlevel. The West KOA is the nicest KOA we have ever stayed at. It won the BEST of KOA competition for 2017 and is featured on the cover of the 2018 KOA Guide Book.

You might consider doing what we did and stay a few days in both - the best of both worlds.

View from EAST KOA:




A Shot of WEST KOA:

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Old 02-03-2019, 08:40 PM   #9
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I would continue to try for a reservation, if you have the patience. People cancel all the time. I highly recommend staying in the park. We stayed on east and west side. I think I liked Many Glacier campground the best. If you wait until you get there you will have to be there early and wait in line until people check out. Even then you may not get a site. Weekdays are better for sites to open up. Remember that most NP campgrounds do not have hook ups.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:39 PM   #10
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Not exactly what you asked, but be careful when you go. We went there in mid June last year and Going to the Sun Road was still closed.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:06 PM   #11
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We spent a week at the West Glacier KOA last year at the end of May, 1st of June. It is a beautiful campground. Going to the Sun Road was still closed due to snow and there was snow over the pass coming from east to west. Still, a beautiful place.
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:55 PM   #12
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Seems as though spaces are filling up rather quickly. I made reservations for 2 trailers at Mountain Meadows RV park (15 minutes from the West entrance) and they were able to squeeze us in with full hook ups. Our reservations are for 5 nights the Sunday after the 4th of July.

I"m hoping the Going to the Sun Road is open by then.

Does anyone have any insight on how strict they are for vehicle length & width on that road?

My F250 is 20 1/2' long and under the 21' max but it is greater than the 96" maximum with 104" towing mirrors. However, I am able to push a button to fold the mirrors in and within a few seconds, the truck is under 96" wide.

Can't wait to go!!!
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:18 AM   #13
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Cant recall how strict they were with truck length but parking is a huge issue. They have a wonderful shuttle system. We were there 2 years ago and even though we camped on both the east and west side, we opted to use the shuttle and were very glad we did.
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:34 PM   #14
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You'll be fine with your mirrors.
It's a tunnel thing (width less up high). Just tuck them in when traffic is heavy.
Nobody is checking vehicle dimensions... I'm sure if you were an RV or otherwise grossly over, you'd get flagged down...
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Old 02-04-2019, 06:35 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeblank View Post
You'll be fine with your mirrors.
It's a tunnel thing (width less up high). Just tuck them in when traffic is heavy.
Nobody is checking vehicle dimensions... I'm sure if you were an RV or otherwise grossly over, you'd get flagged down...
Awesome! Thank you for that clarification.
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Old 02-04-2019, 07:19 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by clarkbre View Post
Seems as though spaces are filling up rather quickly. I made reservations for 2 trailers at Mountain Meadows RV park (15 minutes from the West entrance) and they were able to squeeze us in with full hook ups. Our reservations are for 5 nights the Sunday after the 4th of July.

I"m hoping the Going to the Sun Road is open by then.

Does anyone have any insight on how strict they are for vehicle length & width on that road?

My F250 is 20 1/2' long and under the 21' max but it is greater than the 96" maximum with 104" towing mirrors. However, I am able to push a button to fold the mirrors in and within a few seconds, the truck is under 96" wide.

Can't wait to go!!!
We were there last summer just after the 4th. We stayed the 1st night in an RV park in West glacier. Decided to drive around Apgar campground the next morning and was able to easily find a spot big enough for our 40' 5th wheel. Left the DW there to hold the spot while I went back to get the camper. Might be worth a shot if you're set on staying inside the park.
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Old 02-18-2019, 08:48 PM   #17
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Hello. There are three campgrounds within Glacier National Park at which you can make reservations, Fish Creek (on the west side of Park), Mary Glacier (East side), and Saint Mary's (East Side). You can look on Glacier's campground status page, looking back over the years or current status to see what days and times all the campgrounds filled up, (https://home.nps.gov/applications/gl...s/cgstatus.cfm) Personally, I would want a reserved site for at least the first night, the reason being if you are trying to get a campsite in a popular campground, you would have to get there very early in the morning, so depending on your travel intenary, it may not be easy to be at the campground early in the morning, 7 a.m. type early. For me the best case is to make reservations for the campgrounds I know I'd like to stay in, and then go from there. Apgar which is on the west side, does not reserve, and often it will have sites available, again getting there early in the morning on the busier days, Friday and Saturday, and holiday periods, Fourth of July. One thing to keep in mind if you decide to make reservations, read the details for the physical layout of the campsite. Many of these sites were created pre-RV, so many cannot accommodate a trailer because of width, height, or length. This is especially true in the Many Glacier campground, which is probably the most popular and most difficult campground to get a spot, even if you try and reserve. I would try and spend some time on both sides of the park, east and west, since they are both unique in their own ways. In general, the west side is more populated with people than the east side, which tends to be slightly more remote. Please feel free to contact me with questions. I live about 4 hours from Glacier, and typically visit it every summer. For starters though, visit the campground status page which I show a link above. Good luck.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:40 PM   #18
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Hello. There are three campgrounds within Glacier National Park at which you can make reservations, Fish Creek (on the west side of Park), Mary Glacier (East side), and Saint Mary's (East Side). You can look on Glacier's campground status page, looking back over the years or current status to see what days and times all the campgrounds filled up, (https://home.nps.gov/applications/gl...s/cgstatus.cfm) Personally, I would want a reserved site for at least the first night, the reason being if you are trying to get a campsite in a popular campground, you would have to get there very early in the morning, so depending on your travel intenary, it may not be easy to be at the campground early in the morning, 7 a.m. type early. For me the best case is to make reservations for the campgrounds I know I'd like to stay in, and then go from there. Apgar which is on the west side, does not reserve, and often it will have sites available, again getting there early in the morning on the busier days, Friday and Saturday, and holiday periods, Fourth of July. One thing to keep in mind if you decide to make reservations, read the details for the physical layout of the campsite. Many of these sites were created pre-RV, so many cannot accommodate a trailer because of width, height, or length. This is especially true in the Many Glacier campground, which is probably the most popular and most difficult campground to get a spot, even if you try and reserve. I would try and spend some time on both sides of the park, east and west, since they are both unique in their own ways. In general, the west side is more populated with people than the east side, which tends to be slightly more remote. Please feel free to contact me with questions. I live about 4 hours from Glacier, and typically visit it every summer. For starters though, visit the campground status page which I show a link above. Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:32 AM   #19
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Glacier has a short season which concentrates the use in July and August. I have stayed n an RV park just outside the NP. I was there Labor Day weekend and would avoid going there again in peak season.
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