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Glacier NP visitors encouraged to plan ahead for holiday weekend

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Posted at 11:43 AM, Sep 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 13:43:10-04

Glacier National Park visitors are being encouraged to plan ahead, prepare for crowds in the popular park areas, and expect shifting weather conditions over the Labor Day weekend.

The weather forecast indicates cooler temperatures and high winds are expected in the park this weekend, with the possibility of snow in higher elevations on Monday.

Visitors are being reminded to come prepared for fluctuating weather patterns when visiting the park.

Parking spaces in areas where popular trailheads are located such as Logan Pass and Avalanche Creek often fill early in the day.

Park officials advise people to consider arriving early in the morning or late afternoon if you wish to visit these areas.

Fish Creek Campground is the only front-country campground currently open in the park.

Camping at Fish Creek requires advance reservation and the campground is scheduled to close Monday, Sept. 7 at noon.

Backcountry camping is available by permit only, which can be obtained at the Apgar Backcountry Permit Office up to 24 hours in advance.

The backcountry permit office is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check the backcountry campground status page for current availability.

Camping out-of-bounds or along roadsides is prohibited.

Lake McDonald is the only body of water open to watercraft in the park. All watercraft must be inspected by park staff for aquatic invasive species prior to launch.

The boat inspection station is located in Apgar Village and hours are currently 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.

All east entrances to the park remain closed due to COVID-19 operating requirements.

Visitors can drive 43 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west entrance to Rising Sun.

Glacier National Park notes that people are encouraged to use face masks indoors and anywhere social distancing is not possible, such as crowded trails and scenic overlooks.

Additionally, visitors need to be aware that wildlife, including bears, are active in the park. Never feed wildlife or leave food items unattended.

Many popular hiking trails have been posted for bear frequenting. Check the park’s trail status webpage for current postings and closures.

When hiking in bear country, visitors are encouraged to hike in groups, make noise while hiking, have bear spray available and know how to use it.

If you encounter a bear inside the minimum recommended safe distance of 100 yards, move away and let the animal pass. Review Glacier’s bear safety video for additional tips.

Fire danger rating is currently at “Very High” for Glacier National Park and surrounding areas.Campfires are allowed in designated fire grates only and must never be unattended.

Click here for more information about Glacier National Park or call park headquarters at 406-888-7800.