By Dillon Tabish, 6-12-12
||Caption: Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. - File photo by Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon
Glacier National Park officials are now expecting the Going-to-the-Sun Road to open to Logan Pass by the middle of next week, the park announced Tuesday.
Officials originally hoped Logan Pass would become accessible later this week, but the recent snow has hampered plow crews clearing the road. A storm last weekend dropped roughly 10 inches of snow, prompting additional slides on the road, according to the park. Since Memorial Day weekend, a minimum of 35 inches of snow has fallen at the higher elevations of the road.
Crews are currently plowing the Big Drift, a 25-30 feet section about one-fourth of a mile east of the Logan Pass Visitor Center. Crews are also removing snow and debris from recent snow slide activity, clearing snow along the road edges for two-lane travel and plowing the parking lot at the visitor center.
Glacier National Park Deputy Superintendent Kym Hall said crews are also installing guardrails along the historic road, which is time consuming but necessary. The rails are removed each fall due to avalanche activity that can destroy them during the winter.
Currently, 29 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open to vehicle travel. Visitors can drive 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche on the west side, and 13.5 miles from the St. Mary Entrance to Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side.
Park officials anticipate that weekend hiker/biker access will be limited to Bird Woman Falls Overlook on the west side and Siyeh Bend on the east side. Hiker/biker access may change day-to-day dependent on snow removal and road rehabilitation work, according to the park. Visitors are encouraged to check the park website
for updates. Hikers and bikers are being reminded to stay alert for construction hazards and avalanche danger.
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