WEST GLACIER — Glacier National Park officially reopened its gates on Monday, after a two-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I can probably say in the history of the park we’ve never quite opened this way,” said Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow.
Only the West Glacier entrance is open at this time with the East Glacier entrance remaining closed as the Blackfeet Reservation maintains Covid-19 restrictions through June 30.
Visitors are currently able to access Apgar and Going-to-the-Sun-Road only as far as Lake McDonald Lodge.
Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow says visitor centers, overnight accommodations, and backcountry permits among other activities remain closed at this time.
“Very few other services are ongoing at this point other than using the restroom, finding a place to park, and enjoying the views,” said Mow.
Brandon Berthelson who traveled from East Glacier to attend the park’s reopening he took extra safety measures while hoping all visitors follow social distancing guidelines.
“It’s my favorite place to be, I’m excited for the park to be reopening, as you can see, I’m wearing a mask, I’m trying to take precautions and hoping that everybody else does as well,” said Berthelson.
Mow expects the Lake McDonald Lodge to open to visitors by June 15, and for the park's operating hours to be extended in the near future.
He added that park officials are in constant contact with Blackfeet Reservation officials on finding a safe time-frame for the east entrance to reopen.
Additionally, Mow says a COVID-19 testing center will open at West Glacier Village next week.
“We’re working with the Blackfeet to figure out when that status may change, at the same time we’re working at putting in many of the measures to monitor for COVID-19 as the park opens up,” said Mow.
Snow plowing is currently in progress on the popular Going-to-the-Sun Road and access over Logan Pass is expected to open in late June.