What It’s Like Trying To Get A Glacier National Park Entry Ticket
You may have heard some talk recently about the new ticketing system about Glacier National Park - basically, you need to reserve an entry ticket for Going To The Sun Road BEFORE you buy your actual ticket to the park now. The idea is for it to ease up on congestion on the road this summer, but I know the announcement and the process confused a lot of people.
Earlier this year, Glacier opened up reservations for people that were pretty much sold out right away - but when they sold out, they also announced that they would be releasing more tickets throughout the summer. Whatever day you're planning to hit the park this summer, you need to get online two days earlier at 8 AM and reserve your spot on the road. Otherwise, you may not be able to get in.
This past week, my family was in town and Glacier National Park was the main thing we were determined to hit while they were here, which meant I had to work to reserve our spot. So if you're trying to visit this summer, here's a preview of what you can expect while ordering your ticket.
First of all, you need to make an account at Recreation.gov and head to the page for Glacier National Park's ticketed entry. Click "Book Now" and it'll take you to a calendar where you can select the date you're looking for. Your tickets won't be released until two days before that at exactly 8 AM. I recommend waking up early, being at your computer by 7:45, having the page open, and refreshing it as soon as the clock hits 8:00. You'll need to move fast, because there's a very limited number of tickets available.
You should also realize that a lot of other people will be trying to get their tickets at the same time - when I booked mine, I actually got kicked off of the online queue at first because there was too much traffic on the website. After a second of panic, I refreshed the page and tried again - now there were only about 50 tickets left - and managed to secure a spot. The reservation fee is only 2 dollars, and once it's reserved you can print out the tickets and bring them to the park on the day you selected.
It's a little bit stressful, but it can be done. Each ticket is good for one vehicle, and the person whose name is on the ticket has to be present in the vehicle when you arrive at the park.
Will you be heading to Glacier National Park this summer? Have you secured a spot on Going To The Sun Road?