Reynolds Creek Fire Update: Montana’s Glacier National Park

As you’ve likely heard by now, there is a fire in Glacier National Park in Montana. In an effort to keep all of you—visitors, residents, Glacier Park lovers and concerned citizens—up-to-date with the latest information on the fire, I’ll be updating this post with facts on the fire, areas affected by the fire, current conditions, open areas and other places to explore in Western Montana’s Glacier Country.

UPDATE: Due to the cool weather and rainfall, most of Montana’s wildfires are now contained. For the latest trail status, click here

Glacier National Park’s Reynolds Creek Fire Facts
-Location: The fire is located on the east side of Glacier National Park, approximately 4 miles west of the St. Mary Visitor Center and 6 miles east of Logan Pass along the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
-Size of fire: 4,311 acres.
-Going-to-the-Sun Road: The Going-to-the-Sun Road is OPEN in its entirety.
-Suppression efforts: Firefighting efforts currently include fire crews, helicopters for aerial water drops and on-the-ground crew work.
-Percent contained: 67%.

The view into the St. Mary Valley, as of 9:51 a.m. on July 23, 2015.

The view into the St. Mary Valley, as of 9:51 a.m. on July 23, 2015.

The view into the St. Mary Valley as of 8:50 a.m., July 24.

The view into the St. Mary Valley as of 8:50 a.m., July 24.

The view into St. Mary as of 8:57 a.m., July 28.

The view into St. Mary as of 8:57 a.m., July 28.

The view into St. Mary as of 8:21 a.m., July 29.

The view into St. Mary as of 8:21 a.m., July 29.

OPEN Areas and Attractions in Glacier National Park 
-Most areas of the park are unaffected by the fire.
-The St. Mary Visitor Center is open from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
-The St. Mary Campground is open.
-The Going-to-the-Sun Road is OPEN. Visitors are encouraged to use the park’s free shuttle system or the interpretive tours provided by Glacier National Park Lodges and Sun Tours.
-Glacier Park Boat Company is offering regular tours at all of their locations, including Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Rising Sun (St. Mary) and Lake McDonald.
-The Logan Pass Visitor Center is open. Hours are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., until further notice.
-Open areas include the North Fork, Many Glacier Valley, Two Medicine, Cut Bank Creek, Goat Haunt, Lake McDonald Valley and Apgar.
-Many hiking trails are open and accessible, including Iceberg Lake, Cracker Lake and Grinnell Glacier in Many Glacier and Cobalt Lake, Dawson Pass and Scenic Point in Two Medicine. The Grinnell Glacier Overlook and the Sperry Trail is open from Lake McDonald Lodge to Gunsight Pass have opened. The Highline Trail, as well as the trail to the Hidden Lake Overlook and Hidden Lake are open. The Piegan Pass Trail from Siyeh Bend is open for hiking to the north, but not accessible to the south. The Siyeh Pass Trail is only open to Siyeh Pass, and is closed in the Baring Creek drainage. The Red Eagle drainage is open for hiking access to Red Eagle Lake, Triple Divide and the beaver ponds. All hiking trails on the west side of the park are open and unaffected by the fire. The latest trail updates can be found here.
-Backcountry permits are being issued for Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Apgar and Polebridge.
-West Glacier, Essex and East Glacier Park are open and unaffected by the fire.
-Evening, ranger-led and interpretive programs in the park are still taking place. For the most updated schedule, visit www.nps.gov/glac.

The view in Many Glacier, as of 9:51 a.m. on July 23, 2015.

The view in Many Glacier, as of 9:51 a.m. on July 23, 2015.

The view in Many Glacier, as of 8:53 a.m. on July 24, 2015.

The view in Many Glacier, as of 8:53 a.m. on July 24, 2015.

The view into Many Glacier, as of 9:13 a.m., July 27. Cooler weather has moved into Montana.

The view into Many Glacier, as of 9:13 a.m., July 27. Cooler weather has moved into Montana.

The view into Many Glacier as of 8:59 a.m., July 28.

The view into Many Glacier as of 8:59 a.m., July 28.

The view into Many Glacier as of 8:22 a.m., July 29.

The view into Many Glacier as of 8:22 a.m., July 29.

The view into Two Medicine as of 11:20 a.m., August 10.

The view into Two Medicine as of 11:20 a.m., August 10.

Current CLOSED Areas and Attractions in Glacier National Park
-Current trail closures include Gunsight Trail Pass. The Piegan Pass Trail from Siyeh Bend is open for hiking to the north, but not accessible to the south. The Siyeh Pass Trail is only open to Siyeh Pass and is closed in the Baring Creek drainage. The Gunsight Pass Trail remains closed from the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Gunsight Pass.Trails accessing St. Mary, Virginia, and Baring Creek Falls are closed.
-Rising Sun Motor Inn and Rising Sun Campground and currently closed.
-There is no overnight parking at Logan Pass.
-Overnight parking along the open parts of Going-to-the-Sun Road is not encouraged.

