April 17, 2009
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt
, 406 888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Officials at Glacier National Park report that the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) is currently open 10 miles to Lake McDonald Lodge on the park’s west side, and six miles to Rising Sun on the east side. East side crews have cleared the roads into Many Glacier and Two Medicine Valley, but a melt out period will be necessary before these roads can open for vehicle use. All other park roads remain closed to vehicles due to snow.
This is also the case for the Sun Road at Avalanche. Springtime road reconstruction at Avalanche is progressing; however, vehicle access to Avalanche will be determined by snowmen to allow for parking access in the campground. At this time, the campground remains under two to three feet of snow.
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 vehicle access, the actual opening date for vehicles is determined by parking availability and road conditions. The road will open to vehicle traffic when conditions allow for safe access.
The Camas Road will not be plowed this spring as announced earlier this spring. Given work at Avalanche this spring, park officials announced plans to accommodate spring bicycle and pedestrian use by plowing the Camas Road; however, since contractor KB Contractors, Inc. can accommodate visitor access at Avalanche after all, the Camas Road will be allowed to melt out.
The Camas Road is routinely not plowed, but allowed to melt out to prevent road damage. Although a portion of the Camas Road received a chip seal in the late 1990s, the road was never built to normal road standards. By not plowing this road, the pavement does not sustain undue damage. Additionally, the park's road resources will be dedicated to getting other areas of the park open to the public such as Two Medicine, Many Glacier and the Sun Road. Hikers and bikers are welcome on the Camas Road as conditions permit.
As is always true, Glacier National Park remains open year round for various recreational opportunities, but weather and snow conditions dictate when park roads are open for vehicle access.
Visitors often enjoy hiking 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 will be encountered on the roadway beyond the Avalanche area.
Through April, the Agar Visitor Center is open weekends only from 9 a.m. to 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. to 4:30 p.m. 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.
Current road conditions are also available online at: http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. The information is updated as conditions change.
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