Too Much Snow Delaying Opening of Some Facilities At Glacier National Park

Heavy snow is delaying the opening of some facilities in Glacier National Park. These shots were taken in the Two Medicine Campground. NPS photos.

Some areas of Glacier National Park will be opening later than usual this spring due to the heavy snowfall the park has received, according to park officials.

The Many Glacier, Cutbank, and Two Medicine campgrounds, which had been scheduled to open for the Memorial Day Weekend, now won't open for the summer before June 10, they said. And the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, which had been scheduled to open June 3, now won't open before June 10, either, they added.

Visitors with reservations at Swiftcurrent Motor Inn will be accommodated at other Glacier Park, Inc. properties.

Although May has shown some signs of spring, weather stations at West Glacier, East Glacier, and Saint Mary all recorded near-record or record precipitation amounts for April.

How much snow is there in Glacier?

U.S. Geological Survey snow surveys measured 88 inches of snow on the ground at the 5,900-foot level near Siyeh Bend on the Going-to-the-Sun Road (Sun Road) at the end of March, park officials said. The survey was repeated a month later and 106 inches of snow was measured at the same location, they added.

Snow depth data has been collected since 1993, and the highest recorded depth was 166 inches at the 7,000 foot level in the park measured at the end of this past April.

Understandably, the snowpack is making it hard on park crews who are working to get facilities uncovered, water and wastewater services turned on, utilities repaired and roads dug out.

On the Going-to-the-Sun Road, plow crews are running into snow banks ranging from 6 feet to 20 feet deep, according to a park release.

Avalanche danger is still a concern throughout the park. Visitors are encouraged to have significant knowledge of traveling in avalanche terrain and take the same precautions as one would during the winter. Avalanche conditions change on a constant basis and visitors are reminded to stay alert to changing conditions.

For photos, video clips and plowing status, visit the park’s home page web site http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.

Information on current park road conditions is also available on the park’s road status web site: http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm

This page is updated as conditions change. Travelers may also call park headquarters at 406-888-7800 for current road and weather conditions.

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