Glacier National Park

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Cover shot of my Wildflower Guide for Glacier National Park.
A slow hikers guide to Glacier National Park Wildflowers is available from iBooks. Note: You need to have iBooks app installed on your computer for this link to go to the correct page. (iPad or Mavericks) Your iPad will need iBooks 3 or later, your MAC will need OS X.9 or later and iBooks 1.0 or later.
Current Version 1.3 Available as of September 3, 2014
Available on iBooks wildflower book cover

A slow hiker's guide™ Glacier National Park Wildflowers




Current updates are on my
Google + account GlacierHikers

until late spring 2015.



2015

January 2015

In the process of working out a method for providing current condition information without letting this web-page get too big.

Spring plowing of the Going To The Sun Road starts April 1st every year, or whatever day at the start of April is a work day. When plowing starts I will remove from this page information about plowing during 2014 and move it to it's own historical page.

Added another YouTube sideshow Logan Pass to Many Glacier by way of the Highline & Swiftcurrent Pass Trails.
This is the MOST scenic hike that I have ever done in Glacier National Park. Luckily for me the heavy rains held off until I got to Many Glacier and was seated in the Swiftcurrent Restaurant. August 29, 2014. The skies were clear for the majority of the hike.

Youtube sideshow of the hike from Gunsight Lake to Gunsight Pass on September 18, 2014.

YouTube sideshow of the Dawson Pass Trail on a blue sky day this past August 1, 2014. Plus it was a great wildflower hike with all the snow gone from the trail with just a few patches of snow along side the trail just before the pass.

Revenue from Google Ads will be paying for my backcountry camping gear. I plan to start backcountry camping starting late next spring, something I haven't done for the past 40 some years. The change in equipment is tremendous. I prefer to buy good long lasting gear. My goose down front country sleeping bag and down parka were purchased September of 1971.

2014 has been my best hiking summer ever! This is mainly due to getting caught in a thunderstorm without a backpack rain cover. The next day I went to Sportsman in Kalispell and bought an Osprey Stratos 24 daypack. This Osprey daypack has been a LIFE changing purchase for me.
I have hiked over 200 miles this summer, will add it up later today and update this information.

August 23, 2014

Winter Weather Advisory for Logan Pass and other higher elevations in Glacier National Park. Possibility of up to two inches of snow at 6,500 feet more at higher elevations such as Dawson / Pitamakan Pass Trail were the high point is 8,080 feet on the traverse.


August 22, 2014

Flood Watch issued for NW Montana with up to two inches of rain forecast. You DO NOT want to be hiking when this is the forecast!

August 19, 2014

Hiked Pitamakan / Dawson Pass Loop. Weather forecast predicted clear weather with a storm due in on the 20th. Well the storm didn't listen to the weather forecast and it started to roll in before I was back to the campground. Luckily for me it didn't start to rain / light up the sky until I was starting the last section of the loop trail ~ North Shore Trail. The rest of the storm rolled in during the early morning hours of the 20th with high winds and rain. Will post more on this my longest hike in the past 55 years sometime on Thursday. (I'm more then a decade older then 55)

July 9, 2014

Finally got to Logan Pass yesterday as well as Baring , St Mary and Virginia Falls. There are already bare meadows with Glacier Lilies blooming at the pass. Road construction on east side with the road base being gravel from just below Siyeh Ben to Rising Sun ! ! ! Expect DELAYS. As mentioned in an earlier post the St Mary parking lot was moved to were the Shuttle Stop was located last year and the Shuttle Stop ~ greatly expanded is not at the former St Mary parking area. Park Rangers were ticketing cars parked alongside of road! I missed the early express shuttle by 30 seconds which ended up being lucky for me! This year the first SEVEN shuttles are express shuttles in one form or another. NEW this year the first two are express to Logan Pass ( I believe that they will let you off at The Loop if you ask but check with the driver first) the MAJOR change is the Shuttle stops at Logan Pass and then goes on to St Mary! ! The third shuttle is listed as Express to Logan Pass. Fourth~ sixth shuttle first stop is Avalanche. If you are hiking to St Mary Falls the signage on the return has NOT been updated! Left arrow is now pointing to the Shuttle Stop Right arrow is still pointing to Sun Point (which is CLOSED) should also point to St Mary Falls parking. Photo of trail sign is on my Google Plus page.
GlacierHikers


July 3, 2014

800 pound boulder drops onto GTSR

July 2, 2014

From GNP Facebook Page "Vehicle access to Logan Pass via the Going-to-the-Sun Road will be available later this evening! And, we are just as excited as you! Please use caution in the higher elevations as you will encounter winter-like conditions. Drive safely and enjoy Glacier National Park. " A lot of people have trouble with winter in July and arrive at Logan Pass in flip flops and shorts. The link below is to the Hidden Lake Trail which at this time GNP is suggesting that you don't try the moraine crossing. which can be tricky with a lot of snow.
The Missoulian is reporting that West Glacier town site 'may' have been sold to GPI.

