WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park will offer early access lotteries for wilderness camping advance reservations in collaboration with Recreation.gov beginning in the spring of 2024.
Park officials say the move comes after public comments received in February 2023 on the transition of the park’s advance wilderness camping reservation system to the Recreation.gov general on-sale system.
A news release added that "lessons learned after implementing the 2023 system also support this action."
Two early access lotteries will be available.
One lottery for standard groups of one to eight people and the second lottery will be for large groups of nine to 12 people.
The new standard group size of one to eight campers will be an increase from what was allowed in 2023.
Following the lotteries, visitors will also be able to use the general on-sale system to book advance reservation campsites not booked during the early access lotteries.
The general on-sale system will be the same system used in 2023 and will be available for the remainder of the booking window, from May 1 to September 30, 2024.
The walk-in permit process and availability will remain the same as in 2023.
Early Access Lotteries
- The lotteries will be based on a fair and randomized process to provide equal opportunity for each applicant. Participants will be limited to a single reservation during the early access period but may create additional reservations during the general on-sale period beginning May 1 or by walk-in.
- On March 1, 2024, from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm mountain time (MT), lottery applications will be accepted for a chance to secure a large group (9-12 campers) advance reservation. A total of five (5) large group advance reservations will be selected from all submissions.
- On March 15, 2024, from 12:00 am to 11:59 pm MT, lottery applications will be accepted for a chance to secure a standard group (1-8 campers) advance reservation. A total of 3,000 standard group advance reservations will be selected from all submissions.
- There will be a $10 non-refundable fee to enter each lottery regardless of success. Successful lottery applicants will not have to pay an additional permit fee to book their reservations because the $10 lottery application fee will rollover to become the permit fee for bookings.
- There will not be an option to apply for the early access lotteries via walk-in.
General On-Sale Period
- The general on-sale period (first come, first served online reservation system, as used in 2023) will begin on May 1 at 8:00 am MT and run through September 30 11:59 pm MT.
- Fees for the general on-sale system will remain the same as in 2023 ($10 permit fee; $7/person per night camping fee).
- All advance reservation campsites not taken in the large and standard group lotteries will be available for online advance reservations on Recreation.gov on May 1 at 8:00 am MT.
- Approximately 30 percent of wilderness campsites parkwide will be available on a walk-in basis (day before or day of a trip start date) from May 1 through September 30 at Wilderness Permit Office locations throughout the park; this is the same as the current system used for walk-in permits.
- Any advance reservation sites not booked during the early access lotteries or general on-sale period (more than 48 hours in advance of trip start date) will be added to the available pool of walk-in reservations.
Lottery, permit, and camping fees will be applied to the operation of the lotteries at Recreation.gov as well as funding the wilderness management and wilderness permit programs at the park.
Additional information can be found at https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/backcountry-reservations.htm.