Weekend Plowing Update for Glacier National Park
Contact: Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park report that the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) is currently open 11 miles to Lake McDonald Lodge on the park’s west side, and five miles to Rising Sun on the east side. East side crews are currently plowing the Many Glacier Road and it remains closed. All other park roads, including Two Medicine, are also closed to vehicles.
Acting Superintendent Stephanie Dubois said, “Vehicle traffic is not allowed on the Many Glacier Road until the third weekend in April, weather permitting, due to wintering wildlife. While this represents the earliest possible date for vehicles, the actual opening date is determined by weather. There has been significant snow in the Many Glacier Valley this year and crews are still working to clear the road. The road will open as soon as plowing is complete and conditions allow for safe vehicle access.”
“This is also the case for the Sun Road. As is always true, weather will ultimately dictate when we can fully open the road and it is impossible for us to predict a date. Throughout the spring, crews will be plowing the road, as well as completing other preparatory work, including installing guardrails, plowing parking lots, clearing culverts, repairing potholes, and sweeping rocks. Their pace is contingent upon weather conditions, with safety being our top priority,” Dubois noted. “What is different this year, and what will be true throughout the Sun Road’s Rehabilitation, is that we can definitely say that the alpine section will not open prior to mid-June. This is in accordance with the Sun Road’s Final Environmental Impact Statement which grants rehabilitation contractors exclusive access to the alpine section of the road.”
She continued, “We know that everyone is very eager for the alpine section’s opening and for the opportunities it presents to explore the park. While we recognize this enthusiasm, it’s important to remember that the park is open year-round and even with limited vehicle access, springtime offers numerous recreational opportunities in the park.”
Visitors often enjoy hiking or biking on the Sun Road beyond the vehicle gate closures. There are no hiker/biker closures on the Sun Road on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. During these days, visitors currently can travel approximately 11 miles on plowed pavement. Visitors should note that hiker/biker closures are in effect Tuesday to Friday, with the closure point changing frequently based upon the road crew’s specific location. (Visitors are cautioned that hiker/biker access may change once the contractor begins rehabilitation work.)
Through April, the Apgar Visitor Center is open weekends only from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. During the week, visitors can stop at park headquarters in West Glacier for information. Headquarters is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Visitors can also phone 406-888-7800 for general park information, including the specific location of hiker/biker closures.
Current road conditions are 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.
Current road conditions are also available online at: http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. The information is updated as conditions change.
- NPS -
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.