Glacier shatters June attendance record

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Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by dpratt »


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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

Good article and spot on about the people, crowds and traffic.
It's just crazy everywhere.
Check this line out waiting to get in the Many Glacier campground on Sunday Morning at 5:58AM :shock:

45 seconds
https://youtu.be/PCj2B136OaE

pete :wink:
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And when you're born in America, you're given a front row seat."

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by dpratt »

PeteE wrote:Check this line out waiting to get in the Many Glacier campground on Sunday Morning at 5:58AM :shock:
Holy crap. :shock:

I remember as recent as June 2005 having Apgar almost to myself, and again September 2006. Methinks those days are over.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by paul »

For those of you who have visited the park in the last couple of weeks... Has it seemed really crowded on trails and roads? My brother was there with his family last week and he said the crowds were awful in places. He said some of the trails were ridiculous.

I'm really hoping that it won't impact my trip too much. Since most of my time will be spent backpacking.
We are in the mountains and the mountains are in us. - John Muir

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by orin »

I spent the weekend of the 4th mostly in the Belly River and it was well populated. Elizabeth and Cosley and Gable were mostly full. I was first in line at the Apgar backcountry office on Thursday (6/29) at 5:30 but by 7am there were a dozen groups. The front country was a zoo. I drove over the GTSR en route to the east side and a second trip around noon was the usual madhouse. Luckily I didn't need to stop anywhere but traffic was crawling by Logan Pass and Avalanche.

I arrived at Rising Sun Campground about 8am and found traffic management. I was stopped at the entrance and directed into a line for would be campers. As people left those of us waiting were directed in. It eliminated the constant circling and potential for conflict. I'm not sure whether this is the new model or just a response to the holiday weekend but it was nice. Of course it took a couple of extra people to manage it.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by orin »

A bit of the craziness also made it into the backcountry. I was camped at Elizabeth foot with a young couple. The guy was trying to eat dinner through a bug net. Didn't seem that bad to me. The next morning I did a day hike to the north portal of the Ptarmagan Tunnel. About half way up we started passing each other as we took breaks. Just before the tunnel the trail was blocked by a snowbank whose runout was a cliff. I had had about decided to stop there but the couple who I noticed had rather large packs found a way to climb behind the snow and dragged the packs with them. I stayed back and finally crossed behind the snow only to find them coming back and looking a bit stricken. It turned out they didn't know the tunnel was still closed. I'm not sure what their permit was for but it seems unlikely they could get out of the backcountry office without knowing that. I'm guessing they decided after they got there that it would be more fun to exit via the tunnel than retrace to Chief Mountain customs. I have no idea where they ended up but I think it was a long long day for them.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

paul wrote:For those of you who have visited the park in the last couple of weeks... Has it seemed really crowded on trails and roads? My brother was there with his family last week and he said the crowds were awful in places. He said some of the trails were ridiculous.

I'm really hoping that it won't impact my trip too much. Since most of my time will be spent backpacking.
Your brother pretty much nailed it. Crowds everywhere. Total zoo.
The other day when I went by Avalanche about 4PM, cars were parked as far as .6 Miles east from the bridge over the Avalanche creek. :shock:
It was nuts around there.

You'll be fine in the backcountry imo. Ya can't get but so many people into a BC campground---at least legally. 8)

pete :wink:
"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: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by Selkie »

News release:
https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/news/media17-31.htm

Glacier's Twitter feed: full, closed, restricted

https://twitter.com/glaciernps

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

The "Logan Pass FULL" electronic signs at St Mary and West Glacier have been "ON" every time I came through for the last few days.
Even at 6AM this morning. They just leave the signs on 24/7.
What's that tell you?

pete :wink:
"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."

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

dpratt wrote:
PeteE wrote:Check this line out waiting to get in the Many Glacier campground on Sunday Morning at 5:58AM :shock:
Holy crap. :shock:

I remember as recent as June 2005 having Apgar almost to myself, and again September 2006. Methinks those days are over.
PeteE wrote:Good article and spot on about the people, crowds and traffic.

45 seconds
https://youtu.be/PCj2B136OaE

pete :wink:
Doug,
You don't have to go back that far to see less crowded times. 8)

Check out this clip I made on July 6th 2013.
Coincidentally, I was there to do ShangriLa in 2013.
:mrgreen:

Swiftcurrent Parking lot 0600 July 6, 2013
39 seconds
https://youtu.be/P2Lsy7aYRVA

Swiftcurrent Parking lot 0558 July 9th, 2017
45 seconds
https://youtu.be/PCj2B136OaE

pete :wink:

PS
It's not much fun getting up at an absurd hour to go for a hike, but...
If you want to get away from the crowds---at least for a while---that's what you have to do...imo.
"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: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by teapot57 »

I was in the Park from June 30 through July 6. I didn't even try to go to Logan Pass because I knew it would be a zoo.

