The Road spans 50 miles and crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. During your traverse you will see impressive glaciers, beautiful valleys, cascading waterfalls, towering mountains and colorful wildflowers. Most visitors will also witness wildlife sightings on their trip across the Sun Road!
There are alternatives to driving your own vehicle across Going-to-the-Sun Road including the famous Red Bus Tours and the complimentary National Park Service Shuttles.
Due to the mountainous terrain of the highway, it is only open seasonally. Opening and closing dates depend on weather. Don't forget to check the current road status before you travel. If portions of the road are closed, don't worry, there are still plenty of other scenic drives in and around Glacier National Park.
The Road has so many features you won’t want to miss. It can be hard to decide which ones to stop and see along your traverse of this engineering marvel. The interactive map and guide below will help you narrow it down.
Due to its popularity, the Going-to-the-Sun Road can be very busy. The parking lot at Logan Pass is usually full between 9:30 and 4:00, which can cause road delays and difficulty finding parking. Not only will you beat traffic with an early start, but animals are often more active earlier in the day to avoid the midday heat.
While the Going-to-the-Sun Road is very safe and has proper barriers, more timid drivers may want to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road from East (St. Mary) to West. The majority of the East-West route is on the inside next to rock walls, rather than closer to the road’s edge. To drive a loop, you can drive from St. Mary to West Glacier along the Going-to-the-Sun Road then travel along Highway 2 to Highway 89 to return to St. Mary.
There are no services along the 33 mile stretch of road between Lake McDonald and the Rising Sun Motor Inn. Make sure to bring enough water and snacks for your days’ adventures. A picnic at Logan Pass or one of the scenic turnouts is a great way to enjoy a midday break!
Glacier’s weather is often highly variable. Temperatures at Logan Pass are usually at least ten degrees cooler than those at low elevations. We recommend dressing in layers, bringing a hat to shield yourself from sun and having a rain jacket handy in case the weather changes.
|Whitefish||West Glacier||East Glacier||St. Mary||Apgar Visitor Center||Lake McDonald Lodge||Avalanche Lake Trailhead||Logan Pass||Jackson Glacier Overlook||Rising Sun Motor Inn||St. Mary Visitor Center|
|Apgar Visitor Center||29||3||62||47||-||8||13||29||33||41||46|
|Lake McDonald Lodge||37||11||67||39||8||-||5||21||25||33||38|
|Avalanche Lake Trailhead||42||16||75||34||13||5||-||26||30||28||33|
|Jackson Glacier Overlook||62||36||58||14||33||25||30||4||-||8||13|
|Rising Sun Motor Inn||70||44||50||6||41||33||28||22||8||-||5|
|St. Mary Visitor Center||75||49||45||1||46||38||33||27||13||5||-|
All distances given in miles and based on the shortest available route on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Driving times will vary depending on traffic, road construction and how often you like to stop to take in the views.
Polebridge and the North Fork are some of Glacier’s best kept secrets and a great place to spend a day in the park. From West Glacier, head into Glacier National Park and turn left onto the Camas Road at the first four-way stop. The Camas Road will take you several miles through the park around the aptly named Huckleberry Mountain. You will then exit the park and come to a junction with the North Fork Road (the North Fork Road is un-paved and can be rough). Turn right to head North towards Polebridge, which is another 13 miles up the road. The North Fork Road follows the North Fork of the Flathead River and has amazing views into Glacier National Park. Once you reach Polebridge, stop at the Mercantile for a delicious pastry and if you have some extra time, drive another seven miles into Glacier National Park to Bowman Lake.
Looking Glass Highway, also known as Montana 49, is a small stretch of road between East Glacier and St. Mary. From St. Mary, head south on Highway 89 roughly 19 miles then bear right onto Highway 49. The highway winds through mountains and hills just outside of Glacier National Park and provides beautiful views into the Two Medicine Valley. Eight miles from the 89 and 49 junction you’ll reach the Two Medicine entrance to Glacier National Park. The Two Medicine Valley has a campground, small camp store, boat tour and a plethora of hiking trails. Continue on Highway 49 another 4 miles to reach Glacier Park Lodge in the village of East Glacier.
US Highway 2 follows the southern border of Glacier National Park and the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. There are countless scenic views into Glacier National Park and of the picturesque river. Travelling west from East Glacier, your first stop will be Marias Pass roughly 12 miles from East Glacier, where you’ll cross the continental divide. In another 14 miles you’ll reach the Goat Lick Overlook in the small town of Essex, Montana. Goat Lick will be a turnout on the south side of the road. It is a salt lick that was built to attract mountain goats and funnel them into a tunnel allowing safe passage across the highway. The next 30 miles of the drive to West Glacier are some of the most scenic. There are many turnouts along the drive, including some where you can watch boaters take on the whitewater sections of the Flathead River.