WEST GLACIER, Mont. (AP) — For tourists trying to get to some sights in Glacier National Park, it's been a dam inconvenience.
Travel along part of a popular route through the Montana landmark was limited for the fourth straight day Thursday after heavy rains caused a large beaver dam to fail and wash debris down a hillside early Wednesday, rangers said.
The mudslide dragged dozens of trees and debris onto the scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road on the west side of the park, near some heavily used sights such as Lake McDonald, Lake McDonald Lodge, Apgar Visitor Center, Apgar Campground and various hiking trails.
Park officials hope to have the section of road fully cleared for the Memorial Day weekend, The Missoulian newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/1UfCRFi ).
"We're at Mother Nature's whim, and this is what we're being dealt," park spokeswoman Margie Steigerwald said.
Normally at this time of year, visitors can drive 16 miles of Going-to-the-Sun Road from the west entrance.
Flooding and mudslides limited access to 13 miles of that road at various times from Monday through Wednesday. Just one lane of the road was open Thursday with officials directing traffic, so visitors could experience delays of about 20 minutes.
About 13 miles of the road also was open on the eastern side of the park.
The middle portion of the 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road typically opens in late June or early July, once the plows have cleared all the snow. They are not able to work in the area because of high avalanche danger expected over the next few days, Steigerwald said.
Information from: Missoulian, http://www.missoulian.com