Sprague fire grows, evacuations remain in place – KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

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Sprague fire grows, evacuations remain in place – KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Sprague fire grows, evacuations remain in place

Posted: Sep 14, 2017 9:11 AM MDT Updated: Sep 14, 2017 9:15 AM

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK – Evacuation orders and warnings remain in effect in and around the west side of Glacier National Park as the Sprague fire has now grown to nearly 16,000 acres.Fire managers report that the blaze grew to the north and southwest on Wednesday, but despite the winds increasing and shifting, fire growth was not significantly impacted.An evacuation order remains in place from the south end of Lake McDonald north to Logan Pass, including the North McDonald Road. Additionally, the evacuation warning issued Wednesday remains in place for the Apgar area within Glacier National Park, including Apgar Village and campground as well as portions of West Glacier.There are two other blazes burning in the area.Elder Creek Fire (40 miles north of West Glacier on the US/Canada Border): The fire will be monitored from the Thoma lookout and resources from the Flathead National Forest. Yesterday, the fire activity remained minimal. The following trails are closed due to fire activity: Kishenehn Trail from the road to the Canadian border, Kishenehn Creek Trail from the Patrol Cabin to the border, and the Kintla Trail from Kishenehn Creek to Boulder Pass Trail (over Starvation Ridge). The fire is 282 acres in Glacier National Park (Total acreage is 2,547).Adair Peak Fire: (18 miles north/northwest of West Glacier): The Adair Fire saw minimal activity yesterday as it continued to burn in the mixed conifer stands along Logging Lake. Structure protection around the patrol cabins is in place and this fire will be monitored as needed. The Adair Fire is 3,374 acres.A fire information phone line is available at (406) 387-9092. Click here for the latest information on closures at Glacier National Park.

Source: Sprague fire grows, evacuations remain in place – KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana


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Road Riding in Glacier National Park, Montana – Men’s Journal

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Road Riding in Glacier National Park

By  Jayme Moye

Credit: Heath Korvola / Aurora / Getty Images

Glacier National Park, Going to the sun Road, Bike Rental, Glacier Outfitters

Going-to-the-Sun Road, the highest in Glacier National Park, ascends like a one-way route to the sky, gaining a grueling 3,400 vertical feet amid some of the most pristine glacier-carved valleys in the West. And with hairpin turns and 180-degree switchbacks, it’s a road rider’s paradise. a steady stream of cars, RVs, and buses make the road too dangerous to ride. But for four to six weeks in late May and June, the cyclists get it to themselves. “The road is closed in the winter,” says local rider Pete Thomas. “Come spring, it takes the park service six to eight weeks to plow it out. We wait for that all year.” Last spring I was in Whitefish, Montana, on the west side of the park, when that window opened: The road was clear almost to Logan Pass, the summit at mile 32. We set off early the next morning.The trail follows the churning McDonald Creek through the evergreen valley, climbing gradually at first against a panoramic backdrop of giant peaks and dramatic waterfalls. The road gets increasingly treacherous, and we dodged piles of gravel, mud, and branches left by winter avalanches. After about three hours, both sides of the road were penned in by progressively taller walls of snow and then became impassable. We had reached the top.We pulled on arm warmers and windbreakers and switched directions, flying down the middle of the road at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. Banking around a bend, I saw that my friends had stopped, and I grabbed the breaks hard. Two grizzly bear cubs were lumbering behind their mother in the valley below. We were down in less than an hour, planning another ride for the next day, before the magical window closed.

Source: Road Riding in Glacier National Park, Montana – Men’s Journal


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Glacier National Park – Going-to-the-Sun Road Snowplow Progress

Where are the Plows?

Information Updated at 3:12PM on March 14, 2016

Going-to-the-Sun Road Plowing InformationPlowing Activity for Spring, 2016 Plowing on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is scheduled to begin in early April. We will post updates here to keep you informed of the progress.

