They’re starting to move snow in Glacier National Park and they have plenty extra this year. Don’t expect Logan Pass access before mid-June at best and, as usual, they are letting Camas and the inside North Fork Road melt out on their own. Read the press release for all the gory details . . .
Glacier National Park road crews have begun spring snow plowing on the park’s roads and are finding substantial amounts of snow. Flattop and Many Glacier Snotel sites, snow measuring stations, are showing between 20 and 40 percent above normal snow water equivalent. Last week, USGS snow survey crews recorded 100 inches of snow on the ground at Siyeh Bend, two miles east of Logan Pass, and 140 inches of snow at the 7,500 foot elevation nearby.
Park crews began plowing the Chief Mountain Road, near the park’s northeast corner on Tuesday, March 15. The crews then focused their efforts on the Two Medicine Road. Instead of the three foot drifts they normally encounter at this time of year, the crews were plowing drifts up to eight feet deep. As soon as weather and road conditions permit, visitors will be able to drive to Running Eagle Falls. The Many Glacier Road will be the focus of east side plowing efforts this week. At present, crews are encountering drifts over ten feet deep. The Many Glacier Road will not open to motor vehicles until the third weekend of April at the earliest, to reduce stress on wildlife in critical winter range.
On the west side, the crews have completed plowing Apgar Village and one lane on the Camas Road. The Camas and Inside North Fork Roads will be allowed to melt out prior to opening. Plowing of the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) began on Friday, April 1, beyond the Lake McDonald Lodge. Crews are encountering 12-36 inches of snow with two to six inches of ice on the road surface. Once the crews plow beyond Avalanche Creek, HK Contractors will continue rehabilitation of the Sun Road along Upper McDonald Creek and on both sides of Logan Pass.
Because of the contract to rehabilitate the Sun Road, the earliest possible opening of the road in its entirety would be June 17, weather and road conditions dependent. Spring snow storms play a large factor in safely opening the Sun Road to two-way motor vehicle traffic. Once the plow crews are working in the higher elevations, visitors will be able to drive to Avalanche Creek on the west side and Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side.