• Mt Reynolds

    Glacier

    National Park Montana

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Weekend Update for May 21-22

Plowing on the Going-to-the-Sun road on May 18, 2011
Plowing of the Going-to-the-Sun road on May 18, 2011 with Logan Pass in the background
NPS Staff

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News Release Date: May 19, 2011
Contact: Ellen Blickhan, 406-888-5838

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – The road into the Many Glacier Valley was opened on Monday, May 16. There are no facilities open in the valley therefore visitors should be prepared to bring in their own food and water. The Bowman Lake road and the campground (no potable water available) will open Friday morning as well as the Inside North Fork road from Polebridge  Ranger Station to Logging Creek (eight miles). The Lake McDonald Lodge will open on Saturday May 21. Glacier Park Boat Company and the Red Buses will begin operating tours on the same day. 

Due to the amount of snow still lingering in the Many Glacier Valley, The Swiftcurrent Motor Inn opening will be delayed until June 16 rather than the previously anticipated June 10. Visitors with reservations at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn will be accommodated at the Rising Sun Motor Inn which will open earlier than scheduled on June 10. 

Plowing continued on both sides of the park this week. On the west side, crews have completed initial plowing of the Going-to-the-Sun road (Sun Road) approximately three miles above the Loop. The crews are encountering snow depths from 8 to 20 feet deep. On the east side, initial plowing was completed a half mile below Siyeh Bend and crews are encountering seven to eight feet on the level. HK Contractors, the contractor for the Sun Road rehabilitation, joined park crews in the plowing efforts on the east side. 

"Although there is an unusual amount of snow in our mid elevation ranges, the crews are making good progress and opening roads and facilities in the safest manner possible", Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright said. "Recreational activities abound whether you are looking to hike, bike, camp, view wildlife or just take in the beautiful scenery."   

This weekend, there are no planned restrictions for hikers or bikers on the Sun Road, Many Glacier or Two Medicine Roads. Avalanche danger persists throughout the park. Avalanches along the Sun Road in the spring can occur during and after snow storms, during and after rain events, and especially during sunny, warm days. During high avalanche danger, park officials do not advise hiker/biker travel on the Sun Road beyond Avalanche Creek and Rising Sun. Stopping in avalanche paths is not recommended. Visitors are also reminded that when park roads are closed to vehicle use, all pets are prohibited on roadways beyond the vehicle closures. 

Drowning is the leading cause of death in Glacier National Park and park officials anticipate higher water levels in creeks, streams and rivers throughout the park for a longer duration than usual. Swift and cold waterways, moss or lichen covered logs or rocks, undercut banks all present dangers and visitors are reminded to use caution around water.

Links for photos, video clips, road conditions and plowing status can be found on the park's home page of our web site.
http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.
Information on current campground status, visit the park's camping web page.
http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/cgstatus/cgstatus.cfm.
This page is updated as conditions change. Travelers may also call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 for current road and weather conditions.    

- NPS –  

Did You Know?

Grizzly bears

Grizzly bears in the park have a wide variety of food sources, including glacier lily bulbs, insects, and berries. They may also make an early season meal of mountain goats that were swept down in avalanches over the winter.