WEST GLACIER – Going-to-the-Sun Road near Apgar remained open for just two hours Tuesday, before a noon landslide brought logs and debris tumbling across the pavement, blocking two culverts, diverting water, and “turning the road into a river” for about an hour, according to Glacier National Park spokeswoman Margie Steigerwald.
The road has been closed since. Crews will continue clearing debris and open it again on Wednesday.
Flooding had first briefly closed the road Monday, although it was later opened to a single lane before being shut down for the night.
Steigerwald said it opened to two lanes of traffic at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Two hours later came the landslide, about two miles northeast of the Apgar Campground.
“The area got four inches of rain in 48 hours,” Steigerwald said. “It’s just so saturated.”
She described the latest incident as “a mudslide filled with logs” that “jammed two additional culverts.” Approximately 50 yards of the road became a river for about an hour, and portions of the shoulder were washed out.
Only visitors with existing reservations at Lake McDonald Lodge are being allowed through, Steigerwald said. The flooding was near the foot of the lake.
Going-to-the-Sun has not yet fully reopened for the summer, but visitors can normally drive 16 miles from the West Entrance to Avalanche Creek at this time of year.
Snowplow crews have been pulled from the Logan Pass area to help clear the logs and debris off the road near Lake McDonald.
The storm that dumped all the rain in the Apgar area also deposited two feet of new snow above 6,000 feet in the park, Steigerwald said. Logan Pass sits 6,647 feet above sea level.