Glacier National Park Shuttles

Glacier Shuttles**2017 Update in Glacier National Park Shuttle below for after Labor Day and in Glacier Park Inc East Side shuttles

Logistics in Glacier can be a bit of a challenge. Thankfully there are a few different shuttling options that make it easier. Unfortunately, they are operated by five different entities making it extremely confusing. Here, we try to sort it out a bit so you can figure out how to do what you came to do, and that is, get on the trail and enjoy the wild!


Name:
Glacier National Park Shuttle
Cost: Free
Location: Only on Going to the Sun Road
Glacier’s free shuttle will now have limited service after Labor Day. From the Park, “After September 5th, the limited service will include free shuttles operating on the west side only, from Apgar to Logan Pass. They will run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The last shuttle to Logan Pass from Apgar departs at 2:15pm. The last shuttle from Apgar to Avalanche Creek departs Apgar at 4:30pm.  The last bus leaves Logan Pass at 5:00 pm to return to Apgar.  The Buses will leave from Apgar approximately every 30 minutes throughout the day, and will stop at all of the shuttle stops between Apgar and Logan Pass.”
Name: Glacier National Park Lodges by Xanterra
Cost: $10 per person
Location: Shuttle from Many Glacier to St. Mary and back
Name: Glacier Park Inc East Side shuttle
Cost: Generally $15 per leg
Location: Operates from East Glacier Lodge to St. Mary. Formerly ran all the way to Chief Mountain, but has stopped as of 2017
Name: Waterton Outdoor Adventures
Cost: $20 CA per person
Location: Waterton to Chief Mountain Customs (must call in advance)
Name: Glacier Transportation
Cost: Variable depending upon passengers and distance
Location: Kalispell Airport (FCA) to Glacier from Polebridge to Waterton
Name: Mountain Chief Cab Company
Cost: Call for pricing
Location: East side shuttles including down to Walton Ranger station
Phone: (406) 450-3630

Get your free "10 Insider Tips for Glacier"

and a sweet newsletter direct to your inbox, sign up here!

  

, , , , , , ,

39 Responses to Glacier National Park Shuttles

  1. Bob February 1, 2016 at 9:04 pm #

    Soooooo, is there no where to park a vehicle at many glacier trailhead to run our own shuttle to the customs trailhead if we have two vehicles?

    • hike734 February 2, 2016 at 11:22 am #

      You can absolutely run your own shuttle. Most people have the issue of only one car, so the shuttle is a great tool. If you have two cars, then you aren’t a slave to timing everything.

  2. John May 19, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    We are flying into Kalispell from Minneapolis on August 18th.
    ENTER – CHIEF MOUNTAIN (TRAILHEAD)
    8-19-2016 – COS – COSLEY LAKE
    8-20-2016 – GLH – GLENNS HEAD
    8-21-2016 – STO – STONEY
    8-22-2016 – KOO – KOOTENAI LK
    8-23-2016 – FIF – FIFTY MOUNTAIN
    8-24-2016 – GRN – GRANITE
    EXIT – LOOP TRAIL (TRAILHEAD)
    We fly out of Kalispell at 4:50pm on August 26th.

    Trying to get some advice on how to get up to Chief Mountain from the airport and then back to the airport area from the Loop Trail traihead. Do you think we need to rent a car to get to the GPI or does it make more sense to taxi to the going to the sun road shuttle, and then with GPI to Chief Mountain?

    • hike734 June 5, 2016 at 11:29 am #

      Hmmm, I think you’ll just have to check and see what the taxi charge would be vs. renting a car. If it’s close, rent the car. The convenience would be a dealmaker for me. 😀

  3. Cassi July 12, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    We are flying in to MT and backpacking Glacier in August, but didn’t get our permit requests back in March. We hope to be able to grab a permit there. With that said, they could send us anywhere in the park to backpack. We were going to take shuttles around, but now I’m curious if we should rent a car so we can easily go to whichever trail head they send us to. Do you have a recommendation on shuttle or rental car?

    • hike734 July 13, 2016 at 8:26 am #

      I’m not sure how you were planning on getting to the park. I would rent a car. Make sure you look at my walk-in availability page and get your strategy down. Use the Park’s shuttle and GPI’s paid hiker shuttle to expand your options. I usually like to shuttle at the beginning of a trip to know that I’ve got a ride waiting for me if I get out later than I’d planned. Not sure if that answered your question or not. Let me know!

  4. Marcel Poisot July 21, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    The GTTSR shuttle page says “Dates of Operation: July 1-September 5, 2016. There will be limited service on the west side after September 5”. Do you know what “limited service” entails?

    https://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/shuttlestops.htm

    • hike734 July 22, 2016 at 10:16 am #

      Excellent question. I honestly have no idea! I’ll check with some of my contacts and see what I can figure out.

