Plows Reach Logan Pass in Glacier National Park

Sun Road open to Avalanche as crews begin work on Big Drift

By Tristan Scott
Looking up Logan Creek to Logan Pass. Courtesy Glacier National Park

Glacier National Park’s fleet of safety-yellow plows have been chewing through the wall of winter white that has obscured the Going-to-the-Sun Road for so many months, and on June 1 park officials reported that crews had reached Logan Pass from the west side.

Now the monumental task of clearing the colossal snowdrift known as the Big Drift, an at-times-80-foot-high towering Goliath of snow situated just east of the Continental Divide, where intense winds furnish it with its ominous name.

With plow crews preoccupied with the Big Drift, cyclists with plenty of pep in their pedal can now access the top of Logan Pass and take in the eye-popping vistas, while ambitious multi-sport athletes might strap on their skis and make a few hard-earned turns above the pass.

West side crews have even begun the work of installing guardrail and other tasks, including clearing debris and rock fall. On the snow-choked east side, the crew is working at Siyeh Bend. There is no hiker/biker access on the east side past the vehicle closure at Jackson Glacier.

Visitors are now able to drive on 29 miles of the iconic highway: 15.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche and 13.5 miles from the St. Mary Entrance to Jackson Glacier Overlook. Weekday hiker and biker access is currently available on the west side to Packers Roost, about 12 miles past the vehicle closure at Avalanche.

On weekends, when plow crews are not working, visitors can venture as far as their legs will take them.

The Quarter Circle Bridge Road is currently closed to vehicles due to flooding. There are no hiker/biker restrictions, though visitors should take care crossing standing or flowing water.

Dogs are not permitted on roads beyond the vehicle closures.

Last year, the Sun Road’s full 50-mile expanse opened to vehicles on June 28.

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