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Glacier National Park Slowly Opening For the Summer Season


It takes a considerable effort to open Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road for the summer season. This picture was taken on April 24. NPS photo.

As summer slowly approaches, more and more of Glacier National Park's landscape is becoming snow-free and accessible. Still, not all of the park's campgrounds will be open for the coming Memorial Day weekend.

This past weekend saw park rangers move the vehicle gate closure on the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the Lake McDonald Lodge to Avalanche. Heading into this week, visitors could travel by vehicle approximately 16 miles from West Glacier to Avalanche and 6 miles from St. Mary to Rising Sun. In addition, the Chief Mountain Road, the Many Glacier Road, the Two Medicine Road to Running Eagle Falls, the Quarter Circle Bridge Road to the Apgar Lookout trailhead, and the Inside North Fork from the Polebridge Ranger station south to Logging Creek and north to Big Prairie are also open to vehicle traffic.

That said, quite a bit of snow remains in Glacier’s high country and warm temperatures are expected to increase avalanche hazards. Visitors should recognize and remain vigilant to this potential hazard when traveling through avalanche zones. Visitors should also use extreme caution around rivers and streams, which will be rising and flowing rapidly due to melting snow.

The Apgar Visitor Center is now open daily from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Apgar and Sprague Creek campgrounds are currently open for full-service camping for $20/night. St. Mary campground is open for primitive camping.

Deep snow, up to 15 feet in some areas, still blankets the Two Medicine Campground. Officials therefore announce that the Two Medicine Campground will not open for camping on May 23, as previously anticipated. The opening of the Many Glacier Campground for Memorial Day weekend also remains questionable as up to three feet of snow covers the campground area.

Glacier's entrance rates are $25/single vehicle and $12/single entrant. An annual pass, good for unlimited entry to Glacier National Park for one year from the date of purchase, is $35. Even when the entrance stations are not staffed, entrance fees are still required. Follow the posted instructions to pay the entrance fee at the self-pay stations at each entrance.

You can check on Glacier's current road conditions at any time by visiting this site.

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