We stayed in Many Glacier and Two Medicine, with one night in the backcountry at Cracker Lake and the rest of the nights in the Many Glacier and Two Medicine car campgrounds. Many Glacier was crazy busy and there were more hikers than I expected on the Cracker Lake Trail, but only 2 of the 3 Cracker Lake backcountry sites were used.

The Two Med trails were not crowded with an early start, but the afternoons were a different story (So yes, you need to hit the trails early). The Scenic Point trail was not busy at all the day I hiked it, but it was a hot one. I played leap frog with two other groups on the way up to Scenic Point, and we were the first ones there that morning. On the way down, I passed only three groups. The trail traffic was heavier within a kilometer of the trailhead though, with most people traveling only as far as Appostoki Falls.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by here-we-go »

As always, thanks so much for all the information this forum shares.

I have a question. If you were to come upon Logan Pass and find it full, what are your options at that point?

We are early risers by nature and coming from the East Coast, it usually works to our advantage even more when we travel into Mtn or West times zones. However, our travel times get us in really late "our" time (3am, but we still have a day between our arrival in Spokane and the day we go from Apgar to MG ) and I'm wondering if we'll adapt to local time sooner than hoped. I'm presuming we'll be able to get an early start on the day we're hoping to stop at Logan Pass, but if there is some snafu, what does one do? Are there enough pull outs that we could travel further, kill some time (eat breakfast) and then return back to give it a try?

I know this is like Glacier 101 stuff here, but we've never been so I don't know if they just force you to continue on GTTSR or if you can circle like vultures in the lot.

:oops: :oops: :oops:

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by al_in_al »

here-we-go wrote:As always, thanks so much for all the information this forum shares.

I have a question. If you were to come upon Logan Pass and find it full, what are your options at that point?

We are early risers by nature and coming from the East Coast, it usually works to our advantage even more when we travel into Mtn or West times zones. However, our travel times get us in really late "our" time (3am, but we still have a day between our arrival in Spokane and the day we go from Apgar to MG ) and I'm wondering if we'll adapt to local time sooner than hoped. I'm presuming we'll be able to get an early start on the day we're hoping to stop at Logan Pass, but if there is some snafu, what does one do? Are there enough pull outs that we could travel further, kill some time (eat breakfast) and then return back to give it a try?

I know this is like Glacier 101 stuff here, but we've never been so I don't know if they just force you to continue on GTTSR or if you can circle like vultures in the lot.

:oops: :oops: :oops:
I have heard that sometimes the rangers will prevent you from entering the lot if it is full, but my experience is that they allow you to circle like vultures (and yes, that's a very apt description). The one time I circled, it took me 45 minutes to nab a spot. It was my own fault, and I knew what I was getting in to - I had given up a prime spot around 10am so that I could go eat lunch at Rising Sun! I returned to Logan Pass to meet up with a ranger-led hike, and luckily gave myself plenty of extra time. I have more experience with cars "stalking" me in the parking lot to get my space.

If you do have to continue along the GTTSR, you could try parking at one of the shuttle stops, and riding the shuttle back. You could "circle" a few times up and down the road to see if they let you in. Or just return later in the afternoon, or early on a different day if your schedule is flexible.

If you haven't seen it, GNP is posting parking lot fill times on their Twitter page https://twitter.com/GlacierNPS. It looks like the lot has been filling between 9-10 am.

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by al_in_al »

And now they've added a Logan Pass parking lot webcam. Should be interesting to watch.

https://www.nps.gov/glac/learn/photosmu ... ebcams.htm

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Re: Glacier shatters June attendance record

Post by PeteE »

Your options depend on when you arrive at Logan Pass.
If you arrive before 0830, you'll likely be ok.
Al_in_Al has a good idea about parking at shuttle stop on the East side. We parked at Siyeh bend shutle stop one day to shuttle back to Logan for the Dragons Tail. Ended up hitching a ride.
Circling like a vulture is always an option. 100's are doing it everywhere they can this year.
I still maintain that the best choice is get something you eat for breakfast on the road. Get to Logan Pass no later than 0700, earlier is better. Nothing like the peace and quiet of a sunrise at Logan pass is you get there early. Go really early. Nap in your car. You wont regret it when you see the noisy hoards that will be coming soon enough.
If you need a hot breakfast, the joint at Rising Sun opens at 0630. I ate there a few weeks ago when they opened. Good breakfast and served promptly.
You could drive straight over there, eat and still be at Logan pass by 0800.
One other note. Construction( with one way traffic and flag people) on the West side of the Sun Road typically starts at 0700. So on week days keep that in mind. Go early. Weekends are construction free at the moment.

Ask away if more questions.

pete :wink:
"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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