×

15 Top-Rated Campgrounds in Glacier National Park, MT

Written by Brad Lane
Nov 28, 2019

Glacier National Park is a stunning testament to unfettered wilderness and shifting geology, and campgrounds in Glacier National Park illustrate why this esteemed natural space is dubbed the Crown of the Continent. The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road traverses Glacier National Park from east to west, and with five of Glacier's 13 campgrounds along the route, this architecturally impressive roadway is the main thoroughfare within the park.

Despite the drive to access the park, Glacier is one of the most popular national parks in the country, and campgrounds tend to fill up fast. Only a few campgrounds, including St. Mary Campground and Many Glacier Campground, accept advanced reservations, while the rest offer sites on a first-come, first-served basis.

Catering to both tent and RV camping, bigger campgrounds like Apgar Campground and Fish Creek Campground often fill to capacity during the peak season between June and September.

Smaller campgrounds like Avalanche Campground and Sprague Creek Campground also fill up quickly and cater only to non-towing vehicles and tent camping. For less crowded campgrounds in Glacier, tent and small recreational vehicles can head to the more remote Bowman Lake, Cut Bank, or the Quartz Creek Campgrounds.

Campgrounds are also available outside the park and welcome all types of visitors, and the interior of Glacier National Park is dotted with primitive backcountry campsites. For more ideas on where to pitch your tent, check out our list of the best campgrounds in Glacier National Park.

1. Apgar Campground

Lake McDonald near Apgar Campground

The largest campground in Glacier National Park, Apgar Campground is located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road less than three miles from the West Entrance. With nearly 200 sites, the campground is also located close to the Apgar Village with restaurants, gift shops, and camping supplies available. Campers can also find other resources like a visitor center and Ranger Station nearby, as well as concessionaires offering services like guided horseback rides and kayak rentals.

Accommodating both tents and RVs, individual campsites at Apgar Campground are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Five group sites that accommodate up to 24 people are available for advance reservation at Apgar Campground.

All campers have access to running water, and the long stretch of Lake McDonald is only a short walk away. Enabling access to many of the top places to visit in Glacier National Park, the free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle has a stop inside the Apgar Campground.

Apgar Campground operates year-round with free primitive camping available during the winter.

Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier

Official site: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/camping.htm

2. Many Glacier Campground Editor's Pick

Grinnell Glacier hike from Many Glacier Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

On the east side of Glacier National Park, the Many Glacier Campground is surrounded by day hikes, wildlife, and mountain attractions. Located next to the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn—a combination gift shop, restaurant, and lodging option—nearly half of the 109 sites at the campground are available for advance reservation throughout the summer. The other half of the campsites are available on a walk-up basis, and hopeful campers should arrive early to nab a spot during the peak season.

Many Glacier Campground sites cater to tent camping and camper vehicles, and a few accommodate RVs over 21 feet. Numerous best hiking trails in Glacier stem from the Many Glacier Campground, including routes to iconic spots like Grinnell Glacier and Iceberg Lake.

The Many Glacier region of the park is not located on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, though commercial services do offer private shuttles back and forth to the St. Mary Visitor Center. Many Glacier Campground closes for the season on October 31st.

Address: Continental Divide Trail, Browning, Montana

3. St. Mary Campground

St. Mary Lake at sunset

One of three campgrounds in Glacier National Park with campsites you can reserve ahead of time, the St. Mary Campground is also the largest on the east side of the park. Near the banks of St. Mary Lake, a short hiking trail connects the campground to the St. Mary Visitor Center, where visitors can pick up the free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle. Accommodating both tents and RVs with running water available, Loop A at the campground is generator-free and generally recommended for tent campers.

Showers are available in Loop C of the campground, and nightly ranger talks occur throughout the summer and shoulder seasons at St. Mary Campground amphitheater.

The St. Mary Village, located a mile from the campground and just outside of the park, offers services like restaurants, gas stations, and a grocery store. Intrepid explorers can primitive camp for free at the picnic area of St. Mary Campground throughout the winter.

Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, East Glacier

4. Fish Creek Campground

Fish Creek Campground

The second largest campground in Glacier National Park, Fish Creek Campground is also one of three campgrounds that accepts reservations for standard campsites. Located on the west side of the park along the scenic Camas Road, and less than four miles from the West Entrance, all 178 campsites at Fish Creek have access to running water. Registered campers are also welcome to use the camp showers located in Loop A.

Evening ranger programs occur nightly throughout the peak visiting season at the Fish Creek Amphitheater, and the campground is located next to an abundance of hiking trails including the Rocky Point Nature Trail. Fish Creek has a slightly shorter operating season than other campgrounds in the park, with no availability between September 1st and May 31st. The morning and evening are particularly good times to spot wildlife in and around the campground.

Address: Fish Creek Campground Rd, West Glacier, Montana

5. Two Medicine Campground

Picnic area at Two Medicine Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Eleven miles from the East Glacier Park Village, this 100-site campground is in a less-busy region of the park not connected to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Tent campers and RV dwellers still fill the campground to capacity during the summer months, though, with only 10 sites available for RVs up to 36 feet in length. On the banks of the postcard-worthy Two Medicine Lake, numerous hiking trails stem from the campground alongside opportunities to boat across the water.

Two Medicine Campground offers running water between June and September, with primitive camping available in October. The campground closes throughout the winter.

Address: East Glacier Park, Montana

6. Avalanche Campground

Avalanche Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Adjacent to the popular trailhead for Avalanche Lake and Trail of the Cedars, this first-come, first served campground caters to both tents and RVs. Less than half of the 87 sites at Avalanche Campground can accommodate RVs over 26 feet in length.

Located 15 miles from the West Entrance of the park, the campground is easily accessible from the Going-to-the-Sun Road and has a stop for the free shuttle. Running water is available for all overnight campers.

Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier

7. Rising Sun Campground

St. Mary Lake near the Rising Sun Campground

Six miles from the St. Mary Entrance of the park, all 84 sites at Rising Sun Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Halfway along the banks of St. Mary Lake, the campground is also adjacent to the Rising Sun Motor Inn, which features casual dining and a small store, as well as coin-operated showers. Campers can catch the free Going-to-the-Sun Road shuttle from the campground, and all overnight visitors have access to running water.

Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, East Glacier

8. Sprague Creek Campground

Sprague Creek Campground

Nine miles from the West Entrance of the park and accessed from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, this coveted campground has only 25 sites available, awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. No towed vehicles are allowed in the campground.

A few of the sites at Sprague Creek have great views of Lake McDonald. Alongside quick access to other west side attractions and hiking trails, campers at Sprague Creek have abundant shade and access to running water.

Address: Going-to-the-Sun Road, West Glacier

9. Bowman Lake Campground

Campers enjoying Bowman Lake | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

For a more remote campground in Glacier National Park, the Bowman Lake Campground is in the North Fork area of the park with quieter surroundings, about 33 miles north of the West Entrance. Those looking to camp at Bowman Lake need to navigate a twisting gravel road to get here. Not accessible to vehicles over 21 feet in length, running water is available for all 46 sites at Bowman Lake Campground between May and September.

The scenic shore of Bowman Lake is less than a quarter mile from the campground, where both the sunsets and sunrises put on quite a show. Hiking opportunities abound from this less-crowded area of Glacier, and many backcountry trips originate from this part of the park. The closest visitor resources to Bowman Lake can be found in the tiny community of Polebridge seven miles from the campground.

Address: West Glacier, Montana

10. Kintla Lake Campground

Kintla Lake on a sunny day

With only 13 sites in the far northwest corner of the park near the Canadian border, Kintla Lake Campground is Glacier's most remote frontcountry campground. Vehicles over 21 feet in length aren't allowed in the campground much in thanks to the 40-mile drive on a gravel road from the West Entrance to get to the campground.

This solitude and lack of recreational vehicles makes Kintla Lake popular with tent campers looking to escape the usual crowds at Glacier. Running water is available between June and September.

