Merry Christmas!

Santa moose sighting

Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas this year is good weather during the hiking season, comfortable boots, and plenty of time to spend in the park. Oh, and a moose sighting.

From the hiking trails of Glacier National Park we wish everyone peace and joy this Christmas.

We are closing the office for a short while over the holiday. We will be answering the phones again on Monday January 6.

Thank You

Once again we find ourselves overwhelmed and amazed at how enthusiastic everyone is and at how popular the chalets have become. I am sorry if we were not able to create a reservation for you in the past couple weeks. My best advice is to monitor our availability calendar from time to time over the winter. That is the first place we will advertise any openings or cancellations.

Deposit payments.
If you are worried about your deposit payment reaching us on time, please don't be. We are backlogged enough that we need to give everyone a reprieve. You have until the Thanksgiving holiday to complete your deposit. We will keep all reservations secure until December, after the holiday.

Thanks.

Reservations update

Our phones were repaired quickly and we have been taking many reservations today. Thanks all for your patience. Your chalet enthusiasm is wonderful. We will continue to work through the backlog of online reservation requests through the off hours, we will be ready for your phone call again during office hours this week.

Thank you.

Technical difficulties

We are informed by the provider of our toll free phone service that they are experiencing a technical error that is causing all connections to receive a busy signal. It is apparently an issue affecting more phone number than just ours. They were not able to provide a timeline for repair.

We apologize for this inconvenience.

We are accepting reservations through our online reservation request form, although there is already quite a backlog. Phone reservations will be available the moment our service provider completes their repair.

Welcome to 2014

We will begin accepting reservations by phone and through this website beginning at 8:00 am, Monday October 28, Mountain time zone.

We know that there are a lot of happy hikers anxious to make chalet reservations. We love the enthusiasm. Here are some tips to help you through the gold rush.

Reserving by phone:
1-888-345-2649
We will be taking reservations by phone during our office hours of 8:00am to 2:00pm.
We only have the single phone line, so be prepared for busy signals. Connecting with us by telephone this week will be challenging. Please have patience. A telephone reservation does have the advantage of a friendly persons help and instant feedback on the state of your reservation. However, busy signals and re-dialing will be common. We cannot take messages or return your call. Our toll free phone line is the only way to reach us by phone. Calling the Nation Park Service or other area hotels will not help you with a chalet reservation.

Reserving online:
We would like to suggest that you take advantage of our online reservation request form that will be on this website beginning at 8:00am Monday. The form will let you send us a request and get on with your day. All online requests are personally reviewed in the order received, we will email you as soon as we handle yours. The online form is the easiest way for us to handle most reservation requests, so we are likely to create more reservations this way than by telephone.

For all reservations:
We will fill your reservation on your first choice of dates if we can, but it helps to have alternate dates in your request. Being flexible or having a range of dates for your visit will help us match you to an appropriate opening.

Granite Park Chalet and Sperry Chalet are small hotels with limited occupancy and a short season, it is unfortunate when there are more good people wishing to stay here than we are able to host. If you are not able to create the reservation you want, be sure to check back from time to time over the winter and spring. There are often changes and cancellations that can create new opportunities. We appreciate your patience, your understanding, and your enthusiasm.

New for 2014
For our centennial anniversary we are celebrating with some new specials and workshops for families. One child in your party, under age 12, can stay with us for $19.14 per night. And we have a new natural history workshop that is perfect for families and kids. We want 2014 to be a great year for your kids to see Glacier's backcountry.

We are looking forward to serving you.

Centennial special for kids

Bring a child to Sperry Chalet for $19.14.

When I think about the hundred years that Sperry Chalet has been hosting adventurers, I think about all the people that discovered, built, cared for, and enjoyed this place long before we came along. As we continue to care for our National Parks, it is reasonable to believe that Sperry Chalet will be discovered and enjoyed by new generations for another hundred years into the future.

So we are celebrating our centennial anniversary with a special fare for the next generation. For our 2014 centennial season, the first child under age 12 in your party can stay with us for $19.14 per night. I hope your family can join us.

You can find the fine print and details of chalet fares here.

2014 season information

The chalet operating dates for 2014 are scheduled for:

Granite Park Chalet,
June 30 Through September 7th.
Closing after breakfast on September 8.

Sperry Chalet,
July 10 Through September 7th.
Closing after breakfast on September 8.

RESERVATIONS
We will begin accepting 2014 reservations on Monday, October 28. Accepted online through this website, or by phone.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN
We intend to proceed with 2014 reservations on the assumption that the current shutdown will be resolved within the next nine months and we will have access to Glacier National Park for the summer season. However, the reservation process and your summer planning may be inconvenienced without the services and information provided by the National Park Service.

The National Park Service was not able to complete the work of approving our 2014 summer fares before the shutdown began. We intend to open reservations with an anticipated fare that may be subject to change before the start of the 2014 summer operating season. Any resulting overcharges will be refunded in full. Please plan to pay only the deposit on your reservation until the NPS approved fare can be known.

Should Glacier National Park be closed to the public on the date of your reservation, a full refund will be issued.

Closed for the season.

