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Glacier National Park Introduces Early Access Lotteries for 2024 Wilderness Permits

Glacier National Park, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and pristine wilderness, is set to introduce a new system for acquiring wilderness permits in 2024. In a move to streamline the reservation process and address public feedback, the park will offer early access lotteries for these coveted permits, in collaboration with Recreation.gov.

The decision to implement early access lotteries comes after considering public comments received in February 2023. This change is aimed at enhancing the visitor experience by making the reservation process more efficient and fair. 

The park’s transition to this new system also reflects lessons learned from the implementation of the 2023 reservation system, ensuring a smoother process for both park staff and visitors.

Two separate lotteries will be available for those seeking to explore Glacier’s backcountry: one for standard groups of one to eight people and another for large groups of nine to twelve. 

This new system marks an increase in the standard group size, which was previously capped at a lower number in 2023, according to a news release by the National Park Service.

The lottery for large groups is scheduled for March 1, 2024, while the standard group lottery will take place on March 15, 2024. These lotteries will be based on a fair and randomized process, providing equal opportunity for all applicants. 

A non-refundable fee of $10 is required to enter each lottery, ensuring commitment from participants and contributing to the operational costs of the lottery system.

Following the lotteries, any campsites not reserved will be available through the general on-sale system, starting May 1, 2024. This system, which was used in 2023, allows visitors to book advance reservation campsites for the remainder of the booking window, which extends from May 1 to September 30.

The general on-sale period offers a first-come, first-served online reservation system, maintaining the same fee structure as in 2023. This includes a $10 permit fee and a $7 per person per night camping fee. This system provides an alternative for those who were not successful in the lotteries or prefer to plan closer to their visit.

In addition to the lottery and on-sale systems, Glacier National Park will continue to offer walk-in permits. Approximately 30 percent of wilderness campsites parkwide will be available on a walk-in basis, either the day before or the day of a trip’s start date.

The walk-in permit process remains unchanged from 2023, providing flexibility for spontaneous travelers and those unable to secure reservations through the lotteries or general on-sale system. This approach ensures that a portion of the park’s wilderness remains accessible to a diverse range of visitors, including those making last-minute plans.

Glacier National Park’s new lottery system for wilderness permits in 2024 represents a significant shift in how backcountry access is managed. This change reflects the park’s commitment to preserving the wilderness experience while accommodating the growing interest in outdoor recreation.

For more information or to participate in the lotteries, visitors are encouraged to create an account on Recreation.gov. Detailed information about the lottery process, reservation procedures, and the general on-sale period can be found on the park’s official website.

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Hi, you might find this article from Modern Campground interesting: Glacier National Park Introduces Early Access Lotteries for 2024 Wilderness Permits! This is the link: https://moderncampground.com/usa/montana/glacier-national-park-introduces-early-access-lotteries-for-2024-wilderness-permits/