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Entries in Glacier National Park (77)

Saturday
May162015

Plow crews reach Logan Pass

Glacier National Park photo(GLACIER NAT'L PARK)- There's still a lot of work left to be done, including clearing the "Big Drift", but Glacier National Park plow crews hit a milestone this week, topping the summit of the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Logan Pass. 

Crews have been making quick work on the road this spring, after several seasons when extremely heavy snows, high avalanche danger and storms made clearing the road as tough as it can be.

This year, the plow crews are coping with stormy weather at the higher elevations, but snowfall amounts have been close to average, allowing them to make rapid progress up the mountain. 

The park says a more weeks of work remain before the popular route can open. Crews have to clear the "Big Drift", one of the major obstacles every year just east of the pass. They must also install guardrails and other safety features and clean up debris from the winter storms, as well as clearing the Logan Pass parking lot. 

Monday
Dec012014

Glacier storm cleanup continues

GNP photo (WEST GLACIER)- Glacier National Park is re-opened, but some of the cleanup continues from a violent windstorm that lashed the park over the Thanksgiving weekend. 

The strong winds and heavy snow blasted across the park late Friday night. People described the storm as arriving with a "roar", uprooting trees in its wake. 

Initially the park closed the Apgar Visitor Center and closed the Going-to-the-Sun Road at the foot of Lake McDonald until the debris could be cleared. As many as 20-structures, including park housing units, were struck by trees and limbs. Six residences were hit by trees and one family was displaced from the home because of the structural damage. 

Snowfall was heaviest on the east side of the park, where as much as 2-feet of snow was reported at St. Mary and 18-to20" fell at East Glacier. 

Most of the areas had been re-opened, but work was continuing to find all of the damage. 

Thursday
Oct092014

Glacier sets new all-time record for visits

(WEST GLACIER)- There are still three months to go, but Glacier National Park has already set a new all-time record for park visits, topping the previous record that's more than 3-decades old.

Glacier has been on a near-record pace all year long, despite a slow start to the summer and a few snowy spells that closed the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

According to the latest statistics released by the National Park Service today, Glacier has seen more than 2.2-million recreation visitors pass through the gates through September 30th. The actual number is 2,238,761.

That's not only almost 39-thousand more people than the most recent near-record year during the park's centennial in 2010, it also shatters Glacier's previous all-time record of 2,203,847 visitors back in the 1983. And it means any visits between now and the end of December will add to the new record. 

The park had come close to record territory in 2012 and again in 2013, but a combination of wintery weather and last year's government shutdown had stopped the total short of the 1983 record. 

By comparison, only 4,000 people visited the park in its first full season in 1911. 

Tuesday
Sep302014

Glacier among parks looking at higher entrance fees next year

Dennis Bragg photo(WEST GLACIER)- Glacier National Park is among more than 100-units of the National Park Service that are expected to raise fees as soon as next year, perhaps by as much as 50%. 

However, Glacier officials say no decision has been made on how much of an increase visitors to the "Crown of the Continent" might be paying after the fee hike. 

A report in the Denver Post Monday indicated 131 different park units, including popular destinations like Glacier, would raise their fees in advance of the NPS' 100th anniversary in 2016. The direction came from Park Service director Jon Jarvis last month. Outside Magazine reported Glacier's fees would jump from $20 to $30 for an annual pass.

However, Glacier spokeswoman Denise Garmann told the Missoulian no decision has been made on the actual amount of the increase. 

For most parks, it would be the first fee hike since 2008.  

National Park units began changing entrance fees on a widespread basis in the mid-1990s, initially under a "temporary" program that was to have generated revenue needed for improvements in each park. However, Congress never ended the fee program. 

Sunday
Sep212014

Rangers handle second fatal fall in a week in Glacier

(WEST GLACIER)- For the second time in less than a week, Glacier National Park has been the scene of someone dying in a fatal fall.

Just days after a Missoula man died while apparently trying to BASE jump from Mount Siyeh, a young Idaho man died Thursday just a few miles away on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. 

Glacier National Park rangers recovered the body of 18-year old Brandon Luis Avalos of St. Maries at the bottom of a 100' cliff near Big Drift, just east of Logan Pass. Their investigation showed Avalos had been traveling with friends when they stopped to see the view. When he didn't return to the car, the group thought he might have been hiking up to Logan Pass and remained in the area. When he didn't return overnight they called for help.

Rangers believe Avalos climbed over a guardrail and fell to his death. 

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