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New Camas entrance station to open next spring

by JEREMY WEBER
Daily Inter Lake | December 19, 2021 12:00 AM

Glacier National Park visitors are being greeted by a new structure along the Camas Road as installation of the new entrance station just north of the Fish Creek Campground Road nears completion.

The station was placed at the new entrance location Sept. 8 after being constructed by Columbia Falls High School students as part of the School-to-Park program during the 2020-2021 school year. This is the second student-built structure placed at the park this year and the third since the program’s beginning in 2019.

Increasing visitation to the park prompted the installation of the new entrance along a route into the park that has not had an operating entrance station for nearly two decades, taking away a popular “backdoor” entrance to the park.

The original entrance station, located just east of the Camas Bridge, closed down in the early 2000s.

“As visitation has increased, the park has recognized the need for resuming collection of fees for entering the park via Camas Road,” park spokeswoman Gina Kerzman said. “The new station is closer to West Glacier and less remote than the original station for staff safety.”

Total visitation to Glacier this year has already topped 3.22 million. With better than average weather in October and November, it is very likely Glacier will top the total record visitation year of 2017, when 3.305 million people visited the park.

The month of September alone saw 710,661 park visitors, shattering the 2016 record for the month of 482,000, with more than 47,000 of those visitors going to Camas and just under 20,000 visiting Polebridge.

Costing approximately $73,000 in construction and installation costs, the new entrance should be completed and operational in the spring, Kerzman said.

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The new Camas Road entrance station in Glacier National Park is nearing completion and should be in operation this spring. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)

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Eric Hagen paints the interior walls of the new Camas Road Entrance Station in Glacier National Park Tuesday. (Jeremy Weber/Daily Inter Lake)