Hiking Glacier National Park in September: What Trails are Closed?

Hi there,

We are planning on coming to Glacier National Park to hike for 2 weeks this year. We love long hikes, cool weather, fewer crowds and fall colors.

We are torn about timing. It looks like fall colors are no more than the last 2 weeks of September.

However, we would love to do some of the beautiful point to point hikes at higher altitudes. The shuttles are gone by labor day.

Are there any options for hiring someone in the east glacier area to drive a second vehicle, pick us up and take us back to our own car?

Nobody can predict the weather… but if we don’t mind a little cold, how much might we miss out on being able to do the hikes if we came the second and 3rd or 3rd and 4th weeks of sept?

We were in Lake Ohare 2 years ago in late sept and the larch were stunning!



Hi Pamela,

Great question!

September in Glacier National Park is beautiful!

Unfortunately, like you said, the hikes in Glacier in September are limiting. Well, let me rephrase that: they aren’t limiting, but it’s impossible to tell what hikes will be open due to snowpack and recent snowfall.

I’m not sure if I 100% understand your question, so please feel free to follow up in the comments section… but I believe you’re asking how much would you miss out on hiking if you came to Glacier National Park in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of September vs the 3rd and 4th week. Am I correct?

If so, it’s really hard to give an accurate response. So many variables exist that are outside our control (namely, snowfall). Generally, most hikes in the belly region/around Many Glacier Lodge and on the West end around Lake McDonald Lodge are still open.

In terms of the high altitude hikes around Logan Pass–well, unfortunately that’s up to luck.

And yes, you can hire someone to drive you from East Glacier. That shouldn’t be an issue. Just talk to some locals 🙂

Finally, the best way to ensure you make the most of your trip is to have the a personalized itinerary written for your vacation. One that’s 100% customized to your needs.

Please feel free to follow up with any additional thoughts/questions/comments!

Have a great day!

~ Perry

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Jan 31, 2011



Fall in Glacier

by: Kris

Don’t forget that they close the Going-to-the-Sun Road in September. When it is closed you can’t get past Avalanche unless you walk. At least, that is what they have done the past few years. Anytime in Glacier is beautiful. Enjoy your trip.

Jan 29, 2011



sept hiking

by: Pamela

Thank you so much for replying so quickly!

We were wanting to come later in sept (3rd & 4th week) for color but are considering even the 1st and 2nd weeks in order to not miss out on high altitude hiking.

So I guess we are asking if we try to push it later to enjoy fall color, when do we really decrease our odds of being able to do those great hikes.


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