August 30, 2015 - Sunday
Last weeks of summer
It has been an adventurous and eventful summer here in Glacier. And in spite of the fires, the road closures and the smoke, we still managed to have a great time up in the mountains. We are looking forward to all the great hiking we can do with the last weeks of summer.
As we slip into September be more cautious about unexpected weather. Always carry your rain gear with you, and this time of year I like to bring my long underwear along in case the nighttime gets extra cold. Mornings and evening are sure to be chilly, so a hat and gloves can't hurt either.
The Going to the Sun Road shuttle will be ending service after labor day. If you are visiting after the 7th and need a ride to or from a trailhead, be sure to contact us about our chalet trailhead shuttle.
August 23, 2015 - Sunday
New office hours
We have new office hours for the last few weeks of our season.
9:00 am to 3:00 pm. Mountain time zone.
August 20, 2015 - Thursday
Additional fire restrictions
Glacier National Park has implemented Stage 2 fire restrictions. That means no campfires, no charcoal grills, smoking only in closed vehicles or flammable free areas.
At the chalets this is pretty easy, if you need to smoke don't do it indoors or in the woods, go find a space clear of any vegetation or flammables.
It has been really smokey in Glacier lately. There are a lot of wildfires burning across the northwest and we are downwind from fires in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Conditions can change day by day with the wind and the weather, we are using the Glacier National Park webcams to monitor the smoky conditions.
It is pretty dry and hazey around here these days. I suggest extra water on your hikes, and be extra careful with any flames, motors or sparks.
August 13, 2015 - Thursday
Going to the Sun Road Night Closure Lifted
The night closure on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park has been lifted. The entire 52 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open to vehicle access.
Visitors will not be able to stop or park along the road in the Reynolds Creek Fire area on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, and are reminded to drive cautiously in the area. Firefighters and equipment will continue to be staged along the road.
The Gunsight Pass trail has re-opened.
It is now possible to access Sperry Chalet on the Gunsight Pass Trail. Overnight parking is not allowed at the trailhead inside the fire area, so you will need to use a shuttle if you would like to hike this trail. Call our office for information and schedules for reserving our chalet trailhead shuttle.
August 12, 2015 - Wednesday
A hot summer in Glacier National Park
It has been a bit of a wild summer too, there are now two major wildfires burning inside the park.
The chalets are open, safe, and accessible. We are looking forward to your visit.
CURRENT PARK STATUS:
The Going to the Sun Road is open, but there are night time travel restrictions on the east side between Logan Pass and St. Mary. Overnight parking is currently being allowed at Logan Pass. Parking at all trailheads is very limited and we are recommending using shuttle access for your hikes and chalet visits.
The new Thompson Creek Fire has been producing a spectacular smoke plume, but it is not currently threatening any of the roads or facilities inside the park. The Nyack and Coal Creek areas in the south central area are currently closed to backcountry travel. This does not affect chalet access in any way. The west side of the park may see an increase in smoke from this fire.
As of Wednesday, August 12, campfires will not be allowed in the back country of Glacier National Park. This should not affect your chalet visit, but do please be cautious about smoking or any sort of open flame when visiting Glacier this year.
Granite Park Chalet is open and all trails are passable. Again, we are recommending shuttles for trailhead access.
Sperry Chalet is open and the Sperry Trail from Lake McDonald Lodge is the only access. The Gunsight Pass Trail remains closed east of Gunsight Pass. We are enjoying beautiful hikes to Sperry Glacier and Lake Ellen Wilson.
Our Shuttle Schedule has changed
Unfortunately our ability to be of service on the east side of the park to St. Mary is seriously constrained. We can be of better service to more of our guests with west side service only. We will have our new shuttle schedule online for you soon.
Be safe out there!
Be sure to carry extra water on your hikes. Be wary of open flame and dangerous fire conditions. Do be excited to witness first hand the amazing events that can take place in our National Parks and wild places.
July 31, 2015 - Friday
Glacier National Park still has a wildfire burning on the east side of the park. Going to the Sun Road remains closed east of Logan Pass to the St. Mary Campground. The chalets are open and accessable from west side trails. The chalets are enjoying a beautiful summer, there is no smoke or fire activity visible from the chalets.
