The earliest that Logan Pass can open this year to through traffic is June 21, 2013
~ Logan Pass to open from the East Side of Glacier Park ~ weather permitting ~ on June 15, 2013
Shuttle Service starts July 1, 2013
~ Logan Pass Opened June 19, 2012
Logan Pass Opened July 13, 2011 ~
Here is an on the scene video of one of the twelve rock slides that occurred on July 19, 2012 in GNP on The-Going-To-The-Sun-Road . . . .
Recent Events and Updates as of June 18, 2013
Information concerning trail opening dates and other historical weather Dependant information for
2011 and 2010 is located
Glacier National Park Trail Status Information for 2013
The official trail status information is very timely but can be a little terse
Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain-passes.
They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy,
set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
Current Conditions in Glacier National Park for 2013
This is a compilation of on-line news from various government web sites and on the ground observations from my various visits to Glacier National Park it is as accurate as I can make it but there is not guarantee of its complete accuracy
June 18, 2013
Received hiker report that the South Boundary Trail is closed due to a carcass on the trail.
Added Old Flathead Ranger Station Trail
This trail is unique ( I think) in Glacier National Park as it is designated as a horse, bike and hiking trail.
Views of the Middle Fork River and the North Fork River. Trail ends were the two rivers come together.
Limited parking at trailhead.
Cracker Lake Trail
Trailhead at Hotel to Cracker Lake Campground/ 6.1 mi
Initial clearing scheduled for:6/14/13
First 4 miles clear of snow and trees. Intermittent snow the last two miles, less then 10% coverage, 6/11/13
Trail is posted for bear from the trailhead to Cracker Flats Junction. 6/9/13
June 17, 2013
Added sunrise photo of Lake McDonald from Sprague Creek Campground
NPS Trail Report
Ptarmigan/ Iceberg Trail Motel parking lot to jct. above Ptarmigan Falls/ 2.4 mi. Trail clear of trees for first 3.1 miles. Mostly clear of snow until Ptarmigan Falls. A few drifts beyond Ptarmigan Falls for next .6 miles. Consistent snow beyond that point. 6/4/2013 Jct. above Ptarmigan Falls to Iceberg Lake/ 2.1 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled for: 6/28/13
Footbridge scheduled to be installed 6/28/13
Trail is 50% snow covered for the first .5 mile beyond the falls. The last 2 miles are 100% snow covered with some potentially hazardous snow field crossings
Numa Lookout Trail Bowman Lake Trail - Numa Lookout/ 4.9 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled for: Cleared 6/14/13
Cut Bank Valley (Morning Star) Cut Bank Auto Campground to Triple Divide Pass Jct./ 3.9 Trail clear. All creek crossings bridged.
Virginia Falls Trail Closed due to carcass on trail. Biked Apgar Bike Path for first time will report later. Note: If you are biking it with kids turn around when you get to GTSR crossing as it gets confusing and you will end up on the GNP entry road at the Middle Fork Bridge!
Biked the combo hike / bike trail to Old Ranger Station. Despite the Trail Name their is no sign of an Old Ranger Station. If any one knows were it actually is please let me know. I measured the path using Google Earth, which does not show this trail on its list of trails for GNP and it is 3.4 miles to the rivers intersection which links back to GNP trail sign on the entry road to Apgar Lookout. GNP has stopped trail maintenance at the intersection of the Middle Fork and North Rivers at that point trail has NOT Been maintained since 2003! This trail is one of the lessor traveled trails in the park. It is a a very fun hike or bike trail with views. Need to show caution when descending to creek crossing. Trail eventually comes to the edge of the Middle Fork River and continues until it intersects with the North Fork River. Good display of bear grass along trail and in the Apgar area. Very limited parking of course if you are biking you could park across from the stables and double the distance.
Biked to Bird Women Falls Overlook. I'm a slow biker as well as a slow hiker 5 hours up 1 hour down.
According to the NPS (only) for
Black bear cub was on hill side of GTSR then crossed over the road, temporarily halting uphill bike traffic. Then walked a short way up off the edge of the road before finding a good spot to go down the mountain.
Saturday, June 15, access to Logan Pass will be available for vehicles from St. Mary, weather permitting.
June 14, 2013
Last weekend to bike to Logan Pass without sharing the road with cars!
