Latest 2020 Season Opening News

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Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby risingwolf » Fri May 22, 2020 12:25 pm

No date yet but some encouraging news for a June opening.

https://nbcmontana.com/news/local/glaci ... en-in-june
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby risingwolf » Fri May 22, 2020 12:27 pm

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby risingwolf » Fri May 22, 2020 12:28 pm

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby risingwolf » Sat May 23, 2020 8:46 am

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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby teapot57 » Sat May 23, 2020 10:55 am

This was posted on the Mountain Pine Motel’s Covid19 info page:

https://static1.squarespace.com/static/ ... +small.pdf

Their webpage also includes notes from a May 22 virtual meeting with Jeff Mow and business area leaders:

5/22/20

Some important bits of information from the meeting with Jeff Mow (and others) from Glacier National Park:

—The West side of Glacier will likely begin to open after June 1, within a week or so of that date.
—The Blackfeet Tribe's ban on non-essential travel limits the opening of the East side, there is a Tribal Council meeting scheduled for May 27, to revisit.
—Mid June or later to open any concession functions within the Park.
—Fish Creek and St. Mary Campgrounds expected to open first. Many Glacier unlikely, Two Medicine expected to remain day use only.
—Public access to boating mainly focused on Lake MacDonald, may add in Two Medicine. Boat Tours cancelled for 2020.
—Glacier's shuttle system on hold due to social distancing.
—Many Glacier Road closed through at least June 12 due to road construction. They expect minimal disruption to travel this summer due to more progress on the project.
—St. Mary Campground and backcountry permits not expected until mid to late June.

—Trail crews focused on valley floors and road corridors, mid to late June for larger trail networks. Trail crew numbers much lower than usual, so progress will be slow.

Glacier National Park’s COVID19 Reopening Plan (pdf)

https://www.mtnpine.com/covid19
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby zozeppelin » Sat May 23, 2020 2:42 pm

Thanks for sharing, great information and links.

Looks like they copied the Yellowstone template (literally, the document title in the pdf information is 'yellowstone reopening plan').

Backcountry permits in phase 2 !!!!! (June and July) "Expanded" backcountry in Phase 3.

Tons of caveats of course, but this is really positive considering the alternatives or easy answers.

Only fly in the ointment I see is the prerequisite statements about backcountry site opening and trail maintenance prior to opening - I was hoping this caveat could be avoided, but withholding judgement based on actual performance. Most things of interest don't open until July anyways, so plenty of time.

The adversity and context could make this year's trip even sweeter.
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby risingwolf » Sat May 23, 2020 7:12 pm

Excellent update. No wonder MSM is becoming obsolete. Thanks
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby orin » Sat May 23, 2020 10:16 pm

Great info. Thanks.

I want to get to the park and do a backpacking trip sometime in late June or early July. I would drive to Glacier, get a permit and disappear into the backcountry for a few days then immediately head back home. But I can't decide how many other people might want to do the same thing. One possibility is that there is a lot of pent up demand and that as soon as backpacking is allowed there will be a big surge in people trying to get the first come first served permits. A second possibility is that people will still be gunshy about coming from afar to try to get a walkup permit given the uncertainty and the season will get off to a very slow start. Obviously something in between is also possible. Anyone care to venture an opinion?
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby zozeppelin » Sun May 24, 2020 7:40 am

In my mind, here are the factors:

Increased availability
+No advanced reservations - 2x the number of sites available for walk-in
+Less hikers due to uncertainty concerns (availability, wanting fixed plan, etc)
+Less hikers due to travel concerns (not wanting to get sick, not wanting to get others sick, etc)
+CDT off (presumably) - late season hikers only

Decreased availability
-trail / bc campgrounds limited due to preparation (staff)
-trail / bc campgrounds limited due to entry/exit point constraints (east side restrictions, front country campgrounds listed as unlikely / won't open for season - North Fork, Two Medicine, etc)
-increased demand due to desire to get outside / indoor vacation opportunities limited

Personally I think it'll be pretty open, mainly from less demand due to uncertainty. I think this applies to front country as well, with the lack of amenities/accommodation being an additional factor. Front country campers tend to road trip, so less of an impact.

In my limited experience ( 3 week long trips over 10 years), I'd say 10% locals, 15% regional, 75% long distance (fly, with nearly all having advanced reservations). I'll speculate that 75% long distance traveler will get cut in half, if not more.

It will be interesting to track the developments on how fast the trails and bc campsites are prepared (I'll speculate fast as trails are shared with front country visitors and campsites) and how fast the east side opens (as presumably that will drive Two Medicine and Many Glacier, with Many Glacier being a hub of sorts).
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby teapot57 » Sun May 24, 2020 10:31 am

I’m not as optimistic that getting a walk up permit will be pretty open.

