Going-To-The-Sun Road

Average Rating - This road has been rated by 29 visitors


State: Montana
Date Submitted: July 1, 2001
Submitted by: Chet Lang
Motorcycle Road Length: 50 Miles

Written Directions

Start your route in St. Mary, MT and head west on Going-to-the-Sun Road all the way through Glacier National Park to the town of West Glacier.

Scenery  

For mountain climbers, reaching Mt Everest is the ultimate claim to fame. It is in a remote area and very difficult to get to, its known for its cold and snow, and it provides some of the most challenging climbing in the world. For motorcycle riders, this route, Going-To-The-Sun Road is the MT Everest of continental US motorcycle-routes. It lies in a distant remote part of the United States near the Canadian border. It takes crews two months in the late spring/early summer to simply clear the road for travel. Snow banks up to 8 feet can line the road at certain points as late as July and August. And it has some of the twistiest turns and steepest elevation changes of any paved road in the US. You won't be disappointed by driving this road!!! This route goes from one end of Glacier National Park to the other end crossing through a magnificent section of the Rocky Mountains. The scenery as you can imagine is among the best in the WORLD. You will see jagged peaks, crystal mountain lakes, immense glaciers, unbelievable valley views, waterfalls, alpine wildflowers, meadows, streams and possibly alpine wildlife (mountain goats, elk, deer, squirrels, gopher, hawks). one of the countless incredible scenes you will see

Road Quality  

Much of the road quality depends on the crowds. If you don't mind the traffic then you'll enjoy the turns and elevation climbs and falls. Also, keep in mind that the weather is a major factor up here and if you plan on making the trip in all but the middle of summer you would be very foolish not to make a few phone calls and make sure the roads aren't under snow. Overall the roads are in good shape and well maintained. tons of places to pull over and sit and watch or explore the surroundings

Roadside Amenities  

On this trip you'll want to make sure to bring plenty of film, warm clothing, and your hiking boots.The ride is only 50 miles but there are endless numbers of places to stop and stretch your legs as you take in views that are breathtaking.This route covers a remote area of Montana and if your looking for urban amenities (such as restaurants, craft shops, etc) you will not have much luck.Because of this we had to give the route a 3 in terms of its roadside-amenities ... it just wasn't balanced as well as some other routes in the Rockies.The below list of amenities are highlights of a few the stops that standout.

Start out at St Mary Lake and take in the incredible 4,500 ft peaks that raise above the surface of the lake into that 'big sky' that Montana is famous for.

Perhaps the your favorite picture will be taken from the Wild Goose Island Turnout. Chances are you have seen a picture taken of this lake and island in a magazine or on a book cover. A helpless looking little island with its few trees sits in the middle of Wild Goose Lake and is surrounded by giant mountain peaks. You may want to try to time your photo for a sunrise or sunset here.

There are many short hiking trails (between 1 to 3 miles) at the various pullout areas such as Sun Point, St. Mary Falls (a fantastic looking cascading mountain waterfall), and Virginia Falls.

You will drive along a section known as Logan Pass and notice that next to the road are some sheer cliffs that demand you keep track of the road despite the magnetic scenery. A waterfall will actually come down off the uphill side and flow down onto the river and over the edge ... don't go with it over the edge with it! The pass is known for its patches of wildflowers and mountain peaks. Shortly after this you will want to stop at the visitor center and may even want to take a short 1.5 mile hike on the boardwalk-covered trail to the Hidden Lake Overlook.

The Garden Wall is a length of rocky cliffs that rise 1,000 feet and make up part of the continental divide. From here you will see an area that suffered from a 1967 lightning caused forest fire that scorched the area. After over thirty years the area is just recovering with young trees and shrubs.

At the Trail of Cedars you can you can walk along an elevated board walk through an ancient forest and see the blanket of alpine mosses and ferns that cover the forest floor.