June 30, 2014

GTSR to open this weekend. "The entire Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is anticipated to be open to vehicle travel by this weekend, allowing access to Logan Pass. While most snow removal efforts are being completed and snow above the road is being monitored and removed, road crews continue to sweep debris from the Going-to-the-Sun Road, install removable guard rails and road signage, and prepare the Logan Pass Visitor Center and area for opening." NPS Press Release Photo below was from 2010 but this is what it will look like with more snow on the ground.

The news was that on the last day of June 2014 it is not raining or snowing in Glacier National Park. I'm trying to determine if the new parking area is finished for St Mary Falls, the plan was to convert the Shuttle Stop / stock ramp to a parking area. If anyone has been there THIS spring please let me know. While I have been to the east side four time this spring the road was closed at Rising Sun.

June 29, 2014

On Monday Glacier National Park Going-to-the-Sun-Road will set a record of being tied for second latest opening of the road with 1964. That year is referred to locally as the great flood. 2011 still holds the record which I'm 99% sure it will keep of being the latest opening date of July 13, 2011. Last reports have the plows from both sides working on the Big Drift which was the ONLY spot of the road that plowing wasn't finished before this last gasp of winter on the last day of spring. I've been here for a quarter century and this past winter was the toughest of them all by a large margin. I am aware that the 1970's had weather that made this past winter look like a spring picnic. GNP plow crews deserve a tremendous amount of respect for plowing the GTSR twice in one season.

June 28, 2014

Weather is wet this weekend in Glacier National Park except on the east sides St. Mary. Monday's forecast is for mostly sunny weather. Reports in that Loop A in St Mary Campground will be closed for two weeks due to damage from recent flooding. This past winter, for the first time, I was lucky enough to see the local elk herd settling down for the night in the meadow just beyond the Going-To-The-Sun-Road. July will be here soon with it's normally drier weather. Glacier Boat Tours might be a good choice today as all their boats have dry seats available. There are photos of the two boat docks on Swiftcurrent Lake on this page. Note: The Many Glacier ride involves two boats and two lakes so for that short hike between lakes you would need rain gear. Still no official word on opening date for the GTSR. The current ranger led schedule was recently posted.

June 19, 2014

Well I had already decided IF The-Going-To-The-Sun-Road were to open on Friday that I would wait three or four days before going up. The East will open to Rising Sun to start and then at some point, as I had guessed earlier to Gunsight. West Side closure stays at Avalanche. Which keeps cars out of the avalanche zones. As much as I'd like to bike up to the Pass this year I will pass on that. I did make it to the Weeping Wall about three weeks ago.

What follows is from todays Press Release from GNP.
"Date: June 19, 2014 Contact: Denise Germann, 406 888 5838 The recent rain and snow has impacted some park operations at Glacier National Park. Safety of park personnel and park visitors is priority. Through Friday, avalanche danger is considered high along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, specifically at the higher elevations above Haystack Creek on the west and Siyeh Bend on the east due to recent heavy snowfall and warming temperatures. Several snow slides, with some debris, were observed near Haystack and the Alps areas of the Going-to-the-Sun Road on the west side. These slides initiated at a high elevation and continued to the road and across the road. Due to the hazards of wide-spread slides, access for park personnel and park visitors is limited through Friday at The Loop along the west side of the road. Hiker-biker access will be to The Loop on Friday. Beginning Saturday, it is anticipated that hiker-biker access will be unlimited from Avalanche, although visitors are encouraged to use caution and travel will not be recommended past The Loop. The hazards of falling rock, snow and debris on the road and possible snow slides may be encountered. On Friday, the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road will be open to vehicle access to Rising Sun. It is anticipated that vehicle access will be available to Jackson Glacier Overlook by mid-day Sunday. There is no hiker-biker access on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The road surface will be rough, a gravel surface, from Rising Sun to Jackson Glacier Overlook. The St. Mary Campground remains closed due to flooding and water damage. Some areas of the campground may be available this weekend. Access to the Kintla Lake area is closed at the head of Big Prairie, seven miles north of the Polebridge entrance in the North Fork District of the park. There is some flooding and areas of concern at Goat Haunt, near the United States-Canadian Border. The dock facilities have sustained some damage. The tour boat operation has been temporarily suspended, and the area is being closely monitored for any additional flood damage. Park personnel continue to monitor other areas of the park as well, including the Many Glacier and St. Mary areas. The need for any evacuations has greatly lessened, but will be closely monitored as temperatures rise. Park personnel located at Sperry Chalet to conduct seasonal opening activities this week have reported more than 20 inches of new snow at the chalet. Sperry Chalet is located on the west side of the park, near the Continental Divide. Plowing work on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is anticipated to resume on Sunday. Crews will assess the situation along the higher areas of the road, and have several areas to plow through again. Most of the equipment was moved to lower elevations on Tuesday as snow began to fall and additional snow was predicted. Some guard rail was destroyed with the recent snow slides along the road, and additional damage is anticipated to be located as crews are able to access the higher locations. It is unknown when additional vehicle access will be available on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.""
Glacier National Park web site updated their Park Alert this morning.
"Flood warning and high river levels. Glacier NP has received almost record amounts of rain and upwards of two feet of snow in the high country. A flood warning is issued through Thursday for the east side of the park and high river levels will continue on the west side throughout the weekend"
Flood risk is increased by weather forecast of temperatures in the 70's this weekend followed by low 80's for Monday.
Rising Sun and Avalanche Campgrounds are scheduled to open on Friday.

