Going-to-the-Sun Road Opening July 13

By Beacon Staff

It has taken a little longer than expected, but the National Park Service announced Thursday that the Going-to-the-Sun Road would open July 13. An historically deep snowpack had slowed plowing efforts this spring on the road up and over Logan Pass in Glacier National Park.

“This spring has brought us above-average snowpack to way-above-average snowpack,” said Ellen Blickhan, spokeswomen for the park, in a story published by the Flathead Beacon in June.

Because of that deep snowpack, 2011 will be one of the latest openings in the road’s history. According to a press release from the park service, officials flew over the road at Logan Pass in early June and saw a snowpack that resembled what is usually seen two months earlier in April.

Park officials said the safety of plow crews was important and that they weren’t going to rush the job at the risk of personnel.

“Plowing this road is a dangerous job and the safety of our staff is of paramount concern. We are very proud of the hard work the road crew performed this year,” Superintendent Chas Cartwright said.

Park officials said that when visitors do arrive atop Logan Pass that they’ll find a landscape still very much trapped by winter. They also said that people should expect some delays while driving as rehabilitation crews work on the road on both the east and west sides of the pass this summer.

For more information about the road visit www.nps.gov/glac

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