Towards the end of the route, you may want to consider staying at the impressive Lake McDonald Lodge (602-207-6000). This is a famous rustic looking yet prestigious lodge that has a huge stone and log lobby complete with large dinning room. This is considered the 'Ritz in the Rockies.'

The end of the drive takes you into West Glacier, MT ... a town that has a lot of tourist traps (restaruants, gift shops, gas stations). ... A couple of tourist attractions that you really should check out are as follows: - Head west on Hwy 2 about 13 miles and you'll see the "House of Mystery" on the right ... its a place where supposedly there is some vortex (whatever that is) that causes things like marbles to role up hill and brooms to stand on their own. I saw that and more with my own eyes and I can't explain it but it was real. - Down the road there is a place with a huge wooden maze for humans to try to get through - Also, the town of Whitefish has a great lake with public beach if you want to hang out and enjoy a swim

scenes like this are everywhere you look

Photo contributed by visitor in Mar 09 - "Taken at the parking lot of Logan Pass in September 2008. It had snowed higher up as you can see and the weather was very chilly. Thank goodness for a warm jacket, but the sleeping bag wasn't warm enough"

Photo contributed by visitor in May 09 - "Taking a break on going to the sun road in Glacier August 2008"

Photo contributed by visitor in Sep 09 - "This was taken about 9:30am on my way of the park. The glass like water was so calm. "

Photo contributed by visitor in Oct 09 - "Heading West from Logan's Pass. Amazing road to ride, with spectacular views. "

Photo contributed by visitor in Jan 10 - "The famous "Goose Island."

Additional Info

- View the weather forecast for this area from Yahoo weather .

Nickname (optional) Chet Lang

 

Photos/Videos

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Ratings/Reviews

 