2015 plowing photos will be posted on our Flickr site Current road and hiker/biker status Detailed map of locations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road

Link to Going- to-the-Sun Road Opening and Closing Dates

Source: Glacier National Park – Going-to-the-Sun Road


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Glacier Park will start plowing roads next week – Hungry Horse News

By CHRIS PETERSON Hungry Horse News

Glacier National Park will start the annual spring plowing of roads next week. On the west side, crews are scheduled to start plowing the Camas Road on April 1.Once the Camas Road is plowed, crews will then shift to the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Plowing the Sun Road takes about two-and-half to three months. Last year the snow pack was well below average and the road opened to Logan Pass on June 19. The year before that saw a record snow pack and the road didn’t open until early July. This year’s snowpack is about average, despite an El Nino winter, which usually means warmer and drier conditions.This spring, to date, has been warm, but relatively wet, with average precipitation about 112 percent of average at the Flattop Mountain SNOTEL site in Glacier. The snow pack, however is 96 percent of average.On the east side, crews will likely start on the Many Glacier Road, so contractors can get to the Many Glacier Hotel and start work there. They then plow all the secondary roads before starting on the Sun Road. The Many Glacier Hotel will see work on the south annex this summer.Roads remain closed to hikers and bikers while plows are working, but the roads are generally open when plows aren’t working, though there can be exceptions.Construction on the Sun Road will be light this year. Crews will be working around the St. Mary entrance, but there are no major projects planned on the rest of the highway.To check on plowing updates in the Park, go to: http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/gttsroadplow/gttsroadplowstatus.cfm

Source: Glacier Park will start plowing roads next week – Hungry Horse News: Hungry Horse News


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The Huckleberry Hiker: Looking into the Eyes of a Wolf in Glacier National Park

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The following is a guest post by Ted Chase:  As I look out the window of my cabin at Summit Mountain Lodge, I fall witness to the tranquility of Glacier National Park. Most mornings I can loose track of time gazing at the view from our lodge, but today the grip of the wilderness is too strong. My plan was to meander through the woods and explore what my wife and I refer to as “the church”. The church is a wild, rugged wilderness that sees few visitors. Even during the height of Glacier National Parks peak season it’s hard to find many people. Although it’s winter here now, it feels like spring is just around the corner. The evidence is all around, some of the migratory birds including the robins are already making their way up from the south. I even saw two of our local great horned owls courting around the lodge. I couldn’t wait to go explore, so I slipped on my snowshoes and threw on my backpack and decided I needed to go hiking in Glacier.The snow didn’t seem to impede me much as I shifted through the lodgepole pines in search of tracks and the hidden secrets the wilderness holds. It didn’t take long to stumble upon moose tracks, they were very deep and even with my longest stride I couldn’t come close to mimicking their footsteps. After about 15 minutes of snowshoeing over felled trees and through dense alders, I was finally able to see the base of the mountains. After scoping the landscape for several minutes I saw a couple of bighorn sheep up on a small hilltop grazing, so I ventured off hoping to get a couple of pictures before heading deeper into the dark forest.The sunlight faded and danced through the trees as shadows cast doubt on my direction until I arrived at a stream that was familiar. There were fresh tracks along the stream and they appeared to be from wolves. I’m not one to get nervous in the woods, even when hiking amongst the top apex predators that commonly lurk in my own backyard. However, walking into their dining room is never part of my agenda. I quickly decided to retreat and move into a deeper area of the woods. I soon found a large meadow and it seemed like a great place to watch for animals, especially since many owls frequent this area. As I sat daydreaming there was an unexplainable sense of calm that was immediately interrupted as I witnessed several wolves making their way through the woods. As a wildlife photographer, I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t unaware of their presence and I knew my shot was gone. Surprisingly enough, they were not leaving and within less than a minute they started surrounding me. An eerie feeling came over me as they started howling on both sides at a very close distance. They were hidden enough in the shadows, but way too close for comfort. I decided that I needed to get out of this situation as soon as possible. My mind started racing and my fight-flight response started playing tricks on me. As I moved through the forest, I felt they were following me and even chasing me. My pace gradually increased as I took a sharp right turn running directly into a squirrel that shot up the tree sending me into partial paralysis. I froze immediately and as I glanced off to my right I realized I was indeed being watched. I was now face to face with a wolf feeding on a carcass, I could hear the ripping and tearing of flesh and bones and to my amazement the wolf continued to feed while watching me.So I did what any photographer would do, I pulled out my camera and tried to take some pictures. It was very dark in the trees, but I was able to capture a couple of rough shots. Regardless of getting the shot, this is a moment that I will never forget.Stay tuned for more stories from my adventures, but more importantly, thanks for reading this one! Author Bio: Born and raised in Montana on the infamous Missouri River Ted Chase is a professional fly fisherman and wildlife photographer. He grew up fly-fishing on the famous Big Mo, but always enjoys escaping to new worlds in search of adventure. Ted and his wife Mara run the Summit Mountain Lodge, providing premier cabins on the border of East Glacier Park in Montana. The lodge offers a great launching point for anyone looking to fish the rich rivers of the big sky state.Posted by The Smoky Mountain Hiker at 7:00 AM

