Recent Storms Have Impacts in Park
Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888-5838
Contact: Jennifer Lutman, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Recent rain and wind storms have created high water, down trees, debris slides, and other challenging situations in Glacier National Park. Impacts are evident throughout the park, and more impacts are being discovered in the back country as crews are able to survey the areas.
Park employees are busy clearing trails of downfall trees from the recent storms. Some front country and back country trails may be impacted and hikers should use caution.
Back-country visitors should be aware that most creeks and streams are already running high from snowmelt and have spiked higher with recent rains. Extreme caution or perhaps an alternate route should be exercised for foot or stock crossing of creeks and streams. Some creeks and streams may be impassable at this time.
The North Fork, Apgar and Fish Creek areas sustained the most damage from a storm Tuesday night, June 18. Numerous trees were blown down blocking access on roadways and trails. The Apgar Backcountry Office building in Apgar Village and a restroom in the Apgar Campground sustained major roof damage from falling trees, and large branches were dispersed on buildings and power lines throughout the area.
The North Fork area of the park received over an inch of rain within a 60-minute timeframe Tuesday evening. The Upper Bowman Creek Bridge has washed out. Water in the North Fork of the Flathead River and most of the creeks and streams in the area has risen from recent storm waters. Additional reports of damage in the area are expected and visitors should travel with care.
The northeast side of the park sustained impacts from a storm that moved through on Wednesday evening, June 19. More than two inches of rain fell in the Many Glacier area prompting the Swiftcurrent Creek to rise at the bridge that provides access to the Many Glacier Hotel and nearby facilities. Crews used sand bags to protect park utilities and monitored the situation. The Many Glacier Hotel did not sustain any damage. Park crews and Glacier Park Incorporated employees worked cooperatively to address visitor needs and monitor the situation. Many trails in the Many Glacier, Belly River and St. Mary areas sustained flooding and damage, but the extent of the impacts are not all known at this time.
Visitors are encouraged to report any damage they may find in the park by contacting park headquarters at 406-888-7800. For more information about park trail status, visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/hikingthetrails.htm.
Photo attached of rising water at Swiftcurrent Bridge at Many Glacier on Wednesday, June 19.
Did You Know?
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.