All campgrounds EXCEPT for Avalanche should be open.
Another unusual June weekend forecast.
June 13, 2013
NPS announces Jeff Mow as new superintendent for Glacier National Park.
Reports the Missoulian today.
Busy news day for GNP talks to scuttle the shuttle to take place this summer. Hungry Horse News
June 12, 2013
Many Glacier Hotel scheduled to open today.
Plan on hiking soon in the North Fork area. I spoke with some hikers on Scenic Point who had done Numa Lookout a few days earlier. They reported some trees across the trail and one snow field near the top.
June 11, 2013
Will update relevant trail with new photos in the next week.
GNP released Ranger Led Hike Schedule today.
Many Glacier June 10, 2013
Grinnel Glacier Trail open for 3.3 miles from the Swiftcurrent Lake Trail parking lot.
Snow line starts at 3.3 miles. This is at the top of the switchback section of the Grinnel Glacier Trail. Views of the entire Grinnell Lake are possible for at least a 1/2 mile before the snow-line. Lots of wildflowers ~ Indian paintbrush, glacier lilies and more. Once past the trail intersection with the far Lake Joesphine dock there are multiple small melt-water streams crossing the trail.
Two Medicine June 09, 2013
Upper Two Medicine Lake has about 10 feet of snow just before the lake-shore. Little or no snow at lake-shore. This is not a groomed lake so it is a scramble to get to the lake. Several snow patches need to be crossed before this point. If you are not comfortable crossing snow talk with the ranger as there are Ranger Led hikes to Two Medicine Lake and Twin Falls. Check at the back country permit office which is located at the entrance road to the Two Medicine campground.
North Shore Trail has bear scat from one end of the trail to the other. (none of it fresh) Trail conditions vary from dry to once again numerous melt-water crossings. Some creek crossing skills required or bring water shoes. Wildflowers, and views across Two Medicine Lake to Sinopah and Painted Tepee Mountains.
NPS Road Status update June 9, 2013 Cracker Lake Trail
trail is posted for bear from the trailhead to Cracker Flats Junction. 6/9/13
June 8, 2013 Two Medicine
Scenic Point Trail basically snow free up the the last section of sub-alpine fir were there was a 100 foot long easily crossed snow field. I hiked to the rock shelf and didn't go to actual Scenic Point as that required crossing a very high angle snow field or scrambling above it with a 2,000 foot drop. (no thanks). Great views of Two Medicine Lake and valley. Big Horn Sheep with baby lambs, plus a red fox. Big Horn Sheep near Apistoki Falls intersection, red fox about a 1/4 way up the trail after it leaves the tree line.
June 7, 2013
On Thursday evening Glacier National Park Rangers rescued a stranded visitor from Upper McDonald Creek.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday, June 6, park dispatch received a report that a rafter had fallen in the water in Upper McDonald Creek near Red Rock Point and was stranded on a rock in the middle of the creek. Park rangers responded to the scene, and at approximately 6:15 p.m. the 23-year old male from Whitefish, Montana was rescued.
The Flathead County Swift Water Rescue Team also responded to the incident and successfully retrieved the man's belongings that were located downstream.
NPS press release
NPS Road Status update June 6, 2013
On Saturday, the Logan Pass Parking Lot will be closed due to crews working in the parking lot from 7am-1pm.
Well folks were getting close to the GTSR opening from the east side of Glacier Park. No matter what the road conditions are it won't open to through traffic until June 21, 2013. No official word on when the road is expected to open from the east but Saturday work crews at Logan Pass are one clear indication that it will open soon.
June 4, 2013
NPS Trail Crew Report
Appekunny Falls Trail Many Glacier Road to Appekunny Falls/ 1.0 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled: 6/7/13
Trail is clear, 6/2/13
June 1, 2013
Swiftcurrent Pass Trail
Campstore parking lot to Head of Bullhead Lake / 3.9 mi.
Initial Clearing Scheduled For: 6/14/13
Windmaker Creek Suspension bridge is installed. 6/1/13
First 2.8 miles clear of snow and trees. 6/1/13
May 28, 2013
GTSR might open early from east side according to the Hungry Horse News
May 21, 2013
Apgar Campground opened for Summer Operation on May 3, 2013
Sprague Creek Campground opened for Summer Operation on May 20, 2013.