June 18, 2014

"Another period of widespread, heavy rainfall is expected today through Thursday. Heavy snow will continue in higher elevations of Glacier National Park with additional snowfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches expected. Up to 2 inches of slushy snow accumulation is also possible at Marias Pass. Flooding and mudslides have been reported in areas around Browning and Glacier National Park and the potential for flooding exists in these areas as well as other areas along the Rocky Mountain Front and adjacent plains. Watch for rapid rises on rivers, streams and creeks as well as ponding on roadways. Additional mudslides or debris flows are also possible in higher terrain and cool and wet conditions could cause hypothermia to those spending time outdoors. National Weather Service Report"
St Mary & Kintla Campground are closed due to flooding.
Well my post on June 17th about Glacier National Park missing the bullet was so far off the mark that it isn't funny. Flattop Mountain Snotel reports 6 inches of new snow today. Many Glacier Snotel reports 4.2 inches of rain since June 14, 2014. Current precipitation total since October 1, 2013 is 38.8 inches. Last year during the Calgary Flood Many Glacier got 2.7 inches of rain. It's possible that rain occurred in shorter span of time. Many Glacier got more snow in the mountains along with heavy rain in the valleys. Flood watch for Glacier Park and the Flathead Valley. Temp is currently 40 Deg F at the valley level. Temp of 29 Deg F at Logan Pass during the night. At this time I doubt if Logan Pass will open this Friday. With all of this rain the new creek bed that opened up this spring near the head of Lake McDonald and the GTSR will be causing major problems.

June 17, 2014

OK looks like Glacier National Park dodged the bullet on this storm. Low temp at Logan Pass was 35 Deg F last night. The weather station that I can access for Logan Pass doesn't record rainfall but the Snotel for Flattop Mountain showed same low temp and only 1/2 inch of rain. Kind of weird for me because I'm pretty sure I got more rain then that. One of these days I want to get a mini weather station for my place as I am in a very wet zone. High temperature at Logan Pass over the last three days was 43 deg F. For those first time visitors to Glacier National Park it is important to understand that higher elevations are at near winter conditions.

Hiked to Snyder Lake yesterday afternoon. Sky was 100% overcast with hints of rain. Lower section of the trail was almost totally clear of horse manure. One lone traveler had been in earlier in the week on horse back to Snyder Lake. (some hikers have trouble telling horse manure from bear scat) Shortly after starting on the actual Snyder Lake Trail which is two miles from the trailhead at Lake McDonald Lodge, started to encounter wildflowers. Yellow violet, Canada Violet, Spring Beauty, Glacier Lily and bear grass in the bud stage to name a few of the wildflowers that are blooming NOW on this trail. The closer you get to the valley that the lake rests in the more wildflowers. This is currently the BEST wildflower hike in Glacier National Park. the actual Snyder Lake Trail is WET, not that muddy but lots of water crossing the trail. Fresh bear scat after entering the cirque. The BEST display of Spring Beauty that I have ever seen anywhere!
This was my first hike with altitude gain, 2,000 feet and distance 9.2 miles since getting new hiking boots and a new day pack. Will do a write up sometime next week on these great upgrades to my hiking gear! It has only taken four different makes of hiking boots and three different makes of day packs to finally get something that helps instead of hinders my hiking.

