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Glacier offers shuttle, but requires advance tickets
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Glacier offers shuttle, but requires advance tickets

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Glacier covid shuttle

A Glacier National Park worker sanitizes a shuttle bus in preparation for the 2021 tourist season. Glacier Park is releasing advance-purchase tickets to ride the shuttles over the Going-to-the-Sun Road to reduce crowding this summer.

Glacier National Park’s shuttle buses will operate this summer on an advance-ticket purchase format.

Starting June 1 at 8 a.m., the park will sell $1 “Ticket To Ride” passes for one-hour periods on specific days between July 1 and Sept. 6 (Labor Day). Three-quarters of the tickets will be available on for advance purchase, and the remaining quarter will be released 48 hours ahead of each day.

The shuttle tickets are different from the new vehicle entry reserved tickets required to drive into Glacier during its busiest months. Vehicle tickets for June sold out within minutes of their initial online release. Glacier officials said at one point, more than 10,000 people were using the park’s online portal — more than double the number of available daily tickets.

Shuttle tickets can be reserved in one-hour increments between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. Ticketed riders must validate their passes at either the Apgar or St. Mary visitor centers at the reserved starting time. Then they have access to shuttle bus stops at Apgar, Lake McDonald Lodge, Avalanche, Logan Pass, Sun Point, Rising Sun, Rising Sun Boat Dock, and the St. Mary Visitor Center.

Backcountry camping in Glacier is an incredible experience. Campsites may be reserved months in advance to ensure that your desired location is obtained. Watching this video is mandatory for obtaining a permit. It is also great advice for anyone hiking in the park as well, even if you don't plan to spend the night out.

Large buses will operate between Apgar and Avalanche, and St. Mary and Sun Point. Riders wanting to reach Logan Pass must transfer at those interior stops to smaller buses for the mountain portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Once a rider’s ticket is validated, they receive a wrist band allowing them to board and get off at any designated stop for that day. Visitors staying overnight in one of Glacier’s interior hotels or campgrounds can validate their tickets up to 72 hours in advance of their reservation time.

The shuttle ticket also serves as a Going-to-the-Sun Road entry reservation for that day.

For COVID-19 safety, shuttle occupancy will be reduced and passengers must wear face masks while riding.

Motorists entering at Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Cut Bank, Chief Mountain and North Fork entrances do not need a vehicle ticket, and no park shuttle service is available at those sites. Visitors on foot and bike do not need entry tickets, although they still must pay the routine national park entry fee.

Glacier Park joins Rocky Mountain, Yosemite, Acadia and Zion national parks in requiring ticketed entry and other crowd-control methods this summer.

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