June 23, 2009
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt
, 406 888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Barring weather-related set-backs, Glacier National Park officials today announced that on Thursday, June 25, by mid-day, the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) is expected to open to Logan Pass and the entire Sun Road is projected to open across Logan Pass by mid-day on Friday, June 26.
When open to Logan Pass from the west side, visitors will be able to travel 32 miles from the West Glacier entrance along the Sun Road. On the east side, visitors can currently travel approximately 14 miles from St. Mary to Jackson Glacier Overlook.
Park road crews have been assisted with road preparations over the last week by park trail crew personnel and employees of HK Contractors, Inc., to prepare for the safe opening of the entire Sun Road. Snow and wet weather conditions in recent days have delayed paving near the East Tunnel that was damaged during the November 2006 “Pineapple Express” storm. If weather cooperates, this section will be paved on Wednesday and Thursday. “We had hoped that the East Tunnel paving would be completed by now, “said Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright. “Unfortunately, fresh snow in recent days has delayed the paving. Weather permitting, we will open the road across Logan Pass on Friday with or without the paving, but we want to provide the Federal Highway Administration and their contractor, HK Contractors, Inc. a final chance to complete this paving, if possible, by Friday when we swing the gates at Logan Pass and Jackson Glacier Overlook.”
Cartwright added, “Our crews are still installing guardrails and other final debris clearing in final preparation for the safe opening of the entire road. If the weather improves, and if there are no unanticipated obstacles, we should be able to open the entire road for the coming weekend.”
Cartwright further stated: “The National Park Service fully recognizes that there is a tremendous desire to have the entire Sun Road open for through visitor traffic, but I cannot stress enough just how much else there is to Glacier National Park when Logan Pass is not accessible by vehicle. Other areas of the park are accessible and open including the spectacular Many Glacier Valley, Two Medicine Valley, Lake McDonald Valley and the more remote North Fork Valley. There is so much of Glacier National Park beyond the Sun Road corridor.”
The summer season is virtually in full swing at Glacier National Park. Free ranger-led interpretive programs are ongoing daily throughout the park. Schedules for all events are available at visitor centers and ranger stations. All concession services and activities are open for the season throughout the park as well. The Sun Road shuttle system begins operation on Wednesday, July 1 and runs through Labor Day.
Frontcountry camping is available at Apgar, Avalanche, Bowman Lake, Fish Creek, 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. Beginning July 1, primitive camping will also be available at Logging Creek and Quartz Creek campgrounds.
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.
Many springtime park visitors often enjoy hiking and/or bicycling on the Sun Road beyond vehicle gates. Hikers/bicyclists are welcome on portions of the Sun Road not currently open for vehicle access after work hours. This includes Big Bend to Logan Pass and Jackson Glacier Overlook to Siyeh Bend. Recreational users are reminded that pets are NOT allowed on park roads when roads are used as trails. Hikers and bicyclists also need to watch for heavy equipment operating on the Sun Road. Once the entire Sun Road is open to vehicles, for safety and to ease congestion, restrictions are in effect on sections of the Sun Road from June 15 through Labor Day:
- Between Apgar Campground and Sprague Creek Campground bicycles are prohibited, both directions, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Between Logan Creek and Logan Pass, east-bound (uphill) bicycle traffic is prohibited between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Due to ongoing Sun Road rehabilitation, portions of the roadbed may not be paved. Motorcyclists and bicyclists should use caution riding on gravel portions of the road above the Loop. Additional information about bicycling in Glacier National Park is available at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm.
Current park 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.
For further information on Glacier National Park, visit the park’s Web site at www.nps.gov/glac or call 406-888-7800.
- NPS -