June 12, 2014

Cut Bank Campground to open this Friday.
Avalanche and Rising Sun to open June 20th which is the earliest that the Going To The Sun Road can open to through traffic this year.
Note: That is can NOT WILL. Most likely the west side will be open to Logan Pass but little chance that east side will open to Logan Pass. Hopefully east side will open to Siyeh Bend on the 20th but that is unclear at this time.

Missing hiker in Glacier National Park
found safe.

June 11, 2014

I'm posting the information from Glacier National Park's Trail Status Page for the hike that required a rescue. "Summit and Autumn Creek Trails Marias Pass Trailhead to Firebrand Pass Jct./ 6.2 mi. First 1.4 mile to Autumn Creek Junction 90% snow covered (7 trees down) 05/28/14 per 824 Bouf Initial clearing scheduled for: Firebrand Jct. to Midvale Cr.Trailhead(E.Glacier)/ 7.7 m Winter Message: Trail may be under winter conditions(snow, ice, route finding skills necessary) In May/June of 2014 estimated dates for trail clearing will be posted to this site. 11/15/13 per 650 Initial clearing scheduled for: A $10.00 Blackfeet Tribal Conservation Permit is required by each person (regardless of age) who crosses the reservation at the East Glacier end of this trail. Crossing the reservation is unavoidable to get to or from East Glacier."

from NPS "Date: June 11, 2014 Contact: Denise Germann, 406-888-5838 Contact: Jennifer Lutman, 406-888-7895 WEST GLACIER, MONT. – Missing hiker Luis Lim spent one unexpected night in the backcountry after failing to return from a day hike on the Autumn Creek Trail near Marias Pass in the southern section of Glacier National Park. Park rangers successfully located the man near the trail at approximately 10:30 a.m. (MST) this morning and found him safe with no serious injuries. On Tuesday, June 10 at approximately 11 a.m., Luis Lim, a 48-year old male from Chicago, and Stephen Vickery, a 66-year old male from Toronto, departed on the Autumn Creek Trail from East Glacier towards Marias Pass. According to park rangers, their intended destination was the Lubec Trailhead. The two men had just met that morning in East Glacier and decided to hike together. This was Lim's first time hiking, while Vickery describes himself as an experienced hiker. Glacier National Park Dispatch received a phone call from Lim at approximately 5:40 p.m. stating himself and Vickery were lost on the trail and concerned they would not make it out before dark. Glacier County Sheriff's Office pinged Lim's cell phone several times in order to pinpoint their location. Glacier County deputies responded to the area and located Vickery on U.S. Highway 2 at approximately 2 a.m. Vickery told park rangers that Lim was still in the backcountry and was physically unable to continue with him due to exhaustion. The hikers carried water and food for the day, but were not prepared to stay overnight. On Wednesday, June 11, approximately 6 a.m. five crews of Glacier National Park employees began a search for Lim on foot and horseback. The hiker was located approximately 3.75 miles from the Marias Pass Trailhead, off the Autumn Creek Trail around 10:30 a.m. Lim was not injured, but he was cold, tired, wet, and hungry when found. He arrived safely at the Marias Pass Trailhead with rescuers at approximately 2 p.m. today. Flathead County Search and Rescue and Two Bear Air were en route to the search when the hiker was located. Visitors are strongly encouraged to plan for and enjoy all that Glacier National Park has to offer. This includes learning about the area you plan to visit, especially when traveling in the backcountry, and having the items you may need if the situation changes. Hikers should carry up-to-date maps, compass, first aid kit, flashlight, rain gear, matches, fire starter, whistle, extra food, and extra clothing. Without planning and awareness of an individual's surroundings, accidents can happen. If a hiker becomes lost, stay on a designated trail and do not move from your location. Try to contact emergency services if possible and follow all directions from park rangers for your own safety. Park rangers recommend all visitors utilize the Glacier National Park Day Trip Plan, available at any backcountry permit office in the park or online. This valuable tool provides details of your intended route to search and rescue personnel, narrowing search locations and potentially saving lives. "
(Note: I modified the release to make the link active on this site.)

