North Lake McDonald Bridge Temporarily Closed
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park announce that the North Lake McDonald Bridge (also known as the Kelly Camp Bridge), located approximately .5 miles behind the winter vehicular closure at Lake McDonald Lodge, is temporarily closed to pedestrians due to structural damage sustained during the November flooding. Officials also report that two recently discovered washouts along the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun (Run) Road- approximately 3 and 5 miles beyond Avalanche- will undergo emergency repairs this winter. Officials hope to begin work on the bridge and the washouts in January and to complete the projects within a month.
During bridge construction an area closure, similar to the spring closure, will be in place for the shoreline from the north end of the Lake McDonald Lodge complex to the inlet below this bridge. The closure will mitigate for construction disturbance on bald eagles foraging in the area. There were 13 eagles recorded in the vicinity during the Christmas bird count, conducted December 17.
Superintendent Mick Holm said, "We are committed to restoring access following the flooding with minimal impact on visitors. By repairing the bridge and completing emergency road repairs this winter, they will be ready for use in the spring when demand is greater." He continued, "Despite these repair efforts, there are still numerous recreational opportunities in Glacier this winter."
Vehicle access to the normal winter closure is unaffected by the repairs. Vehicles can travel 11.5 miles on the Sun Road from West Glacier to Lake McDonald Lodge. Though the Sun Road will be partially plowed behind this closure to allow access for construction equipment, plowing will occur in a manner that allows skiers, snowshoers, and hikers to continue recreating through the area. When construction is not occurring, hikers and bikers can travel on the plowed area; signage will indicate the closures.
Information about Glacier’s most popular ski routes, including trail maps and current conditions, is available online. Trail conditions, as submitted by park staff and visitors, are included. Visit the ski page at: http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/ski/xcski.htm.
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.