Thursday, May 23, 2024

Spring in full swing at Glacier National Park

Whitefish Pilot | May 12, 2024 3:30 PM

Sunny, warm skies during the day and stunning northern lights at night made this weekend a great start to spring at Glacier National Park. 

The road was open to vehicles to Avalanche Creek Trailhead, where it was a buzz of happy hikers and bikers. 

The Park announced a full state of spring operation updates on May 10. 

The west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road is undergoing the last phase of construction work that began in May 2023. 

The last 2.8 miles of construction will focus on paving Going-to-the-Sun Road, starting west of Sprague Creek Campground up to North Lake McDonald Road. Construction resumed in April 2024, and is expected to be completed in late May to early June 2024, weather permitting. 

Plan for up to a 30-minute wait until construction is completed. 

Snow removal on Going-to-the-Sun began the first week of April and will continue until open to Logan Pass. Bad weather last week set the snowplowing efforts back a bit last week, between fresh snow and working through avalanches. 

On the east side, crews were working near Siyeh Bend, but stopped due to bad weather. Many secondary roads in Glacier are open, including the Camas Road, Chief Mountain Road and the Many Glacier Road.

The Two Medicine Road remains closed.

The hiker biker road closure on the west side of the Sun Road is currently at the Loop, but could be extended this weekend, depending on avalanche danger.

North Lake McDonald Road is closed to public access including vehicles, hiking, or biking at the intersection with Going-to-the-Sun Road due to the Upper McDonald Creek Bridge replacement project. Parking at the intersection is also closed. Hikers will be unable to complete the Johns Lake Loop Trail and will need to turn around where trail closed signs are posted.   

The park’s free spring hiker/biker shuttle will provide weekend service from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting May 11 (Saturday) and ending on June 30, or when Going-to-the-Sun Road opens all the way, whichever comes first. 

The shuttle will run between Apgar Visitor Center, Lake McDonald Lodge, and Avalanche Creek. The shuttle operates on a first come-first served basis. Daily shuttle operations begin July 1.

The Apgar Visitor Center is currently staffed on weekends and the St. Mary Visitor Center will be open daily starting May 24.  

Private boating will begin on May 12 for Lake McDonald with the opening of the Apgar AIS (Aquatic Invasive Species) inspection station. Private boating for Bowman and Kintla lakes will begin on May May 24 and AIS inspections will take place at the Polebridge Ranger Station. Many Glacier AIS inspections begin May 26 at the Many Glacier Ranger Station and May 25 at St.Mary.

You can check the Park’s website for more updates on campgrounds, visitor center hours, boating and concessions as they open throughout the month.