WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park officials are looking at the possibility of starting a ticketed entrance at West Glacier.
Park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman told MTN News that traffic congestion this year in the park has been difficult to manage.
She explained that because COVID-19 concerns closed the east entrance to Glacier National Park, all visitors are now concentrated on the west side of the park.
Kerzman said that because of this congestion, officials are looking to potentially require tickets at the West Glacier entrance. The tickets would be purchased per car, not per person.
"That guests would have to make advanced reservations online to be able to enter the park on the day they would want to enter. There would be a couple of different options," Kerzman explained.
"We would provide a ticketed option about 30 days in advance. About half of them would be available about thirty days in advance and then, we would have some available two days in advance."
Kerzman says if the park moves forward with a ticketing system, the tickets would cost $30 -- equivalent to a seven-day park pass -- and would be offered from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Glacier pass holders, senior pass holders, veteran pass holders will need to make a reservation. But they won’t be charged an additional fee for a seven day pass because they already have a pass. They will have the option to say that they will show their pass at the gate. There is a $2 fee for the reservation that everyone pays regardless of what type of pass they use to enter the park.
Kerzman noted that Zion, Rocky Mountain and Yosemite national parks all have similar ticketing systems.
However, Kerzman says if the public strongly dislikes the system then the park will consider not moving forward with it.
If the system is implemented, it would start in late July or early August.
If you head to the park now, ticketing attendants are back working at the West Glacier entrance and you should be prepared for long lines when you approach the entrance.
Kerzman told MTN News that there are appropriate plexiglass shields and a card reader where visitors can scan their own cards at the entrance.