Shuttle Service and Transportation in Glacier National Park

*Updated for summer 2016* 
Truth time: July and August are the busiest times of year in Montana’s Glacier National ParkIn fact, these two months welcome a majority of our visitors to the Crown of the Continent. To which I say, awesome.

Taking in the view along the shore of Lake McDonald.

Taking in the view along the shore of Lake McDonald.

With that said, the fact of the matter is that parking can get a bit tricky inside the park, especially at the Logan Pass Visitor Center. And while it’s my own personal opinion that everyone should be allowed to drive in Glacier National Park if they so choose (and as long as they pay their entry fee $$), there are a few other options for transportation to, in and around the park.

The free park shuttle service. From July 1 – September 18, 2016 Glacier National Park offers a free shuttle that provides services along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. On the west side of the park, shuttles start at 9 a.m. at the Apgar Visitor Center and depart every 15 – 30 minutes until 7 p.m. (when the last shuttle leaves Logan Pass).

And if you’re an early bird, check out these options:
-Express trips from Apgar Visitor Center to Logan Pass (with no stops) depart at 7 a.m., 7:18 a.m. and 7:36 a.m.
-At around 7:56 a.m., shuttles start departing from Apgar Visitor Center every 15 – 30 minutes and make stops at Avalanche Creek, The Loop and Logan Pass.

On the east side of the park, the St. Mary Visitor Center is the hub for shuttle service, with east side shuttles starting at 7 a.m. from the visitor center and departing every 40 – 60 minutes. For more information, visit the NPS website.

Bus service between Whitefish and Glacier National Park. Take the Glacier Park Express from Whitefish to Glacier National Park. This services is offered from July 1 – September 5, 2016 and departs from four locations in Whitefish four times per day (including Whitefish Mountain Resort Base Lodge, Whitefish Mountain Resort Village, Whitefish Library in downtown and Mountain Mall), dropping its riders at the Apgar Visitor Center. Round-trip tickets are $10/adults and $5/children 12 and under. Check out the complete schedule or purchase tickets here.
Sidenote: Tickets can also be purchased in person at Montana Coffee Traders in downtown Whitefish, Whitefish Chamber of Commerce, Whitefish Mountain Resort Base Lodge and Glacier Conservancy Bookstore in the April Visitor Center in Glacier National Park.

Many Glacier Hiker’s Shuttle. Operated by Glacier National Park Lodges, the Many Glacier Hiker’s Shuttle runs between the St. Mary Visitor Center and Many Glacier Hotel/Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, July 1 – September 5, 2016. The shuttle departs Many Glacier Hotel three times per day and is $10/adult and $5/child. Learn exact times here.

Red bus tours. Hands down, taking a red bus tour with Glacier National Park Lodges is one of the most scenic ways to see the park. The reds have roll-back tops that allow their passengers expansive views of the surrounding terrain. Red bus tours depart from both the west and east sides of the park, with partial day tours and full-day tours. For complete tours and pricing options, visit Glacier National Park Lodges.
Sidenote: a red bus tour is one of my favorite activities in Glacier National Park. 

Proof that red bus tours are fun. ;)

Proof that red bus tours are fun. 😉

Take a Sun Tour. Departing regularly from the east side of the park, Sun Tours offers guided tours inside Glacier National Park from the perspective of the Blackfeet Tribe. If you’re looking for a new way to see the park, this is the best tour to take as you’ll glean insight from Blackfeet guides that you wouldn’t find elsewhere.

Guests take in the view on a Sun Tour.

Guests take in the view on a Sun Tour.

xo,
TT

13 thoughts on “Shuttle Service and Transportation in Glacier National Park

  1. Carolyn

    Thanks for this info. It has helped me plan. I’ll be In west glacier August 2 for the first time. So excited!

    Reply
  2. Robin

    Hello: We are staying in Hungry Horse and has and 11 am reservation for the boat ride to Grinnel Glacier hike. We need to know what time to leave Hungry Horse to reach the Many Glacier hotel parking lot to catch the boat on time.

    Someone told us to take route 2 south of the park. Someone else told us the trip will require four hours one way.

    Please advise.
    Thank you

    Reply
  3. Andrea

    Is there a way to get to Glacier via shuttle or bus in the winter (around Jan 1st or 2nd?). We are coming in on Amtrak and would love to visit the park if we can make it there. Are there snow shoe or x-c ski rentals in the park? Thanks for your help!!

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Hi Andrew, there is not shuttle or bus in the winter to Glacier National Park. But there are car rentals available in Whitefish and Kalispell. You can rent snowshoes during the guided snowshoe walks that are held on Saturday and Sunday from West Glacier. Otherwise, rentals are available at Sportsmans Ski Haus in Whitefish.

      Reply
  4. Laura Williams

    What options are there for transportation before July 1st? My family and I will be in GNP until the 1st and are planning a hike on the highline trail. If we are needing a shuttle or transport service from the Loop to McDonald Lodge, what would you recommend? Thanks

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Laura, there aren’t many shuttle options before July 1. If you’re staying at Lake McDonald Lodge, you could ask them if that’s a shuttle service they provide for guests.

      Reply
  5. Judy

    Can you get a shuttle from Lake McDonald Lodge to the Glacier Park International airport near Kalispar? We are coming by train but need to fly to go home.

    Reply
  6. Hannah

    Hi! I’m planning on coming in to East Glacier Park Amtrak station in August. Is there any good way/ shuttle from there into the park?

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Hi Hannah! Glacier Park Inc. does operate a shuttle from the Glacier Park Lodge to the Prince of Wales Hotel in Alberta and you can connect with the National Park Service shuttle at St. Mary on that route. (You’d just need to hop off at St. Mary Lodge.) They do recommend making reservations and it looks like the fee to ride the shuttle is $30. More info can be found at http://www.glacierparkinc.com/plan-your-trip/shuttle-information/.

      Reply
      1. tiatroy Post author

        Hannah, that shuttle also goes from Glacier Park Lodge to Two Medicine (about 15 minutes from East Glacier Park). If Two Medicine isn’t on your list, I’d definitely recommend it!

        Reply
  7. venu

    Hi,
    What is the best mode of transportation from Whitefish to Glacier NP (for snowshoeing) during December (dec 26th, 27th 2016)? Are there are any taxi or shuttle services ?

    Thanks,
    Venu.

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Hi Venu, in the winter there are not many transportation options available. However, we do have Uber now and you can take an Uber from Whitefish to GNP (and back).

      Reply

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