If you’re planning to visit Glacier National Park in Montana and want to drive the legendary Going-to-the-Sun Road, mark your calendar for March 2.
For the second straight year, Glacier will require ticketed entry in order to manage traffic along the historic route. Tickets go up for grabs on Recreation.gov at 8 am MST on March 2 for visitors who want to drive the road between May 27 and September 11, 2022.
Built between 1921 and 1932, Going-to-the-Sun Road was and is an engineering marvel, weaving 50 miles through the center of Glacier National Park. One might feel like they are “going to the sun” as the road climbs to Logan’s Pass at 6,646 feet (2,026 m), before winding back downhill, all while offering breathtaking vistas and views of wildlife like bighorn sheep and mountain goats along the way. Sometimes you can spot a grizzly bear.
The entire journey from West to East Glacier takes about two hours to drive—but the chance to do so is a limited-time engagement. Snow blankets the road in the winter and crews spend weeks plowing the road and repairing damage. There’s no set date for the road’s opening, but it typically runs from late-June until the third week in October.
Like many US National Parks, Glacier has seen an increase in visitation. In 2021, the park reported it posted its second-highest number of visitors in its history. At the same time, it piloted the ticketing system for Going-to-the-Sun Road. The park called the program a success, saying helped control congestion on the road and helped rangers avoid fully closing access to the park at least 35 times during the season.
How the reservation for Going-to-the-Sun road works
Tickets are available on Recreation.gov on March 2 at 8 am MST.
A ticket is only required if you are planning to visit between May 27 through September 11, 2022.
As tickets sometimes go quickly, make an account at Recreation.gov in advance to prepare for that day. The tickets will be available on that site at a cost of $2 per reservation. When the date comes, you’ll need to log in and reserve the ticket as well as pay the $2 reservation fee.
When the day arrives to use your pass, you'll need to show the ticket and your photo ID. You’ll also have to pay for a seven-day park entry fee ($35 USD) or your show your America is Beautiful Annual Pass ($80). If you’re planning to visit multiple parks, the Parks Pass can save you money on entrance fees.
Who needs a ticket for Going-to-the-Sun Road?
The West Entrance, St. Mary Entrance, and the new Camas Entrance all require a ticket to enter. The ticket is good for three days and is only required between May 27 through September 11, 2022.
Tickets are not required at the St. Mary entrance until the road is open completely.
In addition, this year you will also need a ticket at the Polebridge Ranger Station to visit the North Fork area of the park.
Visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity reservations in the park do not need a ticket and instead can show their reservation to enter the park.
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