Thanks to all of you who visited for helping make this a great summer. We had lots of good hiking, good weather, good people, and great adventures. There may still be some time for a few more nice hikes in the Park this fall, but the chalets will be closed and shuttered.

Our office will be closed as well. We will not be answering the phones for a while as we re-group and get ready for next seasons reservations. 2014 reservations will not be available until October 28, the last Monday in October. We will publish the 2014 rates and operating season right here as soon as we have the info.

Did you know that 2014 is the chalets 100th birthday? We will be celebrating the centennial anniversaries for both Sperry and Granite Park next year. It will be a great season to hike to a chalet. Watch this space for info about special centennial celebrations and events.

Happy trails!

Changing seasons

Many people are expecting several more weeks of summertime weather where they live, but up here in the Glacier high country we are already feeling the first taste of autumn in the air. The temperatures are getting cooler and we are getting some afternoon rain showers. If you are visiting us in early September, be sure to have a warm jacket or fleece for the evening and mornings. Hats and gloves are not out of the question. Don't forget your rain gear either. Cold and wet is the worst way to spend your time up here. Don't let the unpredictable mountain weather catch you by surprise.

SUN ROAD SHUTTLES
The free shuttle service along Going to the Sun Road will end after Labor Day. The last day to ride the shuttle is Monday, September 2.

If you are hiking into the chalet after the shuttle service ends, your easiest option is to park at the trailhead and use the same trail to hike back to your vehicle after your visit.

Happy Hiking!

Thanks Craig

We have enjoyed the company of Craig Barton the past couple weeks. Craig is our resident artist for this summer. He is a photographer that specializes in high definition, high dynamic range, landscapes. Check out his work here. He has been as giddy as a kid in a candy store up at Sperry with more beautiful things to photograph than time to do it all. It will be a few months before we will see the pictures Craig has taken up at Sperry, I can't wait to see his results.

GUNSIGHT PASS
The Gunsight Pass trail is becoming a popular route this August. Be prepared for thick brush on the east side. The snow fields at the pass are greatly diminished, and much safer. They no longer run off the edge of the cliff, but still watch your step. The really exciting point is the waterfall at the head of Lake Ellen Wilson. It looks like the trail took some damage from rockfall and the waterfall crossing is in poor shape this year. Be sure to bring a way to keep your feet dry. Changing into a pair of sandals or light shoes is a good choice right here. Trekking poles will help. If nothing else, have a change of socks for after your boots fill with water. Don't be unprepared like I was; to keep my boots dry I crossed barefoot. Not very recommended, The footing was so slick and rocky I could barely stand up. I made it across soaked to the waist. Be smarter than me and come prepared for this water crossing.

Be safe, have fun, happy hiking.

New office hours

Our office hours for the remainder of the 2013 season will be 9:00 am to 3:00 pm every day.

Happy Hiking!

Watch the night sky

August is a great month for stargazing at the chalet. Far away from any city lights, with only clean mountain air above you, the night sky comes alive in ways that the typical city dweller will never know. While you are visiting, I recommend taking a little time in the evening to step outside, turn off your flashlight, wait a few minutes for your eyes to adjust and enjoy the vista above you.

Some notable stargazing events this month; the peak of the Perseid meteor shower happens on August 11-12. But there will probably still be meteors for several nights before and after. The full moon rises on August 20. The mountains by moonlight are a beautiful sight to behold. No matter what day you visit you should certainly watch for the Milky Way and the hundreds of constellations that only a clean night sky can show you.

Happy stargazing

Gunsight Pass trail status

We are hearing from the Sperry crew and other through hikers that conditions at Gunsight Pass are improving. There are still short snow fields to cross, but the dangerous exposure is melting away. These short snowfields still require caution. Some hikers are finding their way around by climbing on the rocks. If you do cross snow, watch your step, dig in your trekking poles, and proceed with caution.

The Gunsight Pass Trail is over twice the distance of the Sperry Trail with just as much elevation gain. This trail is best for ambitious and experienced hikers.

Happy trails

How Going to the Sun Road construction closures affect Sperry Chalet

For the entire 2013 season there will be construction closures on Going to the Sun Road that can impact access to the Gunsight Pass trailhead at Jackson Glacier Overlook.

There will be nighttime closures of Going to the Sun Road from 9:00 pm to 7:00 am (with one 2:00 am opportunity to follow a pilot vehicle through the closure.) The road will be closed on the east side between Logan Pass and Rising Sun near the campground.

If you are leaving a vehicle at the Gunsight Pass trailhead at Jackson Glacier Overlook, leaving your vehicle overnight is permitted, but when you retrieve it you must do so before the nighttime closure. Please give yourself ample time for your hike so that it is possible to retrieve your vehicle.

If you are traveling by shuttle bus, be advised that the last shuttles, both east and west, depart Logan Pass at 7:00 pm. Please give yourself ample time to make any shuttle connections, and do not assume that the last bus of the day will have enough space for you.

As with most hiking, a good strategy is to get an early start and plan extra time for any unforeseen delays in your hikes and your travels.

