Can’t get to Logan Pass? Now you can watch it from your desk.
Glacier National Park has two new webcams at Logan Pass.
One webcam looks to the south at Mount Reynolds and the other looks east to Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Neither webcam shows the parking lot at the pass, though the Going-to-the-Sun Mountain webcam shows a smidgen of the Sun Road in the distance.
The webcams are part of a larger $65,000 project funded by the Glacier National Park Conservancy for new solar panels that will be put on the roof of the pit toilet restroom, and also efficient noiseless fuel cells to work when the solar panels are covered with snow. The power will be used to run phones at the visitor center, and also to keep the Logan Pass radio repeater up and running over the winter months. Both will greatly expand emergency response capacity and connectivity during both the summer and winter, noted Park spokeswoman Lauren Alley.
The system is designed to work all year, so the webcams should also work in the winter. It will also help with Park communications and winter search and rescues int he area if need be, she noted.
But if the webcam goes down in the winter, it won’t be until spring that it gets fixed, just liked other remote webcams in the Park.
Glacier’s webcams are one of the most popular features on the Park’s website. Currently there are webcams at Apgar Lookout, Apgar Village, Goat Haunt, Lake McDonald, Many Glacier, Two Medicine, Many Glacier, Park headquarters, the Middle Fork of the Flathead near Park headquarters and St. Mary.
The Two Medicine webcam takes a lot of abuse in the winter from wind and snow. The Goat Haunt webcam goes out of service entirely when the power is off at the remote station in winter months.
The Apgar lookout also has two webcams, one that shows the view over Lake McDonald and another that shows the view up the Middle Fork.
Webcams are a popular feature in big national parks. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Teton and Great Smoky all have webcams, though Great Smoky laments the air pollution that obscures its views.
“Views from scenic overlooks at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have been seriously degraded over the last 50 years by human-made pollution. Since 1948, average visibility in the southern Appalachians has decreased 40 percent in winter and 80 percent in summer,” the park notes. “These degradations in visibility not only affect how far one can see from a scenic overlook, they also reduce how well one can see. Pollution causes colors to appear washed out and obscures landscape features. Pollution typically appears as a uniform whitish haze, different from the natural mist-like clouds for which the Smokies were named.”
Glacier doesn’t have nearly the problem with air pollution, with the notable exception of smoke from wildfires in summer months.