Going to the Sun Road file photo (Dennis Bragg photo)
The Going-to-the-Sun Road is now open in its entirety to motorized vehicle travel. Glacier National Park officials reported the road opened Saturday morning. Visitors will be able to drive the entire 50-mile length of the road, and access Logan Pass. Park work crews have finished snow removal, assessed current snow conditions, removed rocks and other road debris, installed guard rails, and prepared Logan Pass facilities for visitor use.
Services at Logan Pass include restroom facilities and potable water. The Logan Pass Visitor Center is open daily from 9 am to 7 pm through September 3. The visitor center offers information about the park, ranger-led programs, and a Glacier National Park Conservancy bookstore.
Interpretive bus tours on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and in other areas of the park are available through Sun Tours and Glacier National Park Lodges. More information on these services can be found on the park’s website.
Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet, and wider than 9 feet, are prohibited on the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Avalanche Campground and Rising Sun. Vehicles over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass due to rock overhangs.
The spring hiker-biker shuttle service has ended operations for the season. Bicyclists are reminded that bicycle safety restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road are in effect, and remain in effect through Labor Day, September 3. Bicycles are prohibited between the Apgar turnoff near the Apgar Picnic Area and Sprague Creek Campground from 11 am to 4 pm. Bicycles are prohibited eastbound (uphill) between Logan Creek and Logan Pass from 11 am to 4 pm. Information on bicycle restrictions and average bicycle times may be found in the park newspaper available at park entrance stations, or online on the park’s bicycle information webpage.
The park’s fare-free summer shuttle system will begin operating on July 1, and will run from approximately 7 am – 7 pm, seven days a week, through Monday, September 3. From September 4-23 the shuttle will run on a reduced schedule from 9 am – 5 pm seven days a week. The shuttle system provides two-way service along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between the Apgar and St. Mary Visitor Centers, including a hiker express shuttle departing from both visitor centers at 7 am during peak season.
There will also be a commuter shuttle running from Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls and Hungry Horse to the park.
At Logan Pass, visitors will discover lingering winter snow, and should be prepared for cold temperatures, wind, and icy conditions. Standing or walking on snow along the road and nearby trails is strongly discouraged. Be aware of snow walls along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and hazardous snow bridges that could collapse next to the road, particularly near Big Bend, the Big Drift, Lunch Creek, and Siyeh Bend.
While driving along the road, particularly through the Rim Rock area (approximately one mile west of Logan Pass), visitors should be aware of possible rockfall. Rocks and other debris continue to fall throughout the summer, requiring daily clean up along the road.
The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is still closed due to hazardous snow conditions. For up-to-date information on trail conditions and clearing activities, visit the park’s trail status webpage
Rehabilitation work on Going-to-the-Sun Road scenic pullouts will continue this year on the west side of the park from the West Entrance Station to Avalanche Creek. Roadbed and paving work at the West Entrance and Apgar Curve areas is complete. Going-to-the-Sun Road access on the park’s west side is no longer being detoured through Apgar Village. Crews will also complete stone masonry repairs near Logan Pass. Visitors should expect up to 30 minute cumulative delays on the west side of the park throughout the summer and fall.
In the fall, crews will repair a road slump approximately 1.5 miles west of Avalanche Creek. Once Avalanche Campground has closed for the season, Avalanche Campground Road will close for approximately two weeks beginning September 17 for rehabilitation.
In other areas of the park, some road work will also be ongoing, including repairs to the Bowman Lake Road in the North Fork area. Short-term Bowman Lake Road closures will be associated with that work, beginning in mid-July.
Current information about park roads, weather conditions, and visitor services can be found by visiting Glacier National Park’s website or by calling park headquarters at 406-888-7800. Updates on parking and road congestion can be found on the park’s Twitter page.