Glacier backcountry reservations going to a lottery system on opening day, March 15

Print Article

A whitetail buck in velvet browses in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park has announced a key change in its backcountry camping advanced reservation system this year. The system, which will go live on March 15 will now use a “modified lottery system” on opening day that will process requests “in a randomly sequenced order,” the Park announced on its website.

In other words, it’s no longer first-come, first-served for advanced reservations for backcountry campgrounds on opening day, which is defined as 12 a.m. Mountain Standard Time to 11:59 p.m. Mountain Standard Time March 15.

After that, reservations will be taken in the order they’re received.

The Park already started taking reservations for large groups with the same rules back on March 1. Large groups are defined as “9 to 12” campers.

Most backcountry campers in Glacier are not in the large group category.

The changes come after a rush of reservation requests last year overloaded the system at pay.gov and it crashed. Last year 1,500 campers made an attempt to get a reservation in the first hour. The previous year, 1,600 people applied for permits on the first day.

Backcountry camping in Glacier is a popular pastime for the hardy hiker, but a $7 permit per night is required. Reservations take up about half the available campsites, while walk-in campers typically get the rest. But getting a walk-in permit during peak season can be a challenge and sometimes campers line up hours before the offices even open. Last year the Park had to post signs outside the Apgar backcountry permit center warning people that there was no sleeping allowed outside the office.

In another backcountry campground matter, Glacier announced on its website on March 7 that it doesn’t expect the Goat Haunt shelters and flush toilets to be available because it can’t find a water utility operator to run the system.

That may also mean that tour boats won’t be stopping at Goat Haunt either. People can walk through Goat Haunt, but they’ll have to camp someplace else, like Waterton River or Kootenai Lakes.

Learn more at the advanced reservation page at: https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry-reservations.htm

Print Article

Read More Local News

Whitefish man honored for contributions to rodeo, western lifestyle

March 13, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Whitefish Pilot Lee Patterson is proud of his family history of cowboys. Patterson was born and raised on a small ranch just outside Whitefish. His father Bob Patterson was a calf roper and his grandfather Fred wa...

Comments

Read More

Affordable housing program heads to Planning Board for hearing

March 13, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Whitefish Pilot A housing needs assessment three years ago confirmed that Whitefish was in desperate need of affordable housing and called for the creation of 980 residential units here by 2020. The document said ...

Comments

Read More

Trump budget looks to cut Park Service spending

March 13, 2019 at 11:42 am | Whitefish Pilot At a time when places like Glacier National Park are seeing record crowds, President Trump’s proposed 2020 budget looks to cut the Park Service budget and it zeros out the Land and Water Conservation...

Comments

Read More

President signs lands bill, but funding still needed for conservation fund

March 13, 2019 at 11:05 am | Whitefish Pilot A major public lands bill was signed into law Tuesday by President Trump including the permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. The bill previously passed the House and Sena...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 862-3505
312 E. Second Street
Whitefish, MT 59937

©2019 Whitefish Pilot Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X