Thursday, July 9, 2020

Glacier’s Adaptive Operations Recovery Continues with Partial Opening of Going-to-the-Sun Road

In keeping with Glacier National Park’s adaptive operations recovery, the Going-to-the-Sun Road will open to motorized vehicles from the west entrance to Logan Pass and as far as Rising Sun on July 13, pending any last-minute changes due to weather.

Due to the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council’s resolution restricting non-essential travel on the reservation, the east entrance at St. Mary remains closed. Visitors will need to enter and exit Going-to-the-Sun Road via the west entrance. Traffic will be allowed as far as Rising Sun on the east side.

This week, the park resumed collecting fees at the gate. Please allow for extra time in case of long lines.

Park road crews have finished snow removal, assessed current snow conditions, removed rocks and other road debris, installed guard rails, prepared Logan Pass facilities and started the water system for visitor use.

There will be sporadic work zones on Going-to-the-Sun Road with traffic control and flaggers, including ongoing spillway work along Lake McDonald, guard wall repair near Triple Arches, and seepage repair at Siyeh Bend. Visitors need to be on the lookout for multiple work zones.

Services at Logan Pass will include restroom facilities and potable water. Visitor information services will be provided outside of the Logan Pass Visitor Center from 9 am – 4 pm daily. The Glacier National Park Conservancy bookstore will be operating inside of the Logan Pass Visitor Center, with access at the upper level. The bookstore will be accepting credit cards only and will limit the number of people inside at any one time to enable appropriate social distancing.

Services at Rising Sun Motor Inn will include the campstore and public restrooms from 8am to 8pm. The Two Dog Flats restaurant will be providing "on-the-go" food service from 11am to 6pm. A water bottle filling station is available. The overnight lodging and public showers are closed for the season. The Rising Sun Campground is currently closed. Visitors should also leave West Glacier with a full tank of gas, as there are no gas services at Rising Sun.

There will be no bus tours on the Going-to-the-Sun Road or in other areas of the park this year due to COVID-19. This includes interpretive tours by Sun Tours and Glacier National Park Lodges (red buses). The park’s fare-free summer shuttle system is also not available this year.

Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet, and wider than 8 feet, are prohibited on the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Avalanche Campground and Rising Sun. Vehicles over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass due to rock overhangs.

Bicyclists are reminded that bicycle safety restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun-Road are in effect, and remain in effect through Labor Day, September 7. Bicycles are prohibited between the Apgar turnoff near the Apgar Picnic Area and Sprague Creek Campground from 11 am to 4 pm. Bicycles are prohibited eastbound (uphill) between Logan Creek and Logan Pass from 11 am to 4 pm. Information on bicycle restrictions and average bicycle times may be found in the park newspaper available at park entrance stations, or online on the park’s bicycle information webpage. This is the last weekend hiker/bikers will have car-free access on the portion of the road past Avalanche Creek.

While driving along the road, particularly through the Rim Rock area (approximately one mile west of Logan Pass) visitors should be aware of possible rockfall and should not stop in this section. Rocks and other debris continue to fall throughout the summer, requiring daily clean up.

The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is still closed due to hazardous snow conditions. For up-to-date information on trail conditions and clearing activities, visit the park’s trail status webpage.

With more than 740 miles of trails meandering throughout the park, hiking is the absolute best way to see Glacier National Park. In fact, the park offers a wide variety of outstanding hikes that take-in the best scenery Glacier has to offer. If you do plan to visit Glacier this year, please note that our hiking website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with all your trip planning.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
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HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Video: Jenny Lake Renewal Project Completed

As many of you are already aware, the multi-year Jenny Lake Renewal Project in Grand Teton National Park was finally completed last fall. Below is a short video from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation that highlights what visitors will experience moving forward. The popular Jenny Lake area provides access to some of the best hikes in the park, including Hidden Falls, Inspiration Point, Cascade Canyon, as well as the loop hike around Jenny Lake:


Jenny Lake Renewal Project Completed in Grand Teton National Park from GTNP Foundation on Vimeo.


With more than 240 miles of trails meandering throughout the park, hiking is the absolute best way to see Grand Teton National Park. In addition to the hikes listed above, the park offers a wide variety of outstanding hikes that take-in the best scenery the Tetons have to offer. If you do plan to visit Grand Teton this year, please note that our hiking website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with all your trip planning.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Volunteers needed to gather information on Pole Mountain Gateways trails

The USDA Forest Service, Laramie Ranger District, is requesting public involvement to inform long-term management of non-motorized recreation on the Pole Mountain unit of the Medicine Bow National Forest. Two volunteer days are scheduled, and an interactive web site is online, in preparation for the large-scale analysis referred to as the Pole Mountain Gateways project.