Sperry Trails

We have been enjoying visits from many happy hikers up at Sperry Chalet this week. While the mountains are beautiful, we need to let you know about challenges on the trails.

GUNSIGHT PASS TRAIL
There are still high angle snow fields just east of Gunsight Pass. These snow patches may look short and easy to some people, but they are very dangerous due to the cliffs and rocks at the bottom. The simplest of slips on the snow can have perilous results. We advise people to not attempt this route unless you are very confident on snow and are carrying self arrest equipment such as ice axes, trekking poles, or rope harnesses.

The hot weather is improving trail conditions day by day, but like most summers, I would not expect this trail to be completely snow free until sometime in August.

SPERRY GLACIER TRAIL
The upper elevations of the trail near Comeau Pass and Sperry Glacier are still 80% snow covered. There is still a hazardous snow drift at the base of the stairway at Comeau Pass. Many people are making this hike, just be super careful on the snow, have good boots and sunscreen.

HI JAKE!
Jake over at hike734.com had a great visit with us last week. Be sure to check the video and photos from his adventure.
http://www.hike734.com/trip/sperry-chalet-2013/

Thanks for visiting Jake, and thanks for all your hard work supporting the Glacier National Park Conservancy.

Happy Hiking

Sperry Chalet is open

And we can't wait to serve you the most remote glass of lemonade in the park.

It is beautiful here with the beargrass bloom reaching our elevation, the waterfalls are full of spring vigor, and the mosquitoes will welcome you with friendly hugs and kisses. Well, okay, maybe some bug spray would be smart.

TRAIL STATUS

The Sperry Trail
Starting from Lake McDonald, the trail is 100% snow and obstacle free. Use the cool morning air for a comfortable start and enjoy your hike.

Gunsight Pass Trail
The Sperry staff is reporting that Gunsight Pass has treacherous, snow fields with dangerous exposure just east of the pass. At this time we recommend ice axes, crampons, experience using them, and an experienced buddy if you wish to attempt this route. For average hikers like me, it would be best to wait a couple weeks before attempting this route. We expect the snow to melt quickly, but there is no way to know how soon it will be safe.

Between Sperry Chalet and Lake Ellen Wilson, the trail is snow and hazard free. Some of the staff report that the swimming in Lake Ellen Wilson is excellent, others on the staff report that those first crew members are a little odd and it is in fact very cold.

Sperry Glacier Trail
Climbing to Sperry Glacier from the chalet, expect a few challenges. The bridges are not yet installed, but we are expecting them soon. The trail has about 50% snow cover. Nothing particularly treacherous, but slogging across snow always takes more energy, attention, and caution than a dry trail will. Watch out for places where water undercuts the snow and creates snow caverns that can collapse under foot. Be careful about securing your footing on angled snow fields, and there is an impressive drift at Comeau Pass that could be challenging.

If you feel comfortable on snow, there is no reason not to go this route, just be careful. In these conditions, the equipment we recommend includes trekking poles for balance, sturdy waterproof boots, extra dry socks, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.

MEET THE CREW
Sperry Crew 2013

Albert, Sinead, Geneva, Theresa, Kaitlin, Mimi, Kirsty, Renee, and Nadine

We are all looking forward to meeting you on the trail.

Summer office hours

We are changing to our full time summer office hours starting tomorrow, Saturday June 29.

You can reach us by phone from 9:00am to 6:00pm everyday through our summer operating season.

Thanks

Summer is near

All the exciting signs of springtime in Glacier are here. Plowing Sun Road is underway, bears are coming out of hibernation, and hikers are buying new socks for hiking season.

We get asked a lot about when the road and the trails will open up, and the sad truth is that the locals here don't know either. Mother Nature sets the schedule for snow melt, and she does not discuss her plans. A warm sunny month of June vs. a cold wet month of June can change opening dates by a week or more.

The Park Service has scheduled June 21 as the earliest possible opening for the entire Going to the Sun Road. It might be later, but it wont be any earlier. Until Logan Pass opens, you will be able to drive as far as Avalanche campground on the west side, and up to Jackson Glacier Overlook on the east.

We keep track of trail openings and closings through the trail status reports. It is a good idea to check them before any backcountry trip.

I am getting excited for another summer in the mountains. I hope you are too.

Calling High School Students

Glacier National Park is holding an artwork contest for high school age students to design the 2014 annual Park Pass. We think this is super awesome because the theme of the 2014 pass will be the 100th anniversary of three of the Parks iconic lodges, Sperry Chalet, Granite Park Chalet, and Lake McDonald Lodge.

This is a great opportunity for high school artists to show off your talents and win prizes. Complete details and entry forms are available here:
http://www.nps.gov/glac/forkids/index.htm

If you had a great experience on your trip to Glacier National Park and to the chalets, this is your chance to share it with over 14,000 people through your artwork. And we really appreciate your help celebrating our centennial anniversary!

Good luck and happy trails

Calling artists.

Sperry Chalet is looking forward to having an artist stay with us again in 2013. If you are a professional artist, or know an artist who may be interested, please consider our Art at Sperry Chalet residency. For 2013 the residency dates will be August 11 through August 24. Applications are due by May 17.

Happy Trails.

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