19 Avalanches Hinder Glacier Park Plow Efforts

Park officials say crews have spent two weeks dealing with fallout of May storm

By Justin Franz
A plow clears Glacier's iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road. Beacon File Photo.

Glacier National Park plow crews have been busy clearing snow and debris after 19 avalanches struck Going-to-the-Sun Road in the last week.

Park spokesperson Margie Steigerwald said the slides were the result of nearly 3 feet of snow that fell in the higher-elevation mountains May 22-23. The same storm caused flooding along the Sun Road near Apgar after two beaver dams broke.

Steigerwald said the combination of the flood and avalanches has put plow crews two weeks behind in their annual effort to clear the transmountain highway.

“The plow crews spent this past week trying to get back to the point they were at before the storm,” she said.

Last year all 52 miles of the iconic road were opened June 19.

Currently, the west-side plow crews are back at Logan Pass and are now working on installing guardrails on the west side of the road. The east side crews are now working on clearing the “Big Drift” just east of Logan Pass.

The Sun Road is open to vehicles to Avalanche on the west side and Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east side. Hikers and bikers can go an additional 13 miles past the west side vehicle closure to Bird Woman Overlook. On the east side, hiker and biker access is open to Siyeh Bend.

For more information about the Sun Road, visit Glacier Park’s website.