Glacier Park Prepares for Busy Summer

By Flathead Beacon Staff

Plow crews are ascending Going-to-the-Sun Road, clearing several feet of snow and preparing Glacier National Park for the upcoming summer season.

As of June 2, crews had cleared more than 16.5 miles of the Sun Road on the west side. Visitors can drive from the west entrance to Avalanche, and 1 mile from the St. Mary Entrance to the foot of St. Mary Lake. Hiker and biker access on the west side is open to The Loop. There is no hiker-biker access on the east side of the Sun Road at this time due to road rehabilitation work.

Park officials hope the entire western stretch of the Sun Road will be open to Logan Pass by the end of this month.

The campgrounds that are open are Apgar, Fish Creek, Sprague Creek, Bowman Lake, Kintla Lake, Many Glacier and St. Mary.

Plowing along Going-to-the-Sun Road. Courtesy Glacier National Park

Plowing along Gong-to-the-Sun Road. – Courtesy of Glacier NationalPark

Snow conditions still exist in many areas of the park and recreationists are encouraged to prepare accordingly for adverse conditions.

Some sites can be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation System or by calling 1-877-444-6777.

As summer draws near, the park’s concessions, including lodging and shopping options, are opening for the season.

Granite Park Chalet is scheduled to open June 30, while the Sperry Chalet opens July 10. The park’s two historic backcountry chalets are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. A public reception with refreshments and cake will be held at the Glacier Outdoor Center in West Glacier on Aug. 20 at 2 p.m.

Another historic landmark celebrating its centennial, Lake McDonald Lodge is already open and offering dining and lodging opportunities. The lodge is also a popular launching point for the Red Bus tours.

Many Glacier Hotel opens June 11. Swiftcurrent Campstore opens June 7 and the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn opens June 17. Rising Sun Motor Inn and Camp Store opens June 20. Jammer Joe’s Restaurant opens June 28. For information on services being operated by Xanterra Park & Resorts, visit www.glacierparkboats.com.

The Glacier Park Boat Company is offering trips and rentals at various locations. Rentals are available at Apgar and tours have begun on Lake McDonald. Other sites that will open in the coming weeks include Many Glacier, Rising Sun and Two Medicine. Visit www.glacierparkboats.com.

Glacier Guides, Inc. is offering day hikes and backpacking tours at various locations. Visit www.glacierguides.com.

Swan Mountain Outfitters is offering horseback rides from Apgar and Lake McDonald and will open at Many Glacier on June 14. Visit www.swanmountainoutfitters.com/glacier.

Waterton Lake boat tours are being offered from the Goat Haunt landing. Visit www.watertoncruise.com.

There are also several privately-owned facilities in Apgar Village that offer lodging, dining, camping supplies, groceries, and gifts from May through much of September, some year round.

Sun Tours offers road-based tours highlighting the Blackfeet culture and history. The tours launch from East Glacier, Browning, St. Mary and West Glacier starting June 1.  For more information visit www.glaciersuntours.com.

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