How Goes The Plowing Of the Sun Road In Glacier National Park? Here's An Update

Plowing is under way on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, but the road still remains largely snowbound and it's too early to plan a drive down the scenic highway.

Progress is being made on plowing of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, but don't expect to be able to drive end-to-end this weekend or even next weekend. But that doesn't mean you can't go out and enjoy the park.

The latest plowing report from the park says that the Sun Road currently is open to vehicles 10 miles to Lake McDonald Lodge on the west side of the park, and six miles to Rising Sun on the eastern side. Additionally, the road into Two Medicine Valley is open for vehicle traffic as far as Running Eagle Falls. Kintla Road is open to Big Prairie.
All other park roads remain closed to motorized vehicles due to snow and ice.

Plowing is complete on the west side of Sun Road from Lake McDonald Lodge to about one mile past the Avalanche Campground, but parts of the road are covered with ice, and won’t be opened to vehicle traffic until the ice melts out. Crews also cleared an avalanche slide at Red Rock Point. The Red Rock Slide left a debris field about 30 feet in depth and 100 feet in length. Hiker and biker access is currently allowed from Lake McDonald
Lodge to one mile south of the Red Rock slide.

Vehicle traffic is not allowed on the Many Glacier Road until the third weekend in April at the earliest; weather permitting. While this represents the earliest possible date for vehicle access, the actual opening date for vehicles is determined by parking availability and road conditions.

The Camas Road has been plowed, but five miles of the road surface is covered with ice. The road remains closed to motor vehicles until the ice melts out.

Through April, the Apgar Visitor Center is open weekends only from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During the week, visitors can stop at park headquarters in West Glacier for information and backcountry permits. Headquarters is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 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.

An interactive map showing current vehicle access points is available online at:


We are heading to GNP in July and I can hardly wait since it's not only my favorite Park but this year marks its Centennial. Having seen the pictures in past years of plowing the road all I can say is that is a job NOT for the feint of heart!

On a related note, a new report out yesterday shows that Glacier has lost two more glaciers, bringing the total remaining down to 25. I have a DailyKos story about it. (It's a partisan Democratic website, and people who argue that climate change isn't real don't do well there, so consider yourself warned.)

The Traveler will have a longer piece looking at Glacier, glaciers, and climate change on Sunday.