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Glacier National Park Packing List

Glacier National Park Packing List

Want to know what to wear in Glacier National Park in Summer? This guide tells you EXACTLY what to pack for Glacier National Park in Summer, Winter, Spring or Fall from hiking clothes, best shoes to wear and all the other national park essentials.

Note: this packing list is not intended as a camping packing list, but instead for those in lodges and hotels who spend their days in the park. If you plan to camp in the national park check out this post.

Weather in Glacier National Park

View of many glacier Splendour in Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park Packing List

But before we get into what to wear and travel essentials for Glacier National Park in summer, spring, winter or Fall it is important to know what the weather is going to be like.

July and August are the hottest months to visit Glacier NP with temperatures averaging around 21°C or 71°F. Therefore it is important to pack lots of natural fabrics such as cottons and linens on your packing list.

While in Spring and Fall the temperatures are mild and pleasant for hiking especially in April, May and October where the average highs are around 8C.

However Winters are pretty cold in Winter with the temperatures often dipping below freezing so lots of layers are essentials.

What to wear in Glacier NP in Summer

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Woman sat on rock with mountains and lake in background in glacier national park
what to wear in glacier national park

So now you know about the weather, we will tell you what to wear in Glacier in Summer. Traditionally when we create packing lists we normally separate them our by gender to allow for dress codes.

However, for Glacier our packing list is universal. That is because practicality is key to any national park packing list. Therefore we recommend all visitors to Glacier in the Summer pack:


Although the temperatures in Glacier in Summer are high, we still recommend adding some layers onto your packing list. We always recommend getting early starts in national parks in summer and Glacier is no different.

We think the best top layer for Glacier in summer is a microfiber lightweight fleece. It is warm and insulating but will also pack away easily into your day pack when you aren’t using it.

T Shirts

T shirts are my favorite base layer for Glacier no matter whether you are visiting in June, July, August or September. As the weather is hot short sleeve are helpful for keeping you cool however long sleeve tees made of natural fabrics such as cotton and bamboo are a great cool pick that can also help protect your skin from the sun.

Convertible Walking Trousers

Any trip to Glacier involves walking, hiking and outdoor time so we recommend packing convertible walking trousers.

This way you can wear them as trousers in the mornings and change them into shorts for layer in the day.


The sun can be strong in Glacier so we recommend having a hat with a wide brim or a baseball cap to protect your eyes.

A net can also be useful when mosquitos are at their worst in summer.

Rain Jacket

Although there are not many rainy days in Glacier, they are usually downpours when the come. For this reason we recommend packing a rain jacket in your day pack.

Hiking Socks

If you plan on wearing hiking boots in the park then you will also need hiking socks. If you just plan on wearking sneakers then sneaker socks may be more appropriate.

What to wear in Glacier in Fall and Spring 

Woman in glacier national park
what to wear in glacier national park

All of the above work as great key pieces for your national park outfit in the shoulder season. If you are traveling in Spring and Fall you will find the temperatures cooler and for this reason I recommend just adding more layers to your packing list. 

My favorite type of top layers for hiking has to be a fleece. 

Also I for March and November in particular I would switch out the short sleeve tees for longer length ones. 

What to wear in Glacier National Park in Winter

My what to wear in Glacier National Park in Winter actually has a lot of overlaps with the items we put on our packing list for any other time of year. 

The main difference is in the thickness and amount of items you need. For instance, I still recommend bringing a jacket, however as the temperatures peak just above freezing you will want a thicker and warmer jacket with you than just a pack away one. And it being waterproof isn’t the main concern as Winter only gets around 3 days of rain in each month. 

I also recommend buying fleece lined pants instead of convertible walking trousers for extra protection against the cold. And if you don’t have these or don’t want to buy new ones, I recommend wearing leggings under your walking trousers. 

And if there is a particular cold snap you may want to throw some thermals onto your list too!

On top of these layers we also recommend having a hat, scarf and gloves with you for cold days in the park.

Best Shoes to wear to Glacier

So now you know what to wear, we turn our attention to footwear.

Hiking Shoes

No matter the national park I am traveling to I always take hiking boots with me. Now if you plan on doing only a little hiking and sticking to more maintained walkways these might not be necessary. However I like to have them with me whenever I visit a national park so I can do whatever trails I like.


Sneakers are the best comfortable walking shoes for any vacation. Sneakers are great for maintained boardwalks and walkways.

Hiking Sandals

In hotter weather hiking sandals are a good pick for Glacier National Park.

What to pack for Glacier – travel essentials

Day pack with rain cover

Any day we spend in a national park we take and pack a day pack. My favorite backpack brand is Columbia but this is a purely personal choice.

Power Bank

Days are long in Glacier and reception is sporadic at best. For this reason we recommend having a fully charged power bank with you to recharge your phone during the day.

Sun protection

The sun can be strong in Glacier so be sure to have lots of sun protection with a high SPF with you.

Bug Spray / Insect Repellant

The mosquitos are pretty fierce in Glacier in summer and the shoulder seasons so be sure to pack plenty of bug spray and insect repellant.


Again the sun is strong so sunglasses are an essential.


Although Glacier isn’t as renowned for its wildlife as say Yellowstone, the wildlife is still impressive. In fact there are almost 100 different types of mammals in the park. So if you want to see the wildlife that the park has on offer we recommend travelling with a pair of binoculars.

Reusable Water Bottle and Extra Water

We recommend always having a reuable water bottle and extra water with you for any naitonal park visit especially in Summer.

Coffee Thermos and Mug

Your days start early in Glacier and for me therefore a coffee thermos and mug is absolutely a must pack so I can be caffeinated at the start of the day.


Although there are food vendors in Glacier, the places to stop and grab snacks are few and far between so be sure to pack ample snacks, food and drinks.

Cooler and food containers

As the temperatures are hot and you will be taking food into the park so you will want a cooler and food containers with you.

First Aid Kit

Although no one wants to use a first aid kit on vacation, it is a good idea to pack a first aid kit with you on any national park vacation just in case especially if you plan on going on more remote hikes..


Whether this is a downloaded map on your phone or a physical one it is worth having a map with you that shows the trailheads you plan on taking.


A camera is a necessity for any visitor to Glacier.

Toilet Paper, Hand Sanitizer and a She wee

The toilets in Glacier outside of the main visitor centre are pretty primitive. For this reason, we recommend packing toilet paper, hand sanitizer and a she wee with you.

What not to pack for Glacier National Park

So now you know what to pack for Glacier, we will turn our attention to what not to pack.


Drones are classified as unmanned aircrafts and are as such prohibited from being flown in the park boundaries.

Complete Glacier Packing Checklist for Summer

  • Layers
  • T Shirts
  • Walking Trousers
  • Rain Jacket
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking Boots
  • Shoes – either sneakers or hiking sandals
  • Backpack and rain cover
  • camera
  • binoculars
  • map
  • sun protection
  • insect repellant
  • quick dry towel
  • coffee thermos and mug
  • resuable water bottle
  • food
  • first aid kit

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