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
4.8

scorecard

  • 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.

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More Best Things To Do in Glacier National Park

Apgar Nature Center1 of 9
Lake McDonald2 of 9
Type
Time to Spend
#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.

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GlacierNPS/Flickr
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