Are you looking for the best airport when traveling to Glacier National Park? The closest airport and the most convenient for you is likely to be Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in Kalispell (more info below) but let’s explore the topic further!
Glacier National Park is situated where the Canadian border meets the Rocky Mountains of Western Montana. The park serves as a tourist attraction for visitors across the United States and around the world. Montana’s landscapes are so big, open, and rugged it is no wonder they attract visitors the world over.
Intrigued? Let us introduce you to the airports near Glacier National Park, which have expanded rapidly over the past few years in order to handle the flood of visitors.
In this article, we will look at airports near Glacier National Park and what to expect when traveling:
Guide to Airports Near Glacier National Park
Closest Airport to Glacier National Park?
Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is the closest airport to Glacier National Park. Conveniently located in Kalispell, a 12 mile trip will bring you to the town of Whitefish which is located just 30 miles from the west entrance of Glacier National Park. It is the most frequented airport close to Glacier National Park for tourists and travelers alike.
How to fly to Glacier National Park?
You can fly directly to Glacier Park International Airport, however the airlines and connecting airports are limited. To fly into this airport, you must be flying with one of eight major airlines:
- Alaska Airlines
- Allegiant Airlines
- United Airlines
- Delta Airlines
- Sun Country Airlines
- Frontier Airlines
- American Airlines
These airlines fly directly to Glacier from Seattle, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Denver, and Las Vegas, and seasonal direct flights are also offered to New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Oakland, Phoenix, San Diego, and Portland.
Other airports located reasonably close to the park that may provide additional airlines and connecting airports include Lethbridge Airport in Canada (YQL), which is serviced by Westjet (and will soon be serviced by Flair Airlines), and Missoula Montana Airport (MSO). Along with some of the mentioned destinations, you can catch direct seasonal flights to Missoula from Fort Worth and Orange County.
Great Falls International Airport (GTF) is another relatively close airport at just over two and a half hours away from Glacier National Park. It is serviced by Alaska, Allegiant, Delta, and United.
Another airport that travelers often use to access the park is Spokane International Airport (GEG) in Washington, which is served by Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Sun Country, and United. However, Spokane is further away at just under five hours by road.
What is the cheapest airport to fly into Glacier National Park?
The cheapest airport to fly into Glacier National Park largely depends on where you’re flying from and what the cost of your road transport will be. To find the most cost-effective flights, research flights from a selection of airports, also taking into account whether you’ll need connecting flights and road travel costs.
While Glacier Park International Airport is the closest to the park, some travelers have found that fares are usually cheaper at Great Falls International Airport or Spokane International Airport. Great Falls is a particularly good option if you’re planning on entering the park from the eastern side.
In some cases, it may be cheaper overall to fly to an airport a longer distance away and hire a car to take you the rest of the way. However, you’ll have to weigh this up with the amount of vacation time you’ll lose driving, and the cost of any stopovers you’ll have to make overnight.
The 7 Closest Airports to Glacier National Park
Among all the airports mentioned here, this one is the closest airport to Glacier National Park. Often known for connecting tourists mainly from Chicago, Seattle, Portland, and Houston, this airport also connects to twenty other cities. Unless you can find much cheaper flights at other airports on this list, this is definitely the preferred airport for your visit!
The land route to Glacier National Park can be intricate and difficult, but the airport offers a fair share of rental cars and shuttles to take you to your desired destination.
The drive from the Glacier Park International Airport, Montana, to the west entrance of the West Glacier Park, is about forty minutes while traveling to the East Glacier Park takes about two hours on road.
There are numerous other car rental companies, within a short distance from the airport in Northwestern Montana. These allow you to pick up your rental car and drive through the scenic views of the Continent that lead to Glacier National Park.
If you’re planning to fly private into Glacier Park International Airport, the well-known fixed-base operator Glacier Jet Center is located at the Glacier Park International Airport.
Additionally, the main runway at the airport is 9,007 ft. long making it accessible by the largest of private jets.
It provides a service to match the majestic beauty of Montana and an experience comparable to a five-star resort. This is a private aircraft rental service with a Charter Team comprised of aviation professionals dedicated to providing effective solutions for domestic and international flights.
From the Glacier Park International Airport, it takes less than thirty-five minutes to reach the Glacier National Park via the Glacier Jet Center service. These include aircraft rentals, aircraft charters, courtesy transportation, internet access, and many other services that will guarantee a memorable and luxurious experience for your vacation getaway.
With Glacier Jet Center, you will have the privilege of being assigned a concierge for your tourist group who will guide you to all the recreational attractions at Glacier National Park.
