Weekend Update for June 25-26, 2011
Contact: Ellen Blickhan , 406 888-5838
WEST GLACIER, MONT.– Plowing and rehabilitation work continue on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) and currently there is no estimation on when the upper sections will be cleared of the winter snow. Glacier National Park officials anticipate being able to announce a plan for additional visitor access beyond the current vehicle closure at Avalanche Creek.
Unprecedented winter snows and late spring snow storms slowed plowing progress on the Sun Road this spring. Plowing has been completed on the lower section of the road, which has allowed contractors working on the Going-to-the-Sun Road Rehabilitation Project to resume paving work between Logan Creek and the West Tunnel. Once the paving work is finished, increased access to areas of the Sun Road, beyond Avalanche Creek, may be allowed. Park officials hope to define what access would be available, sometime next week. However, until the full length of the Sun Road is plowed and open to traffic, the west side vehicle closure will remain at Avalanche Creek.
Plowing continues on the Sun Road and crews are working diligently. On the west side, crews pioneered through the Rimrock and are approximately one mile from Logan Pass. Crews encountered drifts up to 25 feet in depth. On the east side, crews have complete plowing of Lunch Creek and are at the bottom of the Big Drift. Crews are less than a mile from Logan Pass. Depths of snow have been significant with some depths being up to 50 feet.
Hiker/Biker access will be limited this weekend due to the paving schedule this weekend in the construction zone between Logan Pit and the West Tunnel. Hiker/Biker restrictions will be three and a half miles beyond Avalanche Creek for both Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26. HK Contractors, will resume night work on Monday June 27 beyond the Avalanche Creek closure. No travel will be allowed through the construction zone Monday night through Friday mornings for hikers and bikers.
Park officials invite visitors to camp in Glacier this weekend in one of our 11 open auto campgrounds. Although lingering snow delayed campground openings on the east side of the park, Two Medicine and Cutbank Campgrounds are now open and ready for campers.
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, 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, plowing status, and ranger led activities can be found on the park's home page of our web site.
Did You Know?
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.