New May visitation record

A place to talk about Glacier in general, if you have something that is political, please post it in the "Politics" section of the chat system.

Moderators: Kathy, Tara

New May visitation record

Postby dpratt » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:06 am

Here we go again...

http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/glacier-park-breaks-may-visitation-record/

We camped up the North Fork on the National Forest side over the weekend, but indulged in an Eddie's huckleberry shake on Saturday. Apgar was heavily congested and the traffic passing through was constant. Granted, all GTTSR traffic is being routed through Apgar due to construction, but I've never seen it this heavy. It took forever to find a big enough gap in traffic to pull out. We quickly headed back up Camas and out of the park.
User avatar
dpratt
Site Admin & Donator
Site Admin & Donator
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: New May visitation record

Postby indiana hiker » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:20 pm

Another chatter mentioned that Glacier Guides was posting weekly updates. This is from June 8 " Last week we reported that there were many, many trees down on trails in this area, and it doesn't look like that has changed. So, recreate on the North Fork's gorgeous lakes, instead. However, if you're looking for solitude, this may not be your best option - the road into Bowman Lake was closed briefly yesterday afternoon, as all parking at Bowman Lake was filled. Best way to keep up with changing road conditions is to check out the park's Twitter feed ." I couldn't believe it was already that crowded at Bowman. Looks like it will be a busy year again.
indiana hiker
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 11:16 am

Re: New May visitation record

Postby PeteE » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:51 pm

Yeah, it really sucks.
When I arrived at Swiftcurrent this past Thursday June 7th around 0730, it was pretty quiet.
However, the campground was FULL.
Swiftcurrent Inn parking lot had maybe 5-6 cars.
FF to 1430 when I got back from Iceberg Lake, and it looked like last July.
Picnic area was full.

I know I nag y'all every year about getting started "early" in the morning... 8)
But it's the only way you'll escape the crowds and have any peace---at least when you start a hike, or drive.
And yes, I know that everyone can't be an early bird, or wants to be...
Just sayin' 8)

pete :wink:

PS

I've stayed away from Apgar recently because of the traffic.
May 25th,the day I hiked up to Avalanche Lake, is the last day I was out there.
No problem going in early at 0630, before the construction work begins(around 0700)
Coming out was just STUPID and I was lucky to get in line around Eddies.
As soon as I got to the "T" intersection, I turned RIGHT and went back home via Camas Rd to CFalls, etc.
Nice drive with no stress.
User avatar
PeteE
 
Posts: 2118
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: New May visitation record

Postby thorn726 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:53 am

this brings up two questions for me// 1/ is there some sort of parking reserved near the trailhead for backpackers for BOW? i do not expect to arrive very early to make use of our BC permit... and 2/ anyone have much experience with the "early shuttle" direct to Logan Pass ?? i see there are a few of them, should we expect a huge line for the early shuttle given the recent crowds? will we find parking at 630am at Apgar Visitor center for the early shuttles or do we need to arrive earlier?
Hate to be part of the problem, but we are first-timers// we did at least make all our reservations far in advance and plan to use the Park Shuttle to lessen the impact. We arrive on a sunday leave friday to avoid the biggest crowds.
We know your pain, we're near Yosemite but entry lines went from 15-20 minutes total to an hour at the Gate plus another hour or More in the Valley... Arrive before 8am or after 4pm, or spend half the day in line.
Even our favorite campground in Death Valley had 7 whole sites full (out of 40) last month /ok that was a bit of a joke but still we're used to it being maybe 2 or 3 sites occupied at most...
The Great Outdoors has definitely become more popular in recent years.
User avatar
thorn726
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:17 am
Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: New May visitation record

Postby PeteE » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:29 am

There is a parking area for day hikers and backpackers at Bowman Lake CG.
It's not all that large, 15-20 spaces? There's a sign with directions to it as you come in.
I have seen that parking area get pretty congested later in the day. So I would try to get there as soon as you can.

I rode the early express shuttle to Logan Pass from Apgar one morning. It took about 70-75 minutes if I remember correctly.

(One slow driver who won't pull over can screw driving times. So if you want to drive slow, fine, but don't be a jerk, pull over and let traffic go around you)

That's not a bad time since I can drive to Logan in about 60 minutes from Apgar---assuming no delays.

The shuttle system works pretty well imo all things considered. The record visitation the last few years has overwhelmed the shuttle system during peak days/hours.
Forget the "posted time schedule" and expect long lines and delays when it gets busy from mid morning on.

The Apgar Visitor Center has plenty of parking--if you arrive early in the morning--say before 9AM.

EDIT ADD:
I'd like to clarify something. The very first shuttle(s) leaving at 0700 will make good time to Logan Pass as I stated above.
All bets off on subsequent "express" shuttles depending on traffic--including bicycles.
Bike riders have been known to create delays if/when they don't follow the rules for bikers.
The bikers here can scream and howl at me if they want, but it's a fact they sometimes don't move over when traffic builds up behind them--just like the jerks in the slow cars.
See the park's info on rules for bikers.


My 2 cents worth 8)
pete :wink:
User avatar
PeteE
 
Posts: 2118
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: New May visitation record

Postby llholmes1948 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:54 pm

We had no problems with the early morning shuttles during our visit in 2014. However when it comes to park visitation, I think 2014 is probably light years away from the situation in 2018 so I would defer to Pete on this as his information is current.

