No More Going-to-Sun; Glacier Closes Popular Park Road for Winter
Although the weather is still beautiful for visiting Glacier National Park, locals hoping to experience the park are facing limited options, now that the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road has closed for the winter season.
The road to Logan Pass closed for the season on Sunday, and while the weather makes that seem early, park managers note the road typically closes for the winter before the third Monday in October. Visitors will still have the option of driving from the St. Mary Entrance up to the Jackson Glacier Overlook. And they can still hike or bike up to Logan Pass, as long as they watch for falling ice and rocks, and rapidly changing weather conditions.
It's not legal to operate bikes on snow-covered roads.
The park had already closed the west side of Going-to-the-Sun from Apgar to Logan Pass on October 1st. Usually, people are able to at least drive along Lake McDonald late in the year. But now, contractors are using these weeks to wrap up a massive utility project along the road. That also means no winter access to Lake McDonald Lodge, which is a popular trailhead for winter users.
The Apgar Visitor Center and Apgar Campground remain open, and most secondary roads remain open as seasonal closures are approaching.
Closure of the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road is likely to keep the park from setting any visitation records for 2023. While the park's reporting of visitor numbers has been delayed this year, the latest information shows overall visitation was down 7 percent through August, at 2-point-1 million people. The Logan Pass route didn't open until mid-July this year because of cold, wet weather, impacting some of those traffic numbers.