East-side Going-to-the-Sun Road open 9 am to 7 pm

Reynolds Creek Fire Perimeter August 3, 2015
Reynolds Creek Fire Perimeter August 3, 2015

From the official press release . . .

The east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is open to vehicle access from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Drivers should drive cautiously and be aware of firefighting activities along the road due to the Reynolds Creek Fire.

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow said, “In consultation with the incident management team managing the Reynolds Creek Fire, we have opened the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road for visitor vehicle travel from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.”

There will be no visitor travel during the evening, night and early morning hours. Mow said, “We believe the night closure is in the best interest of the firefighters working in the area and the visitor. He said access may increase or decrease according to fire activity and safety.

Smoke may be visible and may reduce visibility at times, so visitors are required to drive slowly. Active fire may be visible from the road, and visitors should watch for falling debris such as rocks and tree limbs, as well as fire-weakened trees. Almost 500 hazard trees, fire-weakened trees, have been removed from along the road. If anyone sees or encounters debris or fallen trees on the road, do not attempt to remove it, but please report it to a ranger or closest visitor center.

Firefighters will be working and firefighting equipment will be staged along the road. Visitors will not be able to stop or park along the road or in pullouts between the St. Mary Campground and Siyeh Bend. However, the Rising Sun area will have limited access to concession operations. Siyeh Bend is located approximately one mile east of Logan Pass.

Bicycle travel is not allowed in the fire areas, but cyclists may transport their bikes via the park shuttle system. The park shuttle service will operate as normal, although there will be no shuttle stops in the fire area. The only shuttle stops on the east side at this time will be Rising Sun and Siyeh Bend.

The Glacier Boat Company will resume boat tour operations at Rising Sun. The Rising Sun Camp Store operated by Glacier National Park Lodges will reopen on Saturday, August 8, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. The Rising Sun Motor Inn and the Two Dog Flats Grill will remain closed at this time.

The Rising Sun Campground is anticipated to be closed most of the season.

Road rehabilitation work on the Going-to-the-Sun that was happening before the fire will continue, and visitors may encounter delays.

An alternate to the Going-to-the-Sun Road is U.S. Highway 2 along the southern boundary of the park.  Alternate transportation options for traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road include the park’s free shuttle system or concession-operated interpretive tours with Glacier National Park Lodge’s Red Buses or Sun Tours Cultural Tours.

Access to trails on the east side of the park along the Going-to-the-Sun Road is limited. All trails within the fire perimeter are closed. The Piegan Pass Trail from Siyeh Bend is open for hiking to the north, but not accessible to the south. The Siyeh Pass Trail is only open to Siyeh Pass, and is closed in the Baring Creek. The Gunsight Pass Trail remains closed from the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Gunsight Pass.  Trails accessing St. Mary, Virginia, and Baring Creek Falls are closed. Please check the on-line trail status information at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/hikingthetrails.htm or ask a park ranger at one of the park’s visitor centers.

Ranger-led programs are available and listed at http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/ranger-led-activities.htm.

The park’s visitor centers are open and hours are as follows:

Apgar Visitor Center  8 a.m. –6 p.m.
Logan Pass Visitor Center 9 a.m. –7 p.m.
St. Mary Visitor Center  8 a.m. – 7 p.m.