(Query: Is the overcrowding reported at Bowman an early season problem which will lessen once other areas of the park become accessible, or is it likely to continue all summer? We had no problem with parking at Bowman in 2014 but I guess that is ancient history now.)

Lyman
llholmes1948
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Maine

Re: New May visitation record

Postby thorn726 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:49 pm

THANKS!! good tip about the shuttle slowing down due to traffic.. we will try hard to make the first shuttle... worst case it's ok, we can take in the views along the ride... i guess we'll get up early as we can for our trip to Bowman and hope for the best... going to be very frustrating if we cant find parking up there/ argh... we should make it by 10 or 11 maybe i'll have to wake Rox up earlier .. i tend to get up with the Sun when im outside// Roxana likes to sleep in a bit but too bad for her i guess hahaha// thanks for the info
User avatar
thorn726
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:17 am
Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: New May visitation record

Postby indiana hiker » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:26 pm

Lyman,
I think the congestion at Bowman could be related to other areas of the park not being open yet, BUT, I do know that last year the road to Bowman was closed due to overcrowded parking on two occasions. As was the road to Many. At one point at Many, you had to show hotel reservations to get in.
indiana hiker
 
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon May 11, 2015 11:16 am

Re: New May visitation record

Postby llholmes1948 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:09 am

indiana hiker wrote:Lyman,
I think the congestion at Bowman could be related to other areas of the park not being open yet, BUT, I do know that last year the road to Bowman was closed due to overcrowded parking on two occasions. As was the road to Many. At one point at Many, you had to show hotel reservations to get in.


Wow! I knew that visitation was up last year but I didn't realize it was that bad. I don't think I have ever heard of the road to Many or to Bowman being closed due to overcrowding. Thanks for that information.

I guess if that had happened to us in 2014 when we went to Bowman we would just have had to hang around Polebridge all day drinking coffee and eating bear claws! What a horrible fate!

Lyman
llholmes1948
Donator
Donator
 
Posts: 4864
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Maine

Re: New May visitation record

Postby PeteE » Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:41 am

dpratt wrote:Here we go again...

http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/glacier-park-breaks-may-visitation-record/

We camped up the North Fork on the National Forest side over the weekend, but indulged in an Eddie's huckleberry shake on Saturday. Apgar was heavily congested and the traffic passing through was constant. Granted, all GTTSR traffic is being routed through Apgar due to construction, but I've never seen it this heavy. It took forever to find a big enough gap in traffic to pull out. We quickly headed back up Camas and out of the park.


I wonder how much of that record May visitation actually "paid an entry fee"???
I can't tell you how many times I drove through the West Glacier gate this May(all year long) and nobody was collecting money.
There seemed to be no rhyme nor reason for when they manned the gate.

Nobody at the Many Glacier gate on last Thursday either.
Same with St Mary Gate June 3rd. Nobody at the gate.
I don't care, just curious.

pete :wink:
User avatar
PeteE
 
Posts: 2118
Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:20 pm
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: New May visitation record

Postby dpratt » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:15 am

PeteE wrote:I wonder how much of that record May visitation actually "paid an entry fee"???


Good question. Or, was visitation even higher because they only know about the ones that paid? I entered via Camas on Saturday, and of course didn't have to stop to pay. I entered with a clear conscience since I am an America the Beautiful Annual Parks Pass holder. There was Park Ranger presence on Camas, but as far as I could tell, they weren't checking to ensure people stopped at the kiosk to pay.

On a different note, whatever happened to Park Ranger's waving when you pass by? I passed several on Saturday and none of them even lifted their index finger in that typical Montana greeting of passing motorists. Ah, the good old days....
User avatar
dpratt
Site Admin & Donator
Site Admin & Donator
 
Posts: 1173
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:34 am
Location: Whitefish, MT

Re: New May visitation record

Postby thorn726 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:12 pm

Parks often don't start collecting fees until 8 or 9 am, i have seen them collecting fees as late as 8pm at some places but never before 8am.. a few Parks have no official "gate" ... Death Valley, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands all have no gate, more of an honor system..(there are gates for road closures but no manned fee stations at entry points) Death Valley i really wonder what percentage stops and actually pays ... We buy our annual pass there to make sure they get funding... Capitol Reef the Rangers told me they don't even bother asking anyone because vast majority who make it there already have an annual pass... Off season they collect fees even less often it seems like.... now what you have made me curious of is are you all entering after 9am and still seeing no one at the gate collecting fees? That's unexpected anytime after May, wow...
User avatar
thorn726
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:17 am
Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: New May visitation record

Postby daveparker » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:02 pm

During the season, I normally see the gates manned by 7 AM in Glacier, it is what I have experienced over the last 20 years, when I go to Yellowstone, the West and the North Entrance always seem to be staffed by the same time, but the south, east and north east not so much. Now at Olympic, quite often, I never saw the gates staffed. It seems to depend on the park and they type of traffic that park normally experiences in their busy seasons.
User avatar
daveparker
Site Admin
 
Posts: 2604
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:00 pm
Location: Kalispell, Montana

Re: New May visitation record

Postby thorn726 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:45 pm

thanks for the info, that sounds more like what i would expect at a popular Park like Glacier in high season... also helpful in that given i arrive mid afternoon on a Sunday, i can plan on waiting in a line hopefully not too long, but with these visitation rates, i'll plan to be patient at the Gate... Olympic is a bit surprising given their visitation rates, maybe they only collect fees at peak times or something.
User avatar
thorn726
 
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2018 1:17 am
Location: Berkeley, CA


Return to General Glacier Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests