May 16, 2008
Melissa Wilson, 406 888-7895
WEST GLACIER, MONT. – With very warm temperature forecast for this weekend, officials at Glacier National Park report that additional park roads are open or are anticipated to open providing increased access to the park. Despite this weather, officials note that some campgrounds are expected to remain snow-covered for several weeks and therefore will not open as planned for Memorial Day weekend.
Officials relocated the vehicle gate closure on the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the Lake McDonald Lodge to Avalanche today, May 16. Visitors can now travel by vehicle approximately 16 miles from West Glacier to Avalanche and 6 miles from St. Mary to Rising Sun. In addition, the Chief Mountain Road, the Many Glacier Road, the Two Medicine Road to Running Eagle Falls, the Quarter Circle Bridge Road to the Apgar Lookout trailhead, and the Inside North Fork from the Polebridge Ranger station south to Logging Creek and north to Big Prairie are also open to vehicle traffic. (Note- the Akokala Creek Bridge en route to Big Prairie has a total vehicle weight limit of ten tons.) Officials also anticipate opening the roads to Bowman and Kintla lakes in the North Fork on Saturday, May 17.
Significant snow remains in Glacier’s high country and warm temperatures increase avalanche hazards. Visitors should recognize and remain vigilant to this potential hazard when traveling through avalanche zones. Visitors should also use extreme caution around rivers and streams, which will be rising and flowing rapidly due to melting snow.
The Apgar Visitor Center is now open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Apgar and Sprague Creek campgrounds are currently open for full-service camping for $20/night. St. Mary campground is open for primitive camping. Beginning May 17, it is anticipated that both Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake campgrounds will be available for primitive camping. Primitive camping, at which water is not provided, costs $10/night.
Deep snow, up to 15 feet in some areas, still blankets the Two Medicine Campground. Officials therefore announce that the Two Medicine Campground will not open for camping on May 23, as previously anticipated. The opening of the Many Glacier Campground for Memorial Day weekend also remains questionable as up to three feet of snow covers the campground area.
Glacier National Park entrance rates are $25/single vehicle and $12/single entrant. An annual pass, good for unlimited entry to Glacier National Park for one year from the date of purchase, is $35. Even when the entrance stations are not staffed, entrance fees are still required. Follow the posted instructions to pay the entrance fee at the self-pay stations at each entrance.
Current road conditions, updated as conditions change, are available on the park’s Web site at https://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. Road conditions are also available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If your phone does not support 511, call 1-800-226-7623. Both numbers are toll-free. Select “Glacier Park Tourist Information” from the main menu to hear Glacier’s road report.
For additional park information, please visit Glacier National Park’s Web site (www.nps.gov/glac) or call 406-888-7800.
- NPS -