Glacier Park Launches New Bike Shuttle Service

Free service will operate seven days a week through June 26 or when the Sun Road opens to vehicles

By Dillon Tabish
Glacier National Park Deputy Superintendent Eric Smith (left) and Glacier National Park Conservancy President Mark Preiss (right) stand behind the Park's new shuttle bus and bike trailer at Avalanche after the first group of 14 riders unloaded their bicycles. Courtesy National Park Service

Last weekend the National Park Service and the Glacier National Park Conservancy launched a new shuttle bus service for bicycle riders on Going-to-the-Sun Road. This free service will operate seven days a week through June 26 or when the Sun Road opens to vehicles, whichever comes first. Operating hours for the shuttle are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with buses running every 20-25 minutes on weekends, and every 30-35 minutes during the week.

The new service is a pilot project for the NPS Centennial in 2016, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The new service is part of a pilot project to study bicycle use in the park during the NPS Centennial year. The project is also intended to prevent resource damage that may be caused by congestion at Avalanche Creek, a popular staging location for bicyclists and hikers in the months before the GTSR opens to traffic.

The $52,000 project was funded by a grant from Climate Ride to the GNPC. Climate Ride is a nonprofit organization that organizes life-changing charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes. The Glacier Conservancy is the official fundraising partner for Glacier National Park.

The grant funds two bike trailers, operation costs for the shuttle buses, bike counters for monitoring use on the road, equipment for a new volunteer bicycle patrol group, several bike racks and a new interpretive wayside exhibit and signs. The bike trailers can carry up to 16 bikes and have storage space for small wagons and bike trailers. Riders are expected to load their own bikes and equipment.