WEST GLACIER, MT. – The Going-to-the-Sun Road is now open in its entirety to motorized vehicle travel. Visitors can drive the whole length of the road, including access at Logan Pass. Park work crews have finished snow removal, assessed current snow conditions, cleaned up rocks and other road debris, finished guard rail installation, and have prepared Logan Pass facilities for visitor use.
Services at Logan Pass include restroom facilities and potable water. The Logan Pass Visitor Center is also now open daily from 9 am to 7 pm through September 4. The center offers information about the park, ranger programs, and a bookstore managed by the Glacier National Park Conservancy.
Interpretive bus tours on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and other areas of the park are available through Sun Tours and Glacier National Park Lodges. To find out more information and to make reservations, visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bus-tours.htm.
Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet, and wider than 9 feet, are prohibited along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Avalanche Campground and Rising Sun. Vehicles over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass due to rock overhangs.
Now that the road has fully opened to vehicle traffic, the spring hiker-biker shuttle has stopped operating. Bicyclists are reminded that bicycle safety restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road are in effect, and remain in effect through Labor Day, September 4. Bicycles are prohibited between Apgar Campground, and Sprague Creek Campground from 11 am to 4 pm. Bicycles are prohibited eastbound (uphill) between Logan Creek and Logan Pass from 11 am to 4 pm. Information on bicycle restrictions and average bicycle times may be found in the park newspaper available at park entrance stations, or online at http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/inforequest/inforequest3.cfm.
The park’s free summer shuttle system will begin operating on July 1, and will run through Monday, September 4, Labor Day. The transit system provides two-way service along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Apgar and St. Mary Visitor Centers, including a hiker express shuttle departing from both visitor centers at 7 am. The shuttle will run with slightly reduced hours on the shoulder season from September 5 – September 24.
At Logan Pass, visitors will discover lingering winter snow, and should be prepared for cold temperatures, wind, and icy conditions. Standing or walking on snow along the road is strongly discouraged. Be aware of snow walls along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and hazardous snow bridges that could collapse next to the road, particularly near Big Bend, the Big Drift, Lunch Creek, and Siyeh Bend.
Visitors will need to drive with added caution between Haystack Creek and the Rim Rock on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road where concrete barriers are temporarily serving as the guard rail. Masonry guard wall has been destroyed in this section over the last several winters. Concrete barriers further tighten an already narrow two-lane roadway. Work to fix this damage is scheduled for this summer, with some expected construction delays.
While driving along the road and particularly through the Rim Rock area (approximately one mile west of Logan Pass), visitors should be aware of possible rockfall. Rocks and other debris continue to fall throughout the summer, requiring daily clean up along the road.
Trails near Logan Pass will be covered in snow, and visitors should exercise caution when hiking. Be aware of unseen holes in the snow and snow bridges that exist. Avoid crossing steep, snow-covered slopes where a fall could be fatal. Visitors should have the appropriate equipment and skills if hiking on snow. The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is still closed due to snow conditions. The status of the park’s trails can be found by visiting: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/trailstatusreports.htm.
Rehabilitation work on the Going-to-the-Sun Road will continue this year with activity on the west side of the park from the West Glacier Entrance Station to Avalanche. This is the last segment of the Going-to-the-Sun Road rehabilitation project that began in 2007 and includes a segment of roadway reconstruction near Apgar, pull-out reconstruction, and drainage rehabilitation. A new vault toilet will be installed approximately one mile west of the Avalanche area to serve as a quick rest stop for through travelers. Removable guardrail work above Haystack Creek in the alpine section of the road will also occur. Visitors should expect up to 30 minute cumulative delays across the road through the summer and into fall.
Beginning September 5, traffic along the Going-to-the-Sun Road will be detoured through the Apgar Village area to facilitate roadway construction. Between October 9 and October 21, there will be a full vehicle closure at the four way intersection at Apgar to facilitate a significant culvert replacement project approximately 4 miles up Lake McDonald. This means that October 8 will be the last day to access Logan Pass from the west side for the season. Sun Point has reopened this year to visitors with amenities including picnicking, transit, restrooms, and hiking.
Current information about park roads, weather conditions, and visitor services can be found by visiting Glacier National Park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/glac/ or by calling park headquarters at 406-888-7800.