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Holiday Weekend Brings Fall Changes in Glacier Park

By Beacon Staff

The final days of summer also mean the final days of driving the popular west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park.

The last day to drive the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road this year is Sept. 16 before rehabilitation work resumes. Vehicle traffic will be restricted at Avalanche Creek beginning Sept. 17. Vehicle access to Logan Pass will be available from the east side of the park through Oct. 14, weather permitting.

This upcoming holiday weekend signals the last days that the free shuttle service to Logan Pass will be available this year. The shuttles will operate through Sept. 3.

Hours of operation for several visitor contact centers will change after Labor Day:
Apgar Backcountry Permit Office
May 1 – Sept. 29: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sept. 30 – Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Apgar Visitor Center
Sept. 4 – Sept. 30: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Oct. 1 – Oct. 20: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 27 – April 30, 2013: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (weekends only)
St. Mary Visitor Center
Sept. 4 – Sept. 30: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Logan Pass Visitor Center
Sept. 4 – Sept. 30: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Avalanche, Cut Bank and Fish Creek campgrounds close at noon on Sept. 3. Rising Creek and Sprague Creek campgrounds close at noon on Sept. 10. Primitive camping will be available at Bowman Lake and Kintla Lake campgrounds starting Sept. 9, and St. Mary, Two Medicine and Many Glacier campgrounds beginning Sept. 16.

Campgrounds in primitive status have pit toilets available, no portable or drinking water, limited number of sites and fees are reduced to $10 per night. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and reminded that any water taken from streams or lakes requires treatment before use. Current campground status is available online.

Hours of operation to conduct boat inspections and receive permits will also change this fall:
West Side
Sept. 8 – Sept. 30: 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 1 – Oct. 31: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 1 – May 1: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Expect delays and call ahead if you can estimate your arrival time, 888-7800)
East Side
Sept. 1 – Sept. 20: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 – late May: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (expect delays and call ahead if you can estimate your arrival time, 888-7800.)

Many concessioner services will begin closing mid-September including lodging, transportation, food service, retail shops, and boat rentals. Autumn visitors to Glacier National Park will find less crowds, cooler temperatures, and changing vegetation colors. Area residents and visitors are reminded that the park is open year-round and park recreational opportunities can be found during all seasons.

For additional park information, visit the park’s website or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.

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