Travel Budget for Glacier National Park

Montana, United States of America

How much does it cost to travel to Glacier National Park?

How much money will you need in Glacier National Park? $102 is the average daily price for traveling in Glacier National Park. The average price of food for one day is $23. The average price of a hotel for a couple is $90. Additional pricing is in the table below. These average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
    $102
  • One Week Per person
    $711
  • 2 Weeks Per person
    $1,423
  • One Month Per person
    $3,049
  • One Week For a couple
    $1,423
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
    $2,846
  • One Month For a couple
    $6,098
How expensive is Glacier National Park?
  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
    $45
  • Food2 Meals for one day
    $23
  • Local Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    $55
  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    $27
  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
    $6.73
Last Updated: May 26, 2017
Glacier National Park flights, hotels, and rental cars
Glacier National Park On a Budget
Glacier National Park, Montana Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park is a large park situated in the far north of Montana, bordering Canada. The park borders the Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and both share UNESCO World Heritage Site and are biosphere reserves. Glacier National Park offers over 700 miles of trails and countless activities, including hiking, biking, canoeing, and fishing. As the park is split by the Continental Divide, the east and west sides of the park experience fairly different weather. The western side of the park gets the most rainfall while the eastern side offers more sunshine, but also more wind. During summer months, temperatures can get into the 90's Fahrenheit during the day while winter sees temperatures in the 20's and plenty of snowfall. The high season for the park is June-September, which is also when the majority of hiking trails, hotels, and shops are open.
Sights
Glacier National Park offers countless spots to enjoy the jaw-dropping natural beauty of the surrounding area. Drive or hike along the Going to the Sun Highway where you'll find perfect viewpoints of the park that look over Lake McDonald, Rising Sun, Logan Pass, and the Continental Divide. At Looking Glass Hill Road, there are lovely viewpoints looking over the Lower Two Medicine Lake from the hilltop. A must-see is the Sperry Glacier Overlook, which is accessed by a steep climb from the Sperry Chalet. The climb includes a secluded walk through alpine lakes and meadows up a natural rock stairway where you'll see the Little Matterhorn, Bearhat Mountain, and Mt. Reynolds. After passing by cairns, you'll get to the edge of the overlook to view the magnificent glacier; get there soon though, as scientists expect the glacier to disappear completely by 2030.
Park Areas and Nearby
Thanks to the Continental Divide, the park is naturally divided into the east and west sides of the park. The eastern side has the most glaciers and hiking trails and tends to be the least crowded. The western side is just as beautiful as the east, although it tends to be the most crowded due to its large number of lodges and lakes. There are a few cities outside the park where you can stock up on food before heading into the park. One such city is Polebridge, a small community that has a bakery and mercantile. Babb is another small community that lies on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and has a few stores and lodging options. West Glacier is the community at the west entrance to the park and has plenty of lodging and restaurant options.

Activities
Glacier National Park offers endless outdoor activities to fit every type of adventurer. You can bike along one of the many well maintained trails, go boating or canoeing on the lakes, and camp under the stars. The park also features over 700 miles of hiking trails, including the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail which runs 3,100 from Canada to Mexico, and diving the park in two. Hiking the Continental Divide trail within the park is about a 10-day trek along the trail; keep in mind that it's not very well maintained so be prepared for the unexpected. If you prefer something less advanced, try the Trail of the Cedars, a partially paved trail that has views of the old growth forest and Avalanche Gorge. Or, wander along the Garden Wall Trail which is perfect for beginners and runs along the Continental Divide, featuring views of the alpine tundra and meadows.
Food and Dining
Food within the park is limited to the dining halls at the hotels and the few shops that are scattered around the park. The Granite Park Chalet and the Sperry Chalet are two such dinning halls where you can purchase food. Be advised that these shops and restaurants are often only open from June-October and are not always fully stocked, so be sure to bring plenty of food. The best food options are located outside the park in Babb, Polebridge, and West Glacier where you'll find more restaurants and shops.
Transportation
For a more scenic route, you can take either the Great Northern Rail or Amtrak into the park. There's an east and west train station, with the west station being the most historic of the two and even has a small museum attached to it. You can also fly into the Glacier National Park Airport near Kalispell, Montana and can either drive in or use an airport shuttle to get into the park. No matter how you enter the park, you'll have to pay a small permit fee that is based on how you get in.

Getting around the park is easiest via car, especially with all of the scenic highways there are to explore. If you prefer not to drive, you can take one of the few shuttle bus companies that operate throughout the park. There are two shuttle buses you have to pay for, the Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle and the Jammers bus service. The National Park Service offers a free shuttle service as well, which runs throughout the park.
1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.
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