A mountain of millings at DeMers Ridge

Here’s a photo of the the mountain of millings generated by a Glacier Park road resurfacing project and subsequently hauled to the DeMers Ridge gravel pit. Beginning July 10, Flathead County will be reusing this material to repair and upgrade the roughly one-mile section of Glacier Drive between the Polebridge Mercantile and the nearby entrance to Glacier Park.

Millings at DeMers Ridge, May 25, 2023 - Lois Walker
Millings at DeMers Ridge, May 25, 2023 – Lois Walker

2013 GNP Vehicle Reservation System Begins May 26

Oh, joy… and just in time for the long holiday weekend . . .

GNP Vehicle Reservation System Begins May 26

24-hour advance reservations released on a rolling basis starting May 25 at 8 am MDT

Glacier NP Vehicle Reservation Areas 2023
Glacier NP Vehicle Reservation Areas 2023

WEST GLACIER, Mont. [May 24, 2023] – Glacier National Park reminds visitors that vehicle reservations are required May 26 through September 10, 2023 for those entering the park by vehicle or motorcycle from 6 am to 3 pm at west side entrances including the North Fork, Camas and West entrances.

For the east side of the park, vehicle reservations will not be required at Many Glacier, Two Medicine and St. Mary (at Rising Sun) entrances until July 1, 2023.

Visitors with lodging, camping, or commercial activity reservations (e.g., boat tours and horseback rides) do not need a vehicle reservation and can use their confirmation email to access the portion of the park for which their activity is booked.

Visitors who do not already possess a vehicle reservation can book 24-hour advance reservations at 8 am MDT on Recreation.gov the day before their visit. Vehicle reservations are only available at Recreation.gov.

The park is open 24/7 and visitors may enter the park before 6 am or after 3 pm without a vehicle reservation; however, entry to Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west side is restricted before 6 am due to construction activities requiring nightly closures.

For the east side of Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor, vehicle reservations will be checked at the Rising Sun check point (located 6 miles west of the St. Mary Entrance) beginning on July 1, 2023. Park shuttles at St. Mary Visitor Center are located outside of the vehicle reservation area and accessible without a vehicle reservation.

Additional vehicle reservation information and frequently asked questions are available on the park’s Vehicle Reservation page.

Glacier National Park is surrounded by a vast amount of additional recreational opportunities, including local tribal lands and national forests. Recreational activities on tribal lands such as hiking, boating, fishing, camping, etc. requires a permit through each tribe. Visitors can find more information on the Blackfeet Nation and Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) websites. Information for recreation in the Flathead National Forest and Bob Marshall Wilderness can be found on the Forest Services’ website. Visitors should research and plan before visiting these areas.

Need help planning your trip? Visitors looking for travel guidance can visit the Glacier Country Tourism website for additional information about the areas and businesses surrounding Glacier National Park.


Call for Volunteers! Sondreson Hall Cleanup — May 20, 10:00am

Sondreson Hall interior after clean-up, May 14, 2022 - Tami Stone
Sondreson Hall interior after clean-up, May 14, 2022 – Tami Stone

The Sondreson Hall spring cleanup is fast approaching. This year, it will be on Saturday, May 20 at 10:00am.

Dan Jacobson is in charge of hall maintenance and needs to ensure that enough people will be present to accomplish the various outside and inside tasks. If you can come, please contact his wife, Dawn, and let her know:  dawnmjacobson@gmail.com or 406-730-1263. She’ll pass the word on to Dan.

Oh, did I not mention lunch? There will definitely be lunch. I believe Dawn has a lot to do with that part, too.

First Aid/CPR/AED Course May 23

First Aid SignageBob Lee will be giving his well-regarded First Aid/CPR/AED class in the North Fork again this spring. It is an all-day course, starting at 9:00am and wrapping up by 4:00pm. The date is Tuesday, May 23. The course will be held at Sondreson Hall. Cost is $45/person. Bring your own lunch and drinks. Class size is limited to 10 people.

The course offers two-year AHA certification in First Aid, CPR and AED usage. If your job requires certified First Aid training, your current certification is expiring or if you just want to get up to speed on such things, this is an excellent way to get it done.

Contact Bill Walker, 406-407-2764 or wkwalker@nvdi.com to sign up for the course.

In case you’re wondering why we are having two classes this spring: Last month’s session was mostly for people taking the chainsaw course in early May. This is the regularly scheduled class we hold each May. If we have enough demand, there will also be another class on Tuesday, July 18.

