Road condition update for this weekend also available for hikers and bikers

NPS Photo
NPS Photo

West Glacier, MT –Last month the park began a pavement preservation project on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Chief Mountain Road, a portion of Camas Road, a portion of the Many Glacier Road near Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, and in parking lots and other smaller roads throughout the park.

In May, crews patched campgrounds, roads and parking areas on the parks, west side, and Chief Mountain Highway and St. Mary roads on the east side. Crack sealing was done all over the park in preparation for microsurfacing and chip sealing. Crews began microsurfacing in Apgar Village and the Apgar Visitor Center.

In June, crews will begin laying slurry seal on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and in campgrounds and parking areas at Apgar, Avalanche, and Lake McDonald Lodge. Traffic delays are expected on open portions of the road, no more than thirty minutes in length.

Key Points:

  • Apgar Loop Road in Apgar Village will likely be treated on June 3 and June 4. It will involve a temporary closure of approximately one hour.
  • Half of Lake McDonald Lodge parking lot will be closed on two separate days for treatment expected June 3 and 4.
  • Travelers on Chief Mountain Highway in June should expect delays and pilot cars.
  • Hiker Biker access during weekdays is anticipated to move back to the Avalanche Creek gate beginning June 10 while the Going-to-the-Sun Road is treated. Hikers and bikers will see that closure move on the Current Road Status webpage. Check the webpage before heading up to the park, as the exact timing and duration of that work may change. The park anticipates that the closure will remain at Avalanche Creek through June 21.
  • Pullouts and trailhead parking areas on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Camas Road, and Many Glacier Road will be treated along with the roadway. Expect full closures lasting approximately one day of these pullout areas while work is completed.

Work crews will treat the alpine section of the Going-to-to-the-Sun Road before it opens to vehicle traffic. This year, the Going-to-the-Sun Road will not open to Logan Pass before June 22 due to pavement preservation. However, that date should not be used to plan a vehicle trip. The road typically opens sometime between mid-June and mid-July depending on plowing progress and June storms.

While pavement preservation and plowing crews are not working, hikers and bikers can go beyond gates on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Visitors should read hiker and biker safety information before embarking on a trip.

This Weekend:

Last weekend saw significant avalanche activity above The Loop, near Triple Arches. Hikers and bikers can reduce their exposure to avalanche risk by turning around at The Loop. Visitors who choose to travel into significant avalanche terrain should be aware of avalanche paths, particularly from Big Bend to Logan Pass where lingering upper-elevation snow remains. Never walk your bike over avalanche debris to get further up the road. If you must cross, cross one at a time to limit exposure. These avalanche safety precautions are similar to those taken when backcountry skiing or snowmobiling. Warm temperatures this weekend will likely make avalanche conditions more hazardous in the afternoon, though avalanches at any time are possible.

This weekend, bicyclists will encounter pavement preservation crews and large trucks beyond the Avalanche Creek gate. Crews are attempting to keep with the pavement preservation schedule after delays in equipment and material this week. They will be working in pullout areas, and will flag pedestrians around moving equipment.

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