Posted: Oct 17, 2013 8:03 PM by MTN News
Now that the partial federal government has ended, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are open and welcoming visitors.
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park can enter the park using any of the five entrances and all roads within the park are open with the exception of the section linking Tower Junction and Canyon over Dunraven Pass, which has closed for the season. Outside the park's northeast entrance, US-212 remains open through Silver Gate and Cooke City east to the junction with WY-296, the Chief Joseph Scenic Highway. The road over Beartooth Pass has closed for the season.
At Glacier National Park, officials say that about 250 park employees were furloughed during the shutdown, with 20 to 30 employees continuing to work during the shutdown to manage the park closure and provide for protection of federal lands, buildings, equipment, and other property owned within park.
Glacier National Park superintendent Jeff Mow said in a press release, "We are pleased to have the park open for visitors and continue with our responsibilities of managing and protecting the resources."
As of Thursday morning, the park's website and social media sites were again active, after being inactive or removed during the shutdown.
Barricades at GNP entrances and throughout the park were removed early Thursday morning, and road crews began monitoring roads, including conducting a sweep of the Going-to-the-Sun Road to clean debris and rocks from the road. When the road is clear of debris, public access will be available to Big Bend through Sunday, October 20th.
Mow said, "Weather systems have been consistently bringing rain, snow, and winter conditions through the upper elevations of the park, including the alpine section of the Going-to-the-Sun Road." The first seasonal closure of the Going-to-the-Sun Road due to poor weather conditions this fall was September 23rd when the road was only accessible to The Loop. Between September 23rd and October 1st ( Federal Government Shutdown and closure of the park), the Going-to-the-Sun Road was closed and reopened seven times due to weather conditions.
There is approximately two feet of snow in the Logan Pass Parking Area and snow slides of six to eight feet along the inside of the road in the Rim Rocks area located just below Logan Pass.
Park road crew employees are preparing for the winter along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, including the removal of more than 400 guard rails and installation of approximately 600 snow poles.