Fish Creek Campground is the second largest campground in Glacier National Park, and one of two campgrounds that takes reservations.
Glacier National Park, in northwestern Montana, is comprised of pristine forests, alpine meadows, rugged mountains and spectacular lakes. With over 700 miles of trails, Glacier is a hiker's paradise for visitors seeking wilderness and solitude. It also provides countless scenic vistas for those wishing to relax and take in its nautural beauty.
The campground is located on the western side of the park at an elevation of nearly 3,500 feet; this area of the park generally receives the most rainfall. Daytime temperatures can exceed 90 degrees, although it is frequently 10 to 15 degrees cooler at higher elevations. Weather in the mountains can be varied, including snow in summer; visitors should come prepared for anything.
Fish Creek is heavily forested with plenty of shade. Several sites have views of Lake McDonald.
The park is named for its prominent glacier-carved terrain and remnant glaciers descended from the ice ages almost 10,000 years ago. Its diverse habitats are home to nearly 70 species of mammals including the grizzly bear, wolverine, gray wolf and lynx. Over 270 species of birds visit or reside in the park, including such varied species as harlequin ducks, dippers and golden eagles.
This facility is conveniently located in the western part of the park, nearby many day hikes, including Rock Point Trail, which wanders through a burn area from a 2003 wildfire.
Explorers of all ages can attend nightly ranger programs at an amphitheater within the facility.
The campground is large with 178 campsites. The sites are relatively spread apart and provide privacy for both RV and tent campers. Potable water is accessible in the campground, and restroom facilities have flush toilets and sinks with running water.
One must-see attraction is Waterton Lakes National Park, Glacier's sister park across the Canadian-U.S. border. As the other half of Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, Waterton Lakes offers great hiking, scenic boat cruises and several scenic drives all centered around the townsite of Waterton.
This is a very busy campground in a stunningly beautiful park. We selected this campground because it is one of only 2 in Glacier National Park that accepts reservations, and its close proximity to Lake McDonald. We stayed in the D loop (loops are A-D). Of the four loops, this one was my favorite. The A loop had larger sites, but they were less private. The A loop is the only loop with showers as well, so a lot of campers come thru to hit the shower. We hit the shower mid-day and were lucky that there was no line and a little hot water. Our loop had a mix of sites, but mostly tent campers. Some have direct views to the lake, some are along Fish Creek, and many are little more than a driveway with a picnic table & fire pit. We had to put our tents, one medium size & one small, in the driveway due to no other space available. The ground was incredibly hard to put stakes into and the gravel drive put a hole in my sleeping pad. The bathroom was within a minute walk and there are several water spickets around each loop. Being “bear aware” is essential in this area, so all food & food prep items have to be stored in your vehicle or one of the communal bear boxes. The camp hosts offer wash basins for dishes and there is a grey water dump at the bathroom. For the most part, it is a relatively quiet campground, as most people are off exploring the park every day. We did have a large group of loud campers/partiers next to us one night that resulted in a small swarm of park rangers showing up, but I think this is probably unusual. Apgar Village is nearby where you can get everything you may need and more…gifts/souvenirs, ice cream, firewood, boat & bike rentals, coffee, etc. Glacier is amazing!…but very busy & with really only one road going thru the park for the most part. Be prepared for crowds but relax & take in the beauty of it all.
Stayed here in late June. Rained everyday for 4 days but the site stayed nice and relatively mud free. Sites are a little close for my taste so it's a 4* instead of 5, but it's a national park not a backcountry hideaway. Short walk to the restrooms and water dump. Water/trash/food storage facilities are placed frequently throughout camp. Lots of families and tons of RVs. Our rooftop tend set up quite nicely in the pull through site. Buy your wood ahead of time as it is not available at this Campground but is sold in other areas of the park. We reserved online ahead of time but the board at the main gate showed open sites that weren't listed online. Would recommend. Also, all bear camping rules and regs in place, be smart. Sprint had service and internet, Verizon did not, wierd I know.
I was reluctant to reserve a site at Fish Creek Campground because they are mostly pull-in, and very few back-ins. I stayed in a couple of sites in Loop A. To my surprise, I was actually digging the pull-in sites because it offered more room to a site. RVs or vehicle combination longer then 21 feet or 8 feet wide with the mirrors are allowed in this campground. It became an interesting entertainment watching RV owners park the vehicles just the way they want it and decorate their site. Each site offers a fire ring, a table which can be moved to anywhere you want, and plenty of trees where you can hang your hammock or temporary clothes line. Each sites are very spacious and you cannot hear the campers next to yours, even if the campground is full. The trees offered great aesthetic and shade to cool down on a very hot day. The camp hosts, John and Mary frequently do their rounds, and converse with the campers, along with the NPS law enforcement. Pets are allowed but has to be on a leash no longer than six feet, and must not be left unattended.
