If you’re going to Glacier National Park in Montana, plan your trip around the Going To The Sun Road. It is the best drive in the park and one of the best in the entire country. It’s basically in the very center of the park, so it will definitely fit into your plans.
The first thing to be aware of is what time of year you plan on visiting Glacier. Since the Going To The Sun Road goes up to almost 7000 feet, there may be quite a bit of snow still in the late spring. Be sure to check the National Park’s webpage for up to date road conditions. Typically by late June or early July the road is open. If the Going To The Sun Road isn’t open, plan another time to visit. It’s that special.
Another thing to note is that vehicles over 21 feet long, 10 feet high or 8 feet wide are prohibited from using the Going To The Sun Road. There are several tight corners and narrow roadways on the steady climb up to Logan Pass. Long trucks or vans may have an issue navigating this road when there is other traffic on it. You definitely don’t want to chance it because for most of the way up, you will be right on a cliff’s edge without much shoulder.
Keep you, your family and other’s safe by heeding this warning. If you do have a vehicle over those limits, Glacier does offer a free shuttle that runs from the Apgar Visitor Center to St. Mary’s Visitor Center with plenty of stops along the way. This is a great way to take advantage of someone else driving so you can sit back and soak in the views.
What makes this road so special is that the road was designed to fit into the mountainside as it climbs up to Logan’s Pass. They did a fantastic job of this because there are several spots along the way that as you look forward you can’t even see where the road is.
As you wind up the mountain, hugging the cliffside, you look out over the valley below and the view is spectacular. There are streams and waterfalls, several spots with snow and greenery that you can’t believe.
Taking this drive at different times of day is a really amazing thing to do. There are certain times of day that it looks like you are actually driving right to the Sun, hence the name Going To The Sun Road. Other times of day, like sunset, you can get amazing views and colors all along the drive.
The entire trip is about 50 miles and would take about 2 hours to complete without stopping. Take full advantage of the many pull-offs to get out and take a look around…and down if you’re brave. Be sure to bring a camera to try to capture some of this beauty. Don’t be disappointed though when the pictures don’t live up to your memory of it.
Be sure to make Going To The Sun Road a top priority when visiting Glacier National Park.
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