Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road, an engineering marvel in the Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most amazing highlights of Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. This engineering marvel is one of the most scenic drives in the world. It is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring.

How long is the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States, the road is 80.46km (50.0 miles) long, running from West Glacier (in eastern Flathead County, Montana) to St. Mary (in Glacier County, Montana).

Is the Going-to-the-Sun Road paved?

The road, nicknamed as the crown jewel of scenic drives in Montana, is totally paved but quite narrow. It’s a winding two-lane highway with hairpin turns bisecting the Glacier National Park west to east. Whilst it has spectacular views, the road is also dangerous featuring twisting turns and ridiculously narrow lanes. Vehicles, and vehicle combinations, longer than 21ft or wider than 8ft (including mirrors), are prohibited between Avalanche Campground and the Rising Sun picnic area parking. Vehicle and vehicle combinations over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass to the Loop, due to rock overhangs. Stock trucks and trailers are able to access Packers Roost on the west, and Siyeh Bend on the east. Portions of the road hug the mountainside as it traverses over steep drop-offs and steers through tight curves.

When was the Going-to-the-Sun Road built?

This engineering marvel is heralded as one of the most scenic drives in USA. Construction of the road began in 1921 and was completed in 1932. It was opened to public on July 1933. In 1938, portions of the road were paved with asphalt. It’s the only road that crosses Glacier National Park. In 1983 the road was included in the National Register of Historic Places and in 1985 was made a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

How long does it take to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Without stopping, it takes at least 2 hours to drive the full road. The road carries travelers through some of the most spectacular scenery the park has to offer. It’s one of the most picturesque, photogenic, breathtakingly beautiful drives of Montana. This engineering marvel runs through the park's wild interior, winding around mountainsides and treating visitors to some of the best sights in northwest Montana. The drive passes through almost every type of terrain in the park, from large glacial lakes and cedar forests in the lower valleys to windswept alpine tundra atop the pass. Scenic viewpoints and pullouts line the road, so motorists can stop for extended views and photo opportunities. It passes through almost every type of terrain in the park, from windswept alpine tundra atop the pass to large glacial lakes and cedar forests in the lower valleys. It’s well worth traveling in either direction, as the view from one side of the road is much different than from the other.

Is the Going-to-the-Sun Road open?

The road is usually open from mid-June through mid-October but can change due to weather conditions at any point. Up to 80 feet (24 m) of snow can lie on top of Logan Pass, and more just east of the pass where the deepest snowfield has long been referred to as Big Drift. It’s said to be one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring. Portions of Going-to-the-Sun Road remain open all year and provide access to many locations and activities.

Why is it called Going to the Sun Road?

The road is named from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain.

What’s the highest point of Going to the Sun Road?

The road tops out at Logan Pass, at 2.026m (6,646ft) above the sea level.

 

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NOTICE: Due to the spread of COVID-19, many points of interest and roads are closed and travel is not recommended. Please follow all local health authority directives before venturing off, and stay safe.