Last updated: September 29, 2015
In the seasonal park ranger world, summer is a maniacal time. Parking lots fill to the brim and shuttle lines coil around corners like a garter snake in the sun. Trails (and pit toilets) overflow, chips are stolen from lunch pails, and happy rodents pack on the pounds from plant life and cheetos.
Summer disappears as quickly as it arrives, and fall seems to sneak by; if it weren’t for the buses full of school children arriving I swear I’d miss it entirely. Once the cloud of exhaust and smoke has cleared, it’s obvious - autumn is here. Elk bugle, leaves litter the ground, Logan Pass is empty, and those troublesome Columbian Ground Squirrels have long been in hibernation. Mountain goats don their winter coats and quiet returns to this place.
And then what happens there? You might ask. What does this mean for the rangers? The answer is tricky, because it’s different for all of us. Some are heading south, to Death Valley or the Everglades. Some of us north, to Alaska. And some of us will stay right here and continue working with visitors and students through the winter.
If you’re adventurous, fall and winter can be amazing times to visit Glacier. Depending on when you arrive you might not be able to drive the Going to the Sun Road, but in exchange you may be able to observe some of Glacier’s most beautiful natural phenomena. Follow wolf tracks along the creek, ski in the shadow of the aurora borealis, and have your mind blown all the same.
So as the season wraps up, I want to extend my gratitude to all of you - rangers and visitors alike. Glacier is fortunate to have an amazing community of supporters and I’m honored to be a part of it.
"Where can I find some information on planning trips to Glacier during the off season?"
If you’re planning to visit Glacier during our fall or winter seasons, we do have some websites that offer helpful information. Check out our Plan Your Visit page for information fall and winter visits.
Happy (ski or snowshoe) trails!