Just the Facts
-Glacier National Park is OPEN, not closed.
-Public safety is always the first concern. If an area is OPEN, it is safe.
-Smoke is not affecting most areas of Glacier National Park. For the latest conditions, check out Glacier National Park’s webcams.
-Glacier National Park is more than 1 million acres in size. The Reynolds Creek Fire is currently affecting less than 1 percent of the land mass in the park.
-Fires are a part of nature’s natural cycle. While they can be scary, we have some of the best fire management teams who are diligently working to contain the fire.
-No campfires are allowed in the park’s backcountry. Campfires are allowed in designated sites in frontcountry campgrounds.
-If your travel plans have been affected by the current closures in Glacier National Park, Glacier Country Tourism’s call center can help you revise your travel plans. Chat online here or call 800.338.5072.

Recommended Activities and Attractions in and Around Glacier National Park
-Glacier National Park Lodges offer guided red bus tours in Glacier National Park. Red bus tours are still running in Glacier National Park.
-Sun Tours is offering interpretive tours in and around Glacier National Park.
-Due to limited parking along the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, visitors are advised to utilize the free park shuttles. The shuttles are running from the Apgar Visitor Center to the Loop. For schedules, click here.
-Boat tours (and water rentals) with Glacier Park Boat Company are available at Lake McDonald, St. Mary, Two Medicine and Many Glacier.
-Glacier Guides (located in West Glacier) offers guided hikes in Glacier National Park.
-The Middle Fork of the Flathead River is open for scenic floats, whitewater trips and guided fly-fishing tours. Check out the list of river outfitters and guides in West Glacier here.
-To get off-the-beaten path, head to the North Fork and Polebridge for a paddle on Bowman or Kintla lakes. Two Medicine and Cut Bank Creek are also gorgeous areas of the park to visit.

Glacier National Park’s Thompson Fire Facts
-Location: The Thompson Fire is located in Glacier National Park’s backcountry.
-Size of fire: 14,900 acres.

Current Closures Related to the Thompson Fire
-Cut Bank Campground is currently closed.
-Temporary trail closures: Cole Creek Trail, Nyack Creek Trail, Cutbank Pass Trail, Park Creek to Coal Creek, Dry Fork Trail (form Pitamaken Pass to Two Medicine Campground Trailhead and Two Medicine Entrance trailhead), Morning Star Trail (from Cutbank Auto Campground to Pitamaken Pass), Atlantic Creek Trail (from Cutbank Auto Campground to Triple Divide Pass), Medicine Grizzly Lake Trail, Dawson Pass/North Shore of Two Medicine Lake and Upper Two Medicine Lake Trail. Check out the latest trail status here.

For the latest updates on the fire in Glacier National Park, continue visiting this blog post. And if you have questions, feel free to tweet us at @GlacierMT.

TT

12 thoughts on “Reynolds Creek Fire Update: Montana’s Glacier National Park

  1. Karen Winter Lassell.

    Very much appreciate the update. Worked at Many glacier one summer. A lifetime peak experience. One of my favorite places on this planet.

    Reply
  2. Bob

    Please make every effort to open the road to Logan Pass, not just to Big Bend. I realize the Logan Pass parking area may be an ideal place to stage some of the fire fighting efforts from, but the road to the east of Logan pass would seem to be suitable as well. Thousands of visitors are inconvenienced by shutting down Logan’s pass visitors center, hopefully this is not being done needlessly for the convenience of a few. This affects many businesses in the surrounding area as well, by visitors foregoing the trip to Glacier Park because one of the major attractions is closed down.

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Bob, I believe the park’s biggest concern is public safety, which is why Logan Pass is temporarily closed and there are currently 200 firefighters working to fight the fire. While parts of one of the key attractions in Glacier National Park is temporarily closed, there are so many other places to explore in the Crown of the Continent and my hope is that visitors will still come to the park as 99% of it is unaffected.

      Reply
    2. Fay

      Ifgoing to the aun road being partially closed is only reaaon for cancelling a vacation… Then thats sad. Been here for 3 days… And there is so much to see and do that is absolutely amaZing. Of course, because i know rhat sometimes things happen…i always have a plan B. ALWAYS…. Glad i did! wouldnt have misses rhis majeatic place for amything.

      Reply
  3. Maria

    Wondering about the air quality in the park?( traveling w/ family who have asthma and respiratory issues) Thx for the great update.

    Reply
    1. tiatroy Post author

      Maria, the air quality in the park is great! The only area that’s being affected a bit by smoke is St. Mary. Many Glacier, Two Medicine, the North Fork and Lake McDonald are clear and unaffected.

      Reply
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  5. Shawn

    Good morning. We are planning on riding up going to the sun from the loop as far as possible next Saturday under the full moon. Can we still do this?

    Reply

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