Driving Time from Glacier National Park to Prince of Wales Hotel

Hi! First, I love your website!

Lots of great info.

We’re traveling to Glacier National Parkfor the first time next June/July. We’re planning to stay at West Glacier a few days, then travel to Prince of Wales Hotel, by way of Kalispell airport to pick up another family member who can’t stay many days.

I’ve seen drive times anywhere from 2.5 hours to over 8 hours for this trip.

Some say the roads are bad, and there’s maybe an hour wait to get through customs at the border.

What is your opinion? Any advice for us?



Hi Patti,

I’m so glad you like the site! I’m head over heels in love with Glacier National Park and all I want to do is spread that love to anyone who cares.

It makes me unbelievably happy when I hear from people who share that joy with me or who are thinking about traveling to Glacier for the first time–like you! Oh, you are in for such a treat.

I wish I could go there for the first time…again…

So, you have some driving to do while you’re there, huh? Well, it could certainly be worse–at least you’ll have some amazing views to look at while you make the trip.

Driving To Prince of Wales Hotel

I can totally see why the drive times may be contradictory from different sources. It’s just so hard to tell! The snow doesn’t really finish melting from the mountains until the middle of July, so some roads may be closed or reduced to a single lane.

Also, summer is the time when the park service chooses to do construction–because the snow is finally gone–which can also lengthen the drive time.

Add in the fact that traffic can be killer depending what time you are driving over Going to the Sun Road, and it is impossible to tell how long it will take you.

Honestly, the only way you’ll know for sure how long it’s going to take is to actually drive it. I know, terrible advice, but it’s true!

Conditions are always changing, and who knows what they might be during the June/July months of the year you’re going?

That being said, though, I’ll certainly give you my best guess. I’ve driven all over the park, and I have a pretty decent idea of how long it takes to get from Point A to Point Z and all the little Points in between.

Customs At Glacier & Waterton National Park

OK, customs isn’t bad. Don’t let the horror stories scare you. I’ve never waited at customs for more than 10 minutes at the Glacier-Waterton border.

Sure, they may need to check out your bags or your trunk or whatever, but unless they’re being unusually suspicious–which occasionally they can be, and for good reason, too–you can get through lickety-split. However, you will be going during the busiest time of year, so traffic may not be as light as you want it to be.

I’d say, in reality, it will take you less than fifteen minutes to get through.

Like I said, it’s very hard to judge how long anything will take up in Glacier, because it’s so dependent on weather and crowds. But, here’s my take on drive times from West Glacier to Kalispell City Airport, and Kalispell City Airport to the Prince of Wales Hotel.

(And I’m going to assume that traffic is medium heavy, snow cover is pretty sparse, and closures are minimal. If any of these assumptions turns out to be wrong, you can adjust accordingly.)

Driving Time to Prince of Wales Hotel

  • West Glacier — Kalispell City Airport: 35 miles, 1hr 15m

And just in case you meant the Glacier International Airport instead of the Kalispell City Airport, I’ll throw that one into the mix as well.

  • West Glacier — Glacier Int’l Airport: 25 miles, 50m
  • Glacier Int’l Airport — Prince of Wales Hotel: approx. 120 miles, 4hr 15m

But like I said, even though it’s a far way to go, the trip is a beautiful one! I wish you luck on your adventure and hope you have a blast when everyone arrives to join you!

Hope that helps! Have a fantastic vacation!

Comments for Driving Time from Glacier National Park to Prince of Wales Hotel

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Sep 15, 2011



Don’t let delays stop you

by: Howard

Regardless of delays due to road conditions Glacier Nat. Park is an awesome place to visit.

We were there in 2005 and enjoyed every minute.

Howard Hicks

Sep 13, 2011



Driving to POW hotel

by: TJ

Just one comment. You MUST have your passport or you will not get back into the US. Trust me on this one.

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