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Snow plowing continuing along Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road

Because of late-season avalanches there’s still no set timetable on when the iconic road will fully open to traffic
Sun Road Plowing
Posted at 5:49 PM, May 31, 2024

WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park remains a constant attraction for tourists and locals alike, and with warmer weather trending the park is continuing its snow removal process of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

As summer draws near Glacier National Park prepares to open its doors fully, one final indicator that they're nearing that opening is the plowing of the top of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

“As we progress through the season, it's been a pretty average season on Going-to-the-Sun Road. We've had very low snow down low, but up the higher we went the more common and more average the snowpack has been,” explained physical scientist and forecaster Zachary Miller.

Sun Road Plowing
Crews are making progress plowing Going-to-the-Sun Road, but there is no word yet on when it will fully open.

This year, the Going-to-the-Sun Road has experienced close to an average amount of avalanches with 74 total — including 34 that have hit already plowed roads that then warranted re-plowing, but there has been one key difference.

“The last avalanches we had on the road this time last year were the 13th of May. And we've had a majority of them just in the last couple of weeks that we've had to re-plow back through. And that's plowing up and then in the afternoon plowing ourselves back out,” Glacier National Park Road Supervisor Brian Paul told MTN.

Watch crews working to clear the Going-to-the-Sun Road below:

Going-to-the-Sun Road spring plowing

Because of those late-season avalanches, there’s still no set timetable on when the road will become fully open, even with the constant efforts from the plowing crews.

“There's no timetable that I can shoot for because right now it's snowing up here. I just talked to a person that biked up here this time last year, it's 75 degrees all the way to the top, so I can't make any predictions on opening on the road just because of the weather,” Paul said.

Sun Road Plowing
Going-to-the-Sun road isn't fully open for cars yet but hikers and bikers have access to lower sections of the road.

While the Going-to-the-Sun road may not be fully open for cars yet, hikers and bikers currently have access to lower sections of the road and are cautioned to travel carefully.

“Currently during our hiker/biker season, please be aware that when you go beyond the loop, there are additional mountain hazards that you should certainly be heads up about,” Miller advised. “Look for moving snow, look for rapidly warming temperatures, or mountain weather that changes quickly, and be extra safe and extra prepared if you go beyond the loop.”

Only time and Mother Nature will decide when the Going-to-the-Sun Road will open for the summer. The latest information about road conditions at Glacier National Park can be found here.