In Canada, the provincial parks are not filling all campsites in order to spread people out more, and to make social distancing easier. If Glacier adopts the same practice, there won’t be 2x the number of sites available for walk in.

Judging by the postings in Glacier Facebook groups, there are still lots of folks not ready to cancel their trips just yet. I do agree there will be less air travelers, but I think the locals will take advantage of a less busy park, and there will still be a lot of demand for walk in sites. I will again use Canada as an example. Alberta opened provincial campsite bookings to Alberta residents only. After a website crash, all campsites were gone in hours.
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby teapot57 » Sun May 24, 2020 10:52 am

To answer your question though, Orin, I think you might be ok in late June or early July. In a typical year, the backcountry demand seems to go up around midJuly. Last summer, tibber and I walked into the St Mary Visitor Center on July 6 at 8:00 am or so, if I remember right. There was no line and we got our requested permit change. Of course this year, there may not be much available at that time.
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby zozeppelin » Sun May 24, 2020 6:57 pm

Looks like the trail status has been loaded with projected clearing dates for 2020.

Now this may have been there for awhile and I just noticed, or these are generic date targets that don't change year to year, or some other explanation as to why I'm reading too much into them. But, something interesting to keep an eye on.
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby PeteE » Sun May 24, 2020 9:06 pm

zozeppelin wrote:Looks like the trail status has been loaded with projected clearing dates for 2020.

Now this may have been there for a while and I just noticed, or these are generic date targets that don't change year to year, or some other explanation as to why I'm reading too much into them. But, something interesting to keep an eye on.


Those are just estimated dates for the park's planning purposes. They are utterly useless in my experience.
The information on that page is never up to date, and again, based on my experience, I wouldn't use the information on that page for any serious planning.

I love day hiking early in the season during May and June on the East side. In years past I've made as many early season day trips as possible.
It's a great time for good photographic opportunities and there are very few people around.

June 1, 2019 hike up Bariing creek and the lower slope of Goat Mt.
https://glaciergeezer.smugmug.com/June- ... /n-9kCvC7/

I was going to go over to the East side in early April this year until I saw the Blackfeet had effectively closed down access. :(


pete :wink:

PS
I pretty much agree with Tina's comments, but maybe I'm even more pessimistic...
I think this season is gonna be a GIANT cluster****
"When you're born in this world, you're given a ticket to the freak show.
And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

George Carlin
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby ohioguy » Mon May 25, 2020 5:01 am

We have been trying to get to Redgap and Boulder Pass, and to see Lake Francis for the last 3 years (after a injury/failed attempt). Have always tried the JAN to BOU from Canada approach. Going to watch and see how the BC fills up we might try the Bowman/Kintla approach if all else fails. As it takes me 3.5 days to drive out it might be just a pipe dream but we NEED to get to these passes to complete our goal of visiting all the on trail passes in GNP before we die. (minus the Coal Creek area)
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Re: Latest 2020 Season Opening News

Postby paul » Mon May 25, 2020 9:16 am

zozeppelin wrote:In my mind, here are the factors:

Increased availability
+No advanced reservations - 2x the number of sites available for walk-in
+Less hikers due to uncertainty concerns (availability, wanting fixed plan, etc)
+Less hikers due to travel concerns (not wanting to get sick, not wanting to get others sick, etc)
+CDT off (presumably) - late season hikers only

Decreased availability
-trail / bc campgrounds limited due to preparation (staff)
-trail / bc campgrounds limited due to entry/exit point constraints (east side restrictions, front country campgrounds listed as unlikely / won't open for season - North Fork, Two Medicine, etc)
-increased demand due to desire to get outside / indoor vacation opportunities limited

Personally I think it'll be pretty open, mainly from less demand due to uncertainty. I think this applies to front country as well, with the lack of amenities/accommodation being an additional factor. Front country campers tend to road trip, so less of an impact.

In my limited experience ( 3 week long trips over 10 years), I'd say 10% locals, 15% regional, 75% long distance (fly, with nearly all having advanced reservations). I'll speculate that 75% long distance traveler will get cut in half, if not more.

It will be interesting to track the developments on how fast the trails and bc campsites are prepared (I'll speculate fast as trails are shared with front country visitors and campsites) and how fast the east side opens (as presumably that will drive Two Medicine and Many Glacier, with Many Glacier being a hub of sorts).


I think there will be less long distance visitors to the Park this year. However I'm not certain that there will be less demand for backcountry permits.

There is dramatic increase in outdoor activity around where I live. There are a ton more people out on trails and at parks than usual. It's got to be at least 50-100% more people than usual. I think this trend is happening all over the country.

So I think you won't see as many visitors who fly in but you will see an increase from people locally and within a day or two drive of the park.
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