Photo above by GNP
From Glacier National Park's web site on plowing. "West Lakes Road Crew On Tuesday, June 10th, the West Lakes Road Crew worked their way through Oberlin Bend towards the parking lot. They also installed guard rails and performed road clean up. Hudson Bay Road Crew On Tuesday, June 10th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew pioneered the East Tunnel. The road is down to pavement halfway to the tunnel. The snow depths around the East Tunnel were around ten to fifteen feet deep. Projected Work Activity West Lakes Road Crew On Wednesday, June 11th, the West Lakes Road Crew will be plowing in the Oberlin Bend and will attempt to make it into the parking lot. They will also be doing road clean up and placing barrier logs. Hudson Bay Road Crew On Wednesday, June 11th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew will be plowing the East Tunnel towards Lunch Creek. " OK folks after Lunch Creek is Big Drift still no word on it's size this year but my GUESS is over 100 feet. Will need to go through the parks photos form 2011 but at this point not sure if GTSR will open to through traffic by the 20th. Pretty good chance that it will open baring unforeseen problems on the west side to Logan Pass by the 20th.

As mentioned several times drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in Glacier National Park. Link below is to a rescue in Yosemite National Park

A visitor from Japan was killed by a falling tree in Yellowstone National Park this week. The Roberts Fire killed untold numbers of trees many of which are still standing (barely) the Howe Lake Trail in particular is surrounded by standing dead trees. Don't hike this trail on a windy day.

Saving my energy for most likely my last bike ride (for 2014) on the GTSR sometime this weekend. It rained late yesterday on the west side of Glacier National Park today it is blue sky and warm. West plow crew I guess will be working the Logan Pass parking lot this week. Most likely this will be the last weekend to get to bike from Avalanche to Logan Pass without having to share the road with cars.

grinnell glacier from above glacier national park © Shawn Coggins www.glacierhikers.com

June 3, 2014

Glacier National Park's website posted this information regarding Trail Status Reports
"Detailed Trail Status and Maintenance Reports
The Trail Status Reports are currently off-line. Changes in our database structure require updates to all the individual trail status pages. We are working on the problem and hope to have the functioning as soon as possible.
"

Plow crew is down to pavement at the start of Rimrock on the west side of the Going To Sun Road. Might be getting to Logan Pass from the west side sooner then June 20th!
Missoulian has an article on Mountain Goat study in Glacier National Park. Keep in mind that June tends to be a wet month in Northwest Montana. I learned my lesson after hiking down from Apgar Lookout during a hail storm and now have a day pack with a rain cover that is attached to the day pack. I'm still drying out my flower macro lens. Will check the Flattop Snotel sometime today and post were current snow levels stand compared to historical information for that site.

June 1, 2014

Apgar Lookout Trail is now open & wet. Still snow to cross near the top with one of the smaller piles of snow having the steeper drop off. Hot and sunny on the way up, cold & wet on the way down. I got soaked in a hail storm this afternoon when coming down from the Lookout. Wildflowers starting to bloom alongside the trail. All the downed trees have been cleared from the trail. Rain jacket worked great, of course this was the first hike in six weeks that I DIDN'T bring my rain pants.
Trying to dry out my wildflower macro lens which got soaked in my backpack. On my way to get a waterproof cover for my backpack.
slow & wet hiker


May 15, 2014

Chief Mountain Road to Canada is open. (note sure when it opened)
Hopefully Calgary will not have a repeat of last years major flooding.


May 14, 2014

Lincoln Creek suspension Bridge scheduled to be installed today on the South Boundary Trail. This trail has lots of wildflowers in bloom as of last week. No snow on this trail. This can be a very bot trail. At this time of year it would be a good idea to bring water shoes as there are numerous creek crossings.


May 13, 2014

Made a quick day trip to Many Glacier. The Looking Glass Highway is open. (aka Hwy 49) Those traveling on the east side outside the park please keep in mind that from East Glacier onwards is Open Range which means cattle and horses on and along the road. Saw several horses in the road so far no cattle. Two Medicine and Many Glacier entry roads are clear of snow. Two Medicine still has large snow banks along the road while until you get to the end of the road in Many Glacier snow is mostly gone along the road. GNP is working on the semi permanent slumps in the entry road which appeared to have suffered more then usual winter damage this year. Once you get to Many Glacier Hotel there is some snow along the road. The Grinnell Glacier Trail is 100% snow covered with from 2 to six feet of snow in places on the way to Lake Josephine. Stopped at the near side dock for Lake Josephine. cleats were all I needed but from hikers tracks and conversations most just had hiking boots. If it gets much warmer then it will be post hole hiking. At the moment it is fairly easy to hike on the well compacted trail. There were fairly new bear signs. The Many Glacier Campground is almost totally snow covered. Big Horn ewes were near the entry road to the Many Glacier hotel for spring grass.


May 11, 2014

Good news ~ Sprague Creek Campground opened early this year! Dates of Operation Summer 5/9/2014 - 9/15/2014.

