EXPLORE: Glacier Park Before the Summer Crowds

By Beacon Staff

Now’s a great time to experience the popular national park in our backyard before it’s flooded with summer visitors. Whether on bike or on foot, there’s a growing list of enjoyable opportunities in Glacier National Park as it thaws out and burgeons from spring to summer. My favorite early-season activity is taking a sunny afternoon and biking the west side of the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road, which is mostly set aside for non-motorized traffic between now and June. In the peak of summer this narrow thoroughfare is clogged with traffic, but right now bikers and walkers have the path to themselves and can enjoy all the roadside views that can get lost from the seat of a passing car.

Crews are plowing their way up the road and hope to reach The Loop soon. Park officials are hoping the entire length of the road will be open June 20. The Sun Road is currently open to vehicles for 11.5 miles from the west entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge, which is celebrating its centennial this summer. From there bikers and walkers can enjoy an easygoing trip along the stretch of road that is cleared just past Avalanche.

To follow the status of the plow crews, visit www.nps.gov/glac