Reviewed by spmac on June 10, 2013
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: spmac
motorcycle_year: 2010-FLHTK
motorcycle_make: Harley
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Went over this road twice and it does not get old,even with the construction and last year a mud slide.The wait for the pilot truck was a good oppurtunity to take pics.If you have a helmet wear it,it saved a passengers life the first time I rode it.Goat knocked a rock down on top of her.Lots of curves and lot of fun,going west stop at Kalispell HD very friendly and have lots of good riding info.
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Reviewed by Guest on July 26, 2012
(1 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Chris Smith
motorcycle_year: 2003
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: This was my 2nd stop (Beartooth 1st) on a 6500 mile trip, I must say I saw many things but when I want to impress people with the trip, I shows them Wild Goose Lake pics and other Glacier pics. Near 4th of July, it was open but crowded. Some muddy sections near the top but very doable. YOU SHOULD SEE THIS PLACE, it's freakin amazing. I did 4500 miles through Colorado and Wyoming last year, this was the most impressive place I have seen.
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Reviewed by Bubba Ultra on January 29, 2014
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Bubba Ultra
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: HD
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Spiritual ride with the mountains and all!
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Reviewed by m@c on August 4, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: V Star 1100
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: What to say that hasn't been said? Great ride. This isn't a canyon carver due to the amount of traffic but a scenic and relaxing ride. I went west to east and had a great time. Saw plenty of wildlife along the way and had a snowball fight in the middle of July.
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Reviewed by m@c on August 4, 2013
(0 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: V
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Reviewed by DaBulls on July 31, 2013
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Sue B.
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Yamaha Road Star
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Incredible scenery. Road it 3 times during our 4698 mile trip in the northern/Canadian Rocky Mountains trip this July.
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Reviewed by wormdirt on June 14, 2013
(0 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
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Reviewed by ROADWHORE on January 12, 2013
(0 out of 1 members found this review useful.)
Creator: ROADWHORE
motorcycle_year: 08
motorcycle_make: Harley Davidson Electra
motorcycle_type: Touring
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Reviewed by Guest on August 18, 2012
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: greg & linda (illinois)
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: flstci (hertiage h-d)
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: great motorcycle road, alot of traffic on the road but it is a great ride, great scenic view at every turn, road may be alittle ruff at some sports but ok. could be alittle cold at times of the year but this ride is a must for any biker, ride it.
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Reviewed by berry lake doug on December 31, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2001
motorcycle_make: harley road king
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Great ride, however the traffic is slow. The turnouts are on small side so try and keep rider group to four bikes or less
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Reviewed by Trapper on November 27, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Yamaha "Raider" V-Twin, 119 c.i./1900 c.c.
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Began this ride on the morning of July 31, 2009 from east to west. Perfect timing, Sun was at back.
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Reviewed by Guest on January 14, 2011
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: buddy
motorcycle_year: 07
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: My 4 bros and i went to Sturgis went up north to check it out ? Man was i blown away it was something you have to experence your self.We got to top of hill theres a rest area the deer mt goats were walking thru the parking lot like they owned it. I was blown away it was a beautful sight also the ride up hill was very intresting the view. Going to take wife there this year i hope cant wait ?
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Reviewed by Guest on November 12, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Robert Worrell
motorcycle_year: 2004
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Touched from the breath of god ! Never seen anything like it , The ride is by far the best i have ever taken,
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Reviewed by Guest on October 4, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ken
motorcycle_year: 1973
motorcycle_make: BMW
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Stayed in Glacier Park after leaving Yellowstone and then moving on to Glacier Park in Canada. I made the ride to check out the glaciers back in July 1975, the mosquitoes were thinning out by then. Advise taking repellent just in case. Reading the other posts brings back some good memories :-) The road condition then was bad, sounds like it's a perpetual problem. Even so, glad I made the ride up the "hill".
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Reviewed by Guest on September 14, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Tracey
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Suzuki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Coming form Southern Alberta, we already have a number of beautiful rides throughout Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, 22x out of Calgary, as well as through the Kootenays in Eastern BC. GTTSR is easily one of the top 5 rides I've done to date, and I always find an excuse to go back for "1 more before the snow flies". Just make sure to take your cold weather gear, the weather cools down quite a bit near the summit, and cold weather can roll in quickly..even in the summer.
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Reviewed by Guest on August 9, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ross wakelen
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Stay away !!!! Took a trip August 2010 and to say the lest this road sucks until they finish construction. Lots of mud long waits groves in the road just no fun !!!
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Reviewed by Guest on April 19, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Norm & Chris
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: Some of the best scenery around. I visited here the 3rd week of June. The weather was awesome, but be careful as it can change drastically anytime of the year. I'm not to good with heights, so I was a little nervous. There was some traffic, but not too bad. A definite ride if you are ever in the area. Construction was heavy in '06. Bikers should get in front of the traffic, if at all possible.
