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Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier National Park

Update (8/9/2015)

Today the Going-to-the-Sun Rd was opened up all the way from West Glacier to St Mary through the Reynolds Creek fire area from 9 am to 7 pm daily but please be aware of any continued fire fighting efforts and equipment.  Rising Sun Campground will most likely remain closed for the remainder of the summer.  Access to trails on the east side from the Going-to-the-Sun Rd is limited.  All trails within the fire area are closed.  Bicycle travel through the fire area is prohibited but you may transport your bicycles through the area via the park shuttle system.

Update (7/29/2015)

Today the Going-to-the-Sun Rd was opened up to Logan Pass from the west side.  St Mary Visitor Center and St Mary Campground opened up on Monday, 7/27/2015.  There will be lots of people wanting to go to Logan Pass so be prepared to take the free shuttle because if there is too much congestion, park rangers may turn vehicles back at either Big Bend or Avalanche Creek.  You cannot see the fire from Logan Pass.

There are many untruths being spread about the Reynolds Creek Fire in Glacier Park.  Glacier National Park is NOT shut down.  There is a portion of the Going-to-the-Sun Rd that is closed but most of that closure is on the east side of Logan Pass.  Even our local newspaper is printing misinformation about the fire.  If you want to know what’s going on from the “horse’s mouth”, reference InciWeb.com where information is coming directly from the fire incident commanders and is typically updated at least once a day.

The following activities are not affected by this fire:

  • Going-to-the-Sun Rd is open for 29 miles, from the West Glacier entrance to Big Bend/Weeping Wall which includes most of the alpine section of the road, west of Logan Pass (this section of the road provides the best alpine views of Glacier Park)
  • There is no smoke affecting areas on the west side of the Continental Divide and Logan Pass
  • All areas west of the Continental Divide and Logan Pass are open
  • Two Medicine area of Glacier Park is open
  • Many Glacier area of Glacier Park is open
  • Townsite of St Mary is not evacuated and evacuation orders near that area have been downgraded
  • Most backcountry campsites and trails are not affected by this fire
  • Only 18 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Rd is closed, most of which was under construction this year which made it difficult to access trails and views from the road on the east side of Logan Pass regardless

This fire is currently listed at 3158 acres and has remained that size for a couple of days.  We experienced some cooler weather yesterday with some rain, which always helps with containing wildfires.  But 3158 acres is a small fire comparatively speaking.  The 2003 Robert Fire burned nearly 50,000 acres – in all, 100,000 acres burned inside Glacier National Park that year.  And the 2001 Moose Fire burned nearly 80,000 acres.  Even though this is a small fire in comparison, it is affecting various trails and activities in Glacier Park due to its close proximity to the eastern section of the Going-to-the-Sun Rd.

At Smoky Bear Lodge, we pride ourselves in assisting our guests in selecting which activities are most suited for each group.  Since we have explored and hiked most of the day trails in Glacier Park, we can provide good information for our guests.  Most groups do not plan enough time in Glacier Park to see every nook and cranny so we have been able to make more suggestions to our guests than they can fit into their schedule even with a fire burning in Glacier Park.  Don’t discount your trip to Glacier Park because of this fire.  There’s plenty to do and see during your trip as most of Glacier National Park remains open to visitors.