Visiting Glacier National Park Soon? Here's Some Important Information about Road Work

Sun Road in May.

Why they don't work on the road before summer arrives? A typical view of the Sun Road at Big Bend in early May. NPS photo.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) in Glacier National Park is one of the premier scenic drives in the world, but even the best of roads eventually need some serious repairs. The Sun Road is in the midst of a long-overdue rehab, and park officials are working hard to minimize disruptions to visitors. Here's an important update on work beginning July 27.

These changes will only affect travel on a short portion of the Sun Road between 10 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., Monday-Thursday. The area in question runs from Logan Pass, where the road crosses the Continental Divide, westward for about 3 miles to Big Bend. This map on the park website shows those landmarks, along with the current status of all major roads in the park. Here's the official announcement from the park:

Visitors to Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) will experience work related delays at night starting Monday, July 27. Night work will begin for the recently awarded contract to rehabilitate the road between Big Bend and Logan Pass. Monday through Thursday, from 10 PM to 2 AM, and from 2:15 AM to 6 AM, the Sun Road from Big Bend to Logan Pass will be closed for construction, causing a four hour delay.

During daytime hours, from 6 AM to 10 PM, visitors will only experience short delays of no more than a half hour.

A major challenge for work in Glacier is the short construction season; winter in these mountains comes early and leaves late. This closure during the late-night and early morning hours on weekdays allows the project to move ahead with limited impact on visitors.

This construction project on 2.84 miles of the Sun Road between Big Bend and Logan Pass is a Recovery Act funded project. The project includes work on the stone masonry guard-walls and retaining walls, compaction grouting used to stabilize the subgrade, drainage improvements, slope stabilization, turnout improvements, roadbed improvements and paving. The project is projected to be completed by October 31, 2011.

At midnight, September 20, the Sun Road will be closed to vehicle traffic between Avalanche and the west side of the Logan Pass area. During this period, work will also accelerate on the Big Bend to Logan Pass contract.

General information about the Going-to-the-Sun Road is available on the park website. In addition to current road status information on-line, visitors can phone 406-888-7800 for general park information, including the specific location of hiker/bicycle closures.

Road conditions for Glacier National Park are also available by calling 511, the Montana Department of Transportation Traveler Information System. If a phone does not support 511, call 800-226-7623. Both numbers are toll-free. Select “Glacier Park Tourist Information” (option # 5) from the menu to hear Glacier’s road report.