Going-to-the-Sun Road

#4 in Best Things To Do in Glacier National Park
Going-to-the-Sun Road picture
GlacierNPS/Flickr

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Sightseeing, Free Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a paved, two-lane highway that snakes through Glacier National Park, dividing the park into east and west regions and crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. One of the most spectacular scenic drives in America, this road is both a National Historic Landmark and a Civil Engineering Landmark and passes through almost every type of terrain the park offers, from glacial lakes, waterfalls and cedar forests to alpine peaks. Several viewpoints and pullouts make it easy to stop and take in the view and snap photographs. Though portions of the 52-mile route are open year-round, the alpine sections do close due to snow. Generally, the road is fully open in late June or early July, but check the park website in advance. 

Recent visitors called this scenic drive "breathtaking" and one of the most spectacular routes in Montana. Reviewers also cautioned that the twisting mountain road is not for timid drivers. Many warned about tourists gawking at the scenery instead of paying attention to the road and advised making use of the many pullouts for admiring the stunning scenery and wildlife. 

Logan Pass is 32 miles from the west park entrance and 18 miles from the east entrance. Although the driving time is estimated at two hours, it'll likely take you much longer if you pause at the stop-off points to take photographs or enjoy the view. The speed limit on the lower portion of the route is 45 miles per hour, but slows to 25 in the higher elevations. Be sure to fill up your tank before entering the park, as there is no gas available inside the park, and pack a cooler with drinks and snacks, as restaurants are located at only a few points like Lake McDonald, Rising Sun and Apgar Village. Restrooms and water are available at the Logan Pass, Apgar and St. Mary visitor centers along the way. Access to the drive is included in park admission.

See all Hotels in Glacier National Park »

More Best Things To Do in Glacier National Park

Apgar Nature Center
Lake McDonald
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 9
#1 Apgar Nature Center

Housed in a small cabin built in 1929, the Apgar Nature Center sits in a grove of cedar trees and is one of the official park visitor centers. The nature center features interactive activities for kids: children can feel a grizzly bear's fur, listen and identify birds by their "songs" or create their own puppet show. Educational displays detail plants found in the park and teach about the habitats of the vast array of wildlife. Ranger-led talks and other programs are held in the outdoor seating area.

Recent travelers recommended making this visitor center your first stop in the park to gather important information on road and weather conditions, bear sightings and trail closures. Families particularly enjoyed the junior ranger programs and special activities, and many visitors were impressed with the restaurant, the helpful staff and the free Wi-Fi. Many also noted that this is the place to park for free shuttle service and park tours.

Read more
GlacierNPS/Flickr
See full list of Best Things To Do in Glacier National Park »

Explore More of Glacier National Park

Recommended

The World's 30 Best Places to Visit in 2019-20

Using reader input and expert analysis, U.S. News identified the latest can't-miss vacations.

Tilly PeckerJune 25, 2019

The 16 Best San Diego Tours

Take advantage of the adventures this coastal city has to offer with a guided trip.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

12 Top Napa Valley Wineries to Visit

Set your sights on these can't-miss wineries during your next visit to California's wine country.

Lyn MettlerJune 24, 2019

The 6 Best Denver Brewery Tours

Discover the buzz about Denver's craft beer scene with these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 21, 2019

The 10 Best Charleston Walking Tours

Experience true southern hospitality as you explore Charleston on one of these strolls.

Claire LawtonJune 20, 2019

The 15 Best Charleston Tours

See everything this historic South Carolina city has to offer on one of these guided excursions.

John RodwanJune 19, 2019

The 5 Best Kauai Helicopter Tours

See the Garden Island's far-reaching beauty from the air.

Holly JohnsonJune 14, 2019

The 6 Best Las Vegas Helicopter Tours

Get a thrilling look at the lights and sights of Sin City and its surroundings with one of these tours.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

20 Road Trip Essentials for Your Vacation

These road trip must-haves can help you save money, travel more comfortably and ensure you stay safe on the open road.

Holly JohnsonJune 13, 2019

13 Top Charlottesville Wineries to Visit

Sip a glass of Virginia's signature viognier as the sun sets over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Gwen PratesiJune 12, 2019