Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park

Park Regulations

Enjoy a safe visit and help protect the natural features by following these park regulations.

Litter 

Pack out all you pack in. Properly dispose of garbage so animals can't get it. It is illegal to litter or feed the animals in the parks.

Pets

Pets must be leashed and under the owner's control at all times while in the parks. They are allowed, but not encouraged, on Waterton trails. Pets are prohibited on all Glacier trails, in park hotels and anywhere in the backcountry (this includes all roads being used as trails). Pets are known to attract and provoke bears and mountain lions, and may pose safety hazards for their owners. Kennels are available in Columbia Falls, Kalispell, Cut Bank, Pincher Creek and Cardston.

Vehicle Restrictions

Vehicles crossing Logan Pass between Avalanche and Sun Point must be no more than eight feet wide (including mirrors) and 21 feet long. Vehicles in excess of 10 feet in height need to exercise caution to avoid hitting rock overhangs. Oversize vehicles and commercial trucks must cross the Continental Divide by way of U.S. 2.

Bicycling

Glacier does not allow bicycle traffic along Lake McDonald between Apgar and Sprague Creek, and eastbound from Logan Creek and Logan Pass, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily between June 15 and Labor Day. Bicycle travel is prohibited on all Glacier hiking trails except for one paved path near Apgar. Waterton has four hiking trails that permit bicycle travel. 

Firearms and Fireworks

Neither can be used in the parks. Transported firearms must be disassembled, cased and out of sight. Firearms must be declared at customs.

Hiking

Please stay on established trails. Taking shortcuts destroys fragile, high- altitude vegetation and causes erosion.

Stewardship

Protect cultural and natural artifacts, and features such as wildflowers, antlers and rocks, for everyone to enjoy. It is illegal to collect them in the parks.

STAYING SAFE

As in any mountainous area, an understanding of alpine weather, terrain and hazards is necessary. The following are a few tips to make your visit a safe one. 

Altitude

Because Glacier and Waterton are several thousand feet above sea level, come prepared with appropriate footwear, good sunscreen and appropriate clothes for sun protection every day of the year. The higher altitude increases the amount of ultraviolet light reaching your skin. People from lower elevations should also consider the altitude when planning backcountry travel. The thin air can adversely affect even strong athletes if they haven't taken time to adapt.

Driving

Be alert while driving in the parks. Wildlife frequently feed along roadsides and sometimes jump in front of cars. Mountain roads are narrow and occasionally littered with fallen rock, especially after a rainfall. Watch for other drivers who may stop suddenly to avoid hazards, view wildlife or to take pictures, particularly during heavy traffic periods. The Blackfeet Reservation is open range. Be alert for livestock on roadways east of the park.

Hypothermia

This life-threatening condition occurs when you are so chilled that your body can no longer warm itself. It can happen even on a cool summer day when you are tired and wet. Warning signs include shivering and disorientation. Seek shelter and raise your body temperature by drinking warm liquids. When traveling in the backcountry, carry clothes for layering. Be aware of how far you're traveling. You'll need enough supplies and energy for a safe return, especially if conditions become inclement. Snow can fall at any time, so be prepared.

Ticks

Watch out for ticks because they can carry a variety of diseases, including Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme Disease. If bitten, check for a rash in the area and watch for flu-like symptoms. If they appear, consult a doctor immediately.

Wild Animals

All wildlife should be considered dangerous, especially if approached too closely. Give all animals, particularly those with young or those near food (i.e., carcasses), a wide berth. Glacier and Waterton are home to approximately 300 grizzlies, 500—700 black bears, 10—15 wolves and an indeterminate number of mountain lions, so wildlife management is a constant concern. Although bear-human encounters are rare, all bears are potentially dangerous and should be avoided. Mountain lion encounters are also uncommon, but the big cats have been known to attack pets and occasionally humans, especially young children. Please see also "Bears" on page 60 for more information.

Do not feed or harass park wildlife. Feeding animals is strictly prohibited by law. You run the risk of being injured and animals accustomed to humans and/or human food often must be relocated or killed.