    • hike734 July 28, 2016 at 8:01 am #

      I got this back from the Park Service! “After September 5th , the limited service will include free shuttles operating on the west side only, from Apgar to Logan Pass. They will run from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. The last shuttle to Logan Pass from Apgar departs at 2:15pm. The last shuttle from Apgar to Avalanche Creek departs Apgar at 4:30pm. The last bus leaves Logan Pass at 5:00 pm to return to Apgar. The Buses will leave from Apgar approximately every 30 minutes throughout the day, and will stop at all of the shuttle stops between Apgar and Logan Pass.”

      • Marcel Poisot July 28, 2016 at 8:41 am #

        Thanks! Seems like they could just write that on their website…

        • hike734 July 28, 2016 at 2:27 pm #

          But then how would I be of any value?! 😉

  5. Ginger C August 27, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

    Hi Jake, just saw that Swiftcurrent Pass trail is closed due to bear frequenting, and we were planning to hike out that trail on day 5 of a northern loop backpacking trip. Since this will be after Sept 5, wondering if there are any taxi or uber options if we have to exit at the Loop or Logan Pass and get back to Many Glacier?

    • hike734 August 31, 2016 at 7:00 am #

      It’s cleared now. It’s always a crapshoot and usually doesn’t last super long… with rare exceptions. The west side shuttles will be running which can get you to Logan Pass from the Loop… or you can take the Highline. From there, you’ll probably have to hitchhike to St. Mary Visitor Center where there are a couple of shuttle options from GPI and Xanterra to get back to Many Glacier.

  6. Kelley August 29, 2016 at 10:39 pm #

    Hi, two of us are going from Ghost haunt to Bowman Lake next weekend. We will have a rental car that we can leave at Bowman Lake for when we finish, but we need to get from there to Apgar to take the series of shuttles (and it appears we need to get to Apgar by 9 am). Do you have any suggestions for getting from Bowman Lake to Apgar? Is the Flathead transportation service our only option (seems pricey at $110/person)? Thanks for your help!

    • hike734 August 31, 2016 at 7:05 am #

      There aren’t any great options unless you have friends or know of someone doing the loop backwards. You may try seeing if anyone is going the opposite direction around that time at http://www.glacier.nationalparkschat.com/phpBB3/index.php or on a Glacier Facebook group page. Because the road is within the park and there are no shuttle services that operate there, you’re at the mercy of hitchhiking. I would recommend leaving the rental car in Polebridge and hitchhiking there when you’re done as people will be leaving in the afternoon and you won’t be able to hitchhike out in the morning reliably. (the taxi service can’t go into the park I believe) Sorry for the bad news.

  7. helene March 11, 2017 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi
    Two questions. Can you take the GPI shuttle from Customs southbound – going only one way? I am assuming that this is all in U.S. and thus customs is not an issue. Looking to hike from U.S. into Canada, first placing cars and Customs and pick up cars again at Customs (using shuttle to get to starting point in U.S.). Also, is there ample parking at Customs?

    • Craig March 14, 2017 at 1:54 am #

      I hope to see a reply on this one too… I was planning on leaving our car at many glacier and taking the shuttle up to start our hike at chief mountain. Since you aren’t actually crossing the border I am confused about the round trip requirement.

      • hike734 March 14, 2017 at 8:56 am #

        No need for a round trip Craig. Your plan is solid! You’ll park at Many, take the shuttle of one leg up to Chief, then hike back down to your car. 😀

    • hike734 March 14, 2017 at 8:55 am #

      The short answers are: 1. You can absolutely take them only one way (which would be the only reason the shuttle makes sense). 2. There is plenty of parking at the Chief Mountain trailhead which is a couple hundred yards from the border and customs.

      I’m a bit confused about the order of what your saying, but it sounds like you’ll drive up to Chief Mountain, then hike to Waterton (or take the boat to Waterton, but either way, you’ll end up there). From there, you’ll take the shuttle from Waterton Outdoor Adventures to the border. From there, you’ll walk across the border, through customs, to your car.

  8. Kirk March 13, 2017 at 11:28 pm #

    Excellent site. Do you have any listings of difficulty and elevation for various legs. Would be happy to purchase.

    • hike734 March 14, 2017 at 8:49 am #

      Check out my day hike map as I broke the trails up into small segments and calculated the slope. If you see that the section is green, it’s level (0-5 degrees), if it’s yellow, it’s moderate (5-15 degrees), if it’s red, it’s steep (15+ degrees).

  9. Chris April 21, 2017 at 10:47 am #

    Is there a shuttle that runs between St. Mary and Two Medicine?

    • Jacob Bramante April 21, 2017 at 3:35 pm #

      Yup! It’s a fee-based shuttle operated by Glacier Park Inc.

  10. T.J. April 27, 2017 at 8:28 am #

    Craig March 14, 2017 at 1:54 am #
    I hope to see a reply on this one too… I was planning on leaving our car at many glacier and taking the shuttle up to start our hike at chief mountain. Since you aren’t actually crossing the border I am confused about the round trip requirement.

    REPLY

    hike734 March 14, 2017 at 8:56 am #
    No need for a round trip Craig. Your plan is solid! You’ll park at Many, take the shuttle of one leg up to Chief, then hike back down to your car. 😀

    We have this same plan for an overnight hike in September (10 to 11). So which service provides the transportation from Many to Chief, and how early does it come?

    • Jacob Bramante April 27, 2017 at 8:59 am #

      Sooo it looks like GPI is no longer running the shuttle from Many Glacier to Chief Mountain. At this point, I think that you’ll have to call the Mountain Chief Cab company. I’ve talked with the park service and I think that Xanterra will consider it for next year, but not sure on any of that. Super bummer.

      • T.J. April 27, 2017 at 9:03 am #

        Thanks for the update! I will contact Mountain Chief Cab. Your website is by far the most informative/navigable of any of the GNP websites I’ve come across so far. Very much appreciated! Plan on purchasing one of your hiking maps as well (again much more informative).

        Thanks!!

  11. Craig April 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

    Well, that really is a bummer. We are already booked overnight for Sept 9/10. Thanks a bunch for the heads up!

    • T.J. April 27, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

      Craig, I know we don’t know each other from atom, but we are also doing an overnight on 9/10. Maybe we can work out a transportation plan together…

      • Craig April 27, 2017 at 12:31 pm #

        Sure, what the heck… shoot me an email at craigbagdonverizon@gmail.com

        • Jacob Bramante April 27, 2017 at 2:24 pm #

          This makes me happier than you guys could ever know. 😀

  12. David May 2, 2017 at 5:57 pm #

    Hi Jake! Your website has been the most helpful by far. The rangers take a week to give a call back and if you so happen to miss their call, you have to wait another week again when you make a call back.

    We were assigned an backpacking itinerary that starts at Packers Roost and ends up in Ghost Haunt (PRE -> FLA -> FIF -> GOA). We’re coming from out of town, so I’m panicking and frantically trying to look for possibilities for transportation back to West Glacier from Ghost Haunt.

    I called GPI and they don’t offer shuttles from Prince of Wales back into Glacier anymore. What are our options so far? If the only option is to establish a car shuttle we may have to cancel our trip because it unfortunately won’t be possible considering the number of extra hours that would take, due to the restrictions of our flights that are already booked.

    Let me know if you have any advice. Thanks so much!

    • Jacob Bramante May 4, 2017 at 7:01 am #

      I think you can use Tamarack which does the shuttle from Waterton to the border, then call the Chief Mountain Cab Co and have them take you to St. Mary. Then take park shuttles back to the Loop. You can then hike down or hitchhike down to Packer’s Roost.

  13. Grant May 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm #

    We will be coming out of Two Medicine on 9/7, just missing the park run shuttle from St. Mary to Logan Pass. After looking around a whole bunch, I don’t actually see any shuttles that would still be running east to west.. either to Logan Pass or all the way back to West Glacier. Any advice or thoughts? Are we stuck finding a taxi service to do the drive on Hwy 2?

    • Jacob Bramante May 7, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

      Can you shuttle first so you hike out to your car at Two Medicine?

  14. Joelle Miller May 8, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    Hiking from Logan Pass to Waterton lake campground, taking boat shuttle to marina then looking for a shuttle back to Glacier (Logan Pass).
    How do we logistially organize this?
    Thank you.

    • Jacob Bramante May 9, 2017 at 7:55 am #

      In the past it was easier because GPI would take you from the border down, so now it’s a bit more cumbersome, but here goes. First thing, make sure that you get an early start up to Logan Pass to find a parking spot. You can also park at the Apgar Transit Center and take the shuttle up to Logan Pass. At the end of your hike, and subsequent boat ride, you can take the Tamarack shuttle down to the border where you’ll walk across. From there, you’ll need to get a taxi ride from Chief Mountain Taxi. I would arrange for that while you’re in Canada… if not before you go. Take the taxi down to St. Mary and then take the park’s free shuttle back to Logan Pass. If you want to, you could also park your car in St. Mary at the beginning of the trip and shuttle to Logan Pass. Logistically, this would probably be the easiest way. You’ll still need the shuttle down to the border and the taxi ride.

  15. Leslie Hebron June 15, 2017 at 6:23 pm #

    Hi Jake – we are ending our backpacking trip at Many Glacier, just want to confirm the best way to get back to Chief Mountain Trailhead is via the Mountain Chief Cab Company? In reading your posts this looks like our best option, just wanted to confirm. Thanks!

  16. Rick Haithcox June 27, 2017 at 7:04 am #

    We have permits for the Quartz Lake Loop hike and camp Sept. 11- 13 of this year. Wanted to “trade” that for a 3 night trip to Hole in the Wall instead. That was not available for advance permit and wondering what is the chances for a walk in to go to the head of Bowman lake 1st night then to Hole in the wall and then back to Bowman Lake… 3 nights total. 1 night at each location. ???

    • Jacob Bramante July 17, 2017 at 9:51 am #

      I replied to your email, but I think you’d be in good shape if you show up to the backcountry office early the day before.

Leave a Reply