May 22, 2009
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt
Contact: Wade Muehlhof
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – This Memorial Day weekend, additional roads and visitor services continue to open at Glacier providing increased access and services throughout the park.
Starting this weekend various park concession services start up for the season. Glacier Park, Inc. 406-892-2525 or www.glacierparkinc.com) will start offering historic Red Buses tours starting Saturday May 23. Lake McDonald lodge opens to visitors Saturday May 23. Lake McDonald Camp Stores opens Sunday, May 24. The Glacier Park Boat Company (406-257-2426 or www.glacierparkboats.com) will start tours and rentals on Lake McDonald Saturday May 23. Swan Mountain Outfitters offers horseback rides from Apgar Corral and Lake McDonald starting Saturday May 23. Glacier Guides, Inc. (1-800-521-RAFT or 406-387-5555 or www.glacierguides.com) is also offering guided day hikes and backpacking trips. Sun Tours (1-800-786-9220 or 406-226-9220 or www.glaciersuntours.com) is already in service offering park tours, provided from a Blackfeet perspective. In Waterton National Park, the Waterton Inter- Nation Shoreline Cruises, LTD (403-859-2362 or www.watertoncruise.com) is now providing Waterton Lake boat tours. Privately owned services are now open at Apgar Village and in surrounding communities.
Chief Mountain Customs is open for the season. Initial hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until June 1 when hours will be extended.
The Apgar and St. Mary Visitor Centers are open daily. Initial hours at St. Mary Visitor Center (SMVC) are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Apgar Visitor Center is currently open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year the SMVC boasts a newly remodeled amphitheater and a state-of-the-art high definition video projection system. The SMVC shows the Discovery Communications orientation film along with “Preserving a Landmark in the Sky,” a 13-minute production about the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The following park roads are currently open for vehicle access.
West side park roads:
- Going-to-the-Sun Road (West Glacier to Avalanche)
- Camas (KAM-us) Road
- Hiker/biker: No restrictions through Monday
- Kelly Camp Road
- Quarter Circle Bridge Road
- Inside North Fork Road (Polebridge to Kintla Lake and Polebridge to Logging Creek)
- Goat Lick parking area
- Bowman Road
- Kintla Road
East side park roads:
- Chief Mountain Road
- Many Glacier Road
- Going-to-the-Sun Road (St. Mary to Jackson Glacier Overlook)
- Hiker/biker: Siyeh (SIGH-ee) Bend (2 miles past vehicle closure)
- Cut Bank Road
- Two Medicine Road
All other park road segments remain closed to vehicles traffic due to snow. Hikers and bicyclists are welcome on closed park roads as conditions permit. Recreational users are reminded that pets are NOT allowed on park roads when roads are used as trails.
Springtime park visitors often enjoy hiking and/or bicycling on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) beyond vehicle gates. There are no hiker/bicycle closures on the Sun Road when crews are not working; however, snow and ice may be encountered on the roadway beyond the Avalanche area. Hikers and bicyclists also need to watch for heavy equipment operating on the Sun Road.
Frontcountry camping is now available in the park at the following:
- Apgar Campground – full-service camping ($20/night)
- Bowman Lake Campground – primitive camping ($10/night)
- Cut Bank Campground – primitive camping ($10/night)
- Kintla Lake Campground – primitive camping ($10/night)
- Sprague (SPRAYG) Creek Campground – full-service camping ($20/night)
- St. Mary Campground – primitive camping ($10/night)
Glacier National Park entrance rates are $25/single vehicle and $12/single entry. An annual pass, good for unlimited entry to Glacier National Park for one year from the date of purchase, is $35. Even when the entrance stations are not staffed, entrance fees are still required. Follow the posted instructions to pay the entrance fee at the self-pay stations at each entrance.
Significant snow remains in Glacier’s high country. Warming temperatures increase avalanche hazards. Visitors should keep alert for spring avalanche activity in the upper elevation portions of the Sun Road where travel is not advised when conditions are unstable. Visitors should also recognize and remain vigilant to this potential hazard when traveling anywhere in the park’s backcountry through avalanche zones. Visitors should also use extreme caution around rivers and streams, which will be rising and flowing rapidly due to melting snow.
Current road status is available at: http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. The information is updated as conditions change. Visitors can also phone 406-888-7800 for general park information, including the specific location of hiker/bicycle closures. Current road conditions for Glacier National Park are available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If a 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.