It is gearing up to be a wild summer. We can already tell that our typical tourist season in Montana is going to be blown away by a record number of visitors. Just recently, I called the Flathead National Forest Ranger Station, to do some research on state camp sites around Flathead Lake.

I was blown away when I heard that most of the campsites around Flathead Lake are "reservation only." Most of these reservations are snatched up early in the year, by people preparing vacations to the lake.

But what blew my mind was when the park ranger told me that only 2% of the state parks around the lake had vacancies from May15th through Labor Day. That is CRAZY!

Gone are the days when you could call your buddy up on Thursday and discuss where you should go pitch a tent and fish that upcoming weekend. Now you must plan your recreation trips months in advance. Or find other public lands that allow camping. But, even that can get a little crowded.

Now places like Glacier National Park are implementing a reservation policy. Not for camping, but for DRIVING! Starting Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day weekend, you can no longer drive the Going to the Sun Road, without a reservation. Which is something that many of us in western Montana have taken advantage of over the years. One of the perks of having some of the most beautiful National Parks in our state, is that we can afford to casually take day trips to visit them. Now, you can't just load the kids up for a drive up the scenic highway....Unless you have a reservation.

According to the Glacier National Park Website

Day-use visitors who arrive by private vehicle or motorcycle must have an Entry Reservation Ticket and a current park pass when entering the park through the West and St. Mary Entrances, or via the Camas Road, between 6 am and 5 pm from May 28 to September 6, 2021. Please be prepared to show your reservation confirmation and photo ID at park entrance stations upon arrival.

We are hearing that the reason for this is to reduce congestion of vehicles on the highway. As well as aid in the over-crowding of construction happening along the highway and reduced numbers of park staff.

What are your thoughts?

You can reserve your entry pass now at Recreation.gov

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