Source: The Huckleberry Hiker: Looking into the Eyes of a Wolf in Glacier National Park


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Glacier National Park Builds Sister Park Relationship with Mongolian Park – Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

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Glacier National Park Builds Sister Park Relationship with Mongolian Park. –A delegation from Gorkhi-Terelj National Park and the Mongolian Department of Protected Areas Management visited Glacier National Park for five days this October. The visit included the signing of a Sister Park Arrangement between Glacier National Park and Gorkhi-Terelj National Park on October 24.The Mongolian delegation included two members of the Ministry of Environment, Green Development and Tourism, including the Director, and four staff. Glacier National Park volunteers and past employees Fred and Lynne VanHorn provided primary logistical support for the delegation.Glacier National Park has had a sister park agreement with the Khan Khentii Protected Area in Mongolia—just north of Gorkhi-Terelj—since 2004. Khan Khentii Protected area was divided into two parts in 2013, one of which is Gorkhi-Terelj National Park. Gorkhi-Terelj National Park is located in Northeast Mongolia, 37 Km from Ulaanbaatar, the nation’s capital.The purpose of the sister park relationship is to promote international cooperation for the mutual benefit of the parks, provide a forum for collaboration about shared challenges, enrich the experience and training of park personnel through international exchanges and to share the cultural and social values of both countries.Mongolia and Montana are located at the same latitude and have similar landforms, ecosystems, and wildlife. These similarities provide a unique platform for international cooperation and information sharing.The relationship with Gorkhi-Terelj will allow both parks to exchange expertise and to collaborate on a variety of projects, including education and youth programs, GIS mapping and trails development, threatened species protection, and the development of adaptive strategies in response to climate change.During the visit, the Mongolian delegation toured the park and met with park staff and the park’s non-profit partners. They also worked with park staff to assemble a ger, which is a type of yurt that the Mongolian Ministry of Environment gifted to Glacier National Park several years ago. The Glacier National Park Conservancy supported the visit, covering local expenses associated with their visit to the area.For additional park information, visit the park’s websitehttp://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htmor call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.

This is a few photo’s of a yurt given to Glacier National Park by Gorkhi-Terelj National Park quite a few years ago. Photo’s courtesy of Fred Thompson.

This was a gift back to Glacier from Mongolia

This was a gift to Glacier from Mongolia

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IMG_6934

Source: Glacier National Park Builds Sister Park Relationship with Mongolian Park – Glacier National Park (U.S. National Park Service)


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Glacier Outfitters, Glacier National Park, Rentals, Guided Tours , portfolio

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Crews Make Progress on Glacier Park Fire, Sun Road Reopens to Logan Pass This Week – Flathead Beacon

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WEST GLACIER – Areas in Glacier National Park that have been closed because of a massive wildfire near St. Mary will be reopening this week, although it is unclear how long the iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road will remain closed.Officials with Glacier Park hosted a public meeting in West Glacier on Sunday evening on a day when fire crews made significant progress battling the Reynold Creek Fire that started last week. Officials with the incident did not report any new growth of the fire on Sunday. The blaze, which is burning along the north shore of St. Mary Lake in rocky, rugged terrain, remains listed at 3,158 acres. It is 20 percent contained.Recent rains have subdued the fire, but it still possesses potential for activity if drier weather conditions return, according to fire officials. Forecasters have said a cold, wet weather system would hit the region Sunday and Monday with possible snow in the higher elevations of Glacier Park.»»» Click here to view a map of the fire.Crews on Sunday conducted aggressive direct attack and continued structure protection in the Going-to-the-Sun Road area affected by fire activity. Firefighters built containment line next to the fire’s edge and were supported by water drops from helicopters. Since the beginning of the fire, helicopters have dropped more than 1 million gallons of water on the blaze.Above the Sun Road on the east side, explosives were used to build a 4,000-foot fire line in an avalanche chute with heavy brush and downed logs, according to officials. Firefighters continue dropping snags and clearing debris near the Sun Road in areas affected by the fire.At the public meeting Sunday night, Superintendent Jeff Mow said the Going-to-the-Sun Road “will reopen when it is safe.” However, he did announce that the St. Mary Visitors Center will reopen on Monday and the campground there would reopen on Wednesday. The Sun Road will be open to Logan Pass again starting Wednesday. The Rising Sun Campground and Rising Sun Motor Inn will remain closed for the forseeable future. Mow said it is possible that some trails in the fire area will not reopen this year.On Sunday morning, the mandatory evacuation along the west shore of Lower St. Mary Lake was downgraded to a Level 2 “warning.” The Level 2 status of the east side of lower St. Mary Lake will be downgraded to Level 3 “advisory.”  The town site of St. Mary will continue to remain at a Level 3.Evacuation orders have been lifted for National Park Service employee housing and administrative areas.A vast portion the park remains open with favorable weather conditions.A fire information meeting is planned for 6 p.m., Sunday at the West Glacier Community Building in West Glacier. A fire information hotline has been established at 406-732-7791.The incident has cost $2.9 million, according to fire officials. There are 650 personnel and seven aircraft assigned to the incident. The cause remains under investigation.

