Warmer temperatures are allowing Glacier National Park plow crews to gain ground on road-clearing operations, but the near-record snowpack is increasing as the machines climb into the upper reaches of Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The section of the road between Lake McDonald Lodge and the foot of St. Mary Lake remains closed to vehicles due to plowing, but hikers and bikers can begin to explore portions of the Sun Road and the length of Camas Road, which is plowed.
Hiker and biker access on the west side is to Moose Country, approximately 4 miles past the gated vehicle closure at Lake McDonald Lodge.
Dogs are not permitted on the road past the vehicle closure. This also includes on the Camas Road, Quarter Circle Bridge Road and the bike path.
An annual manual snow survey conducted in February near Logan Creek showed more snow than has been recorded in more than 30 years, including years of heavy snow like the winter of 1997.
With warmer temperatures in the forecast, crews expected to begin plowing beyond Avalanche Creek this week before digging out the drift at the Red Rock slide, the first avalanche path that crews encounter every spring. The slide crosses the highway about a half-mile from Avalanche Creek.
On the east side, park plows are working to clear the Many Glacier Valley, where snow is deeper than buildings in some places.
A SNOTEL site near Many Glacier recorded a snow water equivalent of 21 inches, or 218 percent of average. The record is 26.4 inches of snow water equivalent, recorded in 1997.
To check the status of the Going-to-the-Sun Road and other park roads, visit https://www.nps.gov/applications/glac/roadstatus/roadstatus.cfm
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