Glacier Park is still on-schedule to begin snow removal on April 1, starting with Camas Road. The Flathead Beacon has a good write-up . . .
The true mark of spring’s arrival in the Flathead Valley, the plows in Glacier National Park are rumbling to life this week to embark on the monumental task of clearing Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Park crews are slated to start April 1 with the Camas Road before turning their attention to the park’s iconic 52-mile thoroughfare. Clearing the narrow two-lane road is a challenging task that usually takes 10 weeks depending on weather conditions and snowpack levels. The mountain highway is considered one of the most difficult roads in America to plow. In years past, crews have been hampered by avalanches and significant obstacles, such as the Big Drift, a one-mile section of Sun Road near Logan Pass where typically over 100 feet of snow accumulates in winter.
The current snowpack levels are at 96 percent of average, according to the Flattop Mountain SNOTEL site, a U.S. Geological Survey site sitting at 6,300 feet elevation in the park.
Glacier Park got too much new snow. The opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road through Logan Pass has been delayed until the middle of next week . . .
Glacier National Park officials are now expecting the Going-to-the-Sun Road to open to Logan Pass by the middle of next week, the park announced Tuesday.
Officials originally hoped Logan Pass would become accessible later this week, but the recent snow has hampered plow crews clearing the road. A storm last weekend dropped roughly 10 inches of snow, prompting additional slides on the road, according to the park. Since Memorial Day weekend, a minimum of 35 inches of snow has fallen at the higher elevations of the road.
Glacier National Park still thinks it can have Going-to-the-Sun Road open this Friday, June 15 . . .
Glacier National Park officials say they’re hoping to open Going-to-the-Sun Road on Friday but much depends on the weather.
Businesses that rely on the road, meanwhile, are hoping they don’t see a repeat of last year when the road didn’t open until July 13.
“It’s all up to Mother Nature,” Glacier spokeswoman Denise Germann told the Great Falls Tribune. “We need her help to help move forward.” She said crews are working to open the road despite spring storms that brought 16 new inches of snow since Memorial Day. She said snow slides have also slowed progress, with crews even having to plow their way back through avalanches that came in behind them. Some avalanches on the west side of Logan Pass were up to 15 feet deep.
According to the Hungry Horse News, Glacier Park still hopes to have Going-to-the-Sun Road open by June 15, despite recent weather delays . . .
Just a few weeks ago, Glacier National Park officials were hoping they’d have plows at Logan Pass by now. Mother Nature, however, had other plans.
Last week was marked by heavy rain, snow and poor visibility. Plows on the west side one day had to clear several snow slides that crossed the highway behind them just to get off the Sun Road.
But now the plows are close to Logan Pass. On the east side, crews should be pioneering a route through the Big Drift this week, and west-side crews should be at Logan Pass — they were at Oberlin Bend late last week, less than half a mile below the pass. Snow depths were 12 to 24 feet.
The Park is hoping to have the entire length of the Run Road open by June 15, if weather cooperates.
Glacier National Park held two meetings this week to share information about park activities and plans and get feedback from local communities. The Daily Inter Lake has a report on Tuesday’s meeting in Columbia Falls . . .
Glacier National Park is struggling with shuttle bus finances and over the next few years will craft a management plan to try to deal with congestion along Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The shuttle bus/road situation was one of the topics at a community meeting Tuesday in Columbia Falls featuring Glacier Park leaders.
According to Glacier Park’s road status page, Going-to-the-Sun Road is now open to general traffic as far as Avalanche Campground on the west side and to Rising Sun from the east.
Here’s the official write-up:
Currently 21.0 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.
Visitors can drive 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche, and 5.5 miles from the St. Mary Entrance to Rising Sun.
The section of the road between Avalanche and Rising Sun is closed due to plowing. On the West Side, Hiker/Biker access is to Packers Roost, approximately 6 miles from the Avalanche Gate – while the road crew is working. On the weekends, there are no restrictions. On the East Side Hiker/Biker access is to Jackson Glacier Overlook, approximately 8 miles from the Rising Sun Gate – while the road crew is working. On the weekends there are no restrictions.
Snow removal in Glacier Park seems to be proceeding nicely . . .
Glacier National Park plow crews made good progress last week, clearing the Going-to-the-Sun Road on the west side of the Park from Lake McDonald Lodge to beyond Red Rocks.
Hikers and bikers can use the full length of the plowed section when crews aren’t working. Last weekend, a number of visitors biked to Avalanche Creek and beyond. The road has a few icy patches but is mostly clear.
More information on this year’s snow removal challenges in Glacier Park . . .
The chorus of whirring snowplows in Glacier National Park joined western Montana’s spring interlude this week as crews began the annual work of forging through deep snow along Going-to-the-Sun Road.
Plowing on the 50-mile Sun Road began April 2, according to park spokeswoman Denise Germann. Crews immediately encountered between 12 and 30 inches of snow and up to a half-foot of ice on the first two miles of road beyond Lake McDonald Lodge . . .
“The region around Glacier National Park has definitely been making gains in the last month,” Domonkos said.
Measurement data show that as of April 1, basin totals for the entire North Fork of the Flathead River are 111 percent of average . . .