Glacier Park Photographer

Glacier Park Photographer
Chief Mountain, Fall Colors - © tonybynum.com

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Spring Plowing Has Begun

“With plowing underway, this is a good opportunity to remind the public that the Sun Road is under rehabilitation. Visitors should only expect to drive as far as Avalanche and Jackson Glacier Overlook this spring. Weather permitting, this year, the entire Sun Road will open to vehicular traffic on Friday, June 13, which follows the guidelines of the Sun Road’s Final Environmental Impact Statement,” Acting Superintendent Stephanie Dubois noted.

Dubois continued, “There will still be great recreational opportunities in Glacier this spring. Visitors can hike or bike beyond vehicle closures, with the exact distance dependant upon plowing crews and construction contractors.”

On the Sun Road’s west side, the segment from Lake McDonald Lodge to Avalanche is traditionally free of ice and open to vehicles by late April. On the east side, there will likely be two separate segment openings-first, the segment from the St. Mary campground to Rising Sun, and subsequently from Rising Sun to Jackson Glacier overlook. Other park roads, or segments of them, including the Chief Mountain Road, will open to vehicle traffic when conditions allow for safe travel. However, as Many
Glacier provides critical winter range for wildlife, the Many Glacier Road does not open to vehicles until the third weekend of April each year to reduce stress on wildlife. Therefore, weather permitting; the Many Glacier Road will open on April 19. Park campgrounds are also plowed as necessary to meet their scheduled opening dates.

“Despite the road rehabilitation, our park road crews still must work in the same arduous conditions as in past years to ensure that, weather permitting, we are prepared for June 13. Safety remains our top priority and we will again utilize avalanche forecasting technicians to help monitor conditions through avalanche zones,” Dubois commented.

Current road conditions are available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If your phone does not support 511, call 1-800-226-7623. Both numbers are toll-free. Select “Glacier Park Tourist Information” from the main menu to hear Glacier’s road report.

Information on current road conditions is also available on the park’s road status Web site http://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm. This page is updated as conditions change. Travelers may also call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 for current road and weather conditions.





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