The following campgrounds open for Summer Operation this weekend all except for Many Glacier open on Friday May 24, 2013. Rising Sun Campground, Two Medicine Campground and Bowman Lake Campground. Many Glacier Campground opens on Saturday May 25, 2013. The road to Bowman Lake will also open on Friday May 24, 2013.
May 17, 2013
Small band of Big Horn Rams on rocks above Swiftcurrent Creek in Many Glacier. Just starting to shed their lighter, thicker winter coat.
Also saw a cinnamon colored bear along the entry road.
At this time the only thing open in Many Glacier is the road. No water, no toilets, from the lack of snow along the entry road expect that you could most likely get to Red Rock Falls but a storm was fast approaching so went to St Mary to set up camp.
May 16, 2013
Headquarters to Lincoln Creek Tr. Jct. / 5.3 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled for: : complete 5/14/13.
Lincoln Creek Cable Bridge: Installed on 5/14/13.
Going to hike South Boundary Trail sometime this month.
Snowshoed on it several times this winter.
Road end to Apgar Lookout / 2.8 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled for: 5/31/13
Trees Down: unknown as of 4/30/13
Quarter Bridge is closed at the winter gate at the Apgar Horse Corral due to flooding.
May 13, 2013
North Fork River, Middle Fork River and McDonald Creek flooding. This time mostly from high day and night time temps. Almost no debris in the water.
Water across the road between Polebridge and the Polebridge Bridge.
May 12, 2013
Flood watch in effect for next three days for the Flathead River.
May 10, 2013
NPS Trail Status Report for the West Lakeshore Trail
North Mcdonald Road (Kelly Camp) to Fish Creek CPG. / 6.6 mi Initial clearing scheduled for: 5/31/13.
Trees down: 50-70 trees down, most were "walk overs" but there were some big ones. Stock travel is not recommended on this section of trail. Once the leaves come out that trail will be very brushy. 4/29/13 .
Thats about twice the number of trees down as there were last year when I did this trail.
Trees are dead falls from the 2003 Roberts Fire. Makes for a lot of scrambling.
May 9, 2013
Early season hiking. It appears that the road to Apgar Lookout Trail Head is now open from this trail status report. Beware I did this trail a couple of times last year after trail crew had taken out 50 down trees and two days later there was another 20 trees across the trail. Since this trail has NOT been cleared this year expect at least 50 trees across the trail.
NPS Trail Status Report as of 5/10/13
Apgar L.O. Trail/ 2.8 mi. Road end to Apgar Lookout / 2.8 mi.
Initial clearing scheduled for: 5/31/13
Trees Down: unknown as of 4/30/13
HAZARD FROM 2003 FIRES
May 5, 2013
Avalanche Lake Trail
First 3/4 of this trail is DRY and clear of trees. One tree down across the trail that you need to duck under. Shortly after last years avalanche the snow line starts. Trail fairly well packed down but with warmer temps you might start to punch through the snow.
May 4, 2013
GTSR open to Avalanche!
No hiker / biker restrictions this weekend.
GTSR starts on Monday May 6, 2013
Bikers beware that at this time the GTSR is not paved from Avalanche to the gravel pit. Road surface is smooth for a gravel road but could be tricky for those of you with city tires. Weather forecast for weekend is nice, mainly. With Sunday the most promising. Avalanche Trail will most likely be muddy.
You might notice that there are two reports for April 9 plowing. The earlier report was what showed up and was dated April 9 mid day April 9. When I checked back today April 11, there was a new report dated April 9. The reports clearly covered two different days so will leave dated as GNP posted them originally.
Plowing Activity April 9, 2013 West Lakes Road Crew On April 9th, the West Lakes Road Crew plowed from Packer's Roost, 22 miles from the West Entrance, to the Loop, approximately 2 miles beyond Packer's Roost. Snow depths were around 24 to 48 inches. Weather: Mostly sunny with light winds
April 9, 2013
Went biking in GNP last week from Apgar to Sprague Creek Campground. Very little snow for this time of year. Which shows up in the plow reports below from GNP. Hope to get over to Two Medicine sometime in the next 10 days to bike from Running Eagle Falls to Two Medicine Lake. The web cam has been down since March 7 so don't know how much snow is left over there. On the 7th there was about 4 feet of snow at the campground entrance.
