Glacier National Park's Logan Pass is still socked in with snow, and this year will mark one of the latest openings of the entire length of the Going-to-the-Sun Road ever.
Plow crews have reached Logan Pass, but they still have to punch through the Big Drift and clear the Logan Pass parking lot before the job is done. Breaking through the Big Drift on the east side of the pass can take a few days, and crews did not work July 4.
The latest opening of the road ever was July 15, 1933, when the road was first completed. With the exception of July 10, 1943, during World War II, the latest opening was July 2 in 2008.
Glacier Park had a record snowfall this winter as well as a wet, cold, snowy spring, which has stifled plowing efforts.
Melting snow is also causing headaches elsewhere in the Park. Flooding temporarily closed the Avalanche Lake Trail, the Quarter Circle Bridge road and the Logging Creek campground. Logging Creek generally opens July 1, but Park officials now say it won't open until July 8 at the earliest. The Quartz Creek campground has opened.
The Inside North Fork Road between Fish Creek and Logging Creek is closed to vehicles because of flood damage in three separate areas. All other Park roads are open. Visitors are cautioned to use care around all waterways as streams are running high.
The Park is running a shuttle service on both sides of the divide (see story below) so visitors have some motorized access to the high country. Currently, vehicles can travel to Avalanche Creek on the west side of the Sun Road and the Jackson Glacier overlook on the east side.
Hikers and bikers should be alert for transit shuttles and construction vehicles when traveling beyond the vehicle closures. Construction work resumed July 5. Night work from Big Bend to Logan Pass has started.
Through the summer, no travel will be allowed through the construction zones at night on Monday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. Vehicles will be allowed to travel through construction zones on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.