It consists of two contiguous national parks in two countries:
- Glacier National Park, Montana is a United States National Park
- Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta is a Canadian national park
Both parks were declared Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 1976 and as World Heritage Sites in 1995.
Although physically it is possible to cross the USA-Canada border at a number of points by foot or boat, park warden checkpoints target hikers at a number of geographical funnel points. Canadian and US citizens should have their passport with them, other nationalities cannot simply hike across and must use one of the main official border crossings (for computer based checks). The most convenient crossing is 1 Chief Mountain Port of Entry on the Waterton - Babb road. This is not open 24 hours.