Granite Park Chalet
Logan Pass is accessible from the west and the Highline Trail is open. However, overnight parking is not allowed. The road is very congested, expect delays up to three hours if you wish to drive there.
If you are planning to use the Highline Trail for your overnight stay at Granite Park Chalet, you will need to use a shuttle to access the trailhead. You may use the free Going to the Sun Road shuttle, or call our office to reserve the chalet shuttle.
The Loop Trail remains open, but parking is extremely limited. Again, we recommend shuttle access to the trailhead.
Swiftcurrent Pass Trail is open. If you wish to depart Granite Park Chalet over Swiftcurrent Pass to the Many Glacier area, please pre-arrange your transportation. The chalet shuttle cannot access this area, or anywhere on the east side of the park, but private shuttles are available through Glacier National Park Lodges and Glacier Park, Inc.
Look here for information about east side shuttles:
The Sperry Trail from Lake McDonald Lodge is open. The Sperry Glacier Trail is open. Lake Ellen Wilson is accessible.
The Gunsight Pass trail is closed east of Gunsight Pass, but is open from Sperry Chalet to Gunsight Pass.
It is still a beautiful summer on the west side of the park. Lots of good hiking is available. We are looking forward to seeing you in the mountains.
July 24, 2015 - Friday
Frequently asked questions.
With a wildfire affecting travel plans around Glacier National Park, here are the most common questions about the chalets:
Are the chalets open?
YES! Both Sperry Chalet and Granite Park Chalet remain open, safe, accessible, and beautiful. There are some trail closures out of the chalets, but we are open and ready to help you enjoy the mountains. From our locations we can't even see the smoke.
Has your cancellation policy changed?
NO. We are open, accessible, and ready to honor your reservation. The cancellation policy at the time you created your reservation is still in effect. We don't reserve trails or weather and we cannot give out refunds just because a particular trail has closed. There are still many great hikes you can enjoy around the chalets. We continue to recommend travel insurance for all chalet guests and future guests to help you mitigate the risks of a wilderness vacation.
I want to hike from Granite Park Chalet to Many Glacier over Swiftcurrent Pass. How do I get back to my car?
The Swiftcurrent Pass trail is open and you may hike this route if you wish. However, ground transportation may not be available to you on the east side of the park. We suggest you only take this route if you have pre-arranged your transportation.
Look here for information about east side shuttles:
Where can we get more fire information?
We are looking to the National Park Service for updated and evolving information about the fire. Links to Glacier National Park news releases are available here:
Glacier National Park social media information can be found here:
Incident information is available here:
How long will the fire and closures last?
No one knows. A fire this extreme may have lasting repercussions for the entire summer until snow falls. Closures may change or update depending on changing conditions. Weather events may either help or hurt fire control efforts. Glacier National Park is in Mother Nature's control now, and she does not disclose her plans or issue press releases.
We would like to thank all of our guests for your amazing adaptability. We are looking forward to sharing a wonderful mountain experience with you.
Have a safe hike!
July 23, 2015 - Thursday
The chalets are open and ready to serve you.
The wildfire on the east side of the park is causing sudden changes to many travel plans, but Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet remain open. Access to the chalets from trails on the west side of the park remain open and the chalets are in no danger.
Going to the Sun Road is closed between the east side St. Mary entrance and Big Bend on the west side. There is no access to Logan Pass. All hiking trails with east side access from Going to the Sun Road are closed.
West side trails in and out of both chalets are open and not in danger from the fire.
The backcountry chalets are currently little enclaves of calm and beauty here in Glacier National Park. We would like to thank our guests for their splendid adaptation to Mother Nature's sudden changes. Thanks for coming, we can still do some great hiking this summer.
GRANITE PARK CHALET
The Loop Trail is open and it is the easiest and fastest route in and out of Granite Park Chalet. We recommend reserving our shuttle, or using the Going to the Sun Road shuttle for trailhead access. Parking at the loop is extremely limited.
The Highline Trail between Granite Park Chalet and Logan Pass is closed. There is no hiker access to or from Logan Pass.
The Swiftcurrent Pass Trail is open. This is the only east side access to Granite Park Chalet. If you would like to depart the chalet via Swiftcurrent Pass to the Many Glacier area, please only do so if you have pre-arranged your east side transportation. With the fire closures and evacuations around the St. Mary area, east side shuttles may not be available to help you exit the park.
