Things are always under review when it comes to how visitors will experience Glacier National Park. Although it had mixed reviews from users, the ticketing system that was implemented for the Going to the Sun Road this year was deemed a success. Sure, it was a bit of a pain to have to purchase tickets online and in advance, but the whole idea was to ease traffic and the numbers show that it did help. It's also promising that the statistics show reduced traffic at a time when so many people wanted to visit the park after spending much of 2020 in lockdown. Will the ticketing system return next year? That question has yet to be answered. But there is a bit of news about one way you can tour Glacier National Park. Or, at least a way you can tour it for now.

Get to the choppa!

If you've ever wanted to take a helicopter tour of GNP, it might be one of those things that you should do before it's eventually not an option. It might be years before that becomes the reality. I'm just saying you might want to do it if the chance presents itself because there will only be fewer chances, not more. Some new regulations are taking effect when it comes to air tours and a KPAX story outlines how they'll eventually be phased out entirely.

Additional restrictions will be applied to the way helicopters can maneuver and where they can operate when it comes to tours over the park. The idea is to eliminate certain noise disturbances, provide better protection for wildlife, and even make the experience better for visitors inside the park.

The preservation of natural sounds and the protection of cultural and natural resources, wilderness character, and preserving visitor experience are a priority. - Glacier National Park Acting Superintendent Pete Webster.

It looks like helicopter tours will eventually become extinct

The number of operators with permits to provide tours has dwindled to three. No new permits will be given and the ones that exist are kind of grandfathered in. If any of those operators sell their business or go out of business the permit will expire with the goal being to just eliminate Glacier National Park tours altogether. And this isn't a new idea as a whole, it's just the latest updates to a plan that was put in place back in 1999 to eventually do away with the tours.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.

RANKED: Here are the most popular national parks

To determine the most popular national parks in the United States, Stacker compiled data from the National Park Service on the number of recreational visits each site had in 2020. Keep reading to discover the 50 most popular national parks in the United States, in reverse order from #50 to #1. And be sure to check with individuals parks before you visit to find out about ongoing, pandemic-related safety precautions at

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