Monday, August 10, 2015

Glacier National Park, Montana

In our, now not so recent, visit to Glacier National Park, the scenery was magnificent as usual. The challenge was that the park has only two access roads. The recent fires in the Park have highlighted the challenge that visitors face: lack of access and lack of adequate parking. There is a Park shuttle service, but the parking for the shuttle is inadequate and the service is not nearly enough to make a dent in all the people visiting the Park and trying to park their cars in the very limited space available. This is the same challenge faced by Yosemite National Park. Both Parks are essentially traffic jams on a busy day during the summer. Zion National Park and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park have solved the problem by excluding cars altogether from the Parks. The shuttle system at both Zion and the Grand Canyon work wonderfully. The Parks are much safer and more orderly than the mob scenes at Glacier and Yosemite. Even though our last visit to Zion was marked by a huge crowd in the Narrows, the visit was not marred by traffic jams. In Glacier, there should be a much greater effort to provide shuttle service that matches the need. There should also be a much higher fee for parking in the Park outside of the shuttle areas. Since the main road, like the one in Zion, is used for crossing the Park, there should be a crossing permit that does not allow parking, either free or at a reduced rate. Right now, Glacier and Yosemite are on my list as the worst run Parks in America.

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