There are showers and flush toilets, but there are no sinks to wash dishes. Fortunately, the camp hosts offers basins to lend for the campers to use to clean dishes, and must practice Leave No Trace. Scraps must be collected and contained, while the gray water or dirty water must be broadcasted or put in a cat hole at least 200 feet from any water source. The showers are free to use for registered campers. There are several if not a couple of spigots where drinkable water are accessible throughout the campground.
Wildlife frequent this campground and do not feed them. Be Bear Aware, and always carry your bear spray, and flashlight especially at night. Properly store food or smelly attractant items in a hard-sided vehicle or special bear containers. Coolers are not bear proof. There are secured bear proof lockers that campers can use but it is shared with other campers. Keep a clean campsite, especially when you are not present. Several deers strolled through loop A in the morning, along with squirrels, chipmunks and birds. Fish Creek was pretty clean, and the bathrooms were free from bugs that stare at you as you do your business. There are dump stations near the entrance/exit. The hosts does sell firewood for a price. I bought mine outside the park. It was tough to keep the fire going because it had been raining on and off. A short stroll between sites 19 and 21 is a mini trail that leads to a staircase to the Southwest Side of Lake McDonald where kids and adults can take a dip in the water. Mosquitos were not a problem but it is good to have protection from them.
Though recreation.gov indicates that the campground is full, there were sites that were open, either from cancellation or no shows. The neat thing that NPS does for the Glacier NP campground, is that they list the campsites' number on the campground entrance window that certain sites are open due to cancellation, and then it becomes first come, first serve. On this campground, the NPS does not take cash, only credit card. You can pay the NPS in the morning if you arrive late. So there are no envelopes where you can stuff cash and claim a site. Please follow the honor system. I was lucky to get a free site for one night because their credit card machine was broken. I did have Verizon cell signal but was very spotty. I am not sure about the other mobile services. Overall, this is one of my favorites because it is spacious, clean, lots of amenities and access to water.
We flew into Portland Oregon and drove through the Pacific Northwest to Glacier National Park. The park is renowned as one of the best national park in the US. We visited during August in the peak season and the crowds were huge. You had to wait over 1 hour just to enter the park. The have new visitors center which is very informative. But the parking lot and roads on the western side of the park near our camp at fish creek were crowded beyond belief. Fish creek campground had some good cover for the sun. However like many large national parks the sites were packed in like sardines. The have 178 sites in this camp alone. The site had portable water in the camp and toilets. Our van was too tall to drive on the highway to the sky, so we took the public transport. The experience was a bit like visiting Disneyland and very very touristy. The highway was crowded with weekend bikers clogging the road and impacting the experience. The mountains are stunning and I would love to revisit and perhaps do some trekking into the mountain walk in sites to get out of the crowds. We are planning a trip this Fall to enter from the Canadian side and focus on hiking and back country camping. This is worth round two.
This is one of my most favorite campgrounds I’ve ever stayed at. Located at the West Glacier entrance, Fish Creek campground is nestled right next to Lake McDonald. It’s a heavily wooded area, which gave us a lot of privacy between sites. The lake is a quick walk away. Camp hosts were very friendly and helpful.
We got this spot once our backpacking permits were denied due to fire. We were there for 5 days and got to experience the site well. Due to the beauty of Glacier, we didn't actually spend a lot of time in the site, just for main meals and sleeping. The water was a 1 min stroll from the site so we took advantage of that fully!
The camp hosts were right next to us and they were super sweet! We even pulled up ant three baby deer were occupying our site. They told us how they would pop in every few days and feed on the fresh grass.
The bathrooms were easy to get to and the shower house was fully equipped. Apgar village is a 7 min ride away so it was easy to ride bikes there or drive over and spend the day.
This campground is pretty rustic and definitely for the nature lover. There is no electricity or water hook up so it's important to keep that in mind. However, this is by far my favorite campground. We stayed here on our honeymoon and I would come back in a heartbeat. The lake is right across the street and within walking distance. At night the skies are so clear you can see all of the stars and everything is so quiet that you can hear wildlife. You are located next to lots of little hikes as well as the riding stables.
If you're looking for a civilized campground in Glacier Park, this is a great choice. Easy paved access, nicely treed, clean sites, excellent site management, and very close proximity to the village of West Glacier, Lake McDonald Lake, Apgar Visitor Center, Apgar Ranger Station. This is a great staging place for jumping into the park for hiking, boating, raft trips, horseback riding, etc. Excellent choice for families and groups.
The campsites here were close, but still spaced out nicely. They all offer a tent pad, fire ring, and picnic table. The bathrooms have running water and free showers, but the hot water for the showers only comes on once per day.
There are RVs allowed in this campground, there are no hook-ups and very strict time limits for running generators. There is a short trail with stair case that goes down to Lake McDonald.
There is also a trail that goes into Apgar Village were you can get ice cream, firewood, beer, back country permits, and souvenirs.
Clean, campsites wooded for some privacy, clean bathrooms.