Proceeding the project and public meetings this fall, the Forest Service has partnered with Common Outdoor Ground (COG), a community organization in southeast Wyoming, to utilize volunteers and assess non-system trail conditions this summer using a consistent approach.

The University of Wyoming Ruckelshaus Institute is also assisting the Forest Service with pre-project information gathering and is working with COG to provide multiple opportunities for the public to participate.

Common Outdoor Ground will be coordinating two trail assessment days in coming weeks, Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 19. On those days, volunteers will be asked to hike, bike, or ride non-system trails and utilize GPS units to gather information on those trails. Participants will need to have knowledge of non-system trails in two general areas of interest: north of Wyoming Highway 210 (July 11) and south of Highway 210 (July 19). Specific locations for desired mapping will be established at event check-in.

No more than 20 individuals are needed for each day and those interested in participating will need to sign up in advance for one of two GPS unit/orientation pick-up timeslots: 8-9 a.m. or 9-10 a.m. Check-in on July 11 will be at Tie City Trailhead and on July 19 at the Vedauwoo fee booth. All volunteers will be asked to wear a mask during check-in. Register on the COG website.

Non-system trails are neither maintained or designated by the Forest Service, but may exist on the landscape for many reasons, such as use by livestock and wild game, old roadbeds, or user-created routes pioneered by recreationists. Such trails will be analyzed for some form of future management action during the Pole Mountain Gateways project.

In addition to the volunteer days, the Ruckelshaus Institute has coordinated with WyGISC to produce an online mapping tool for the project. Within the web site, Forest users can input information relevant to the upcoming Gateways project, such as preferred access points, photos, suggestions for signage and infrastructure, maintenance needs, trail conditions, and so on. Data will be collected all summer long and members of the public can contribute at their convenience. The web site will serve to provide information and give updates about the upcoming project, as well as provide details about how to use the mapping tool. Social media sites will also be created for the pre-project analysis, information-gathering effort.

Users are encouraged to engage in their activities with these driving questions in mind: What do you value about Pole Mountain? What do you want Pole Mountain to look like in 10, 20, and/or 50 years?

The Forest Service and Ruckelshaus Institute are in conversations about re-structuring public meetings for fall 2020 or considering creative alternatives to in-person events. Check the project website and social media pages for regular updates.

The pre-project public meetings are planned to help establish a starting point for the Forest Service environmental analysis of the entire Pole Mountain administrative unit. Trails, facilities, parking, signage and other aspects of non-motorized recreation will all be reviewed by the analysis.

The project has been named Pole Mountain Gateways to reflect the area’s designation as a Wyoming Forest Gateway Community Priority Area, which resulted from implementation of the National Trails Stewardship Act.

For details on the Pole Mountain area, contact the Laramie Ranger District at (307) 745-2300.







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Friday, July 3, 2020

Glacier National Park Reminders for July 4 Weekend

Glacier National Park is providing a few reminders to help visitors have a safe and enjoyable July 4 weekend.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open to Avalanche Creek for vehicular traffic. Road crews will not be working during the holiday which allows hikers and bikers to travel all the way to Logan Pass. The visitor center will not be open but vault toilets will be available.

Hikers/bikers should use extreme caution if they travel past The Loop to Logan Pass. Recent rainfall has caused an increase in rocks and mud slides on the road. Be cautious when biking around hidden corners, as there may be rocks in the road. Although road crews are not working, administrative park vehicles will still be traveling to Logan Pass. Please stay to the shoulder when hiking or biking in case vehicles approach.

The Highline Trail from Logan Pass is still closed due to hazardous snow conditions.

While the road is open to Avalanche Creek, portions of the road are being closed daily as parking reaches capacity at Avalanche and the Lake McDonald Lodge. Visitors should expect traffic restrictions and delays during daylight hours.

Visitors to the North Fork area should also expect road restrictions to Kintla and Bowman Lakes when parking in those areas is filled. The Bowman Lake Trail is open but posted as hazardous due to downed trees two miles from the backcountry campground. For up-to-date information on trail conditions and clearing activities, visit the Park’s trail status webpage.

Backcountry permits are available at the Apgar Backcountry Permit office and are available on a first-come-first-served basis.

Visitors should be aware that fireworks are illegal in Glacier National Park. Rangers will also be stepping up DUI enforcement efforts over the holiday weekend.

