Sperry Chalet Reconstruction Begins
Visitors will be able to access the area, but should expect strenuous hiking conditions and significant construction noise.
West Glacier, MT – Beginning today, July 9, Sperry Chalet reconstruction activities will begin. The Notice to Proceed was issued to Dick Anderson Construction on Thursday, July 5. Construction is anticipated to last through the end of October. Bids for a phase 2 construction contract are expected to be solicited in the fall of 2018.
Dick Anderson Construction will begin by constructing temporary platforms for crew sleeping facilities. This summer’s work will include new foundation work to stabilize and level the interior structure, with the ultimate goal of supporting a roof.
After the foundation is constructed, the main work will include seismic stabilization through the construction of the interior walls, floors, and roof framing. The roof constructed in 2018 will be a temporary membrane to protect the structure through the 2018-2019 winter. Materials will be delivered via helicopter and mule train to support reconstruction activities.
The Sperry Chalet Dining Room will begin operating to serve construction crews and visitors to the area. Lunch and a la carte services are available from 11 am – 5 pm. Breakfast and dinner will be available to the public via reservation with Belton Chalets, Inc. by calling (888) 345-2649.
Earlier this summer, Glacier National Park trail crews, conservation corps, and the Flathead National Forest Hot Shots successfully cleared thousands of trees that had fallen on trails throughout the Sprague Fire burn area and improved trail tread. Though all trails within the Sprague Fire burn area are cleared, hikers along the Gunsight Trail to the chalet (commonly referred to as the Sperry Trail) will notice that very limited shade is available following the fire. Though the hike up to Sperry Chalet has never been recommended as an up and back one-day hike, the park is now advising hikers to be particularly careful if they attempt it due to extreme heat from the sun following the burn. The hike is approximately 6.5 miles each way with over 3400 feet in elevation gain. The National Park Service considers it a strenuous hike.
Mule train and helicopter flight activity may necessitate temporary closures of adjacent trails including the Gunsight Trail and the Sperry Chalet complex. Visitors who wish to monitor trail status around the chalet should consult the Glacier National Park Trail Status Webpage and Area Closures.
Park concessioner Swan Mountain Outfitters will offer horseback rides to the chalet on a limited basis. More details and reservation information can be found on their website.
Due to potential temporary significant adverse impacts on grizzly bear habitat, in consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the park will temporarily close some areas near the area anticipated to be impacted by helicopter flights delivering materials to the Sperry Chalet construction site. The areas will be set aside for grizzly bears as a way to create additional space away from areas of high helicopter use. Those areas are the Snyder Basin above the Sperry Trail Junction, including Snyder Lakes and Campground; and the Upper Lincoln Creek Drainage, Lincoln Lake, and Lincoln Campground. The duration of the closures may impact backcountry campground reservations at Snyder and Lincoln Backcountry Campgrounds. Visitors with reservations will be contacted as the season progresses if trip itineraries must be altered.
When the majority of construction materials have been delivered to the site and helicopter operations return to average administrative levels, grizzly bear habitat closures will be lifted.
The Sperry Chalet dormitory building was badly burned in the Sprague Fire in late August 2017. Earlier this year, the National Park Service awarded a design contract to Anderson Hallas Architects of Golden, CO, and a phase 1 construction contract to Dick Anderson Construction of Great Falls, MT. The project is being managed by the Denver Service Center, the construction branch of the National Park Service.