Glacier-Waterton National Park

Heaven's Peak, Glacier National Park
Heaven's Peak, Glacier National Park (courtesy, National Park Service)

Glacier National Park, like many mountain parks in the west, is a slave to the seasons. Long cold winters restrict the bulk of visitor use to the months of June, July, August, and September, even though the park is open year-round.

Summer: Most park services and facilities are available from late May through September. Summer rainfall averages around two to three inches per month. In the valleys, daytime temperatures can exceed 90 degrees F. Up slope, in areas above treeline, it is frequently 10 to 15 degrees cooler. Strong winds predominate on the east side of the park. Overnight lows throughout the park can drop to near 20 degrees F, and snow can fall anytime. In August 1992, a foot of snow fell on the northeastern corner of Glacier.

Prepare for a variety of weather conditions and pack accordingly. You may start the day in a tee-shirt and shorts and need a parka by evening. Dress in layers.

Fall, Winter, Spring: Access and facilities are limited during the winter months. Nevertheless, increasingly, "off-season" visits (from December to April) are becoming more popular. Conditions are less crowded and there are increased opportunities for wildlife sightings. In late fall, winter, and spring very limited services are available in the park. However, surrounding communities provide complete services year-round.


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