NewsMontana and Regional News


National Park Week kicks off on Saturday

Glacier National Park
Posted at 4:14 PM, Apr 19, 2024

GREAT FALLS — National Park Week runs from April 20 through April 28, 2024, with events every day to inspire people to get out and learn more about the country they are a part of.

On April 20th, all national park fees are waived to encourage visitors. At Glacier National Park, this means you will not need to pay the usual $35 per vehicle. Glacier will also be hosting a Junior Ranger Day from 10-2pm, sponsored in part by the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

“It's open to the public and it's free of charge, and they will have activities such as dress like a park ranger, learn how to use a park radio, or animal Olympics,” said Gina Icenoggle, Public Information Officer for Glacier National Park, “There will be prizes for those who participate that are related to Junior Ranger Day.”

If you are unable to attend on the 20th, there will be another Junior Ranger Day on April 27th from 11-3pm at Medicine Spring Library at Blackfeet Community College.

It is difficult to overstate the beauty and importance of National Parks, and Icenoggle believes that Glacier’s breathtaking environments are what make it so magical.

“I think the magic lies in the name… what the glaciers left behind is what's so iconic, and that is the glacially carved valleys and the mountain lakes that it left behind,” Icenoggle said, “…and the color of those lakes and the pristine water that flows through and the rivers through Glacier National Park.”

Of course, national parks do not run on their own, and about 20,000 people across the country keep the parks in working order.

“Right now we have around 120 permanent employees who are working at the parks year round,” Icenoggle said, “…And then during the peak season, which is between May and September, we have about 3 to 400 seasonal employees that come on board. So, it's a huge influx of employees that come in and help us keep the park running in the summer when we host about 3 million visitors.”

National Park Week is a great time to see the other, smaller National Parks and monuments as well, such as Grant-Kohrs Ranch, Battle of Little Bighorn, and Big Hole National Battlefield.

“Glacier, yes. great place to come. Yellowstone, a great place to visit,” Icenoggle said, “But these smaller parks are just as interesting, and National Park Week is an opportunity to dig into that history about our parks and what we are trying to talk about with those national parks and national monuments.”

Starting May 24th, you will need a vehicle reservation for Going to the Sun Road and the North Fork area of the park. On the east side, you will need a reservation at Many Glacier starting July 1st. Reservations are not required at Two Medicine or the St. Mary entrance to the park.

Per the National Park Service website, these are the events taking place for National Park Week.

Saturday, April 20: Discovery. What will you discover? A new place, a new interesting fact, a new activity... To kick off National Park Week and encourage you make that new discovery, entrance fees are waived on April 20!
Sunday, April 21: Volunteers. Use your time and talents as a volunteer in your national parks. Find opportunities to volunteer for a single event or long term position.
Monday, April 22: Earth Day. Join the global celebration encouraging education and stewardship of the planet's natural resources. Many parks are hosting volunteer events. You can also find ways to practice conservation at home.
Tuesday, April 23: Innovation. History of our nation's innovation is preserved in national parks. Also learn about the innovative projects happening in parks or through our programs today.
Wednesday, April 24: Workforce Wednesday. Meet our incredible workforce of employees, interns, fellows, volunteers, contractors, partners, and more. Consider joining our team!
Thursday, April 25: Youth Engagement. Calling the rising generation of stewards! Learn about the opportunities for youth and young adults to get involved and see what your peers are up to.
Friday, April 26: Community Connections. Learn about the important work our programs and partners are doing in communities across the country both within and outside of our park boundaries.
Saturday, April 27: Junior Ranger Day. For kids (and kids at heart), become a Junior Ranger through in-person or online activities to learn about special places or topics. You may even earn a Junior Ranger badge!
Sunday, April 28: Arts in Parks. Home of many arts past and present, find your muse creating arts within parks. Also learn about preserving and practicing arts in your communities through the work of our programs and partners.

More information can be found here.

Vehicle Reservation Information for Glacier National Park can be found here.