Glacier National Park Chalet Reopens For Business After Fire

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Glacier National Park Chalet Reopens For Business After Fire


A Sperry Chalet is ready to begin taking reservations for the first time since a wildfire gutted the structure, officials said the Sperry Chalet is expected to begin taking reservations. The chalet dormitory fell prey to a wildfire in August 2017 and required a reconstruction of the facility, National Park Service officials said.The park service authorized at least $12 million to rebuild the chalet, which is located at the end of a 6.7-mile hike in the park.The chalet will be available for stays from July 18 to Sept. 13.Both the Granite and Sperry chalets in the park are normally booked for the summer within 10 to 15 minutes, officials said.

Source: Glacier National Park Chalet Reopens For Business After Fire

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Whitefish Pilot , Warm winter recorded, but snowpack still above average

Kalispell had its third warmest winter on record with an average high of 30 degrees, but the Flathead River Basin snowpack is still well above average at 120 percent, as of the first week of March.

The temperature data goes from December through February, the National Weather Service in Missoula notes.

The warmest average high was the winter of 1952-’53, the Weather Service said.

Storms that brought rain to the valleys saw snow in the mountains, which boosted the snowpack. In fact, the lower valleys were often just warm enough to see rain — places like West Glacier, for example, still have a couple of feet of snow on the ground and even more in some places.

The highest temperature this winter was 56 degrees on Feb. 28. The coldest day was 9 below zero Jan. 14.

Some places have more snow than others. Flattop Mountain in Glacier National Park is 136 percent of average snow water equivalent, while Hand Creek in the Salish Range north and west of Whitefish is just 81 percent of average.

Snowpack doesn’t typically predict the upcoming fire season. By mid-summer, most snows have melted. Timely summer rains have a much greater impact on fire season than snowpack.

Last year, for example, the snowpack was 91 percent of average by mid-March, but the summer of 2019 saw no large local wildfires.

In 2018, by contrast, the snowpack was 137 percent of average, but the region saw several large wildfires, including the Howe Ridge Fire in Glacier National park that burned more than 14,000 acres and several cabins along Lake McDonald.

Source: Whitefish Pilot , Warm winter recorded, but snowpack still above average

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Plowing through unusually deep snow begins in Glacier National Park 

Plowing through unusually deep snow begins in Glacier National Park

Associated Press Apr 1, 2018

Crews plow Going-to-the-Sun Road at the Big Drift in Glacier in 2016. GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — Workers face an even bigger job than usual as they get to work on the annual task of clearing snow from roads in northern Montana’s Glacier National Park.Crews are plowing Two Medicine Road and Chief Mountain Road on the park’s east side. Plowing of Many Glacier Road will begin soon. The Flathead Beacon reports crews eventually will turn their attention to the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road, where heavy snow and avalanches will likely slow their progress. Snow depths are well above average on both sides of the park.Last year, deep snow kept crews from fully opening Going-to-the-Sun Road until June 28. Workers on the road must contend with more than 40 major avalanche zones and an area where snow can pile up to 80 feet (24 meters) deep.

Source: Plowing through unusually deep snow begins in Glacier National Park | State & Regional |

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Daily Inter Lake , Glacier Park superintendent honored by Public Lands Alliance

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow has received an award for outstanding stewardship of public land

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow has received an award for outstanding stewardship of public lands.

The Public Lands Alliance, a national association of public land-related nonprofits, recognizes several efforts, groups, and individuals for their conservation work each year. Its Agency Leadership Award “recognizes a public land management agency employee for outstanding accomplishments in championing, cultivating and leading partnerships.”

Mow received the award at the group’s annual convention in Palm Springs, Calif. last week.

“I’m honored to receive this award and accept it on behalf of all of the staff at Glacier National Park, and our committed park partners who make our work possible,” he said.

Mow has held this post since 2013. In a press release, the Glacier National Park Conservancy commended him for placing “an emphasis on the importance of community and nonprofit partner collaboration in the face of increasing park visitation, invasive species, dwindling budgets and climate change.”

These challenges have loomed especially large over the past two years, which saw record visitors, a higher-than-ever risk of invasive zebra and quagga mussels, and massive fires that swept through the park and gutted Sperry Chalet.

Mitchell said that Mow’s leadership – in particular, his partnership with the Conservancy – has helped the park withstand these problems. “The collaborative nature of our partnership has allowed the Conservancy to better demonstrate Glacier’s highest priority needs to donors, dramatically increasing funding to the park by more than 400% over the last four years.”

The Public Lands Alliance also presented the award Marty Hornick, Forest Supervisor of California’s Inyo National Forest.

Source: Daily Inter Lake , Glacier Park superintendent honored by Public Lands Alliance

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Fund started toward rebuilding Glacier Park’s burned Sperry Chalet | The Spokesman-Review

Fund started toward rebuilding Glacier Park’s burned Sperry Chalet

The century-old Sperry Chalet burned on Aug. 21, 2017, in the Spaulding Fire that plagued Glacier National Park. (Glacier Conservancy) PARKS — A fund has been launched toward eventually restoring Sperry Chalet, which burned Aug. 31 in the Sprague Fire that’s raised havoc in Glacier National Park.The roof and woodwork inside and out of the main building have burned away, but the walls of fine rock masonry still stand, giving hope to the potential for restoring the century-old chalet that required negotiating nearly seven miles of trail to reach. A Sperry Action Fund has been established by the Glacier Conservancy to cover costs related to work at the chalet.  “We have been working with Superintendent Jeff Mow since the morning after the fire to offer support and assistance, as part of our mission to preserve and protect the park for future generations,” the conservancy says in a media release.With an initial emergency fund of $90,000, the conservancy has hired an engineering firm to assess the integrity of the remaining structure and recommend stabilization actions to protect the stonework remains through the winter. Stabilization must be done quickly as winter is fast approaching in the Glacier backcountry where the chalet was built at 6,000 feet.”The Sperry Action Fund is in addition to the more than 50 projects and programs the park has requested funding for in the coming year, prompting the conservancy to reach out for more donations.”This work represents the first step in assessing the extent of the damage to evaluate what future actions might be possible,” the conservancy said.”As a special thank you for any donations of $100 or more, we will send you a Limited Edition 12″ x 18″ poster of Sperry created and generously donated by Roy E. Hughes. Roy created this digital block print image when he was a Glacier National Park Artist-in-Residence in 2005.

“POSTED SEPT. 20, 2017, 6:01 A.M.

Source: Fund started toward rebuilding Glacier Park’s burned Sperry Chalet | The Spokesman-Review

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Sprague fire grows, evacuations remain in place – | 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 – | 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:

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