Glacier National Park crews continue work on Going to the Sun Road


KALISPELL, Mont. - People travel from all over the country to see the countless waterfalls, 175 mountains, 26 glaciers and over one-million acres of wilderness at Glacier National Park.

But like many visitors, Ashley and Daniel Russell were surprised to see they couldn't drive all the way through the park on the historic Going to the Sun Road.

"Yeah we were really disappointed that it was closed," Atlanta resident Ashley Russell said.

It's closed to vehicles up until Avalanche Creek.

Friday, NBC Montana got a look behind the scenes at what it takes to open the crown jewel of the continent.

Currently crews are plowing snow away at Logan Pass and excavating and pioneering snow pack at the Big Drift in preparation of plows.

Jake Hutchinson is an avalanche specialist at the park and he says the wet spring has made things difficult, "Every year I've been here it's been different," Hutchinson said. "Last year, with the rapid warm up in the spring we had some much bigger wet slides. This year we've had not as big avalanches, but more frequent avalanches."

Additionally, because of frequent avalanches throughout the park, crews take the log guard rails off along Going to the Sun Road. Altogether there are 433 logs that are spread out over 9 sections.

Crews say the re-installation is about a weeks worth of work.

Glacier National Park Public Affairs Officer Lauren Alley said the road typically opens in June or July, but they have a little bit of work to do before that happens this year.