Heavy rains Friday resulted in a rock slide onto the GTSR at the intersection of the Apgar Loop Road. Added to this was a intermittent creek draining from Snyder Ridge which flooded the GTSR with mud. Sunday's weather was much drier and sunny in the afternoon. The parking at Avalanche was full. Bikers and hikers were enjoying one of the few sunny weekends in many weeks. Hiked to Avalanche Lake. Sometime this past winter or possibly late last fall a micro burst / avalanche knocked down a large number of trees in the area were the trail starts to follow Avalanche Creek. Trail crew has already cleared the trees from the trail. As usual for this time of year the trail was snow / ice covered for the last 1/4 mile.
All of the waterfalls were still frozen in the slopes above Avalanche Lake. A few mountain goats could be seen on the cliffs across from the lake outlet log jam. As the trail approached the lake snow was in parts waist deep but compacted. If your planning on hiking this anytime soon bring some ice cleats for the upper part of the trail.
Harlequin ducks are starting to arrive in Glacier National Park.


The South Boundary Trail appears to be clear of snow.

May 1, 2014

two medicine lake frozen may 1, 2014

Biked from Running Eagle Falls parking area to Two Medicine Lake. Snowshoed along the western shore of Two Medicine Lake to Paradise Point. Warm, sunny day. Glacier Park plow crew moved the rotary plow and snow plow out of the Two Medicine Lake area. The small excavator worked to clear the snow around the public toilet. It was a very memorable day.

According to an Interpretive Park Ranger the road to Two Medicine will open tomorrow to motor vehicles and the road to Many Glacier will open to motor vehicles this weekend. This was also the understanding at Glacier Park Trading Post in East Glacier regarding access to Two Medicine and Many Glacier.

Without a doubt this was one of the nicest days I ever had in Glacier Park. This is especially true for spring in Northwest Montana. 

The road into Two Medicine is totally free of snow and ice.  Two Medicine Lake was frozen from one end to the other. Was not able to get into the campground area or to Pray Lake. 



April 30, 2014

Two Medicine Valley looks to be headed towards having all the paved roads cleared by this weekend. As is mentioned in the GNP plow report the weather is amazing. Spring in NW Montana is usually cool, cloudy and wet. Forecast this week calls for sunny with a high in the 70's. Might need to revise my opening date estimate!

From GNP Plow Report
West Lakes Road Crew On Tuesday, April 29th, the West Lakes Road Crew plowed from The Grizzly slide path to Swede Point. They also pioneered through Granite slide towards Alder Point, 6 miles to the west of Logan Pass. The weather was sunny and the snow depths were 10 to 15 feet deep. Hudson Bay Road Crew On Tuesday, April 29th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew plowed around the boat company’s quarters in the Two Medicine Valley. They then finished plowing out the loop behind the campstore. They also began plowing the picnic loop road and were able to get about a quarter of it plowed. Snow depths are about 10 feet deep. The weather was sunny and amazing. Projected Work Activity West Lakes Road Crew On Wednesday, April 30th, the West Lake Road Crew will continue to cut down to asphalt between Grizzly and Swede Point. They will also continue plowing to Alder Point. Hudson Bay Road Crew On Wednesday, April 30th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew will be working in the Two Medicine Valley plowing the rest of the picnic loop and the campground loops.


April 29, 2014

I'm hoping for nice sunny weather later in the week so that I can make my annual spring bike ride to Two Medicine Lake.
From GNP Plow Report
Projected Work Activity West Lakes Road Crew On Tuesday, April 29th, the West Lake Road Crew will pioneer to Granite Creek culvert and continue to cut-down snow. Hudson Bay Road Crew On Tuesday, April 29th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew will be working in the Two Medicine Valley.


April 28, 2014

From GNP Plow Report
Hudson Bay Road Crew On Friday, April 25th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew plowed in the Two Medicine housing and water tank areas. They were also able to begin clearing the gravel loop near the Two Medicine Campstore. The drifts around the campstore are about 8 feet deep.
Projected Work Activity West Lakes Road Crew On Monday, April 28th, the West Lakes Road Crew will be working on the road shoulders from Lake McDonald Lodge to Apgar. Hudson Bay Road Crew On Monday, April 28th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew is in training.

April 25, 2014

Last of the snow berms around my house melted yesterday. Today it is snowing at St Mary as can be seen on the GNP web cams. Also snowing on the newly plowed entry road to Two Medicine. Early this morning it was snowing at Apgar Lookout, that has now turned to rain. This weather system is the reason I biked on Friday in West Glacier/ Haven't seen any Trillium or Glacier Lilies blooming so for this spring. Will check out Camus Road next week sometime as there was no snow on either bank up to the top of the slopes. If it continues to rain will try and get some early spring snow pics up next week.


