Montana's Glacier National Park is a popular vacation destination during the spring and summer months. If you're planning to travel to the area in a recreational vehicle (RV), it's important to take the time to find out about local campground accommodations in advance of your trip. There are 13 campgrounds located within the national park, as well as many others in the surrounding area, but not all of them can accommodate an RV. Be sure to choose the right one for your family and your camping needs.
RV Campgrounds in Glacier National Park
With 13 campgrounds and a total of more than 1,000 campsites located within Glacier National Park, it can be an overwhelming process to land on the perfect one. Each campground offers campers something a bit different, so do your research, look at the best the park has to offer, and get planning an amazing RV getaway!
Fish Creek Campground
Fish Creek is located just a few miles from the park's west entrance. The ground's 178 campsites are nestled amongst quaint cedar and pine trees, providing shade and privacy for campers. Sixty-two of the sites are equipped for recreational vehicles, and 18 of those sites can handle a vehicle that is more than 35 feet in length.
The campground has great views of Lake McDonald, as well as easy access to Rocky Point Trail. Being a widely sought-after campground, visitors are encouraged to make reservations well in advance of their stay. At $23 a night, you can afford to take full advantage of everything this area has to offer.
St. Mary Campground
The St. Mary Campground is located just half a mile from the St. Mary entrance to the park, and reservations for individual campsites can be made up to six months ahead of time. Even though reservations are accepted at this campground, it isn't an option for many RV travelers. No vehicles (or combination of vehicles) beyond 21 feet long are allowed in this particular campground, so it is accessible only to the smallest recreational vehicles.
A draw to this campground is the close proximity to water. It is nestled between Saint Mary Lake and Lower Saint Mary Lake, making it a perfect space to spend the warmer days swimming, boating, and fishing. If swimming isn't your thing, take to the many hiking opportunities and don't forget to bring along your camera. From this campground, you can capture incredible shots of Singleshot, Flattop, and Red Eagle Mountain. Priceless views for $23 a night. Score.
Apgar Campground contains around 200 sites, 25 of which can accommodate recreational vehicles. The grounds are located near Going-to-the-Sun Road and are close to Apgar village. The proximity to the village allows campers to take full advantage of some fun and unique experiences, such as renting kayaks and booking a horseback ride tour. Apgar Village is a great place for families needing to keep the kids entertained. Lake McDonald is close by, and in the temperate months, tons of activities and events are held at the amphitheater there.
This park campground does not take reservations, so you'll have to check ahead of time, see what is available, and be sure to arrive early or take advantage outside the peak season. Visitors can book up to seven nights here, but no more!
Many Glacier Campground
Many Glacier Campground is one of the more popular and visually stunning sites in the park. It sits on the eastern side of Glacier National Park and boasts restaurants, shuttle services, showers, a dump station, flush toilets, potable water, and so many other creature comforts that campers appreciate. The campground contains 109 sites (although not all of those are equipped for RVs), and some of these sites can accommodate campers and recreational vehicles up to 35 feet long.
To secure a stay here, campers will want to reserve a site far in advance. It is also a good idea to call and discuss the length and size of your camper, and double-check that the site you have your eye on can handle your vehicle.
Rising Sun Campground
This is the perfect campground for those who like to rise with the sun and take in nature's splendor first thing in the morning. The campground is best known for its incredible sunrises that take place just over famous Red Eagle Mountain. This is a great camping option for campers who like to hike, as it sits 6 miles west of St Mary's Lake and 12 miles east of Logan Pass.
The campground contains amenities, including flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station, but it lacks many other bells and whistles. It is quiet, tranquil, and unassuming, perfect for those who just want to get away and take in Big Sky country. Those traveling in recreational vehicles should be aware that while this campground can accommodate RVs, it isn't made for massive ones. The sites that support recreational vehicles can handle vehicles up to 25 feet in length.
Two Medicine Campground
Part of the Glacier Park appeal is the peace and serenity that seem to surround you at all times. Two Medicine Campground allows campers to really connect with nature and discover stillness and beauty, as it is one of the more remote spaces in the park. Two Medicine Lake is a mere half-mile from the campground, and it is a perfect spot to swim, kayak, and float amidst the finest elements in nature.
The campground contains about 100 sites, many of which are equipped to handle recreational vehicles. The place is a hiker's paradise, as 12 different trailheads start in the Two Medicine region. If this campground sounds like your cup of tea, know that there are no reservations and it functions on a first-come, first-served basis.
Avalanche Campground sounds intimidating, but it is anything but! It is located in a popular part of the park and contains 87 campsites (50 of which can accommodate recreational vehicles up to 26 feet in length). This is a wonderful space to hike and explore, or campers can choose to hang out at Avalanche Lake for the day.
