Spring Road and Visitor Services Update for May 16-17 Weekend
May 15, 2009
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt
, 406 888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Additional roads and visitor services continue to open in Glacier National Park this weekend, providing for increased access and services throughout the park.
The Two Medicine Valley Road opened for vehicle access to Two Medicine Lake on Saturday, May 9. On Saturday, May 16 the east side Sun Road is expected to be open as far as Jackson Glacier Overlook, a distance of 14 miles from the St. Mary entrance.
Chief Mountain Customs opened for the season on Friday, May 15. Initial hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until June 1 when hours will be extended.
The St. Mary Visitor Center (SMVC) opens for the season Saturday, May 16. Initial hours of service will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The visitor center will boast a newly remodeled amphitheater and a state-of-the-art high definition video projection system. This year, the SMVC will show the Glacier National Park Discovery Communications orientation film along with “Preserving a Landmark in the Sky,” a 13-minute film about the Going-to-the-Sun Road which was produced by the Federal Highway Administration and the National Park Service. The Apgar Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The following park roads are currently open for vehicle access.
West side park roads:
- Going-to-the-Sun Road (West Glacier to Avalanche)
- Camas Road
- Kelly Camp Road
- Quarter Circle Bridge Road
- Inside North Fork Road (Polebridge to Kintla Lake and Polebridge to Logging Creek)
- Goat Lick parking area
East side park roads:
- Chief Mountain Road
- Many Glacier Valley
- Going-to-the-Sun Road (St. Mary to Jackson Glacier Overlook)
- Two Medicine Valley
All other park road segments remain closed to vehicles traffic due to snow. Hikers and bicyclists are welcome on closed park roads as conditions permit. Recreational users are reminded that pets are NOT allowed on park roads when roads are used as trails.
Springtime park visitors often enjoy hiking and/or bicycling on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) beyond vehicle gates. There are no hiker/bicycle closures on the Sun Road when crews are not working; however, snow and ice may be encountered on the roadway beyond the Avalanche area. Hikers and bicyclists also need to watch for heavy equipment operating on the Sun Road.
In the park’s remote North Fork area, the Inside North Fork Road remains closed to vehicles between Logging Creek and Fish Creek due to downfall and road repair issues. Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake are both free of ice; however, all three lakes in the Quartz Lake drainage and Logging Lake remain frozen at this time. Trails along lakes are relatively snow-free, but are littered with downfall -in some cases there are approximately 30 trees per mile. Stock parties are not recommended until trails are cleared of downed trees.
Frontcountry camping is now available in the park at the following:
- Apgar Campground – open for full-service camping ($20/night)
- Bowman Lake Campground – open for primitive camping ($10/night)
- Kintla Lake Campground – open for primitive camping ($10/night)
- Sprague Creek Campground – open for full-service camping ($20/night)
- St. Mary Campground-open for primitive camping ($10/night)
Sun Tours began summer tour services May 15. These park tours, provided from a Blackfeet perspective, are available by calling 800-786-9220 or 406-226-9220 (www.glaciersuntours.com). Privately owned lodging and other guest services are now available at Apgar Village and in surrounding park gateway communities of St. Mary and West Glacier.
Glacier National Park entrance rates are $25/single vehicle and $12/single entry. 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.
Significant snow remains in Glacier’s high country. Warming temperatures increase avalanche hazards. Visitors should keep alert for spring avalanche activity in the upper elevation portions of the Sun Road where travel is not advised when conditions are unstable. Visitors should also recognize and remain vigilant to this potential hazard when traveling anywhere in the park’s backcountry through avalanche zones. Visitors should also use extreme caution around rivers and streams, which will be rising and flowing rapidly due to melting snow.
Current road conditions are available at: http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. The information is updated as conditions change. Visitors can also phone 406-888-7800 for general park information, including the specific location of hiker/bicycle closures. Current road conditions for Glacier National Park are available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If a 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.