The east side of the park remains closed. This includes access to Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Cut Bank Creek and St. Mary. All trailheads that begin on the east side of the Continental Divide remain closed. If visitors travel through the Blackfeet Reservation on the way to the West Glacier entrance to the park, please be mindful of the tribe’s request for face coverings and gloves when frequenting businesses such as gas stations, and check the Blackfeet COVID-19 Incident Command Facebook page for updates.

A map of the areas in the Park that are open can be viewed here:



Visitors are encouraged to check the Glacier National Park website, Twitter, Facebook and Recreation Access Display (RAD) to receive updates regarding park status.

With more than 740 miles of trails meandering throughout the park, hiking is the absolute best way to see Glacier National Park. In fact, the park offers a wide variety of outstanding hikes that take-in the best scenery Glacier has to offer. If you do plan to visit Glacier this year, please note that our hiking website also offers a wide variety of accommodation listings and other things to do to help with all your trip planning.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Responsible Recreation Encouraged at String Lake

Beginning this holiday weekend, Grand Teton National Park staff will implement measures to promote the health and safety of visitors, employees and volunteers at String Lake by encouraging social distancing and appropriate food storage practices.

String Lake is one of the most popular areas in the park for gathering and recreation. During peak summer visitation, designated parking spots are filled between mid-morning and late afternoon, and overflow parking occurs along nearby roadsides. The lake shoreline also quickly fills with visitors and their picnic supplies and recreation equipment.

Social distancing to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is more difficult at String Lake given its relatively narrow and limited shoreline, compared to other lakes in the park like Jenny Lake or Jackson Lake where there is more space for people to socially distance.

In an effort to follow local and national public health guidance related to large gatherings, parking will only be allowed in designated areas at String Lake over the holiday weekend. Limited parking will help manage the number of people in the area and allow opportunities for preventative measures related to COVID-19. When the designated parking areas at String Lake are full, no additional parking will be available.

The String Lake area is frequented by a variety of wildlife. There are several bear-resistant food storage lockers in the area for visitors to properly store food and scented items. Many visitors that picnic along String Lake bring large meals and associated items, regularly filling the food lockers beyond capacity. Visitors are encouraged to bring a smaller volume of food and drinks and store food items in a hard-sided vehicle when food lockers are full. Picnickers should only have immediate use items out so that if wildlife approaches, food items can be quickly gathered and the opportunity for an animal to receive a food reward is removed.

Park visitors are encouraged to arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds. If an area is crowded, please consider an alternate area or activity. Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out what you bring in, including all trash and left-over food, and inspecting the area you visited before you leave. 







Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Dust Abatement Activities on Moose-Wilson Road July 7-9

The unpaved section of the Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park will be temporarily closed for seasonal dust abatement beginning 4 a.m. Tuesday, July 7 and will reopen by 8 a.m. Thursday, July 9. This routine dust abatement application happens several times during the summer on the approximately one-mile of unpaved section of the seven-mile road.

During the dust abatement application July 7-9, motorists and bicyclists should plan to use an alternate route as this temporary closure will prevent making a ‘through trip’ on the Moose-Wilson Road between the Granite Canyon Entrance Station and the Teton Park Road at Moose, Wyoming.

For those wishing to reach the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve parking area or Death Canyon Trailhead, access will be possible by traveling south from the Teton Park Road Junction near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center.

Electronic signs will be placed on Wyoming Highway 390 to alert park visitors and local residents of the scheduled road closure. For travelers heading south to Teton Village from the Moose area, signs will also be placed near the junction of the Teton Park Road.

The product used for dust abatement is a slurry of magnesium chloride, the same product that is used to treat dirt roads in and around Jackson Hole. This product coats the road surface, but it can also adhere to the undercarriage of vehicles. Motorists who drive the unpaved portion of the Moose-Wilson Road after it reopens on Thursday may want to rinse off their vehicles to eliminate any residue.

Roadwork schedules may change, or be delayed, due to weather conditions, equipment malfunction, or other extenuating circumstances.



Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Body of Missing Man Found Near Polebridge

Glacier National Park just announced on their Twitter account that the body of missing man they were seeking was found today:
The body of a missing Pocatello man was found in Glacier National Park early this afternoon. George Calvin Adams, whose vehicle was discovered on Inside North Fork Road in Glacier National Park on Monday, June 29, was found in the Hidden Meadows area south of Polebridge.

Glacier National Park Search and Rescue was joined by the Flathead County Sheriff Search and Rescue and Two Bear Air Rescue for the search. Two Bear discovered and recovered the deceased. Cause of death is currently unknown.




Jeff
HikinginGlacier.com
TetonHikingTrails.com
RockyMountainHikingTrails.com
HikingintheSmokys.com

Ramble On: A History of Hiking
Exploring Glacier National Park
Exploring Grand Teton National Park