Glacier Guides and Montana Raft

Sprague Fire Update

2017 Glacier National Park Fires

You’ve had your trip to Glacier National Park planned for months now. But you keep seeing MONTANA WILDFIRES in the news. So, what’s the status of the 2017 Glacier National Park fires? How will they impact your trip, if at all? We’ve been Glacier National Park concession partners for 35 years now, and we’re happy to help with these types of questions.

This post was updated HERE on August 29, 2017.

Sprague Fire

First and foremost: as of this writing, Tuesday, August 15, the 2017 Glacier National Park fires are not having much of an impact on visitors. After all, there’s really only one fire of interest burning in Glacier National Park. It’s called the Sprague Fire, and it was caused by an intense lightning storm that occurred on August 10, 2017. The Sprague Fire has grown to about 100 acres. Keep in mind that Glacier National Park is 1,013,322 acres in size.

So, the Sprague Fire is not affecting very much of Glacier National Park at all — that’s .01%!

2017 Glacier National Park fires

Sprague Fire on Monday, August 14, 2017, courtesy NPS

Smoke in Glacier National Park

Neither is the smoke from the Sprague Fire affecting much of the park. If you check in on the webcams scattered over Glacier’s million acres, you’ll find that there are almost always areas of the park unaffected by the Sprague smoke. And check out this view from 2:36pm Tuesday of the fire — the smoke plume from the Sprague Fire is going straight up, not settling over the park.

2017 Glacier National Park fires

View of the Sprague Fire at 2:36pm on Tuesday, August 15, 2017.

Closure of Sperry Chalet

The 2017 Glacier National Park fires, and in particular, the Sprague Fire are getting big attention from the media due to the closure of the trail to the much beloved Sperry Chalet. The Chalet — which is not in any immediate danger, it is the trail accessing it that is impacted by the Sprague fire — was built in 1914 by the Great Northern Railway and is on the National Historic Landmark register. You can read more about it here. On Tuesday, the Chalet staff announced that they would close for the season.

2017 Glacier National Park fires

Sperry Chalet

We are very sad that the Chalet is closed, as we have guests that we were planning on taking to the Chalet. However, fire season is a part of living in the American West, and we’ve come up with some pretty amazing Plan Bs for our guests, so all will be fine.

2017 Glacier National Park Fires Outlook: Clearing Skies, Opening Backcountry

So, the takeaway is this: there are some big fires in Montana. Montana is a very big place. There are not any big fires in Glacier, which is also a big place. Our weather pattern has shifted, the skies have cleared, and the park has begun to issue backcountry permits again almost everywhere within the park. The light is changing just enough to remind us that fall is on the way, and with a wonderful change of pace in the park.

Glacier Guides and Montana Raft: Ready to Adventure in Glacier National Park

If you have any questions about the Sprague Fire, please feel free to call our office. We’re happy to give you an eyewitness report from West Glacier! We’ll be keeping you updated on the 2017 Glacier National Park fires via our Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Instagram feeds, too. Don’t miss out on whitewater rafting, scenic floating, hiking, biking, backpacking, fishing and in general enjoying our stunning backyard national park.

And to our friends at Sperry Chalet: we’re already looking forward to your porches and turkey dinners next summer! See you there.

2017 Glacier National Park fires

Words of wisdom on the wall of Sperry Chalet.

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