Plowing efforts continue along Going-to-the-Sun Road

GNP Plowing
GNP Plowing
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Posted at 2:24 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 18:16:02-04

UPDATE: 4:01 p.m. - June 2, 2021

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK - Tourists and Montanans are eager to know when Going to the Sun Road will be fully open in Glacier National Park.

MTN News got to have an up-close look Wednesday at the progress of the plows on one of the most beautiful roads in the world.

Park officials say that it is more than just snow plowing that is halting the opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road -- even with the higher temperatures.

“The plowing honestly is the easier part," said Glacier National Park Road Supervisor Brian Paul.

GNP Plowing

Paul says that the park has experienced over 60 avalanches this year, and what is left behind leaves the opening date of the road a question.

“All the rockfall, all that rock has to be cleaned up and we need to sweep the whole road and we still have 400 guard logs to put in by hand," Paul explained.

The process of plowing the snow off of the road can be slow despite the equipment being able to move 4,000 tons of snow in an hour.

"Almost two weeks to get it down to bare pavement," said GNP road crew member Christian Tranel who has been on the road crew for 11 years.

GNP Plowing

He noted the job can be dangerous as the workers are literally going against Mother Nature. "I guess a lot of guys like me like excitement and challenges."

As for those tourists eager to find out when the road can open Paul said, "we can only open the road as fast as Mother Nature lets us really.

To stay up-to-date on the opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road, you can check Glacier National Park's website here.

Park officials say they will release more tickets for the scenic road on July 1, in hopes of having the road cleared.

View a photo gallery regarding the latest happenings along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

(first report: 2:24 p.m. - June 2, 2021)

Glacier National Park officials report there is still more work to be done on the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road before it fully reopens for the season.

Crews have put up over 400 guardrails so far while also assessing avalanches and rockfalls that may have caused damage to the alpine section of the road.

There is no word yet on when Going-to-the-Sun Road will be completely open.

Click here to view the latest road closure information.

View a photo gallery regarding the latest happenings along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.