Glacier National Park announces fall operation adjustments
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News from Glacier National Park
WEST GLACIER — As the autumn season approaches, operations in the park will start winding down. On Sept. 11, the park’s 2022 vehicle reservation pilot study ended. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and prepare for temporary traffic restrictions at the west entrance due to congestion.
Construction on the Lake McDonald Utilities Project will continue along Going-to-the-Sun Road from the south end of Lake McDonald near Apgar Campground to Sprague Creek Campground through September, causing short delays in both directions during the day. The construction zone will be closed Monday through Saturday, 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. nightly until Oct. 1.
On Oct. 1, the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road will close for the season from the four-way intersection at Apgar to Logan Pass due to the Lake McDonald Utilities project and road crew operations. On the east side, Going-to-the-Sun Road is scheduled to remain open from St. Mary to Logan Pass until Sunday, Oct. 16 at midnight, unless winter weather forces an earlier closure. There is no access to potable water at Logan Pass as of Sept. 11.
Hiker and biker access is permitted on the road closure west of Logan Pass to North McDonald Road while the GNP Road Crew is not working. A daily road crew closure will be in place while crews are working. Visitors are advised the return to Logan Pass consists of steep up-hill terrain.
Park shuttles will remain in operation until Sept. 18 with reduced services. Wait times may be longer than 20 minutes as there are fewer shuttles on the road. Visitors planning to use the shuttle should check the shuttle page for additional details.
Logan Pass Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, Sept. 25. Potable water is unavailable at Logan Pass as of Sept. 11.
St. Mary Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Sunday, Oct. 2. Potable water will be unavailable at St. Mary after Monday, Oct. 11.
Apgar Visitor Center will continue daily visitor information services through Monday, Oct. 10, and then move to weekends through Oct. 23, weather permitting. Restrooms and potable water are available at the Apgar Visitor Center plaza year-round.
Front country campgrounds will adjust as follows:
Apgar: First come-first served through Oct. 3, and primitive status in Loop B only until spring 2023.
Fish Creek: Closed Sept. 4.
Sprague Creek: Closed Sept. 11.
Bowman: Primitive status until weather dependent closure.
Kintla: Primitive status until weather dependent closure.
Many Glacier: Half reservation, half first come-first served until Sept. 18 and primitive status until Oct. 31 closure.
St. Mary: First come-first served until Sept. 15 and primitive status in Loop C only until spring 2023.
Rising Sun: Closed Sept. 8.
Two Medicine: First come-first served until Sept. 19 and primitive status until weather dependent closure.
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.
Avalanche Creek, Cut Bank, and Logging Creek campgrounds remained closed during the 2022 season. Quartz Creek Campground is temporarily closed due to the Quartz fire.
Wilderness camping requires a permit, which can be obtained at the Apgar Wilderness Permit Office. The permit office is open 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sept. 30, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Oct. 31. Wilderness permits will be issued until 30-minutes prior to closing. Advance reservations for wilderness permits are available until Sept. 23. Walk-in permits are issued up to 24 hours in advance. Check the wilderness camping page for more information.
Lake McDonald, Bowman Lake, and Kintla Lake will be the only vehicle accessible bodies of water open to watercraft in the park after Sept. 30. Boat inspection station hours are 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily at Lake McDonald, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Polebridge through Sept. 30. Beginning Oct. 1, inspection hours will change to 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at both Lake McDonald and Polebridge. All park waters are closed to watercraft beginning Nov. 1.
All concessions services will close for the season by the beginning of October. Visitors should check directly with services on our website for operational hours.
As fall approaches, bear activity will increase. Visitors are asked to be mindful of attractant storage requirements and remember that pets are not permitted on trails at any time. Learn more about bear safety on the park’s website.
The park is open year-round and recreational opportunities can be found during all seasons. Winter recreation will be restricted on Going-to-the-Sun Road along Lake McDonald due to the utilities project. For additional information, visit the park’s website www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm, or call 406-888-7800.