Montana had a big snow year. A recent snow survey showed that the area got more snow this season than anytime in the past 30 years.
Despite the massive snowpack road crews are making good headway into their winter-clearing work on ‘Going-to-the-Sun Road’. The road crew on the west side of Glacier National Park has already plowed a large portion of Going-to-the-Sun Road. Plow drivers have encountered near-record snow depths upwards of 15 feet as they venture into the park’s upper reaches, according to park officials.
Currently, crews are approaching Logan Pass, the most challenging sections of road to plow. It’s the highest point on the Sun Road at 6,646 feet elevation. Snow depths can climb as high as 80 feet at certain spots.
Warmer temperatures have helped park plow crews gain ground on the annual road-clearing operations, opening up new opportunities for hikers and bikers to enjoy the scenery, wildlife-viewing opportunities and exercise.
Crews on the east and west sides converge at these two points and tackle them together due to the scope of work. This often requires using hand shovels near the visitor center.
The plows officially began work on the Sun Road on April 6. The process of uncovering the 50-mile road from winter’s wrath typically takes 10 weeks depending on snow depths and spring weather. Due to these conditions, the National Park Service does not establish a set date for when the iconic road fully opens, but it typically occurs in late June or early July.