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Access to Logan Pass Anticipated Next Week

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Date: June 12, 2012
Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888-5838

WEST GLACIER, MONT. - Access to Logan Pass via the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is anticipated to be available to the public by the middle of next week. A weekend storm dumped another 10 inches of snow prompting additional snow slides on the road.

Since Memorial Day Weekend, a minimum of 35 inches of snow has fallen at the higher elevations of the road. Glacier National Park Deputy Superintendent Kym Hall said, "Our goal has been to open access to Logan Pass by mid-June and we believe we can accomplish that by the middle of next week, weather dependent." Hall said, "The weather has been challenging the past couple of weeks, but the plowing crew has put in extra time and done an exceptional job to provide mid-June access." 

Work continues as crews plow the Big Drift, a 25-30 feet drift located about a fourth of a mile east of the Logan Pass Visitor Center. After plowing through the Big Drift, crews anticipate they will encounter approximately 10-12 inches of ice. Crews are also removing snow and debris from recent snow slide activity, clearing snow along the road edges for two-lane travel, and plowing the parking lot at the visitor center. Many areas had to be plowed again after the weekend snowfall. Park trail and campground crews are assisting with the hand shoveling around the visitor center, restroom facility, and walkways at Logan Pass.

Hall said, "In addition to all the snow removal, crews have to install hundreds of guard rails along the road." She said installation of the removable guard rails is time consuming, but necessary. The rails are removed each fall due to avalanche activity that can destroy them during the winter.

Currently, 29 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open to vehicle travel. Visitors can drive 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche on the west side, and 13.5 miles from the St. Mary Entrance to Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side.

It is anticipated that weekend hiker/biker access will be limited to Bird Woman Falls Overlook on the west side and Siyeh Bend on the east side. Hiker/biker access may change day to day dependent on snow removal and road rehabilitation work. Visitors are encouraged to check the park website at http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. Hikers and bikers should always be on alert for construction hazards and avalanche danger.

For photos and plowing status, as well as information on all park road conditions, visit the park's webpage. Information on the webpage is updated as conditions change. Visitors may also visit the park's Facebook page or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 for current road and weather conditions.

Did You Know?

Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.