When is the Best Time to Visit Glacier National Park?

We can travel any time and are really looking forward to seeing Glacier.

When is the best time to visit Glacier National Park?

We dont like crowds, but dont want to be stopped by snow.

Please help me decide. Should I come in July, August or September?

Thank you!

~ D

Answer

Hi D,

I know what you mean! Sometimes it’s great to have a lot of people around to share in the overall joy and excitement of a new place, but other times…you just want to experience it by yourself. With Glacier, I agree with you that crowds can be a bit of a turn off. I mean, you don’t want to be overrun on the trails by screaming, running, stinky, sticky kids, right?

Right!

So, when is the best time to go to Glacier?

Well, there are a couple of things you need to take into consideration here. One is access, two is weather, and three is crowding.

Glacier National Park Weather & Trip Advice

  • June — Even though June is technically a summer month, the snow has yet to melt in Glacier. This means that there may be some really pretty views, but most of the trails and many of the roads are either partly or fully closed because of the lack of access. It’s also not quite as warm in June as it will get later on, and there are plenty of families around, celebrating the end of another school year. Even worse: June is rainy season!
  • July — The weather is getting warmer in July–which is good, because the higher elevation makes Glacier a cool place to be year-round. While snow still exists in certain areas, most trails are open by early to mid July. This year is an exception due to a cold May and late snowfall. And the crowds? Glacier is never too terribly busy, but July is certainly one of the busier times.
  • August — Ah, the snow is gone, there’s access to all the roads and trails, and the weather is warm. Oh, and once you get to the end of the month, school is back in session, so the crowds have thinned out considerably.
  • September — The first week of September is probably one of the greatest times to be in Glacier. The weather is fantastic and the trails are quiet. But once you get further into the month, snow is likely to fall here and there which may cause certain closures.

The Verdict — It’s a good thing June wasn’t a possibility for you, D, because it’s kind of a terrible time to go as far as crowds and trail access are concerned. You may get lucky, but you probably won’t. For my money, the best time to go to avoid snow and unruly crowds is from the end of August to the beginning of September.

I hope this helped a little bit, D! If you decide to go in August/September, let me know if the crowds and weather were good for you. If you choose another time, let me know how that goes, too. Good luck and have a blast!

Learn more about Glacier National Park weather here.

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Comments for When is the Best Time to Visit Glacier National Park?

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Oct 13, 2012

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anytime . . . but . . .

by: tony bynum


the park is open year around. the best time to visit if youre a fair weather person is between july 10 and the end of august. If you go anytime sooner or later you risk snow and cold blustery weather. I live in east glacier park and have seen snow in every month of the year, but mid july though august is your best bet. Follow www.glacierparkphotographer.com if you want detailed conditions . . .


Aug 24, 2011

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Weather in September

by: Perry


Hi Jon,

Weather in September is iffy. You can never be certain one way or another.

The best bet is to be prepared for anything. That includes bringing clothing for snow, rain, and sun.

Here’s some more information for you to properly prepare:

 

 

In the end, your best bet is to check the weather and chat with the Rangers about it before hiking..


Aug 22, 2011

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North loop in last week of September

by: Jon


Headed to do the north loop last week of September.

Concerned it might dump snow on us, anyone done this loop at this time? Also what are the temps at night this time of year?


Jul 13, 2011

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the best time to visit.

by: from Virginia


…the best time to visit is the 1st day the park
opens…for us it was July 2,2008…flowers were blooming…waterfalls were spectacular

 


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Comments

  1. Hi
    I am planning to visit glacier national park in the month of march and april. Would there will be great scenic overlooks to enjoy in that month? Any idea about the road conditions in that month and will that time be appropriate for drive through and best scenery?

    • Perry Rosenbloom says:

      Hi Adnan,

      March and April are tricky times. Going to the Sun Road will be closed, so you’ll need to stay on the periphery. You’ll get to enjoy Lake McDonald Lodge and Many Glacier Lodge. That’s where you’ll want to spend most of your time as other areas will still be closed.

      Have fun!

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