Around 5 p.m. on Monday, the park responded to a report of a vehicle 40 feet down an embankment off the Going-to-the-Sun Road near Packer’s Roost, several miles below the Loop.
The vehicle had swerved to avoid another car stopped in the roadway to view a bear along the road. Park rangers performed a technical rescue for the people in the motor vehicle. Park sawyers cut down a number of trees so that a tow truck could remove the vehicle.
The three occupants of the car that went off the embankment were transported to the hospital in stable condition, two via ambulance and one via ALERT helicopter.
Also around 5 p.m. on Monday, park rangers responded to a call at Lake Josephine for a visitor who suffered an open ankle fracture after falling from a horse. Rescuers carried the patient to the trailhead, where an ALERT helicopter met them to take the injured rider to the hospital.
During these two incidents, the park also responded to a report of an infant locked in a car, two missing parties, a bear struck by a car on Highway 2 outside the park, a DUI arrest in Many Glacier, and an abandoned dog at Logan Pass Visitor Center.
Hundreds of vehicles and multiple shuttle buses were delayed along the Going-to-the-Sun Road during the motor vehicle accident response near Packer’s Roost. Park dispatch received numerous calls from family members concerned about delayed visitors on the road.
Because of the number of cars on the road during periods of high visitation, even minor accidents along the Going-to-the-Sun Road can delay traffic for hours while law enforcement response or rescue efforts are underway. Last year in early July, the Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed for several hours due to a vehicle collision at Triple Arches.
“Unexpected incidents in the park can have significant consequences for visitors,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow. “Always carry extra food and water, even if you are not planning on hiking into the backcountry. You should always plan for the unplanned, including delays along the road or elsewhere.”
Glacier National Park law enforcement and emergency services incidents year to date are up 40 percent over 2018. Total calls for service are up 500 more calls year to date over 2018 figures.
Due to the increased number of calls, Mow remarked, “Visitors can help by planning their trips, communicating with their family members about their whereabouts, and being prepared to change their itineraries depending on current park conditions.”