What is the best route from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park?

My partner and I are huge national park geeks and we’re planning on hitting Yellowstone and Glacier this summer. We’re going to be renting a car to drive between the two of them. What’s the best way to get from Yellowstone to Glacier, though?

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Answer provided by
Shannon Fitzgerald
Answered on May 27, 2022
Hitting two national parks with one drive sounds like an excellent plan for a Wyoming to Montana road trip!
Here’s the best route from Yellowstone to Glacier National Park if you want to get there quickly:
  • Take US-20 W out of Yellowstone and into Montana (and a small part of Idaho)
  • Use US-87 N to get back up into Montana and hook up to US-287 N
  • Take US-287 N into Helena, then get onto I-15 N
  • Hop to US-287 N in Wolf Creek, then US-89 N in Choteau
  • Continue on US-89 N until Browning, then get onto US-2 W
  • Take US-2 W into Glacier Village, then use MT-49 N to drive into the park
Optionally, in the summer months you can continue heading north via US-89 N until St. Mary to take the scenic “Going to the Sun Road” within the park.
A second (but longer) route alternative will take a slightly different path once you hit Harrison:
  • Instead of continuing on US-287 N, use MT-359 to get onto I-90 W in Cardwell
  • In Butte, use I-15 N to continue onto I-90 N
You’ll have two choices once you hit a fork in the road in Garrison, then. You can either go east via US-12 E to eventually connect to MT-83 N through more of the mountain, or you can continue on I-90 N toward Missoula and pass along Flathead Lake via US-93 N to get into West Glacier.
Your total drive between the two parks will take around 9 hours depending on traffic—ideally you’d want to break this up into at least two or three days. Before you head out, you’ll also want to check the weather patterns along your route and prepare to pay any tolls, especially on the US routes.
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