The Sperry Trail from Lake McDonald Lodge is open. This is a good trail for day hikers and horseback riders.
The Gunsight Pass Trail is closed at Lincoln Pass.
The Sperry Glacier Trail is open and is showing some stunning beauty this year.
Are in no danger from the fire and make great day hikes or horseback rides.
Now may also be a good time to look to some historic advice from Sperry Chalet:
"I have been here nearly 30 years now and no two days have been the same. So while you are here, pay attention. Whatever happens today will never happen again." K Luding.
Be safe and happy hiking.
July 22, 2015 - Wednesday
A wildfire on the east side of Glacier National Park erupted suddenly on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 21st. This fire is causing a closure of Going to the Sun Road and evacuations of east side campgrounds and facilities. Access to Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet are also affected.
Going to the Sun Road is currently closed between Big Bend on the west side, and St. Mary entrance on the east side. Logan Pass is not accessible.
At Granite Park Chalet, the Highline Trail from Granite Park Chalet to Logan Pass is closed. At this time the Loop Trail and the Swiftcurrent Pass trail remain open. We recommend shuttle access to The Loop trailhead for guests to reach us from the west side.
At Sperry Chalet, the Gunsight Pass trail is closed from Sperry Chalet to all destinations east. The Sperry trail to Lake McDonald, and the Sperry Glacier trail remain open.
For guests planning to visit the chalets, we are still open. Be advised that access from the east side of Going to the Sun Road will be impossible for an unknown period of time. Plan to use the west entrance to Going to the Sun Road at West Glacier. Expect to find congested roadways and parking areas.
Our guest shuttle will continue to operate on the west side of Going to the Sun Road. Guests are advised that travel along Sun Road and parking will probably be easier for you if you take advantage of our shuttle or the NPS shuttle system. Contact our office to reserve space in our shuttle.
This incident is fast developing and quickly changing. We will post here as we learn new information.
Be safe out there.
July 1, 2015 - Wednesday
Granite Park Chalet is open for the season
Our summer of hiking is off to a great start with an open Highline Trail and spectacular weather. It is absolutely beautiful up at Granite Park Chalet. We are looking forward to your visit.
The weather is hot and dry right now, so hike smart by starting in the cool morning air and bring an extra water bottle. Running out of water is one of the most dangerous things that could happen to you in these conditions.
And don't forget about our guest shuttle to help you into the park. Finding a parking spot at Logan Pass is one of the biggest challenges in Glacier these days. We can help you with free parking at West Glacier or St. Mary and a direct ride straight to your trail. Get the details here.
June 20, 2015 - Saturday
Chalet snow report
It has been an unusually dry winter here in Glacier National Park. High country trails and passes are melting out much sooner than a typical year. That is good news for early season hikers.
You will be able to use the Highline Trail to Granite Park Chalet as soon as we open on July 1. It can still be a tricky trail though, be prepared for some interesting snow crossings over the next few weeks.
The Loop Trail to Granite Park Chalet is free of snow and ready to use.
The Sperry Trail to Sperry Chalet is in great condition, but it feels a little steeper this year.
We do not yet have a status report for the Gunsight Pass trail to Sperry Chalet. Considering the dangerous conditions that spring snowfields create at Gunsight Pass, I would hold off attempting this route until we get accurate reports on trail conditions.
We do recommend checking the National Park Service trail status reports before you start a high country hike. This information is also available at park visitor centers.
Be safe out there.
We are looking forward to seeing you in the mountains soon.
May 28, 2015 - Thursday
Shuttle service to chalet trailheads is now available.
As you may know, parking along Going to the Sun Road gets more and more challenging every year. We are ready to help chalet guests with shuttle service from St. Mary or West Glacier directly to your hiking trail.
Get all the details about our shuttle service here, and then call our office to reserve your ride into the park.
May 6, 2015 - Wednesday
Granite Park Chalet meals
This is the best way to take some weight out of your backpack and simplify your meals at Granite Park Chalet. If you don't feel like carrying food on your hike, we have carefully picked some delicious backpacking meals for you. Place your order at least two weeks before your reservation and we can have everything waiting for you at the chalet.