Glacier Clearing Sun Road with Smaller Crew

Plow crews were a mile and a half past the Loop on April 24

By Justin Franz
Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road undergoes plowing on April 14, 2020. Photo courtesy of Glacier National Park

While Glacier National Park is closed due to the pandemic, the annual effort to clear the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road continues — albeit with a smaller crew than normal to comply with social-distancing rules.

As of late last week, the west-side plow crew was about a mile and a half past the Loop and had cleared a lane and a half to Alder Point.

Glacier’s executive assistant, Teagan Tomlin, said plow crews are encountering snowdrifts anywhere from 6 to 25 deep on the west side. As always, officials have said there is no firm date for when the Sun Road will be completely cleared of snow.

“Unknown factors make predicting the opening of the road impossible and there is no set date for the road to open,” Tomlin said.

But even if all the snow is removed, it’s not even clear if people will be able to enjoy the road due to the ongoing closure related to the coronavirus. However, the federal government is encouraging the U.S. Department of Interior and National Park Service to increase public access in the coming days. Glacier Park officials said that they are working with state and local officials to ensure that the additional access is granted only when it is safe to do so.

“The health and safety of our visitors, employees, volunteers, and partners continues to be paramount,” Tomlin said. “In our parks and at Glacier National Park, our operational approach will be to examine each facility function and service provided to ensure those operations comply with current public health guidance. Decisions on a phased resumption of operations are being made on a park-by-park basis and regularly monitored.”

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