Weekend Update for May 14 and 15

avalanche across the Going-to-the-Sun road on the east side

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News Release Date: May 12, 2011

Contact: Ellen Blickhan, 406-888-5838

WEST GLACIER, MONT. – After sufficient melting and additional plowing the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) opened to Avalanche Creek for vehicle traffic on the west side of the park Wednesday, May 11. Temporary parking is available at the Avalanche Picnic Area and Campground. The Chief Mountain Road, in the northeast corner of the park, opened on Thursday, May 12. Chief Mountain Customs, the seasonal port of entry, will commence operation on Sunday, May 15 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. On June 1, the port will resume extended summer hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

With the warming temperatures, plow crews on the west side of the park cleared snow in the lower elevations due to the increase in avalanche danger. Avalanche danger persists throughout the park. Avalanches along the Sun Road in the spring can occur at any time. During high avalanche danger, park officials do not advise hiker/biker travel on the Sun Road beyond Avalanche Creek and Rising Sun.

Presently, the Camas and Quarter Circle Bridge roads are open for vehicle traffic as well as the Sun Road to Avalanche Creek. In the North Fork, the northwest section of the park, most roads remain closed to vehicle traffic with the exception of the Inside North Fork Road from the Polebridge Ranger Station to Big Prairie (eight miles).

On the east side, crews widened initial plowing in the Two Medicine Valley and the Chief Mountain Road. On the Sun Road, HK Contractors, the Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation contractor, plowed behind the vehicle closure at Rising Sun. HK will be joined by park plow crews next week. The Two Medicine Road remains open to Running Eagle Falls, the Sun Road to Rising Sun and the Many Glacier Road remains closed at the park boundary. 

This weekend, there are no planned restrictions for hikers or bikers on the Sun Road, Many Glacier or Two Medicine Roads. Visitors are encouraged to have significant knowledge of traveling in avalanche terrain and take the same precautions as one would during the winter. Stopping in avalanche paths is not recommended. Visitors are also reminded that when park roads are closed to vehicle use, all pets are prohibited on roadways beyond the vehicle closures.

Apgar Campground opened to visitors on Friday, May 6 and Sprague Creek Campground will follow on Friday, May 13. St. Mary Campground remains in primitive status and is the only campground on the east side available for camping. The Apgar Visitor Center shifted into the summer schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and St. Mary Visitor Center is scheduled to open on Sunday, May 22 for the season from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both visitor centers will extend hours on June 19. Starting this weekend Sun Tours is available for guided bus tours with a Blackfeet perspective. Glacier Guides, Inc. is open for guided day hikes and backpacking. Some privately owned facilities are open in Apgar Village.

Links for photos, video clips, road conditions and plowing status can be found on the park's home page of our web site.


Information on current campground status, visit the park's camping web page.


This page is updated as conditions change. Travelers may also call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 for current road and weather conditions.

- NPS –  

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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PO Box 128
West Glacier, MT 59936



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