Glacier Campground (West Glacier, MT)
In planning our northern route to Alaska, we were having trouble deciding whether to stay on the east side or the west side of Glacier National Park. We eventually decided that we’d use the border crossing on the west side of the park to enter Canada, so it made sense to camp on that side. (We later decided to enter on the east side, but whatever.)
We were having no luck finding a campground inside of Glacier National Park that had electric hook-ups. But we found Glacier Campground, which sits about 1 mile from the west entrance, and decided that was our spot.
Glacier Campground is in a great location. It’s just outside of West Glacier, Montana, sitting about 1 mile from the west entrance to the park. So you’re in a great location for exploring Glacier National Park and adjoining Flathead National Forest. You’re also within 30-45 minutes of Flathead Lake State Park, a beautiful must-see when you’re in the area.
Should you find yourself in need of city or town amenities, Columbia Falls is about 15 minutes away. In Columbia Falls, you’ll find most everything you need, from a grocery to a coffee shop to a veterinarian should you need to get some required paperwork on your dog to enter Alaska. We also took advantage of their small auto parts store to get a new headlight for Ol’ Betsy.
The tiny no stoplight town of Hungry Horse is between the campground and Columbia Falls. The main draw there is The Huckleberry Patch that sells all manner of huckleberry products, from jams and jellies to ice cream and fudge. And if you need more than a coffee shop and a small auto parts store, the city of Kalispell is about 30 minutes away, where you’ll find most any big box store you could need and several groceries.
The hook-ups at the campsite are simple. They have sites with water and electric, sites with electric (and community water nearby), or primitive sites. We thought we signed up for the water and electric sites, but ended up with a much cheaper rate and an electric site about 100 feet from a water spigot, so it was all good.
We have to say, the bathrooms here were quite nice. In fact, we’re quite easy to please now. If a bathroom is clean with soap and some way to dry your hands, we’re content. Glacier Campground has that. They also have super hot water that packs plenty of pressure. And they have signs asking that you not discard non-bathroom trash in the trash can, particularly food since there are plenty of bears in the area.
The bathrooms only have two shower stalls, which wasn’t an issue when we were there, but if it were a busy weekend with lots of tent campers, it could be. The showers are free for campers. That might sound odd, but if you camp within Glacier National Park, you’ll be shelling out $1-2 for a token that gets you 8 minutes of water. If a non-camper needs a shower, Glacier Campground is willing to let them use the showers for $5 a pop. There’s no water rationing like inside the park. There’s simply a note to please limit your showers to 10 minutes.
Laundry & Wi-Fi
Glacier Campground also has laundry facilities that we put to use. They are pretty inexpensive as far as laundromats go ($1.50/wash load and $0.25/8 min of dryer time). Wi-fi is available, but only in the buildings at the front. There are just too many trees in this forest campground to feasibly run wi-fi throughout the park.
The campsites are deep and fairly narrow. Our site was about the width of the F-150 plus a few feet. The pad for setting up the tent was just big enough to accommodate our medium-sized tent, but it was nicely set back within the trees and away from view.
Given that it’s a forest campground, most of the sites are surrounded on the back and sides by vegetation, making them quite private. Most of the sites also appeared to be very shady. Ours certainly was.
At $24 per night, Glacier Campground is quite a bit cheaper than most of the other privately-owned campgrounds in the area. It’s only $1 per night more than the campgrounds inside of Glacier National Park and you get a lot more amenities.