Glacier National Park's Summer Season Has Strong Start
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406 888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Glacier National Park’s 2010 summer visitor season is off to a strong start, park officials report. The park experienced a 2.9 percent increase in visitation for June 2010 compared to June 2009. Year-to-date park figures reflect a 3.8 percent increase in the number of visits to Glacier for the calendar year through June 2010.
A nearly three percent increase in visitation for June 2010 may not seem like much of an increase over June of last year; however, June 2009 visitation reflected a 14 percent increase over June 2008. The 337,120 park visitors tallied during June 2010 is the highest June visitor count since 2003 when the park recorded 370,119 visits. The year-to-date visitor count through June 2010 is 503,010, the highest since 2005.
This year, the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) opened to motor vehicle traffic across Logan Pass on June 24. This was the earliest opening of the entire Sun Road since 2006 when Logan Pass opened on June 23. In 2005, the entire Sun Road opened on June 13. In both 2007 and 2008, road damage and late spring snow accumulation delayed the Logan Pass opening until July 1, 2007, and July 2, 2008, respectively.
The National Park Service offers visitors a number of opportunities to experience their national parks, including Glacier, free of entrance fees. There are three more fee-free days or weekends in 2010: August 14-15, September 25 (Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day). No entrance fees are charged on these dates, but camping and other fees still apply.
Extensive information is available for people planning a trip to Glacier on everything from hiking the backcountry to ranger-led activities at www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/index.htm. Glacier is commemorating its centennial this year and numerous centennial events are scheduled throughout 2010. A complete calendar of events can be found at www.glaciercentennial.org.
Current road conditions 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. Travelers may also call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 for current road and weather conditions.
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Did You Know?
Grizzly bears in the park have a wide variety of food sources, including glacier lily bulbs, insects, and berries. They may also make an early season meal of mountain goats that were swept down in avalanches over the winter.