There's expected to be better access in Glacier National Park this weekend thanks to the hard-working plow crews, and, as a result, campgrounds are slowly beginning to open.
According to park officials, the Camas Road opened for vehicle access this past Thursday evening, May 7. Several east side park roads have also reopened after being re-plowed after several feet of snow fell two weeks ago. Roads in the park’s North Fork area are also projected to open on Sunday, May 10.
The following park roads are currently open for vehicle access:
West side park roads
• Going-to-the-Sun Road (West Glacier to Avalanche)
• Camas Road
• Kelly Camp Road
• Quarter Circle Bridge Road
• Inside North Fork Road (Polebridge to Big Prairie)
• Goat Lick parking area
East side park roads
• Chief Mountain Road (Customs not open until May 15)
• Many Glacier Valley
• Going-to-the-Sun Road (St. Mary to Rising Sun)
• Two Medicine (park entrance to Running Eagle Falls)
All other park roads remain closed to vehicles due to snow. Hikers and bicyclists are welcome on closed park roads as conditions permit. recreational users are reminded that pets are NOT allowed on park roads when roads are used as trails.
Visitors often enjoy hiking and/or bicycling on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) beyond vehicle gates. There are no hiker/bicycle closures on the Sun Road when crews are not working; however, snow and ice may be encountered on the roadway beyond the Avalanche area. Hikers and bicyclists also need to watch for heavy equipment operating on the Sun Road.
In the park’s remote North Fork area, the Inside North Fork Road remains closed to vehicles between Logging Creek and Fish Creek due to downfall and road repair issues. Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake are both free of ice; however, all three lakes in the Quartz Lake drainage and Logging Lake remain frozen at this time. Trails along lakes are relatively snow-free, but are littered with downfall -in some cases there are approximately 30 trees per mile. Stock parties are not recommended until trails are cleared of downed trees.
Apgar Campground is now open for full-service camping for $20/night. St. Mary campground is open for primitive camping. Bowman and Kintla Lake campgrounds will open for primitive camping on Sunday, May 10. The charge for primitive camping is $10/night.
Glacier National Park entrance rates are $25/single vehicle and $12/single entry. An annual pass, good for unlimited entry to Glacier for one year from the date of purchase, is $35. Even when the entrance stations are not staffed, entrance fees are still required. Follow the posted instructions to pay the entrance fee at the self-pay stations at each entrance.
Significant snow remains in Glacier’s high country. Warming temperatures increase avalanche hazards. Visitors should keep alert for spring avalanche activity in the upper elevation portions of the Sun Road where travel is not advised when conditions are unstable. Visitors should also recognize and remain vigilant to this potential hazard when traveling anywhere in the park’s backcountry through avalanche zones. Visitors should also use extreme caution around rivers and streams, which will be rising and flowing rapidly due to melting snow.
The Apgar Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can also phone 406-888-7800 for general park information, including the specific location of hiker/bicycle closures.
Current road conditions for Glacier National Park are available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If a 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.