Plowing Activity April 9, 2013 West Lakes Road Crew On April 8th, the West Lakes Road Crew plowed from Logan Creek, 20 miles from the West Entrance, to Packers Roost, 2 miles beyond Logan Creek. Snow depths were around 36 inches.
Weather: Mostly sunny with light winds.
Hudson Bay Road Crew The Hudson Bay Road Crew finished up with the plowing in Many Glacier on Friday and will be mobilizing the equipment to Two Medicine on Tuesday, April 9.
Weather: Cloudy to Partly cloudy, with variable winds.
April 5, 2013
West Lakes Road Crew On April 4th crews completed removing snow from the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Avalanche Creek and Logan Creek. Snow depths have averaged 26-36 inches. There was no plowing activity on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road today. Crews will resume plowing on Monday April 8th. Weather: Cloudy to mostly cloudy
Hudson Bay Road Crew The Hudson Bay roads crew, has completed their work in the Many Glacier Valley and will be mobilizing next Tuesday (4-9-13) to Two Medicine. Weather: Cloudy to Partly cloudy, with variable winds.
From GNPSplow reports
March 26, 2013
GNP informed the world today that the annual plowing of the GTSR which starts April 1st will not be delayed by budget cuts thanks to a "A generous offer from the Glacier National Park Conservancy" plus some fast budget foot work on the part of the acting GNP Superintendent Kym Hall.
Thats the good news, the bad news is that unnamed campgrounds will close early this year along with less trail maintenance.
GNP trail crews as I have mentioned numerous times in the past are the unsung heroes of GNP. Few visitors to Glacier realize the extent of trail work performed every year. The plow crew gets well deserved praise but their counterparts on the trail crew keep GNP trails on a world class basis. Winter tends to be windy in Northwest Montana along with micro-burst and avalanches creating havoc on the hiking trails.
March 14, 2013
More information regarding delayed opening date for the GTSR in the March 14, 2013 and possible campground closings. Missoulian
February 20, 2013
According to an article in the February 20, 2013 Missoulian "Group says Sun Road delay part of Glacier sequestration plan"
February 17, 2013
At the start of this month I planned on resuming updates regarding GNP on March 1, 2013 but this article in the Washington Post has made me realize that updates will need to start today. At this point I have erased some of my thoughts regarding our Do Nothing Congress which sadly includes the Freshman Congressman from Montana. If you are planning on visiting any National Park this year I urge you to read this article and contact your Congressional Representative.
February 1, 2013
Starting March 1st of this year I will resume regular updates regarding conditions in Glacier Park.
At this time snow pack on the west side of Glacier Park is at 100% of the 30 year average for SWE. (SWE = snow water equivalent)
January 30, 2013
Glacier Park back pedals on Jammers
The National Park Service announced today that it was modifying the terms of a prospectus for the concessions operations at Glacier National Park to reinforce the park's intention to retain the operation of the entire fleet of red buses while providing safe, informative and memorable experiences for Glacier National Park visitors. Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent Kym Hall said, "We love the red buses and our intent has been to retain this iconic symbol of the park."
January 9, 2013
Two skiers triggered an avalanche on Elk Mountain in Glacier National Park on Tuesday afternoon. Park dispatch received a call at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, indicating that two skiers were involved in an avalanche and one skier was injured. Park rangers and local emergency personnel organized and responded to the incident. At approximately 6:30 p.m. park rangers found the skiers and transported them to a nearby trailhead. The Glacier County EMS Ambulance transported the injured skier to a medical facility and the other skier was released at the scene. The skiers, male age 34 and male age 35, both from the local area, were skiing a ridge of Elk Mountain, just west of Marias Pass, when one of the skiers fell and triggered an avalanche. The skier was carried with the slide and partially buried. The other skier was skiing below when the avalanche occurred and was able to escape from the avalanche slide path, and then help rescue his companion. The skier that was partially buried sustained significant injuries.
The Great Northern built its line (railroad) over
Marias Pass in 1891.
It was not until 1930 that a highway was constructed over it.
Before then, motorists on U.S. Highway 2 had to load their automobiles onto railroad cars at East or West Glacier to ship them around the southern boundary of Glacier National Park on the Great Northern
(Info from MDOT)