April 25, 2014 Afternoon Report From GNP

On Friday, April 25th, the West Lake Road Crew cut-down snow from Grizzly Point to Swede's Point encountering up to 15' of snow at slides with the sun gracing them with its presences.

April 25, 2014


While the plow crew was working above the Loop I biked from Lake McDonald Lodge to just past Narrow Bridge to the GTSR hiker / biker closure point.
On the way to west Glacier I stopped off in Coram to top off my gas tank. While leaving the station I glanced across US RT 2 and was very surprised to see 4 buffaloes. Other then some mule deer in Apgar didn't see any wildlife in Glacier Park.

April 24, 2014 afternoon report

The plows are working the campground entrance road in Two Medicine as of 1:45pm Today! I was checking out the web cam to see if it was snowing and grabbed a shot of the front end loader on the road in front of the web cam.


April 24, 2014

No GNP plow status report as of 10:00 am.
West Lakeshore Trail on Lake McDonald is reported to be choked with wind blown trees. The Roberts Fire of 2013 burned the majority of the West Shore of Lake McDonald and the fire killed trees have been falling across this trail for the last nine years. Apgar Lookout Trail is another trail heavily impacted by the Roberts Fire. Apgar Lookout Trail only has a few dead standing trees left near the trail, while the West Lakeshore Trail still has hundreds of trees withing tipping distance of the trail. Do not take this trail on a windy day.
Standard April weather has finally made it's appearance with cool temperatures and a steady, slow rainfall. No clear and dry weather in the forecast until Monday. So most likely it will be May before I bike to The Loop.

April 23, 2014 Afternoon Report From GNP

West Lakes Road Crew On Tuesday, April 22nd, the West Lake Road Crew had avalanche training in the morning and transported equipment to the Loop to begin work on the “alpine section”. Snow depth at the Loop was about 3 feet. The road below the Loop was cleared to the width of a lane and an half. Intermittent patchy ice remains on the road.

Hudson Bay Road Crew On Tuesday, April 22nd, the Hudson Bay Road Crew plowed past Running Eagle Falls towards the switchbacks on the Two Medicine Road. The snow was around 5 feet deep. .

Projected Work Activity West Lakes Road Crew On Wednesday, April 23rd, the West Lake Road Crew will continue plowing up from the Loop.

Hudson Bay Road Crew On Wednesday, April 23rd, the Hudson Bay Road Crew will continue to plow up the Two Medicine Road towards the Two Medicine Campstore.


April 23, 2014

GNP Bike West side hiker/biker restrictions:

"Hikers and bikers can travel about 6.5 miles up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Red Rock Pullout. After 6:00pm and on weekends, there are no hiker/biker restrictions. East side hiker/biker restrictions: There will be no hiker/biker access on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road due to construction."


April 22, 2014

Afternoon report from GNP plow status.


GNP Plow Report
"West Lakes Road Crew
the afternoon On Monday, April 21, the West Lake Road Crew cleared to the Loop. Lower BPR and lower Grizzly (slide paths prior to the Loop) were about 10-14 feet deep. Snow depth at the Loop was about 3 feet.
Hudson Bay Road Crew On Monday, April 21, the Hudson Bay Road Crew plowed from the Highway 49 junction to just past the boundary on the Two Medicine Road. Snow depths were around three to four feet and the weather was nice and sunny." Projected Work Activity West Lakes Road Crew On Tuesday, April 22nd, the West Lake Road Crew will continue working at the Loop and is doing some avalanche training today.
Hudson Bay Road Crew On Tuesday, April 22nd, the Hudson Bay Road Crew will plow towards Running Eagle Falls. "

 end of GNP afternoon plow report for April 22, 2014

Weather report is for light rain until Saturday April 26, 2014. 
Hopefully if weather permits The Loop will be open to bikes this weekend. GNP may be hold off for a week since this year has had so many avalanches. 

Early report

Two Medicine web camera shows the biggest single daily drop in snow level since the camera went back on-line this spring. It appears that the snow level dropped about 6" inches yesterday. The infamous trash dumpster which is four feet three inches high at the low point is now showing up as a hump in the snow. Plow crews should be starting work on the Two Medicine entry road sometime today.
GNP has cut back for the moment how far you can bike during the week on the west side. Closure is now at Avalanche. The bad news is that there is NO hiker/biker access on the East Side of GNP. I got that back-words this morning whoops!

From GNP
"West side hiker/biker restrictions: Hikers and bikers can travel about 5.5 miles up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Avalanche. After 6:00pm and on weekends, there are no hiker/biker restrictions. East side hiker/biker restrictions: There will be no hiker/biker access on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road due to construction."

