Glacier National Park, in coordination with the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team 1, is preparing to allow limited visitor access on the currently closed west side portion of the Going-to- the-Sun Road.
Based on information from fire managers on the Howe Ridge Fire, the park will offer limited shuttle and tour access from the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road beginning Sept. 7.
The road was originally closed for public safety on Aug. 12 when the Howe Ridge Fire on the west side of Lake McDonald threatened the area due to extreme fire behavior, resulting in structure loss, evacuations, and significant fire traffic on the road.
Visitors will be required to use shuttle or tour services to travel through the closed area in order to provide for visitor safety and firefighter access in the fire closure area. Shuttles will not stop between Apgar and Logan Pass.
Currently, private vehicles will not be allowed due to significant ongoing fire traffic operating in the closed area. Shuttle and tour services will provide visitors with access to the popular Logan Pass Visitor Center via the West Glacier Park Entrance. Shuttle capacity will be limited.
Visitors will be able to ride the park shuttle system with a free park shuttle pass, available beginning at 7:30 a.m. each day at the Apgar Visitor Center Shuttle Stop. The passes will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. Shuttles will depart every 30 minutes. The last shuttle will depart at 1:30 p.m. The last returning shuttle from Logan Pass will depart at 4 p.m.
Concessioner operated Sun Tours and Red Bus Tours will also operate in the closure area. Visitors who would like to make reservations with Sun Tours should visit the Sun Tours website. Visitors who would like to make reservations for a Red Bus Tour should visit the Glacier National Park Lodges website.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road remains open to private vehicles from St. Mary to Logan Pass, accessible from the east side of the park. Since the Howe Ridge Fire began Aug. 11, visitor services have continued in all other areas of the park, and numerous visitors continue to access the park via the St. Mary Entrance as well as the Many Glacier and Two Medicine park areas.