Saturday, June 22, 2024

Sun Road opens to Avalanche Creek Saturday

| May 12, 2023 6:55 AM

The Going-to-the-Sun Road will open to Avalanche Creek for motor vehicles beginning Saturday morning for the season.

The free weekend hiker-biker shuttle begins as well, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the Apgar Visitor Center. It will make stops at Lake McDonald Lodge and at Avalanche.

The shuttle has bike racks for transporting bicycles.

The shuttle operates on a first come-first served basis. Full shuttle operations begin July 1 or when Going-to-the-Sun Road opens all the way, whichever comes first.   

Folks should be aware there is construction activity on the road from the foot of the lake to the North McDonald Road.

Hikers and bikers can go as far as the Bird Woman Overlook on the weekend beyond the gate at Avalanche.
Folks should be prepared for snow at higher elevation when hiking and streams are running high with runoff as well, so people should take caution near creeks, as the water is often clear, but deceptively deep and fast.

Plow crews are now at Triple Arches, which is 3 miles from Logan Pass.

On the east side, the Sun Road is now open to Jackson Glacier Overlook. The hiker-biker closure is at Siyeh Bend.

East side secondary roads are open.

The Chief Mountain Border Customs crossing will open May 15.

The border crossing has been closed for the past three years due to the pandemic. It will close for the season Sept. 20.

The park also has plans to reopen the primitive Cut Bank Creek motor campground this season. It also has plans to open the Goat Haunt crossing as well, though exact dates haven’t been set.

North Lake McDonald Road is closed to public access including vehicles, hiking, or biking at the intersection with Going-to-the-Sun Road due to the Upper McDonald Creek Bridge replacement project. Parking at the intersection is also closed. Hikers will be unable to complete the Johns Lake Loop Trail and will need to turn around where trail closed signs are posted.   

Due to bridge construction and road conditions, all roads in the North Fork area of the park are closed to vehicle traffic until May 25. The Inside North Fork Road will remain closed between Logging Creek and Fish Creek in 2023.  

The Apgar Wilderness Permit office opened May 1. Two Medicine, St. Mary, and Many Glacier offices open May 26, and Polebridge opens May 27. The St. Mary and Polebridge permit offices are always accessible without a vehicle reservation. Apgar, Many Glacier and Two Medicine permit offices are inside the vehicle reservation areas. Once vehicle reservations go into effect for the season, these offices can be accessed without a reservation before 6 a.m. and after 3 p.m. Permits will also be available at the Waterton Lakes Visitor Centre in Alberta for trips originating from the Belly River, Waterton Townsite and Goat Haunt trailheads. Waterton Lakes Visitor Centre hours are currently 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.