11. Cut Bank Campground

Pitamakan Pass from the Cut Bank Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

A primitive campground on the east side of the park, the quieter Cut Bank campground offers 13 first-come, first-served campsites with no access to running water or flushing toilets. Located between St. Mary and Two Medicine, the five-mile dirt road to access the campground, and the campground layout, prevents RVs from using this isolated tent camping spot.

It's a common launching point for overnight trips within the park, and trails like Triple Divide Pass and Pitamakan Pass stem from the campground.

Address: East Glacier, Montana

12. Quartz Creek Campground & Logging Creek Campground

Quartz Creek hiking trail

Two of the smallest campgrounds in Glacier, Quartz Creek and Logging Creek Campgrounds each offer seven sites on the west side of the park. The two campgrounds are located close to one another and are accessible from the West Entrance station with an approximately 23-mile drive. They are designated as primitive campgrounds throughout the year, and no running water is available at either campground.

Catering to tent campers and small recreation vehicles, all sites at Quartz and Logging Creek Campgrounds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Location: West Glacier, Montana

Campgrounds outside Glacier National Park

13. Glacier Campground

Glacier National Park entrance sign

With 40 shaded sites available, the privately-owned Glacier Campground is less than a mile outside the West Entrance of the national park. Accommodating full hookup RVs up to 36 feet in length, Glacier Campground also caters to tent campers and those who would like to spend the night in a cabin.

The on-site Sunflower Cafe at the campground is an affordable place to feed the whole family, and more restaurants can be found in the nearby West Glacier Village.

Address: 12070 US-2, West Glacier, Montana

Official site: http://www.glaciercampground.com/

14. West Glacier KOA

View from the Going-to-the-Sun Road

Featuring tent sites, RV spaces, and camping cabins, the West Glacier KOA provides many ways to stay. Located less than three miles from the West Entrance of the national park and the beginning of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, this KOA Resort Campground also has numerous special amenities, including adult-only hot tubs, ice-cream shops, and fly-fishing clinics.

Similar accommodations can be found on the east side of the park at the St. Mary KOA.

Address: 355 Halfmoon Flats, West Glacier, Montana

Official site: https://koa.com/campgrounds/west-glacier/

15. Chewing Black Bones Campground

Tipis in Babb, Montana

On the east side of Glacier National Park in Babb, near the Many Glacier entrance, Chewing Black Bones is one of four Blackfeet Tribal Campgrounds located just outside the park.

With 110 sites available that cater to tent camping and full hookup RVs, Chewing Black Bones is one of the most popular tribal campgrounds to spend the night. An extensive day-use area, including a boat launch, can be found at the campground, as well as a visitor center, general store, and Tipi Village.

South of Chewing Black Bones Campground near the Two Medicine entrance of Glacier, the Red Eagle Campground provides similar accommodations and far fewer crowds. The Buffalo Calf Campground can also be found near the Two Medicine entrance with 12 sites available.

Thirteen miles east of the St. Mary entrance, the Duck Lake Campground lures visitors away from the park with world-class fishing and water activities.

Address: US-89, Babb, Montana

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

More to Explore in Glacier National Park: With stunning natural places like Logan Pass, Goat Haunt, and Two Medicine, the Top Places to Visit in Glacier National Park offer a lifetime of adventure. Much of what there is to experience in Glacier can't be seen from a car, and the Best Hiking Trails in Glacier National Park deliver guests to iconic locations like Grinnell Glacier, Iceberg Lake, and Stoney Indian Pass.

Hiking and Camping in Montana: One of the largest states by land mass in the United States, Montana provides a lot to explore. The Best Hiking Trails in Montana cover unique landscapes, including intricate caves and glistening glacial valleys, and the Best Campgrounds in Montana provide a great way to sleep under the stars. For a more upscale retreat into Big Sky Country, the Top-Rated Resorts in Montana combine the natural beauty of the state with modern amenities and services.

Discover destinations, find outdoor adventures, follow the journeys of our travel writers around the world, and be inspired.

More on Montana