As you may have heard, there’s a large fire burning along the north shore of Lake Mc Donald that has led to the closure of some areas of Glacier National Park. That said the park is still open for business. The smoke is variable, and to be honest it depends on the wind direction. That said even though facilities are pretty limited on the west side, it’s still possible to stay there and explore the open areas of the park.
Here’s what you need to know.
First and foremost, Lake Mc Donald Lodge and Motel Lake Mc Donald are both closed for the season. Fish Creek Campground is also closed, as is Going to the Sun Road from the foot of Lake Mc Donald to Logan Pass.
The Logan Pass Visitor Center and the east side of Going to the Sun Road are still open, but they have to be accessed from the St. Mary Entrance on the east side.
The Village Inn at Apgar is still open, and they have some very nice accessible rooms with roll-in showers. Both rooms were available today, when Charles and I looked at them. And when I talked to the manager he told me a heart-warming story about how one guest actually shed tears of joy when she saw the room last week. Apparently it was the first accessible room that really worked for her wheeler husband.
Eddie’s Mercantile in Apgar is closed, so make sure to pick up supplies at West Glacier Mercantile on the way into the park. Eddie’s Cafe is also closed, but the West Glacier Restaurant — also located near the West Entrance — is open.
Apgar Campground is also still open; and accessible campsites 122 and 152 are available on a walk-in basis.
Highway 2, which goes around the south end of the park to Two Medicine is open. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive to Two Medicine, and the accessible Running Eagle Falls Trail is located near the Two Medicine Entrance. Goat Lick Overlook — which features excellent access — is also worth a stop along the way.
Granted, you will most likely encounter some smoke, so remember to take along plenty of water and don’t over do it if you have respiratory issues. Still the conditions are variable, and the park isn’t very crowded, so if you already have reservations you might want to give it a shot.
If you do go, be sure and keep abreast of conditions on the park website at https://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm.