Montana Public Radio

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Fall construction season has begun in Glacier National Park.
Jacob W. Frank/NPS (PD)

Fall construction season has begun in Glacier National Park. Since Monday, traffic along Going-to-the-Sun Road near the Rim Rocks area has been confined to a single lane as crews began repairing a rock wall blasted by avalanches in previous seasons. Visitors can expect delays of 15 minutes or less, says park spokesperson Tim Rains.

Bowman Lake in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park has never been more popular. Visitation numbers peaked in July, when more than 800,000 people came.

A mix of phenomenally good weather, a strong marketing campaign for the centennial year of the National Park Service and Glacier’s eye-catching presence on social media fueled the record-breaking numbers of tourists.

Going-To-The-Sun Road In Glacier National Park Is Open

Jun 17, 2016
Plow crews work their way up Going-to-the-Sun Road in April 2015
Flickr user: GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

All 50 miles of Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road are open to vehicle traffic between the park's west entrance near West Glacier and St. Mary.

Road crews have finished snow removal, debris cleanup and guardrail installation, but park officials remind visitors to be prepared for wintry conditions at Logan Pass. The area is still snow-covered with ice in spots and cold winds.

Restrooms and drinking water are available at Logan Pass on Friday. The Logan Pass Visitor Center is scheduled to open on Saturday, and will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sept. 5.

Currently 29.0 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel. Visitors can drive 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche, and 13.5 miles from the St. Mary Entrance to Jackson Glacier Overlook.
Glacier National Park

Mother Nature has dogged Glacier National Park road crews this spring, but they’re finally gaining the upper hand. Heavy rain recently blew out a beaver dam which spilled mud and trees on Going-to-the-Sun road. Just as crews cleaned that mess up, wet weather unleashed another 19 rock slides this week.

Glacier National Park entrance sign.
Flickr user photommo (CC-BY-ND)

The following is a press release from Glacier National Park:

WEST GLACIER, MT – Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to vehicles as far as the Avalanche picnic area on the west side, and Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side of the park.  Memorial Day weekend hikers and bikers may travel as far as conditions allow. Visitors are encouraged to exercise caution when hiking / biking Going-to-the-Sun Road and be prepared for wintery conditions, including avalanche danger  heading past Bird Woman Falls Overlook on the east side and Siyeh Bend on the west side of the park.

More showers and thunderstorms are expected this afternoon and evening in NW Montana. The potential for further runoff exists in and around Glacier National Park.
National Weather Service Missoula

  Flood waters are receding in some parts of northwest Montana. Snowmelt, however, continues to create problems in other areas.

Steady rain will continue for much of northwest Montana today. Many locations have already seen significant rainfall in the past 36 hours, with common amounts in the 2-3 inch range.
National Weather Service Missoula

Persistent rainfall is creating flooding headaches in northwest Montana. A washed-out culvert just north of Apgar closed a portion of Going-To-The-Sun Road early Monday. That was just one of several heavy rain-related problems reported in northwest Montana.

Two More Glacier Park Roads Open To Cars

Apr 22, 2016
On their way to work on the Going-to-the-Sun Road on April 21, 2016, plowing crews discovered an avalanche more than 30 feet deep blocking the road at Haystack Creek.  For the next several days, travel beyond the Loop is not advised.
National Park Service

Two more roads are now open to cars in Glacier National Park. Many Glacier and Chief Mountain Roads on the east side of the Park opened today.

Plow crews work their way up Going-to-the-Sun Road in April 2015
Flickr user: GlacierNPS (CC-BY-2.0)

Plowing has started on Going to the Sun Road and other roads at Glacier National Park. Going to the Sun remains closed to cars past Lake McDonald Lodge, but hikers and bikers are now able to access 17 miles of the famous highway beyond that.

Two Medicine Lake and Sinopah Mountain.
David Restivo, NPS (PD)

Glacier National Park is moving into its autumn schedule and preparing for winter as Park visitation is slowly declining into the fall.

Sunday was the last day cars could access Logan Pass from the east side of the park.