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This might be the last weekend this season to hike Glacier Park's high country, as snow expected

| October 20, 2023 12:40 PM

This might be the last weekend for hiking high elevation areas in Glacier National Park, as widespread snow is expected by the middle of next week.

Terrain above 6,000 feet could see 7 inches to a foot of snow by next Wednesday and the valley floors could even see about an inch, though it’s not expected to stick for long, the National Weather Service is forecasting.

Low temperatures will be in the 20s and in higher terrain around 10.

officials are saying that paving the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the foot of Lake McDonald to the North McDonald Road should be done by the end of October, weather permitting. That means people will be able to ski and snowshoe the road this winter past Lake McDonald Lodge. Last winter it was closed at the foot of the lake due to construction.

The road has been torn up for reconstruction as part of a two-year project to replace utilities and rebuild the road.

The construction marks the last segment of reconstructing the road’s 50-plus mile length — a project that initially started in 2007.

The alpine section of the highway closed on Oct. 15 to vehicles. On the west side the road is closed to vehicles at Avalanche Creek and the east side it’s at Jackson Glacier Overlook.

The Jackson Glacier Overlook closure could be contracted by the middle of next week as snow is expected in Glacier.

Glacier typically plows the Sun Road to Avalanche until mid-December unless there’s a large snowstorm. It then closes it at Lake McDonald Lodge after that until plowing starts the next spring.

Hikers and skiers are allowed beyond the gates. In the fall, hikers and bikers can go beyond the gates, but once the snow is sticking to the ground, biking is prohibited.

Secondary roads like Two Medicine and Many Glacier typically close when snow falls, though there is a hard closure from Jan. 1 to the end of March, when crews start plowing roads again in the spring.

In the North Fork, bridge work has been completed and access to Bowman and Kintla lakes has reopened.

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