Sun Road opens Monday to Rising Sun

by Whitefish Pilot
| July 10, 2020 9:30 AM

The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park will open to motorized vehicles from the west entrance to Logan Pass and as far as Rising Sun on Monday, July 13, pending any last-minute changes due to weather, the park said late Thursday in a press release.

The east entrance at St. Mary remains closed, due to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council’s resolution restricting non-essential travel on the reservation because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Visitors will need to enter and exit Going-to-the-Sun Road via the west entrance. Traffic will be allowed as far as Rising Sun on the east side.

This week, the park resumed collecting fees at the gate, and park officials encourage visitors to allow for extra time in case of long lines.

Park road crews have finished snow removal, assessed current snow conditions, removed rocks and other road debris, installed guard rails, prepared Logan Pass facilities and started the water system for visitor use.

There will be sporadic work zones on Going-to-the-Sun Road with traffic control and flaggers, the press release noted, including on-going spillway work along Lake McDonald, guard wall repair near Triple Arches, and seepage repair at Siyeh Bend.

Services at Logan Pass will include restroom facilities and potable water. Visitor information services will be provided outside of the Logan Pass Visitor Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily.

The Glacier National Park Conservancy bookstore will operate inside the Logan Pass Visitor Center, with access at the upper level. The bookstore will be accepting credit cards only and will limit the number of people inside at any one time to enable appropriate social distancing.

Services at Rising Sun Motor Inn will include the camp store and public restrooms from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Two Dog Flats restaurant will provide “on-the-go” food service from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. A water bottle filling station is available. The overnight lodging and public showers are closed for the season.

The Rising Sun Campground is currently closed. Visitors should also leave West Glacier with a full tank of gas, as there are no gas services at Rising Sun.

There will be no bus tours on the Going-to-the-Sun Road or in other areas of the park this year due to COVID-19. This includes interpretive tours by Sun Tours and Glacier National Park Lodges (red buses). The park’s fare-free summer shuttle system is also not available this year.

Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet, and wider than 8 feet, are prohibited on 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.

Bicycle safety restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road are in effect, and remain in effect through Labor Day. Bicycles are prohibited between the Apgar turnoff near the Apgar Picnic Area and Sprague Creek Campground from 11 a.m. to 4 pm. Bicycles are prohibited eastbound (uphill) between Logan Creek and Logan Pass from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information on bicycle restrictions and average bicycle times may be found in the park newspaper available at park entrance stations, or online on the park’s bicycle information webpage.

This is the last weekend hiker/bikers will have car-free access on the portion of the road past Avalanche Creek.

While driving along the road, particularly through the Rim Rock area (approximately 1 mile west of Logan Pass) visitors should be aware of possible rockfall and should not stop in this section. Rocks and other debris continue to fall throughout the summer, requiring daily clean up, park officials said.

The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is still closed due to hazardous snow conditions.