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Reviewed by Guest on March 1, 2010
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Mike
motorcycle_year: 1998
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: The GTTSR will be under permanent construction forever due to the yearly damage from avalanches and slides. You will be able to take advantage of the stops to change your undies as you may s**t yourself when you see how beautiful the area is! I used to live 2200 miles away and would come out every 2 years and ride the Sun hiway. Now I live in the area and still go up at least twice a season. LOTS of traffic but still worth it. The Pass is rarely open before the last week of June/ first week of July as it takes that long to clear the snow. Plan accordingly. Also dress accordingly: Logan pass is generally 15-20 degrees colder than the valley (west side) , so pack an extra sweatshirt. Enjoy!
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Reviewed by Guest on December 24, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: jim
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Suzuki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Having lived not more than 75 miles from this road I had riden it many times. The first was through the snow at the sumit at night, not fun. But last year my wife and I rode from Edmonton down to Montana taking the pass and on down to hyw 12 the (Lolo). These are 2 of the best roads to ride. I recommend these to any rider who wants scenery and twisties.
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Reviewed by Guest on October 10, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: DL Buck
motorcycle_year: 1996
motorcycle_make: BMW
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: Road construction makes this a slow, stop & go trip. Park says this is a 10 yr project. Plan on dirt & extra time for construction zones.
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Reviewed by Guest on September 8, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Dave
motorcycle_year: 1987
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: My wife and I had booked a room at the "Prince-of-Wales" on the Canadian side in early July with the intent of riding the "Going-to-the-Sun highway the next morning. Heed the aforementioned roadway conditions warnings. I mean...July!? We won't have to worry about snow-blocked roads. Right? T'was under 12 feet of snow. Still have never ridden the "Going-to-the-Sun." But, someday.
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Reviewed by Guest on August 31, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Dennis A Daw
motorcycle_year: 2007
motorcycle_make: Kawasaki
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I was at Glacier National Park and Go-in-to-the Sun Highway in Jul 09. The weather and scenery were outstanding. I can't wait to go back. I stayed at The Izaak Walton Inn in Essex,Mt near the park.
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Reviewed by Guest on August 14, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: DeDe
motorcycle_year: 2008
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Aug 2009 - Road construction continues with large sections of gravel road; where the road is finished it is wonderful. That being said Going to the Sun has some of the most spectacular views you'll find anywhere. Expect to putt along this road and take your time. I recommend seeing two medicine and many glaciers as well. To truely appreciate GNP get off the bike and put on your hiking boots, try the garden wall or avalanche lake for an amazing experience
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Reviewed by Guest on June 30, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Owisopsi
motorcycle_year: 2001
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Sport-Touring
Comment: I have lived 40 mi from Glacier National Park... Having these scenes at your backdoor. A person takes for granted how lucky you are to have such splendors whenever you want. I will say this. The very first time I seen Going to the Sun tour I was in total awe. If you are traveling a long ways to see these wonders. Make sure and take a cpl 2 or three days to appreciate all .. Enjoy your putt
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Reviewed by Guest on March 16, 2009
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ron Moore
motorcycle_year: 1998
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: West to East Sep 08. Road up and down from pass - Construction!!! Workers, say 2-3 years of work. Long stretchs of gravel, ruts, washboard. Bikers be first!
Beautiful scenery top of pass. Downright chilly at top and at campground. If deer hanging around tent, watch out for large predator, always lock food away .
I'm definitely going again when the construction is completed.
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Reviewed by Guest on August 27, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Ron/Keiko
motorcycle_year: 2005
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: We took the ride West - East in early August. Some of the most breathe taking views we have ever seen. Because Glacier is located in such a remote area of Montana, we would strongly recommend getting a place to stay early in the day. We ended up taking the 250 mile late night ride to Helena by way of Great Falls before we found rooms. In spite of the protracted late night ride, it was worth it to see the grander
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Reviewed by Guest on August 3, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Phil
motorcycle_year: 1995
motorcycle_make: Yamaha
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: Beautiful ride. We stopped at the visitor center above the snow line near dusk. The park rangers were on foot and unsuccessfully trying to chase the bighorn sheep who were trying to drink antifreeze that had leaked from a vehicle parked there earlier. They asked if we could help chase them off the parking lot. For the next few minutes we had a motorcycle rodeo roundup. We had a ball and commented on how chasing the animals would normally get you into a lot of trouble.
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Reviewed by Guest on March 19, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Don Schieman
motorcycle_year: 2006
motorcycle_make: Harley-Davidson
motorcycle_type: Touring
Comment: The road is everything people say it is. Don't take the weather lightly. Always ask for a weather report from the top when you pass through the gate. The traffic slows you down so you forced to really enjoy the sights. The whole area is worth the trip.
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Reviewed by Guest on February 10, 2008
(0 out of 0 members found this review useful.)
Creator: Doug
motorcycle_year: 2002
motorcycle_make: Honda
motorcycle_type: Cruiser
Comment: I visited GTTSR last summer (2007) and was disappointed by the traffic -- it was literally bumper-to-bumper the entire trip. For a park as far off the beaten path as Glacier is, this place sure gets like Grand Central Station. If you prefer a more open road, I'd suggest the Beartooth Pass in southern Montana.
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