Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

It's only open a few months a year, but it's a can't-miss drive!

  • 14
  • 05:50
  • 191 mi
  • $20
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Created by Roadtrippers - March 17th 2016

Spanning 53 miles across Glacier National Park in Montana, Going-to-the-Sun Road is one drive every nature-lover, engineering buff, and/or thrill-seeker should make. Carved through some of the most stunning landscapes in America, the road is as historic as it is beautiful, being one of the first NPS projects borne from America’s then-newfound love with the car. Today, road trippers still enjoy Going-to-the-Sun’s unparalleled views, hair-raising curves, and access to Glacier National Park’s most stunning spots.

In the fall of 1932, Going-to-the-Sun road was completed, costing well over two million dollars and blowing through half a million pounds of explosives. In July of the following year, the incredible new road was officially opened for public use.
Today, the road has become one of the most iconic drives in the country, drawing thousands of vehicles each year, even though snowbanks that can reach as high as 80 feet can make the road impassible during the winter months. Begin your journey in West Glacier...

1
47mi 01h 17m
Glacier Under Canvas
4.3

101 Under Canvas Rd, Coram, MT, US

Glacier Under Canvas

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1

If you're looking for a home base for your Glacier National Park adventures, Glacier Under Canvas is absolutely amazing. You can stay in a teepee or large canvas tent and get the full "glamping" (that's "glam camping") experience. It's one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy the park.

2
11mi 00h 16m
Lake McDonald
4.5

West Glacier, MT, US

Lake McDonald

2

The largest lake in Glacier National Park, Going-to-the-Sun Road skirts Lake McDonald’s south shoreline and brings you right by Lake McDonald Lodge, one of the most stunning National Park lodges in the country. Opened in 1914, its Swiss Chalet styling transports you to a different time and place.

3
5mi 00h 08m
Glacier National Park
4.8

West Glacier, MT, US

Glacier National Park

3

If you’re headed to Glacier National Park in June and July, you may luck out and experience the “Weeping Wall” along a stretch of Going-to-the-Sun Road about 3 miles west of Logan Pass. Thanks to workers blasting away rock during the road’s construction, several spring-fed waterways gush water after the snow melts. It’s a photographer’s dream.

4
0mi 00h 01m

6 Going To The Sun Rd, West Glacier, MT, US

Glacier Raft Company

4

Just outside Glacier National Park's West Entrance, there's the Glacier Outdoor Center, where you can choose from different activities to do in the park, like whitewater rafting, fly fishing, and horseback riding. They can also help you find a cabin to stay in!

5
4mi 00h 11m
Avalanche Lake
5.0

Glacier National Park Conservancy, MT, US

Avalanche Lake

5

The hike to Avalanche Lake, a thoroughly serene oasis, starts at the Trail of the Cedars trailhead, just about 5 miles from Lake McDonald Lodge. The Trail of the Cedars is also a wheelchair-accessible trail. The trail loop begins and ends right on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

6
8mi 00h 19m
Grinnell Peak
4.0

West Glacier, MT, US

Grinnell Peak

6

If you visit Mount Grinnell at sunrise, a combination of the effects from the sedimentary rock and the sun’s intense glow helps to create an incredible natural wonder that needs to be seen to be believed: the entire mountain glows bright orange.

7
9mi 00h 21m
Cracker Lake
5.0

Glacier National Park, MT, US

Cracker Lake

7

Cracker Lake is located right at the head of a canyon, and it's worth visiting because the water is the most brilliant hue of opaque turquoise, which comes from rock flour silt that originates from the Siyeh Glacier.

8
36mi 01h 13m
Grinnell Lake
3.8

Kalispell, MT, US

Grinnell Lake

8

If you're not a seasoned hiker, the hike to Grinnell Lake can be a bit challenging. But it's worth it: the views are insane. If you're not up for the four mile hike, book the Many Glacier boat tour. Also, don't drink the water, because visitors who have have complained of intestinal parasites. In general, it's probably a good idea to not make a habit of drinking lake water from an ancient glacier.

9
39mi 01h 15m
Bird Woman Falls
4.5

Glacier National Park, MT, US

Bird Woman Falls

9

There's an overlook off Going-to-the-Sun Road, but if you can get closer, you can get an even better idea of how tall and pretty Bird Woman Falls are. The bridge looks like something from a storybook!

10
7mi 00h 17m
St. Mary Falls
4.7

Glacier National Park, MT, US

St. Mary Falls

10

With all of those glaciers and lakes and rivers, there are tons of waterfalls to be found in Glacier National Park, like the lovely St. Mary Falls. Many hikers complain that they've turned around when they reached Baring Falls because they think it's St. Mary Falls, so make sure to keep going down the trail because disappointed to miss out on St. Mary Falls: they really are amazing.

11
2mi 00h 06m
Saint Mary Lake
4.2

Glacier National Park, Browning, MT, US

Saint Mary Lake

11

You may recognize Saint Mary Lake from when Forrest Gump tells Jenny about running by it… “It was so clear, Jenny. It looks like there were two skies, one on top of the other.”

12
12mi 00h 21m
Two Sisters Cafe
4.0

3600 US HWY 89 N, Babb, MT, US

Two Sisters Cafe

12

When you're hungry, Two Sisters Cafe is known for their bison steaks, huckleberry pie and hand-crafted ice cream. They're also a fully licensed bar. Try the huckleberry margarita, hucktini, or huckleberry beer. They're kind of crazy for the tasty local berry here!

4mi 00h 05m
St. Mary Lodge And Resort
3.0

Highway 89 and Going to the Sun Road, Babb, MT, US

St. Mary Lodge And Resort

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The St. Mary Lodge has a perfect location right on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. So, whether it's your home base or your last stop during your Glacier National Park adventure, you won't be disappointed.

Going-to-the-Sun Road isn’t open year-round due to the tremendous amount of snowfall the area receives each year coupled with the extreme difficulty of plowing the road, but if you’re headed to Glacier National Park between mid-June and September, all or most of the road should be open for you to enjoy.

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