Weekend Update for June 11-12, 2011
Contact: Ellen Blickhan, 406 888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Park Officials announced the opening of more services and roads for the summer season. Currently, there are over 90 miles of road open within Glacier National Park which access all areas of the park, with more services opening every week. The road into Cutbank Creek opened on Thursday, June 9 and the campground is scheduled to open on June 17. Avalanche Campground and Rising Sun Motor Inn opened on June 10. Saint Mary boat tours also began operation on June 10.
With an unusually heavy snowpack, park officials are striving to set reasonable and safe goals for openings and have announced a few delays. Sperry Chalet will delay opening from July 8 to July 15, due to significant, lingering snowpack. Two Medicine boat trips will delay opening until conditions warrant. Many Glacier, Two Medicine, and Cutbank Campgrounds will open June 17, at the earliest. These dates are based on current conditions and may be adjusted as conditions warrant.
Plowing continues on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road). Initial plowing has been complete to the Big Bend, five miles beyond the Loop, on the west side. Crews are encountering drifts between 10 and 20 feet. On the east side, crews are plowing the No Stump Point area, approximately one mile beyond Siyeh Bend. There is no date set for when the upper section of the Sun Road will be cleared for across park travel.
On the west side, there will be a hiker/biker restriction at Packer's Roost, six miles beyond Avalanche Creek on Saturday, June 11 due to construction. There are no planned hiker/biker restrictions on the west side on Sunday, June 12 or on the east side all weekend. A mid-week storm deposited new snow in the high elevations and 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 are especially likely on 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.
"This is a great time to be in Glacier National Park. We certainly have had a dynamic spring; however, there are plenty of opportunities to recreate and enjoy Glacier National Park," said Park Superintendent Chas Cartwright, "Rivers, creeks and streams are flowing at very high levels right now. Visitors are reminded to stay away from the edges of river banks, and to avoid climbing on logs and rocks adjacent to rivers, streams and creeks as falls into swift moving water can be deadly. "
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. The placement of some backcountry suspension bridges have been delayed due to high water. Visitors are reminded to use caution around water, be aware of their surroundings and to know the weather forecast. Visitors should not attempt to cross flooded roads as the road surface may be compromised.
Links for photos, video clips, road conditions and plowing status can be found on the park's home page of our web site.
- NPS –
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.