These activities are bound to make your trip a hundred times more exciting with the thrilling opportunities of mountain biking, hiking, fly-fishing, golfing, and white-water rafting in the summers.
This airport is a great alternative for foreign as well as American travelers as it is roughly three hours away from Glacier National Park.
Much like the Lethbridge alternative, this gateway offers the treat of a scenic drive to travelers on their way from the airport to their destination.
The Missoula Montana Airport also gives non-stop service to tourists from multiple different cities in the United States, including Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Salt Lake, Las Vegas, Denver, San Diego, Palm Springs, etc.
This airport provides service to Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines. If you were to utilize the services offered by a rental car in the neighborhood, it would take you around three and a half hours to reach Glacier National Park.
However, if you wish to take the bus from Missoula Montana Airport, it will take you around fourteen hours and four bus stops to reach your destination.
Ideally, the Lethbridge County Airport serves as a starting point for Canadian visitors and sits just across the border. This airport does not just cater to Canadians but also to people from all the nearby regions of the USA.
This airport connects Western Montana through three other cities: Vancouver, Calgary, and Cranbrook. It is an adventurous getaway, given all the scenery that you are likely to be exposed to throughout your journey.
Consider booking your motels or rental cars in advance to achieve the best out of your trip. You can make use of a travel guide to find all options for your trip from the airport to the park, including date schedules, route maps, and estimated fares from relevant transport operators.
The road trip from Lethbridge County Airport to the Glacier National Park seems to be the most feasible, given its lesser time duration of three hours. However, the bus drive takes around four hours.
This is a commercial airport located around downtown Spokane Washington, United States. Served by six airlines with 24/7 service to several airports, this is the second busiest airport in Washington.
Being equipped with lost property services, free baggage carts, free Wi-Fi, and currency exchange services; this airport caters to tourists from regions outside of the United States as well.
The car ride from Spokane International Airport to Glacier National Park is around 490 km and takes about a little less than five hours. An alternative to this would be the train ride, which also happens to be the cheapest option.
You can grab a taxi or a bus from SIA Concourse C and make your way to Empire Builder where you can grab the Spokane train, thereby reaching your destination in around six hours.
If you have time to see around Spokane, do not forget to visit the mighty Spokane Waterfalls, the Riblet Mansion, and St. John’s Cathedral.
Connecting more than about twenty cities, this airport is located 4.8 km southwest of Central Great Falls. The trip from this airport to Glacier National Park offers you surroundings of pristine wilderness and water.
This region of Montana is unparalleled and untamed in its scenic beauty. Placed halfway between Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park, this airport offers car rentals and lodging house services to tourists of both areas.
The car ride from the Great Falls International Airport to the Glacier National Park is roughly 241kms and takes about two and a half hours, given the uncrowded roads of Central Montana’s landscape.
Another option is taking the bus directly from the airport to the Shelby Amtrak Station and switching to West Glacier Amtrak to reach Glacier National Park. This is relatively more expensive and takes around five and a half hours.
The Calgary International Airport is located in Alberta, Canada, and has access to Vancouver, Lethbridge, Calgary, Kelowna, and four other cities.
Being the busiest airport in the region, it offers a play area, ATMs, spa, pharmacies, info center, and many more facilities to make your trip easy and enjoyable.
The cheapest option to travel from Calgary International Airport to Glacier National Park is the bus drive, which takes approximately eight hours but is relatively more tiring too.
This is because multiple bus stops fall on the way and each time you are required to change the bus, which can be exhausting. Another option is renting your car and driving through the scenic route for around five hours to reach the park.
You can make use of travel guides to help you find the closest international or domestic airports near Glacier National Park.
These airports offer a variety of cheap and feasible flight tickets best suited to your budget. Moreover, the travel guides can help you plan your trip and figure out the shortest and easiest route to your destination, be it via a tourist group bus or rent-a-car.
The Glacier National Park has six entrances, which makes it easier for tourists to locate them. West Glacier Entrance, Polebridge Entrance, Many Glaciers Entrance, and St. Mary Entrance are the four entrances where you can purchase your visitor entrance pass. The Glacier National Park airport you choose will depend on what entrance you are planning on traveling.
Being easily accessible at any time of the year is not the only good thing about Glacier National Park. This place offers a diverse variety of outdoor adventure options around the year to give visitors a truly unique experience, which is why it gets a little crowded in the summers.
In winter, they have activities such as snowmobiling and skiing. So pick the Glacier National Park airport that works best for you and Start packing!