During peak season, Glacier National Park is choked with visitors. Cars circle lots with no open spaces, campgrounds are thick with tents and roads such as Two Medicine and North Fork are so busy that park workers are forced to restrict access.
The park’s new Recreation Access Display (RAD) is designed to help ease the pressure of these summer crowds, giving visitors real-time updates on the status of parking lots, campgrounds and roads on its convenient web interface.
RAD, which is now live on the park’s website, provides a color-coded graphic for easy reference. Visitors can see whether a campground has open sites or if a parking lot has available spaces. The page also shows what time staff reported a campground or parking lot filled on the previous day, offering perspective for those planning visits. RAD updates approximately once a minute.
Through the interface, visitors can get updates on whether access to Many Glacier, North Fork and Two Medicine is currently restricted to vehicles. In the busy season, staff periodically has to close these roads off in response to extreme traffic congestion. Visitors can now get information in advance with the RAD system, helping them to make alternate plans and avoid wait times.
RAD expands on services the park already provide to give insight on park conditions, including live webcams and the Current Conditions page of their website. Webcams offer visitors an on-the-ground visual of the park. The Current Conditions page also has links to snowplow updates, trail status reports, current road status and camping status.
“We’ve been working for a few years to get real-time information to our visitors,” Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow stated in a press release. “Thanks to suggestions from the public and innovation from park staff, we’re pleased to roll out this new trip planning tool for the 2019 summer season.”
Visitors can access the RAD at www.nps.gov/applications/glac/dashboard/.
Additional trip planning information can be found through Glacier National Park’s Current Conditions page at www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/conditions.htm.