April 21, 2014

From GNP "West side hiker/biker restrictions: Hikers and bikers can travel about 6 ½ miles up the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Red Rock Pullout. After 6:00pm and on weekends, there are no hiker/biker restrictions."

April 19, 2014

Biked to Narrow Bridge on the GTSR. Snow piled up about 12 feet high with tree trunks sticking out from the bridge to near the GNP gravel pit. First time in 24 years of spring biking that I have encountered an avalanche at this spot. Note: This is not the avalanche shown on GNP Flickr page that is another mile or so up the road. From the Narrow Bridge for the next mile or so the road was covered with a mixture of ice and slush. I will wait until next week to possibly make it to The Loop.

From GNP plowing report "West Lakes Road Crew On April 18th, the West Lake Road Crew cleared from Lower Haystack to the base of BPR encountering 2’-4’ of snow and endured a rain/snow mixture falling from the sky.

April 18, 2014

Hudson Bay Road Crew On April 18th, the Hudson Bay Road Crew moved plowing equipment to Two Medicine."
This is great news for me. If it is a choice between biking to The Loop or to Two Medicine Lake well the east side will win weather permitting. According to the Two Medicine web cam there is still over four feet of snow at Two Medicine Lake.

April 17, 2014

Glacier Park webcams show that it is snowing at Apgar Lookout and in the Two Medicine Valley. Elsewhere it is raining. D. Fagre of the USGS stationed in West Glacier has 30 years of Snotel Data from Flattop Mountain plus lots of math calculation to estimate possible opening dates for Logan Pass. Most everyone is aware that the amount of winter snowfall is a major determining factor in that date. What D. Fagre shows is that spring weather is also a critical element effecting Logan Pass opening. See the data at NOROCK USGS GNP NOROCK

April 16, 2014

Not sure what the status is for the Merch in Polebridge as the North Fork Newsletter posted information that the owners would not be there for the scheduled May 1st opening date. Will post back on May 1st regarding the status for the Merch this summer.

It snow yesterday at Apgar Lookout and it seems from photo's posted on GNP Facebook site that St Mary got several inches of new snow. Can't confirm how much as the St Mary Web Camera is out of service this morning. Camus Road opened to motor vehicles yesterday.
GTSR is plowed to Red Rocks. Hope to post a photo of a biker in front of the Red Rock Avalanche soon. It appears to be about 30 feet high which is in the 'average' range for that location.

April 14, 2014
Photo of the first avalanche cleared by the west side plow crew. Note: photo sent to me by "Amelia".

Red Rock Falls 4-14-14 GNP

April 12, 2014
Snowed in Glacier National Park ~ Areas with bare ground or bare pavement quickly melted after the storm passed and the sun came out. Two Medicine appears to have gotten a few inches and since the ground is covered with over 4 feet of snow it stayed. My guess is that Many Glacier conditions will be similar.

April 10, 2014 from GNP "Due to plowing operations in the Avalanche area, Hiker/Biker access will be to 1/2 mile below Avalanche Campground."

On April 9, 2014 wind gust of 139 mph were recorded at Logan Pass.

According to reliable sources Camus Road has been plowed.

April 9, 2014 I biked to Avalanche for the first time this year. (the work crew was out to get an excavator so the road wasn't closed that day) GTSR from West Glacier to Avalanche is totally clear of snow and ice. Beyond Avalanche the road is plowed but has a 2" thick layer of ice. The roads to the picnic area have been plowed but are sill snow covered. Lake McDonald was mostly frozen on the 8th but is now almost totally free of ice.

April 1, 2014 ~ It is still snowing at higher elevations, Lake McDonald is starting to thaw out and plowing on the GTSR will hopefully start soon.

On October 17, 2013, Glacier Park re-opened, hopefully for another one hundred years without interruption.

GTSR now open on the west side to Lake McDonald Lodge were it will stay until around Mother's Day 2014, when historically the road opens to Avalanche.

I'm leaving for the winter this photo of Swiftcurrent Mountain from Oberlin Bend the Photo series is now located to mark the closing of Glacier Park is now located here. Swiftcurrent Mountain if you squint there is a small rectangular shape at the top center of the mountain. This is the Swiftcurrent Lookout which this year I got within 200 vertical feet before turning around due to muscle cramps. The photos from the Lookout which you can see here were taken last year, while the photos looking down at the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail were taken this year.

Glacier National Park was closed for the first time in over 100 years!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things
that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream.
Discover.”
    Mark Twain


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