Weekend Update for June 4-5, 2011
Contact: Ellen Blickhan, 406 888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – With beautiful weekend weather forecasted, more services open in Glacier National Park. The Two Medicine Camp Store opened this week in the Two Medicine Valley. The East Side Shuttle (operated by Glacier Park Inc. on a pay for use basis) began operation on June 3 and the boat rental in Apgar will begin operation on June 4. Fish Creek and Rising Sun Campgrounds are open for the season. Fish Creek, St. Mary and half of Apgar group sites are available for reservations from June 1 to Labor Day. The opening date for the Many Glacier, Two Medicine and Cutbank Campgrounds will be delayed until at least June 17 due to lingering snow.
Plowing continues on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road). On the west side, significant avalanche activity deposited snow and debris on the Sun Road after the Memorial Day weekend storm. Over the last week, more than two and a half feet of snow fell in the starting zones of avalanche paths along the Sun Road. In order to access their work site, crews re-plowed the slide paths where they encountered debris piles up to 10 feet deep. Crews have completed initial plowing through Haystack Creek and are continuing towards the Alps, three and a half miles beyond the Loop. On the east side, crews have completed initial plowing through Siyeh Bend and are continuing to No Stump Point, approximately one mile beyond Siyeh Bend.
On the west side, there will be a hiker/biker restriction at Packer's Roost, six miles beyond Avalanche Creek on Saturday, June 4 due to construction. There are no planned hiker/biker restrictions on the west side on Sunday, June 5 or on the east side all weekend. 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 in the avalanche prone areas. Stopping in avalanche paths is not recommended.
Park officials anticipate higher water levels in creeks, streams and rivers throughout the park for a longer duration than usual with some reaching flood stage. Visitors are reminded to use caution around water. Visitors should be aware of their surroundings, the weather forecast, and not attempt to cross flooded roads as the road surface may be compromised. Swift and cold waterways, moss or lichen covered logs or rocks, undercut banks all present dangers.
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.
Did You Know?
Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet. The glacier that carved the Lake McDonald valley is estimated to have been around 2,200 feet thick.