University of Montana researchers are working in partnership with the National Park Service to conduct visitor-use studies on park trails along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The studies will assess trail usage and trends. Visitors may encounter researchers and research equipment at several areas along the Going-to-the-Sun Road this summer.
The last comprehensive trail-use study in Glacier National Park was conducted in 1988. Some preliminary analysis was conducted in 2011 and further analysis is being conducted this year. Researchers will use electronic vehicle counters on the road and visitor counters on trails. To ensure accuracy, staff and/or cameras will be stationed on some trails, roadsides, and parking areas.
Preliminary information from last year indicates significant increases in some trail use. Research findings will help inform park staff and the public during the development of a Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan. The plan is anticipated to begin in 2013.
Hikes in Glacier National Park