Try walking the Trail of Cedars or take a shuttle to Lake McDonald, which is only a 10-minute shuttle ride away. For the reasonable price of $20 a night, you can experience paradise for next to nothing. Just be sure to snag a spot early or visit the campground in the offseason because reservations are not available.
Sprague Creek Campground
The campground is small, quiet, and unassuming, which is a big draw for those seeking the solitude of nature. It is located on the northeast shore of Lake McDonald and sits about 10 miles to the west of the park entrance. Recreational vehicles under 21 feet are welcome here, but nothing bigger! This is also the first year campers can make, and really need, a reservation to secure a spot among the tall trees and lapping waters.
RV Campgrounds Near Glacier National Park
Camping inside of the park isn't for everyone. If you want to stay in a place where you can use your RV hookups and enjoy a more traditional campground environment, there are many options available to you. Consider making reservations to stay at one of the following camping facilities located near to the park:
- Big Creek Campground - This campground sits on the outskirts of the National Park and contains 22 tent and RV sites, 10 of which can be reserved ahead of time.
- Glacier Campground - Located in West Glacier, Montana, 1 mile from Glacier National Park's entrance.
- Glacier Meadow RV Park - Located in East Glacier Park, Montana, this park contains 25 pull-through sites and only operates from mid-May until the end of September.
- Mountain Meadow RV Park - Located in Hungry Horse, Montana, this park contains 56 sites and is operational from May 1st to October 1st.
- North American RV Park - Located in Coram, Montana, this campground has over 100 sites to choose from and is packed with tons of family-friendly amenities and activities.
- Spruce Park RV Park and Campground - This site in Kalispell, Montana, is located 30 minutes from the park's entrance. The park boasts roomy sites and plenty to do, both related to Glacier National Park and otherwise.
- Timber Wolf Resort - This resort is 9 miles west of Glacier National Park in Hungry Horse, Montana. The resort has everything, from RV sites to tents, cabins, and lodge rooms.
Glacier National Park Highlights
No matter which campground you decide to call home during your stay, be sure of one thing: there will be plenty to do during this Montana vacation. Glacier National Park is known for a variety of activities:
- Swimming and boating - The park includes an astounding 762 lakes, so finding some water to dip your toes in won't be a challenge. You can kayak, boat, and raft around in the cool pools.
- Bird watching - If you are an avid birdwatcher (or just looking to try it out for the first time), this is a great space to do so. The park is home to more than 276 species of birds!
- Hiking - With tons of space to roam, 175 mountains, and 26 shrinking glaciers, you can hoof it until your hiking boots literally fall apart.
- White water rafting - If you need a bit of an adrenaline rush, try white water rafting down the Flathead River.
- See the sights from horseback - What a cool way to see all that Glacier National Park has to offer!
- Pick huckleberries - The park is known for its berries, especially in the prime month of August. Visitors are limited to collecting 1 quart per person, per day, only for personal consumption. Pick some and make ice cream, a pie, or eat them straight from the bushes!
- Travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road - Drive 50 miles of scenic splendor while taking in stunning glacial vistas and an abundance of foliage and wildlife.
Things To Be Aware Of
With any camping experience, you will want to be aware of your surroundings. Glacier National Park is a breathtaking place, like no other in the world, but humans are not the only ones who like to take up camp here. Besides being aware of wildlife, campers will want to be in the know regarding weather conditions and nature's elements so that they can safely enjoy this experience.
- Be aware of wildlife, including bears, mountain lions, and wolves, as this is their home. Know what to do in the event you find yourself face-to-face with one of these wild animals.
- Store all food in RVs or cars, never leaving items out for hungry and curious animals.
- This is the great outdoors, so you will want to pack plenty of bug spray in the summer months.
- During colder months, be prepared to battle the elements. While this space is beautiful and magnificent, the waters and air temps can drop dangerously low.
- Know where you are hiking! There are 37 avalanche paths between West Glacier and Saint Mary. During certain times of the year, campers need to be aware of common rockfall and avalanche sites in and around the park.
- There are two ways to get from the East Side to the West Side of Glacier National Park. The longer drive takes travelers around the southern portion of the park, and the other cuts through the middle of the park on Going-to-the-Sun Road. Recreational vehicles will not be able to take Going-to-the-Sun Road, as the road is very narrow.
- Because of the risk of forest fires, campfires are often not permitted in certain seasons and areas.
Plan Ahead for Your Glacier Getaway
As is true with any popular vacation destination, it can be difficult to find a place to stay during peak tourist season. While reservations aren't accepted for many of the campsites within the park itself, other accommodation options for RV travelers tend to fill up far in advance. Unless you decide to take your chances with first-come, first-served camping in the park, make your Glacier National Park RV camping reservations as far in advance as you can. That's the best way to make sure that you'll get a great spot in the campground of your choice.