June 5, 2009
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt
Contact: Wade Muehlhof
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – While Glacier National Park plowing crews are closing in on Logan Pass during Glacier’s annual Going-to-the-Sun Road spring snow clearing, additional park facilities continue to open for the summer season throughout the park.
This weekend, more park concession services are opening for the weekend. The Many Glacier Hotel opens Friday, June 5. The Village Inn and Swiftcurrent Camp Store both open Saturday, June 6. Also available are the Lake McDonald Lodge and Camp Store, Two Medicine Camp Store and historic red buses tours (Glacier Park, Inc. 406-892-2525 or www.glacierparkinc.com). The Glacier Park Boat Company (406-257-2426 or www.glacierparkboats.com) starts offering boat rentals at Apgar and Many Glacier on Saturday, June 6 in addition to their boat services at Lake McDonald. Swan Mountain Outfitters starts offering horseback rides from the Many Glacier Corral on Saturday, June 6; horse rides are also available at Apgar and Lake McDonald (877-888-5557 or www.swanmountainoutfitters.com/glacier).
Other concessioner services already underway for the season include the following: Sun Tours (800-786-9220 or 406-226-9220 or www.glaciersuntours.com) offers park tours, provided from a Blackfeet perspective. Glacier Guides, Inc. (800-521-RAFT or 406-387-5555 or www.glacierguides.com) offers guided day hikes and backpacking trips. In Waterton National Park, the Waterton Inter-Nation Shoreline Cruises, LTD (403-859-2362 or www.watertoncruise.com) provides Waterton Lake boat tours. Privately owned services and lodging facilities are also available in Apgar Village and in surrounding communities.
Chief Mountain Customs is open for the season; current hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
West side park roads open for vehicle access:
· Going-to-the-Sun Road (West Glacier to Avalanche)
· Camas (KAM-us) Road
· Hiker/biker: No restrictions on Sunday
· 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 open for vehicle access:
· 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
Only the high elevation portion of the Sun Road remains closed to vehicles at this time. Snow depths of 25-30 feet were encountered by plow operators while clearing the Big Bend area, three miles west of Logan Pass. Once through the Big Bend area; however, west side plowing has proceeded quickly in recent days toward Logan Pass. The east side crew has reached the Big Drift, a perennial snow drift less than a quarter mile east of Logan Pass that is oftentimes 50-60 feet deep.
Hikers/bicyclists are welcome on park roads that are closed to vehicle use, as conditions permit. Recreational users are reminded that pets are NOT allowed on park roads when roads are used as trails. Many springtime park visitors often enjoy hiking and/or bicycling on the 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 – full-service camping ($15/night)
· Cut Bank Campground – primitive camping ($10/night)
· Fish Creek Campground – full service camping ($23/night for reservations)
· Kintla Lake Campground – primitive camping ($15/night)
· Rising Sun Campground - full-service camping ($20/night)
· Sprague (SPRAYG) Creek Campground – full-service camping ($20/night)
· St. Mary Campground – full service camping ($23/night reservations)
· Two Medicine Campground - full-service camping ($20/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. Warmer 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. Park 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. 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. 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 800-226-7623. Both numbers are toll-free. Select “Glacier Park Tourist Information” (option #5) from the menu to hear Glacier’s road report.