How to Fly to Glacier: Tips on Getting There by Air

Noel Massey



Glacier National Park take off

Glacier National Park is accessible year-round, with peak tourist season in July and August.

Flight durations vary depending on your departure city. On average, flights from major U.S. cities usually take around 2 to 3 hours to reach Glacier. But, if you are flying from a more distant city, such as New York or Los Angeles, your flight time may be longer.

Your airfare costs will depend on your departure city and the time of year. Be prepared for higher costs during the peak season. During this time, it is also advisable to book your flights well in advance to secure the best deals and availability.

For those whose journey begins or ends near the majestic waters, discovering the perfect spot for a meal can enhance the experience, much like the serene views at Table Rock House Restaurant or the vibrant atmosphere of the Hard Rock Cafe near Niagara.

Whatever the case, it’s totally worth it, trust me. You’ll enjoy every second of it. Now let’s see how you can get there.

Key takeaways

  • Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is the closest airport to Glacier National Park.
  • Additional airports like Missoula International Airport (MSO), Great Falls International Airport (GTF), and Calgary International Airport (YYC) offer alternative routes to the park.
  • Booking flights and accommodations in advance is recommended, especially during peak season.

Where to start?

Glacier National Park flights

Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is the closest airport to Glacier National Park. FCA offers direct flights from major cities like Seattle, Denver, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and others.

With a scenic 40-minute drive from the West Entrance, this airport offers a convenient starting point for your adventure.

  • Closest Park Entrance: West Glacier (24 miles)
During summer, additional direct seasonal flights are available from cities like Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, and Portland. If there are no direct flights, travelers can easily connect to FCA from most major cities in the US with just one layover. International travelers can fly into Calgary, Alberta, and drive four hours south to Glacier National Park.

Other Airports

Glacier National Park plane

Missoula International Airport (MSO)

Located 140 miles from the West Entrance, this Montana airport provides an alternative entry point to the park.

  • Closest Park Entrance: West Glacier Entrance (132 miles)

Great Falls International Airport (GTF)

At a distance of 200 miles from the West Entrance, this Montana airport offers another avenue to consider.

  • Closest Park Entrance: Mary Entrance (156 miles)

Calgary International Airport (YYC)

For those traveling from outside the U.S., this Canadian airport, located 280 miles from the West Entrance, can serve as an initial landing point.

  • Closest Park Entrance: Mary (187 miles)

Note: If you plan to travel to Calgary, prepare for a border crossing. The drive from Calgary offers scenic views, including a route through Waterton Lakes National Park. Flying into Calgary also puts you near several other impressive parks, like Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho.

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)

Positioned 300 miles from the West Entrance, this Montana airport is another viable option.

  • Closest Park Entrance: Two Medicine Entrance (281 miles)

Spokane International Airport (GEG)

Situated 320 miles away in Washington state, this airport extends an option for those traveling from the western part of the U.S.

  • Closest Park Entrance: West Glacier Entrance (278 miles)

Note: For international travelers, Calgary International Airport and Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport are key hubs for connecting flights to airports near Glacier. Once you arrive at your chosen airport, the next step is navigating the final leg of your journey to the park.

What when you get there?

Once you arrive at the airport nearest to Glacier National Park, you have a few different options to reach your ultimate destination:

  • Rent a car: This is the most convenient option, as it will give you the freedom to explore the park at your own pace. There are several car rental companies located at each of the airports near Glacier.
  • Take a taxi or shuttle: This is a more affordable option, but it will be more limited in terms of where you can go. Taxis and shuttles are typically available at each of the airports near Glacier.
  • Take the bus: The Glacier National Park Express offers bus service from several airports to the park. This is a budget-friendly option, but it is also the slowest. The bus stops at several locations within the park, so you can get off at the one that is most convenient for you.

I recommend you get an itinerary for Glacier National Park before you start your trip so that you plan it and enjoy it to the fullest.

Here are a few tips!

Air travel to Glacier

Early bird catches the flight!

Especially if you’re planning to visit during the peak season (June to August), it’s wise to book your flights well in advance to secure the best deals and availability.

Choose the airport carefully

Sometimes, flying into a larger airport and then taking a connecting flight to an airport closer to Glacier can save you both time and money. For example, flying into Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and then taking a connecting flight to Glacier Park International Airport can be a cheaper option than flying directly into Glacier Park International Airport.

Organize ground transportation

Once you’ve landed, renting a car or arranging for a taxi service is essential for reaching the park, given the absence of public transportation. If you are renting a car, be sure to book your reservation in advance, especially during the peak season.

Ensure your park entrance fee

The entrance fee to Glacier National Park is $35 per vehicle. The pass is good for seven days. You can purchase the pass at the entrance station or at any of the visitor centers in the park.

Check out the weather

Booking flights to Glacier tips

The weather in Glacier National Park can change quickly, so be sure to check the forecast before you go. The park is located in a mountainous region, so it can be cold and snowy in the winter and hot and humid in the summer.


Do I need any special permits to hike in Glacier National Park?
For day hikes, no special permits are required. However, if you plan to do backcountry camping or hiking, you will need to obtain a backcountry permit from the park service.
Is Glacier National Park suitable for children?
Yes, Glacier National Park is suitable for children and offers a range of family-friendly activities and hikes. There are many shorter trails and interpretive programs designed with families in mind, making it a great destination for visitors of all ages.
What are some recommended activities in Glacier National Park for first-time visitors?
You can enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, scenic drives, and participate in ranger-led programs to get a comprehensive experience of the park’s natural beauty and diversity.
Is it necessary to book accommodations in advance when visiting Glacier National Park?
Yes, it is advisable to book your accommodations well in advance, especially if visiting during the peak tourist season in July and August, as places can fill up quickly.