Best Times to Visit Glacier National Park

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Glacier National Park features a very short tourist season. In fact, much like the bears that inhabit the park, you could say the whole park goes into hibernation for about 8 months of of the year.

The most popular times to visit the park are the months of July & August with more visitors coming during these two months then the other 10 combined.
 
My favorite time is September when the crowds have mostly left. The temperature is warm enough to camp at night. And the fall colors have settled into the park - yellows, oranges, and reds brilliantly light the landscape. The bears are very active seeking to eat everything they can find in an effort to put on fat before hibernating through the winter. Elk, moose, goats, and sheep are either in or nearing their annual rut when males battle it out to try and mate with the females. Lots of fun stuff is going on. You basically get to see the best of the park without all the tourists. The only downside is that the days are a bit shorter and nights are starting to get colder.

October can be a great time to visit for all the same reasons as September. The only downside is that the days are even shorter and colder than in September. Because of this then overnight camping becomes less fun as your nights are long and cold. 

July & August are the prime time for hiking and climbing in the park. This is also when everyone else is in Glacier. If you want to see Logan Pass, go early in the day or consider an evening excursion. There are few people at the Pass during these times and you will be able to find a parking space. The wildlife is most active in the morning and at night so this is an added benefit to going during these times. And at night then there are some great sunsets to be seen from Logan Pass.  
Glacier National Park Weather
 
May & June can be fun times to see Glacier. This is when new life springs into the park. You can see baby deer, elk, moose, and even bears. The baby goats and sheep are a little harder to find as their moms take them to seclusion in the cliffs. Only trails at the lowest elevations will be open as winter snow will clog high mountain passes well into July. 

Winter in Glacier is fun for snow showing & cross country skiing. The days are too cold and short to camp. Light doesn't come till after 8 AM and then it goes away by 4:30 PM! That's a lot of time in the dark and if you are stuck in a tent then it's probably not going be to a good time. If you are just looking for places to visit during the day then Lake McDonald is a fun spot. The road around Lake McDonald is normally open up until the lodge. From there then you can trek on the closed road. It's possible to make it all the way to Avalanche Lake. We camped there one night in early January. It was cold. Another fantastic area for winter is the North Fork area. I like to ski along and on top of the frozen river. Be careful: it's easy to fall through the ice and then a pain to get out of the river with big sticks attached to your feet.

If you are planning to spend a good amount of time in the park then try to come in September, August, July or June. May is ok too but you will most likely not be able to drive or see the Going-To-The-Sun Road as it typically opens closer to the end of June.  
 

Glacier National Park - Average Weather Temperatures


Glacier's western valleys generally receive the most rainfall. Daytime temperatures can exceed 90 degrees F. It is frequently 10 to 15 degrees cooler at higher elevations. On the east sid eof the park strong winds and sunny days predominate.  Overnight lows throughout the park can drop to near 20 degrees F, and snow can fall anytime. In August of 1992, a foot of snow fell on the northeastern corner of Glacier. Prepare for a variety of conditions and pack accordingly. You may start the day in a T-shirt and shorts, and need a parka by evening. Dress in layers. Always bring raingear.


Temperature
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Average Max
28.5
34.7
41.9
52.9
64.1
71.2
79.1
78.1
66.7
52.7
37.3
30.0
Average Min
14.9
18.8
22.9
29.7
37.1
43.7
47.2
46.3
38.8
31.8
24.9
18.4
Record High
50
58
66
83
90
91
99
99
95
77
65
52
Record Low
-35
-32
-30
3
13
24
31
26
18
-3
-29
-36

Precipitation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
avg rain (inch)
3.40
2.37
1.86
1.81
2.57
3.28
1.75
1.64
2.06
2.33
3.10
3.30

avg snow
39.6
22.5
14.5
3.5
0.4
0.2
0
0
0.1
2.0
17.2
37.5
 
 
Glacier Pictures Did you know?
Falling from cliffs is the number one cause of death for Mountain Goats
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