Source: Crews Make Progress on Glacier Park Fire, Sun Road Reopens to Logan Pass This Week – Flathead Beacon


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I Heart My National Park: Glacier – Intelligent Travel

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Montana’s Glacier National Park is where everything bright and strong and never tamed comes together on high: gray wolves and great silver-tipped bears, storms that hit the Great Divide like tsunamis with golden eagles surfing the wind waves, twisted trees 200 years old but scarcely tall enough to hide a bighorn sheep, and impatient wildflowers shoving through snow to unfurl their colors.Some 762 lakes, dozens of glaciers, and innumerable waterfalls glisten in forested valleys. But perhaps best of all, a scenic highway and more than 700 miles of trails criss-cross the park, making much of its beauty accessible to visitors.Geographer Richard Menicke arrived at Glacier in 1992, and quickly carved out a niche for himself as the park’s foremost geographic information system (GIS) specialist, working to improve natural resource management and educate the public about Glacier’s ecological significance. Here is his insider’s guide to this “Crown of the Continent” jewel.Glacier Is My National ParkSeptember is the best time to visit Glacier because the crowds are gone and the park is beautiful. You can feel like you have the place to yourself.Two Medicine Lake (Photograph by puffsdaddy, Flickr)Glacier’s biggest attraction is Going-to-the-Sun Road and Logan Pass, but a visit isn’t complete without seeing the Two Medicine region or Many Glacier on the east side of the park.If I could offer one practical tip for optimizing your visit, it would be to pass through the entrance gate before 9 a.m. and generally get an early start to each day. Avoid crowds by giving yourself lots of time to go big or simply relax and enjoy—whichever you prefer.My favorite “park secret” is amazing backcountry settings that are reached quickly by foot during a day outing.Watch out for rapidly changing weather conditions and be sure to bring plenty of layers of clothing, appropriate footwear, food, water, and bear spray when you come to the park.Head to Many Glacier if you want to see wildlife. If you’re really lucky, you’ll spot a grizzly bear. But be warned: Make sure to enjoy the local fauna at a distance and do not approach the animals.For the best view, head to Swiftcurrent Lookout. The apex of a stout hike with significant elevation gain in the center of the park, this fire lookout station allows visitors to see just about everywhere.The Highline Loop or Grinnell Glacier trail are the best trails in the park and the Chief Mountain Highway—which connects Glacier to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada—is the most scenic drive. The two parks together make up the world’s first International Peace Park, a partnership that was forged in 1932.Recommended trail: the Highline Loop (Photograph by Kathy Standford, Flickr)If you’re up for a physical challenge, try hiking the Gunsight Pass/Sperry Chalet to Lake McDonald trail (20 miles!) or from the Highline Loop up and over Swiftcurrent Pass to Many Glacier (13 miles). Both of these hikes are point-to-point treks that require a shuttle or coordination among friends hiking the same trail from the opposite direction.To experience the park’s cultural side, hike up to Sperry Chalet or Granite Park Chalet. You can also sit at the foot of Two Medicine and appreciate the value of that valley to the Blackfeet people over time.Any front-country, drive-in campground is the best place to stay while you’re visiting.If you only have one day to spend in the park, make sure to take Going-to-the-Sun Road (start before 8 a.m.) to Logan Pass. Cross from west to east, or vice versa, to see the dramatic change in the landscape.If you’re interested in a guided experience, try a ranger-led tour or seek out one of the park’s permitted partners.The most peaceful place in the park has to be the North Fork, where you really feel “out there.”Mascot material: Glacier’s mountain goats (Photograph by jstephenconn, Flickr)The Lundgren family is an “unsung hero” of my park because during their many years of operating private visitor facilities in Apgar campground and neighboring West Glacier community, they kept the look and feel of the area rustic and in character of the larger Glacier experience.Witnessing a snowfall and a grizzly bear—all in one day, in August—could only happen in my park.

Source: I Heart My National Park: Glacier – Intelligent Travel


Glacier Outfitters Closing Day – We are by phone rervatioms until the 30th.

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