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Montana’s National Parks

Traveling to Montana is an epic adventure with rugged landscapes from picturesque dirt roads to scenic roadside wildlife. As travelers flock to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park, those wanderers need the latest travel insight, weather updates, and things to do off the beaten path. Visit Helena’s resource guide from park entrance closures to suggested routes between Yellowstone and Glacier National Park make this a one-stop guide to all those travelers’ needs.  If you need that human interaction, call us at the Helena Visitor Center for the best-kept Montana secrets. In our guide, there are resources on National Park entry, what to expect, and suggested routes along the way.

Section 1. How to Get from Helena to the Yellowstone or Glacier National Park

Explore Montana with Helena as Your Basecamp

Helena’s prime location in Montana makes it the perfect starting point for your adventure. Fly into the Helena Regional Airport and avoid long security lines. With direct flights from Denver, Salt Lake City, and Seattle, you’ll be on the road and exploring in no time.

Thinking of visiting Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks? Helena sits nearly equidistant from both, making it an ideal stopover for families, campers, and anyone seeking a two-day break before continuing their journey.

Ready to choose your route?

  • Glacier National Park: Head north to East Glacier (186 miles, 3 hours) or West Glacier (213 miles, 4 hours).
  • Yellowstone National Park: Travel south and discover:
    • West Yellowstone (176 miles, 3 hours) – Explore ghost towns, hot springs, fly fishing, and capture epic wildlife photos.
    • Gardiner (175 miles, 3 hours) – A foodie paradise with great fishing spots. Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity sightings – you might just spot Kevin Costner or Drew Barrymore! (North Entrance)
  • Red Lodge (243 miles, 3.45 hours): This scenic route is perfect for road trippers, photographers, cyclists, and foodies.

Helena offers easy access to Montana’s must-see destinations, making it the hassle-free starting point for your unforgettable Montana adventure.


Section 2. National Park Ticketing & Entry

Glacier National Park Access Update (Important for Existing Plans!)

Heads up for those with existing Glacier National Park plans! Vehicle reservations are now required for all roads and entrances during peak season (May 24th – Sept. 8th 6am-3pm). Secure your spot beforehand to avoid disappointment. Check here

Going-to-the-Sun Road Access:

Looking to conquer the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road? Consider a guided tour! Several reputable companies operate out of Columbia Falls and Whitefish, Montana. For details, visit our partners at Glacier Country.

Yellowstone National Park Update:

Great news! All Yellowstone National Park entrances are open this season. Stay updated on park conditions directly through Yellowstone National Park’s website or call Helena, Montana’s visitor center. We’ll continue to share major event updates here on our website as well.



46.5891° N, 112.0391° W
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