Glacier National Park announces 2023 spring operations

View East into Glacier NP from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 - W. K. Walker
View East into Glacier NP from Glacier View Mtn, April 16, 2017 – W. K. Walker

From the official press release . . .

Glacier National Park Announces 2023 Spring Operations
After a long winter construction closure, Going-to-the-Sun Road opened to Lake McDonald Lodge this morning.

WEST GLACIER, Mont. [May 5, 2023] – Glacier National Park staff are gearing up for the season and while full park operations are still a month off, visitors will see an increase in recreational opportunities throughout May.

After remaining closed for the winter due to construction, the west side of Going-to-the-Sun Road opened at 6 am this morning to vehicle and recreational access up to Lake McDonald Lodge. Construction will be ongoing through September to mill, reclaim, and pave the road. Visitors should drive and bike with caution. There will be waits of up to 30 minutes in each direction to pass through the construction zone. Nightly closures will begin June 1 from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. with opportunities for visitors to pass through at midnight, 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. The east side of Going-to-the-Sun Road is currently open to vehicles approximately six miles from St. Mary to Rising Sun.

Continue reading Glacier National Park announces 2023 spring operations

NFLA 2023 Spring Newsletter available online

In case you missed it, the North Fork Landowners’ Association 2023 Spring Newsletter is available online.

Read or download it here (PDF format).

If you are planning to visit Glacier Park via the Polebridge entrance at any time this year, please pay special attention to District Ranger Jim Dahlstrom’s “Glacier National Park – North Fork Update” article on Page 10!

New burn permit system debuts May 1

Starting May 1st, 2023, Flathead County will have a new burn permit setup. Short version: You apply for a permit annually and then activate the permit when you wish to burn. Activation will not work if there is a problem with air quality or fire danger.

The Daily Inter Lake has a good article on this. Also, here is the information posted to the old DNRC burning permit page . . .

Flathead County has adopted a new burn permit system that is currently used by 29 other counties in Montana and has combined the efforts of fire and air quality personnel. The new permits are available starting May 1st online at: https://app.egovmt.com/burnpermit/. You will only need to obtain one permit and can add as many burn locations as necessary. Each day that you intend to burn you will need to activate your permit online or by phone following the instructions on the permit. You will not be able to activate your permit if air quality or fire danger conditions are not favorable…

If you have additional questions, you can call the DNRC Office at 406-751-2270 or the Flathead County Health Department at 406-751-8130.


West Coal Timber Sale work finished for the season

Here’s the latest on the West Coal Timber Sale from Dave Ring, Stillwater Unit Manager with Montana DNRC. (Short version: Logging has finished for this winter, with only three small units left to be cut.)

…95% of the timber sale was completed earlier this month.  As the map indicates they are three smaller units to be completed before 2025 when the timber sale expires.  Folks can expect to see some minor road work and grass seeding occur this summer in and around the timber sale.

West Coal Timber Sale as of Feb 17, 2023
West Coal Timber Sale as of Feb 17, 2023

Road construction timing and restrictions revealed at Interlocal

The long-planned work on the upper 5.5 miles of the North Fork Road and on the segment of Glacier Drive between the Polebridge Mercantile and the Glacier Park entrance station is actually happening this year. It will cause significant disruptions.

According to a set of slides presented at last Wednesday’s Interlocal meeting. work begins on the North Fork Road on July 10 with minimal travel restrictions. Starting August 6, only folks with legitimate business will be allowed through the area with likely delays of up to half an hour. The presenter also mentioned that this project would wrap up by around mid-October. Here’s the slide…

North Fork Road construction 2023
North Fork Road construction 2023

The Glacier Drive construction project also kicks off on July 10. It will occur in two stages. Phase 1 will involve reconstructing the road segment from just beyond the Northern Lights Saloon to the park entrance and should be complete by August 14. Phase 2 involves work on the road surface and parking area in front of the Saloon and Merc properties and is expected to begin on August 14, finishing up by mid-September.  Construction activities will occur from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Reportedly, there are plans for park personnel to set up at the Polebridge turn-off to vet people wishing to enter Glacier Park. The level of disruption is left to the imagination of the reader. Here are the slides for the Glacier Drive project…

Glacier Drive construction 2023 - work limits
Glacier Drive construction 2023 – work limits
Glacier Drive construction 2023 - work timing
Glacier Drive construction 2023 – work timing

Brace yourselves folks. It’s going to be a very interesting summer season.