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Glacier Park

Glacier National Park Hikes Fees at Front-country Campsites

National Park Service officials say the first major fee increases since 2007 will align campground rates in the park with those outside of Glacier

By Micah Drew
Hayden Henson and his wife Nina set up a tent at Avalanche Creek campground in Glacier National Park. Beacon File Photo

Glacier National Park is implementing increased fee rates at most front-country campgrounds in 2024 and at its Apgar group sites in 2025.

According to a press release announcing the changes, the last major fee rate change occurred in 2007. Following “extensive research” of local campground costs and services outside of Glacier Park, officials said the fee increases will bring rates into alignment with current market prices.

The rates for campsites will increase between $3 and $10, depending on the type of site. Some group sites will increase by $30 while others will actually see a decrease of $20. Campgrounds requiring reservations as well as first-come, first-served sites are affected by the proposed change.

Park official held a public engagement period after initially proposing the rate increases in August. Forty-six public responses to the proposal were submitted, of which 43% expressed direct support for fee rate changes at front country campsites and 23% opposed the increases. Other responses were neutral.

The Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act is the federal law that allows for the collection of camping fees and stipulates that Glacier Park can retain nearly 80% of fees collected in the park for use on projects that directly enhance visitor experiences. Park officials explained that recreation fees at campgrounds help pay for trail and campground repairs and improvements, increased accessibility and facility restoration, stating in the release that “by increasing fees, Glacier National Park will continue to be able to provide and improve services that directly benefit visitors.”

Fee changes would apply to campgrounds at Apgar, Avalanche, Bowman, Cut Bank, Fish Creek, Kintla, Logging Creek, Many Glacier, Quartz Creek, Rising Sun, Sprague Creek, St. Mary, and Two Medicine, as well as group sites at Apgar, Many Glacier, St. Mary, and Two Medicine.

In general, the park has identified the following proposed fee rate changes:

  • Hiker/bicyclist sites (no vehicles allowed) in all campgrounds will increase from $5 to $8 (St. Mary, Fish Creek, and Many Glacier would not change since current rates are $8).
  • Standard summer peak-season tent sites will increase from between $10-$23 to $15-$30.
  • Standard off-season tent sites will increase from $10 to between $15-$20.
  • Group sites with maximum capacities of 24 will increase from between $60-$65 to $90.
  • The Apgar group site with a maximum capacity of 15 will decrease from $65 to $45.
  • The St. Mary off-season group site with a maximum capacity of 24 will decrease from $60 to $40.

Winter camping rates in Apgar and St. Mary will not change.

Visitors can start making 2024 campground reservations starting Jan. 7, 2024, at recreation.gov. For the following years, the six-month booking window will return to November. Apgar group site fee rates will change in 2025 and the booking window will permanently decrease from one year in advance to six months starting November 2024.

Under the new fee rates, Glacier will continue to offer half-priced camping for Interagency Senior pass holders and Interagency Lifetime Access pass holders

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