Travel Update Montana COVID-19 Updates

Montana COVID-19 Updates

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Travel Updates Montana COVID-19 Updates

Montana COVID-19 Updates

A state of emergency exists in Montana due to the global outbreak of COVID-19. Although the state directive does not require masks, there are community-specific orders that do require and enforce mask wearing in indoor public spaces. In accordance with federal mandates, face coverings are also required on federal lands when social distancing is not possible—this includes Glacier National Park.

We have all gone to great lengths to help control the spread, and it remains imperative that we continue to do our part by following community and CDC guidelines, and by being conscious and protecting Montana’s most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19. By continuing to take measures seriously, we protect our family, friends and neighbors as Montana begins to emerge from its initial encounter with COVID-19.

At this time, social distancing is still expected, and all vulnerable or high-risk individuals should continue to follow the stay-at-home guidance and postpone nonessential travel. Everyone, especially those at higher risk of getting sick, should continue to follow Montana Department of Public Health recommendations to protect themselves.

PLEASE TRAVEL RESPONSIBLY

  • Stay up-to-date on travel regulations and the COVID-19 situation using reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control, the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, federal regulations and community-specific webpages.
  • Play it safe—if you’re not sure if a community requires face coverings—please wear one.
  • Plan ahead to ensure businesses and attractions are open.
  • Continue to monitor the situation, and adjust plans accordingly.
  • Be prepared.

LEAVE NO TRACE

Help us preserve our wild places by packing out everything you pack in. That includes some things that may not be on your radar, like fruit rinds and cherry pits.

When you fish and boat Montana's waterways, it's important to follow steps to ensure you don't contribute to the introduction of invasive species—they're a real threat to Montana's waterways. Read more about mandatory watercraft inspections, Clean. Drain. Dry. protocols, and protecting our waters.

Respecting animals while wildlife watching helps keep both them and you safe. Stay the recommended distance away from all wildlife, and do not feed them or put yourself or others in danger trying to get that perfect selfie with a mountain goat.

PRACTICE WILDLAND FIRE SAFETY

Properly putting out campfires is crucial. Campfires and Montana go hand in hand, but Western Montana is susceptible to wildland fire, especially during the dry summer months. Have fun sleeping out under the stars, but please do your part to ensure that your actions involving fire are responsible. Campfires must be extinguished completely.

BE KIND, RESPECTFUL AND PATIENT

We're all in this together, and human decency is paramount. We expect residents and visitors to be mutually respectful of each other. We all have a common goal—to enjoy Montana. Also, our parks and rec personnel, essential workers, and small business owners deserve to be treated with respect and understanding now more than ever.

VISITING GLACIER NATIONAL PARK

  • As is typical for this time of year, much of the road access to the park is still closed for the season. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is open at the West and East entrances, and distances will vary depending on weather conditions. Hiker/biker access is also beginning to open up on both sides. Check the National Park Service Road Status page for up-to-date information.
  • Recreation access on the east side of the park reopened on March 18 at Two Medicine, Cut Bank and St. Mary—this time of year that means just foot traffic, skis and snowshoes. Regular winter vehicle closures remain in place and the roads into Cut Bank and Two Medicine remain closed to vehicular traffic.
  • Construction began on Many Glacier Road on March 15. The valley is closed to all access, seven days a week. Hiker/biker and vehicular access is scheduled to return on May 28, 2021.
  • Spring plowing activities on park roads will begin soon. Some areas may be temporarily unavailable to recreation when plowing operations are ongoing.
  • Recreation access is permitted beyond the vehicle closures on the west side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Two Medicine, Cut Bank and St. Mary.
  • With snow on park trails, winter conditions are in effect throughout the park’s trail system.
  • Loop B of the Apgar Campground will remain open for first-come, first-served primitive camping through the spring. Please note there is no water available and only vault toilets.
  • Decisions are still being finalized to determine which campgrounds will open for the summer 2021 season. Fish Creek and Many Glacier Campgrounds are scheduled to open and are available for reservation through recreation.gov. The St. Mary and Rising Sun Campgrounds will not be open in the 2021 summer season.
  • Lake McDonald will reopen for boating on May 9, 2021. At this time it has not been decided which other lakes may open to boating for the 2021 summer season.
  • Park concessionaires operating lodging, restaurants, boat rentals, horseback rides and bus tours are still closed for the winter season. In Apgar there is a camp store with limited grocery supplies, gift shops and recreational equipment rentals.
  • Buy your park entrance pass in advance at recreation.gov/sitepass/74280.
  • New this year: Tickets will be required for park entrance during peak hours from May 28 to September 6, 2021. Tickets can be purchased at recreation.gov beginning April 29. For more information, click here.

TRAVEL ON TRIBAL LANDS

As of March 12, 2021, the Blackfeet Nation has moved to Phase 3 of their COVID-19 plan. Masks are required for residents and visitors above the age of 2, and everyone must practice social distancing. A curfew is in effect from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. for anyone under the age of 18. Gatherings are limited to the number recommended by the CDC. Tribal campgrounds and other open spaces for gathered public recreation will be reopened at the discretion of the Blackfeet Tribal Business Council. Most businesses are reopening at a reduced capacity of 75%.

Click here for more details.

The Flathead Indian Reservation is open to nonresidents. All recreation restrictions were lifted, effective September 8, 2020, on Tribal lands within the Flathead Indian Reservation, although Tribal conservation and fishing permits are required. View the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes' Who’s at Risk campaign before traveling to our Tribal Nations.

Travelers are encouraged to contact the tribal governments for the latest information before beginning their trips in order to plan accordingly.

TRAVEL FROM CANADA

To our friends in Canada wondering about crossing the U.S. border for a Montana visit: While we look forward to seeing you when the time is right, recreational visits are not permitted between the United States and Canada at this time. Please read more on our International Border Crossings page.

ILLNESS PREVENTION

Avoid exposure to COVID-19 by doing the following:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often for at least 20 seconds using soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue (or your elbow)
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

If you have traveled to any destination during the past 14 days:

  • Monitor your health and practice social distancing.
  • If you get sick with a fever (100.4°F/38°C or higher), cough, or have trouble breathing:
    • Seek medical advice. Call ahead before going to a doctor's office or emergency room.
    • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
    • Avoid contact with others.
  • Do not travel while sick.

RESOURCES

For more traveler information and prevention tips, we encourage you to seek the most current information from the following sources:

PARTNER INFORMATION & TRAVEL UPDATES

Recreate Responsibly Plan Ahead, Play it Safe, and Leave No Trace.
News from Glacier National Park Currently, 11.5 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

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