The upper reaches of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park has officially closed for the winter season, marking the longest season for the park’s highest vehicle-accessible point since 2005.
Since its June 13 opening, the earliest opening of the scenic alpine highway since 2005, the road has seen hundreds of thousands of visitors driving the 50-mile byway up and over the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. A temporary road closure was implemented on Sept. 28 due to winter weather conditions, but park officials were able to reopen the alpine highway the following week for the remainder of the regular season.
With the winter closure in place, visitors may drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road 5.5 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche Creek, and 13.5 miles from the St. Mary Entrance to Jackson Glacier Overlook. Hiker and biker access is permitted past the vehicle closures as far as the biker/biker closure signs in place for road crew activity and road conditions.
The closure to vehicles means road crews are in the process of preparing the highway for winter operations, which includes removing displays and signs, installing snow poles and removing 463 log railing pieces along the road ahead of the avalanche season.
Construction crews are continuing work on Going-to-the-Sun Road alongside Lake McDonald with flaggers in place and delays of up to 30 minutes. The construction zone comprises just over nine miles of road, with all pull-outs in the construction zone closed.
A complete overview of current road conditions, including closures, can be found on the park’s Road Status Webpage.
Elsewhere in the park, seasonal closures have already taken effect.
The roads into the Two Medicine and Many Glacier areas of the park remain open, while vehicle closures are in place for the North Fork area heading into Kintla and Bowman lakes due to ongoing bridge construction.
The Apgar Wilderness Permit Center remains open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31. Campgrounds at Apgar, Many Glacier, St. Mary and Two Medicine remain open but under primitive status until Oct. 31. Campgrounds in primitive status have vault toilets available and fees are reduced. No campground reservations are issued at primitive campgrounds and all camping is first-come, first-served. Visit the park’s campground page for additional camping information.
The park is open year-round and recreational opportunities can be found during all seasons. Information, Wi-Fi, restrooms, and potable water are available in the Apgar Visitor Center Plaza 24 hours a day. Learn more about winter operations at Glacier National Park on their Visiting in Winter webpage. For additional visitor inquiries, contact park headquarters at 406-888-7800.