University of Montana researchers are working with Glacier National Park to conduct visitor-use studies on park trails along Going-to-the-Sun Road.
The studies will assess trail use and trends, and visitors may encounter researchers at several areas along Sun Road in the weeks to come.
Researchers will use electronic vehicle counters on the road and visitor counters on trails. To ensure accuracy, research personnel and cameras will be stationed on some trails, roadsides or parking areas.
The last comprehensive trail-use study in the park was conducted in 1988. Some preliminary analysis was conducted in 2011. Information from that indicates significant increases in use of some trails.
The study’s finding will help inform park managers in the development of a Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan, which is expected to get under way in 2013.