Start Your Summer at Glacier National Park
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – With the unofficial start of summer kicking off this weekend, visitors are reminded that Glacier National Park is open and there are numerous facilities and services available within and around the park.
Most park roads are open for motorized travel. The Camas Road, the Many Glacier Road, the Two Medicine Road, and the Cut Bank Road are open to vehicular traffic. The Inside North Fork Road is open from the Polebridge Ranger Station to Logging Creek.
On the Going-to-the-Sun (Sun) Road, vehicles can travel 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche and 13.5 miles from St. Mary to Jackson Glacier Overlook. Further, park road crews will not be doing any pioneering work over this holiday weekend, Saturday through Monday. Therefore, hikers and bikers will be allowed unlimited access beyond the west-side vehicle closure at Avalanche. However, due to storm damage, no hiker/biker access is allowed on the east-side beyond Jackson Glacier Overlook.
Park visitor centers in Apgar and St. Mary are open daily. Campgrounds are available at Apgar, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake, Many Glacier, Rising Sun, Sprague Creek, St. Mary and Two Medicine. Primitive camping, with no water provided, is also available at Cut Bank.
Activities are available this holiday weekend from several park concessioners. Glacier Park, Inc. operates tours aboard the refurbished historic red buses starting May 27. Sun Tours is currently offering interpretive tours featuring a Blackfeet perspective. Guided day hikes and backpack trips are available now from Glacier Guides, Inc. Swan Mountain Outfitters offers horseback rides at Lake McDonald and Apgar beginning May 26. Boat rentals will be available this weekend (May 26-May 28) at Apgar from Glacier Park Boat Company. Glacier Park Boat Company will start boat tours at Lake McDonald on May 27. Although Waterton International Shoreline Cruise Co. boats are not yet landing at Goat Haunt, tours of Waterton Lake are currently available.
Lodging is available from park concessioner Glacier Park, Inc. at the Lake McDonald Lodge starting May 26. Privately-owned lodging and other visitor services are available in the park at Apgar Village and in gateway communities.
Current area closures include: Mt. Henkel and Mt. Altyn south aspect, the south end of
The entrance fee for a seven day single vehicle entry to Glacier National Park is $25 and the fee is $12 for a single entrant (a biker, walker, or motorcyclist). An annual pass, valid for unlimited entry to Glacier for one year from the date of purchase, is $35. Even when the entrance stations are not staffed, an entrance fee is still required. Follow the posted instructions to pay the entrance fee at the self-payment boxes at each entrance station.
Visitors are cautioned that spring snowstorms can cause hazardous driving conditions and/or temporary closures of park roads. Visitors should also watch for avalanche slides, falling rocks, and debris.
Park visitors are also reminded that all park animals are wild, unpredictable and potentially dangerous. Feeding of any park wildlife is against the law and subject to fines. Visitors are urged to keep a safe distance from all wildlife and to report any bear and/or mountain lion sightings to a park ranger as soon as possible.
Officials also caution that the November 2006 storm caused considerable damage to the backcountry trail system. Hikers should be aware of the possibility of rough, washed out sections of trail throughout the park. Bridges may have been damaged or destroyed. Much of the damage may not be evident until late June, or even July in some alpine areas, when park personnel are able to patrol every trail. Drowning is the number one cause of death in Glacier National Park. Please use extreme caution around water.
For current road condition information, visit the park’s road status Web site http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm.
Current road conditions are also available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If your 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.
For further information on Glacier National Park, visit the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/glac or call 406-888-7800.
Did You Know?
Did you know that eight inches of snow fell during one night in Glacier's high country in August, 2005? The weather forced hundreds of backpackers out of the backcountry.