Glacier National Park Ending Reservation System After Labor Day

You won’t need a reservation to drive Glacier National Park’s popular Going-to-the-Sun Road after Labor Day.

It's about to get a little bit easier to visit one of the most popular national parks in the U.S.

Glacier National Park in Montana will no longer require reservations to travel its famous Going-to-the-Sun Road after Labor Day. But you may want to plan that last summer road trip soon. Going-to-the-Sun Road is scheduled to close in late October, according to the National Parks Service.

The 50-mile stretch of highway is the national park's most famous drive and includes some of its best-known views. The Instagram hot spot crosses both the continental divide and Logan Pass, a famous vista that sits at an elevation of 6,646 feet, making for treacherous conditions in winter weather.

Glacier National Park began requiring reservations to drive the scenic road in late May, a move aimed at alleviating traffic inside one of the most-visited national parks in the U.S. during what was predicted to be an especially busy summer. And while reservations did limit congestion, tickets — which cost an additional $2 — weren't exactly easy to find.

Glacier National Park in the Rocky Mountain Range of Montana.
Getty Images

The first batch of tickets in June sold out in mere minutes. At the time, officials told the Associated Press that they counted more than 10,000 people online trying to snag a reservation — more than three times the road's capacity.

Glacier National Park covers more than 1,500 square miles in gorgeous Montana. It includes more than 760 lakes and more than 700 miles of hiking trails. And while that might sound like plenty of personal space, the park has been known to get crowded enough to force officials to limit access to parts of it during especially busy times.

The park typically draws more than three million visitors a year. Even without the reservation system in place, visitors will need to buy a park pass to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road between Labor Day and late October.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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