June 6, 2008
Melissa Wilson, 406-888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – With over a million acres, there’s more to Glacier National Park than the Going-to-the-Sun (Sun) Road. While park crews continue plowing the park’s famous road, consider exploring some of the other areas of the park. Those who explore the park during this “shoulder season” will be rewarded with fewer people and the scenic beauty of Glacier’s snow-capped peaks. Visitors also enjoy walking or biking lengths past the vehicle closures on the Sun Road when there’s little-to-no traffic.
“Though our plowing effort has been challenged by the cool spring and continuing high elevation snow, our crews are diligently working to provide access to the alpine section of the Sun Road,” said Acting Superintendent Stephanie Dubois. “Don’t let this limited access on the Sun Road discourage you from visiting Glacier as there’s still much to see and do. Most of the park’s roads and campgrounds are open.”
“Concession activities in the Many Glacier valley also began today, June 6, and are continuing in the Lake McDonald area. We’ve also been able to provide access to some local favorites- the Two Medicine Campground and the Cut Bank Road and Campground are now open. Water has also been restored to the Kintla Lake Campground,” Dubois noted.
Vehicle access on the Sun Road is unchanged. Visitors may travel east approximately 16 miles from West Glacier to Avalanche and 13 miles west from St. Mary to Jackson Glacier Overlook. In addition, hikers and bikers can travel almost six miles beyond the west side vehicle closure to Packer’s Roost. This Sunday, June 8, there will be no hiker/biker closure, but travelers should use caution beyond Packer’s Roost. On the east side, the hiker/biker closure is located just before Siyeh Bend, approximately two miles beyond the vehicle closure at Jackson Glacier Overlook. This hiker/biker closure is in place Tuesday through Friday.
Many other park roads are open. The Camas Road, the Chief Mountain Road, the Cut Bank Road, the Many Glacier Road, the Two Medicine Road, the Quarter Circle Bridge Road, and the Inside North Fork from the Polebridge Ranger station south to Logging Creek and north to Kintla Lake are open to vehicle traffic. (Note- the Akokala Creek Bridge en route to Big Prairie and Kintla Lake has a total vehicle weight limit of ten tons.) The Bowman Lake Road is also open. The Inside North Fork Road from Fish Creek to Logging Creek remains closed.
Using these other park roads, visitors can explore the often overlooked areas of the park. Many Glacier, north of St. Mary, has massive mountains, sparkling lakes, and abundant wildlife. Two Medicine, tucked in the southeast corner of the park, offers stunning scenery. The North Fork, a rustic location with primitive access in the northwest corner of the park, features open prairies, towering mountains, and tranquil lakes. Goat Haunt, in the northern portion of the park across from Waterton, is one of the park’s more remote locations. Most visitors access it by historic boat from Waterton.
Full-service camping is available at Apgar, Avalanche, Many Glacier, Rising Sun, Sprague Creek, and Two Medicine campgrounds for $20/night and at Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake campgrounds for $15/night. Full service reservation camping is also offered at the Fish Creek and St. Mary campgrounds. The cost is $23/night. Sites at these two campgrounds may be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation Service website at www.recreation.gov, or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Campers without prior reservations are also welcome, if space is available, for $23/night. Primitive camping with no water provided is also available at Cut Bank Campground for $10 night. Visitors can verify the status of Glacier National Park’s campgrounds online at: http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/cgstatus/cgstatus.cfm.
The Apgar Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The St. Mary Visitor Center, temporarily located at the St. Mary Fire Cache, is open 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Glacier National Park entrance rates are $25/single vehicle and $12/per person (hiker/biker/motorcyclist). An annual pass, good for unlimited entry to Glacier National Park for one year from the date of purchase, is $35. Even when the entrance stations are not staffed, entrance fees are still required. Follow the posted instructions to pay the entrance fee at the self-pay stations at each entrance.
Park visitors are reminded that all park animals are wild, unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Feeding of any park wildlife is against the law and is subject to fines. Visitors are urged to keep a safe distance from all wildlife and to report any bear and/or mountain lion sightings to a park ranger. Visitors should also watch for avalanche slides, falling rocks, and debris. Visitors are also reminded to use extreme caution near water.
Current road conditions are available on the park’s Web site at http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. Road conditions are also available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If your phone does not support 511, call 1-800-226-7623. Both numbers are toll-free. Select “Glacier Park Tourist information” from the main menu to hear Glacier’s road report. Glacier’s automated telephone system, 406-888-7800, also provides road status information- select extension 2.
Additional park information can be found on Glacier National Park’s Web site (www.nps.gov/glac) or visitors can call 406-888-7800.
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