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    Glacier

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Inside North Fork Road, Lake McDonald Lodge Open This Weekend

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Date: May 20, 2010
Contact: Amy Vanderbilt, 406-888-5838
Contact: Wade Muehlhof, 406-888-7895

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Facilities, trails, and roads continue to open in Glacier National Park according to park officials. Starting Saturday, May 22 the Lake McDonald Lodge and the Lake McDonald Camp Store will be open to visitors. Also beginning this weekend, Glacier Park Boat Company boat tours and rentals will be available at Lake McDonald and Swan Mountain Outfitters horseback rides will start at the Apgar and Lake McDonald corrals.

Sprague Creek and Apgar Campgrounds are open. Primitive camping (no running water) is currently available at Bowman Lake, Cut Bank, Kintla Lake, Logging Creek and St. Mary campgrounds. St. Mary Visitor Center is now open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the Apgar Visitor Center is currently open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This weekend the newly-rehabilitated historic west entrance station also reopens for the summer season.

Park trail crews are busy installing bridges and a number of trails are now cleared and accessible. For the latest information on trail status please visit Glacier’s website at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/trailstatusreports.htm. Although severe weather and dense fog prevented plowing on Thurday, May 20, weather permitting, the west side plowing crew continues snow removal in the Big Bend area after a recent avalanche deposited 15 to 20 feet of snow on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road). An initial or pioneer cut has been completed to the Triple Arches area where the average snow depth is five to ten feet between avalanche chutes and 15 to 20 feet in the avalanche chutes. The east side crew has been replowing from Siyeh Bend towards the East Tunnel where snow is approximately 20 feet deep.

Vehicles can currently travel as far as the Avalanche Campground on the west side of the Sun Road and to the Jackson Glacier overlook on the east. This weekend there will be no road work on the Sun Road; therefore, no road work restrictions are planned for hiking and bicycling access beyond Avalanche and Jackson Glacier Overlook. Hikers and bicyclists will be allowed beyond Avalanche and Jackson Glacier Overlook, weather permitting. All park visitors are reminded: To allow for spring Sun Road rehabilitation, the earliest possible date that the entire Sun Road can open to through-traffic across Logan Pass is June 18, weather permitting. All other park roads except the Cut Bank Valley Road are now open for motorized traffic. The entire Inside North Fork Road opened on Monday, May 17.

Construction crews are making progress on the Lake McDonald - Sun Road paving project from the Apgar Transit intersection to Avalanche Campground. Work started Monday, May 17 and is expected to take about three weeks. Work may be performed on future weekends except during the three-day holiday weekend honoring Memorial Day, May 29 to 31. Overlay road work will end at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 21 to accommodate traffic to Lake McDonald Lodge for the Spring for Glacier event. Visitors should plan for short delays of 15-to-30 minutes where overlay paving is occurring. With spring road work along with plowing, caution is urged on both the east and west sides of Sun Road as road conditions can vary.

Get the most current road conditions for Glacier National Park 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. Visitors can also call Glacier at 406 888-7800, and press 2, for current park road and weather conditions. An interactive map showing current access points is available at: http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm.

- NPS -

Did You Know?

U-shaped valley carved by a glacier

Glacier National park was named for the glaciers that carved, sculpted, and formed this landscape millions of years ago. Despite the recession of current glaciers, the park's name will not change when the glaciers are gone.