WEST GLACIER — A ticketed entry system that debuted at Glacier National Park this year will be returning.
The ticket system will be used to access certain portions of the park between May 27 and Sept. 11, 2022. Park officials say the pilot ticket system in the park is aimed at managing high traffic and avoiding gridlock.
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Once again in 2022, one ticket per vehicle will be required to enter the Going-to-the-Sun Road at the West Entrance, the St. Mary Entrance, and the new Camas Entrance. The plan is being expanded at the Polebridge Ranger Station to visit the North Fork area of the park. Park officials note there will be two separate tickets will be issued for Going-to-the-Sun Road and the North Fork area.
Some of the tickets are expected to go on sale by early March. Once again in 2022, people will need to set up an account on Recreation.gov to obtain tickets. Although the Park does not charge for the tickets, Recreation.gov charges a $2 nonrefundable service fee.
Tickets will not be required at the St. Mary Entrance prior to the full opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, which typically happens in late June. Once the iconic road opens to vehicle traffic to Logan Pass, tickets will be required at the St. Mary entrance through Sept. 11, 2022.
Glacier National Park will be offering three-day tickets for the Going-to-the-Sun Road in place of the seven-day ticket offered in 2021. One-day tickets will be available for the North Fork area.
Another change coming for 2022 is that the Apgar and Sprague Creek campgrounds will now require advance reservations. The Fish Creek and St. Mary campgrounds already require advance reservations. Spots will be able to be reserved at Recreation.gov.
The Rising Sun and Avalanche campgrounds will remain first come, first served.
Park officials note in a news release that "the 2021 pilot of the ticket system successfully reduced traffic" on the Going-to-the-Sun Road during peak hours and it's estimated that without the ticket system, full access to the popular road would have had to be shut down 35 times.
"This was a major accomplishment despite 2021 visitation numbers currently boasting the second-highest on record for the park. Avoiding gridlock also ensured access to emergency vehicles and prevented severe vehicle back-ups onto Highway 2 outside the park." according to the news release.
Each vehicle entering the park in 2022 will also be required to have an entrance pass for any entry point into the park. The passes could include any one of the following: a $35 vehicle pass, good for seven days; a valid Interagency Annual/Lifetime Pass; or a Glacier National Park Annual Pass.
Visitors with lodging, camping, transportation, or commercial activity reservations within the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor can use their reservation for entry in lieu of a $2 ticket. The North Fork area does not offer lodging, transportation or commercial services, and camping is first-come, first-served.
Park shuttles will once again operate in 2022. However, the service levels have not yet been determined. Visitors are encouraged to plan their visit outside of peak hours which are typically between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Additional details about the ticketed system are still being developed and additional information will be posted on the Glacier National Park website once it becomes available.