WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park’s ticket entry program has officially ended for the summer as Labor Day marked the last day a ticket was required at the park’s West Glacier entrance.
“Overall we feel like it was successful with room for improvement,” Glacier National Park Public Information Officer Gina Kerzman told MTN News.
Kerzman said the pilot program was a success, helping ease traffic problems while guaranteeing access to the popular Going-To-The-Sun Road.
“We were able to provide that assurance to visitors, we did not have to close the west entrance a single time this season and we did not have massive backup on Highway 2," added Kerzman.
Kerzman said park officials received positive feedback on ticketed entry from a large number of visitors, but also some negative feedback from frustrated tourists unable to access the park.
“We’ve also heard from visitors who were frustrated with the system, with how to obtain a ticket and their inability to obtain a ticket, so we’ve had feedback on both,” said Kerzman.
She said the park is currently collecting data and feedback on whether the ticketed entry program will return to West Glacier next summer.
“We want to make the decision early this year to give visitors ahead of time notice so that when they’re making their plans for next summer, they will know in advance long enough that they do need to get a ticket,” added Kerzman.
Kerzman expects a record number of visitors to Glacier National Park this September, those visiting should expect temporary closures at the West Glacier Entrance if the park reaches max capacity.
“We had the most visitors in September last year than ever on record, we do expect this September to also be very busy and we also know that a lot of people have been anticipating the end of ticketed entry, so they may have been waiting to visit until after,” said Kerzman.
The popular Going-To-The-Sun-Road is expected to remain open to traffic through mid-October.