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What to Pack for Glacier National Park — 9 Essentials

Established by President Taft in 1910, you can find Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana.

Called the ‘Crown of the Continent’, Glacier was the tenth National Park in the country and is renowned for its hiking trails.

The scenery is stunning and diverse, consisting of rocky mountain peaks, lush meadows, and pristine lakes.

Planning a trip to Glacier? Better read below to learn what things you should bring with you for this trip.


What to Pack for Glacier National Park

While the days can be warm, it can snow any time in the higher elevations, so bring synthetic layers and a rain jacket, comfortable hiking footwear, and extra socks. Also bring sunscreen, bug repellent, refillable water bottles, a camera, and bear spray — but don’t bring your own — the Park offers bear spray for your visit.


What to Pack for Glacier National Park

So, what else should you pack for a trip to Glacier National Park? You will need your tent and bedding as well as cooking gear and food if you are camping.

It is often the small extras that visitors forget and later regret not bringing. Remember to bring these items.

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug repellent
  • Rain jacket
  • Comfortable hiking footwear
  • Clothing layers
  • Extra socks
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Camera
  • Bear spray

Visitors should retrieve bear spray from the Park Service when checking in. They don’t permit visitors to bring into the property outside-bought bear sprays.

Fires are currently prohibited inside the park, so there is no need to bring a Firestarter on your trip.


What Not to Bring to Glacier National Park

There are a few things that are not recommended for Glacier visitors to bring to the park.

Consider leaving the following items at home when packing for your trip.

  • Expensive or heirloom jewelry that could get lost during park activities.
  • A big backpack or bag that will be bulky and heavy.
  • An excess of clothing that you won’t need.
  • Electronics and technological devices that will not have connectivity.
  • Thick towels take up too much space.
  • Heavy books instead, go with an e-reader.


What to Wear in Glacier National Park

The right clothes for visiting Glacier National Park really come down to when you are planning to visit.

Do you love doing outdoor activities? Are you planning to camp?

These are pertinent questions when it comes to your apparel and what to pack.

You will want to pack casual and resilient garments that can be layered, including a water-repellent raincoat and a warm jacket even in summer.

The weather in Glacier can turn on a dime! One of the most vital wardrobe aspects is your shoes.

Make sure that your feet are comfortable and dry in whatever type of shoes or boots you wear and break them in before heading to the park or you run the risk of nasty and painful blisters.

Most tourists visit Glacier National Park in the summer, but the park’s open year-round. Here is what you should wear during the different seasons in Montana.


March, April, and May

In springtime, it is still chilly in Glacier National Park and there is usually snow on the ground. Wear long sleeves and pants, and plan to pack cozy layering pieces.

It also rains a lot this time of year, so make sure you have a dry jacket and pack, too.


June, July, and August

Summer is warm, but it can still get quite cool at night, so plan on layers that you can remove during sunny days, but that is snuggly enough to wear sleeping.

It often rains in summer, also, so plan on extra socks and rain protection.


September, October, and November

In the Fall, the weather begins to turn cold around October and you will need warm clothing, a heavy jacket or coat, and insulated hiking boots.

September days can be balmy, so wear tees that can be layered as needed.


December, January, and February

There is a lot of snow during winter in Montana. Dress warmly using three layers a sweat-wicking foundation layer of clothing, a second layer of insulative clothing, and an outer layer of water and weatherproof clothing as well as gloves and a winter hat.


Frequently Asked Questions about What to Pack for Glacier National Park


What kind of clothes should you wear in Glacier National Park?

Bring water-repellent gear, as well as removable layers. It can get hot during the day, but very chilly at night in the park, so dress accordingly.


What should you pack for a day trip to Glacier National Park?

Fill a day pack with what you need for the outing, including sunscreen, bug repellent, rain jacket, food, water, and bear spray. Choose a pack with a waist strap for added ergonomic comfort.


Can you bring bear spray to Glacier National Park?

You can have bear spray in Glacier National Park, but you cannot bring your own. All Glacier National Park Lodge retail locations have bear sprays available for tourists. Plus, the park will safely recycle it for you before you leave.


What is there to see in Glacier National Park?

Some of the scenic wonders awaiting you at Glacier National Park include glacial lakes, rocky mountain peaks, and lots of hiking trails. Capture the magnificence and magic of nature by bringing a camera.


When should I visit Glacier National Park?

The park is open year-round, so the best time to visit depends largely on what you plan to do there. Summer months are the most popular and crowded but have the least rainfall for prospective campers.


Conclusion On What to Pack for Glacier National Park

Use these tips and suggestions for packing when you go to Glacier National Park.

Pack light, but don’t forget some important items that you will want inside the park any time of year.