Everything You Need to Know About Camping in Glacier National Park

The best campgrounds and RV parks, park regulations, and more.

Sunrise at St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park
Photo: Noppawat Tom Charoensinphon/Getty Images

With 700 miles of trails and an abundance of picturesque lakes and mountains, the UNESCO World Heritage site and biosphere reserve that is Glacier National Park has a lot to offer its visitors. Whether you're hoping to see the park's beautiful wildflowers or planning to drive the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, there's something for every kind of traveler. Camping in Glacier National Park is just one more great way to immerse yourself in this beautiful environment.

From the most remote spots to pitch your tent to the most amenity-rich and family-friendly places to park your RV, here's everything you need to know about camping in Glacier National Park.

People paddle a canoe around Two Medicino Lake
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The Best Campgrounds in Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park has more than 1,000 camping sites across 13 campgrounds. Most of the sites operate on a first-come, first-served basis, but a few can be reserved in advance through the National Park Service's online booking portal, Recreation.gov. Here are some of the best places to stay in the park.

Kintla Lake Campground

Kintla Lake Campground is the park's most remote option, making it a great choice if you're looking for silence and solitude. It's also the northernmost campground on the U.S. side, only a few miles as the crow flies from Canada. In addition to being right on Kintla Lake, you can expect a forested setting and incredible mountain views in this campground — but know that the ride out to it will be bumpy. There are 13 first-come, first-served spots and a hand pump dispensing potable water, but no toilets on site.

Bowman Lake Campground

Also relatively remote is Bowman Lake Campground in the North Fork area of the park. Like Kintla Lake, Bowman Lake is also located on a dirt road that can be rough, dusty, and bumpy. When you get there, you'll find 46 campsites primed for pitching a tent among the Glacier wilderness. The lake provides opportunities for hiking, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.

Many Glacier Campground

Of the 109 campsites available at Many Glacier Campground, 13 can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet long. Because of its amenities (flush toilets and running water in the sink) and its proximity to some of Glacier's best hikes (Grinnell Glacier and Swiftcurrent Pass, among others), this campground is one of the park's most popular. It accepts reservations.

Within walking distance of the campsites is Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, which contains a gift shop and camp store for last-minute supplies.

St. Mary Campground

Sunset over St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park


Another popular campground, St. Mary is one of the largest in Glacier National Park with 148 sites. Three of those can accommodate RVs and trailers up to a 40 feet, and 22 can accommodate RVs and trailers up to 35 feet — so, this could be an option if you have a larger camper. This year-round campground offers showers, toilets, and sinks with running water. It's also close to shops and restaurants that sit just outside the park entrance.

St. Mary is one of the few Glacier campgrounds that can be reserved in advance, and reservations are required from May 27 through August 14. The rest of the year, spots are first come, first served.

Rising Sun Campground

Rising Sun Campground offers views of beautiful sunrises and 8,763-foot Red Eagle Mountain. It's also close to Logan Pass, the extremely popular and often busy highest-elevation point accessible by car. Rising Sun has 84 sites, 10 of which can accommodate vehicle lengths up to 25 feet. It's first come, first served and located along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, about six miles from St. Mary Campground.

Fish Creek Campground

Fish Creek is the second-largest campground in the park, and its central location makes it ideal for visitors who want to get out and explore. Here, campers get views of Lake McDonald and access to park rangers who host evening programs focused on Glacier's natural or cultural history. The on-site showers, flush toilets, and running water make stays at Fish Creek comfortable. There are 178 sites, and 18 can accommodate 35-foot campers. Fish Creek is one of the few that takes reservations.

Apgar Campground

Close to Fish Creek, Apgar Campground is the largest campground in Glacier National Park, offering 194 spaces (25 of them RV-friendly). It's near Apgar Village, which has stores, a restaurant, and places to book tours. In the evenings, you can take a short walk to Lake McDonald to see the sunset, as well as take advantage of park ranger programs.

Apgar Campground takes reservations. It has showers, flush toilets, and sinks with running water.

Camping Near Glacier National Park

There are a number of RV parks and campgrounds in the area surrounding Glacier National Park, including Mountain Meadow RV Park and Cabins, St. Mary / East Glacier KOA, Glacier Peaks RV Park and Campground, West Glacier RV Park, West Glacier KOA, and North American RV Park. These campgrounds are close to the park and some offer extensive amenities, like pools, playgrounds, on-site dining, and more.

Picnic tables by a lake in Glacier National Park
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Glacier National Park Camping Reservations

Five of the 13 campgrounds in Glacier National Park take reservations: Fish Creek, St. Mary, Apgar, Many Glacier, and Sprague Creek. You can make reservations up to six months in advance for Fish Creek, Many Glacier, and St. Mary, and up to 12 months in advance for group sites at Apgar. Reservations are required at Sprague Creek, and some of the sites must be booked no more than four days in advance.

During the summer season, camping fees range between $10 and $25 per night. If you're planning to camp at Glacier National Park during the peak season, be sure to make reservations for these sites in advance on the website to guarantee your spot.

Glacier National Park Camping Regulations to Know

The National Park Service has set a number of regulations to ensure the comfort and safety of guests at the campgrounds in Glacier National Park. You can only pitch a tent in designated campgrounds at this park — unless you have a backcountry camping permit — and during the peak season (July 1 to Labor Day), you can camp for a maximum of 14 days total. Guests also have to adhere to food storage rules so that food doesn't attract bears, and the campgrounds keep quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. For a full list of rules and restrictions, visit the NPS website.

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