The 50-mile Going-to-the-Sun Road winds along blue lakes before chugging above forests into a mountaintop wonderland. As it cuts through cliffs, the narrow, curvy two-lane road demands concentration from drivers. But passengers get to gawk at the scenery.
Along this Glacier National Park icon, giant waterfalls tumble down mountainsides. Red, purple and white wildflowers sprout from roadside meadows. Mountain goats stop traffic, and marmots fill the air with their shrieks. If that’s not enough, the scenery takes in vast U-shaped valleys carved by ice and a host of rugged, colorful peaks.
Open 24/7, the National Historic Landmark road tops out at Logan Pass. It links the seasonal villages of West Glacier and St. Mary. Lake McDonald flanks the western side while St. Mary Lake anchors the east.
Twelve miles of road along Lake McDonald stays open year-round. The remainder, including Logan Pass, closes mid-October through spring. Spring opening depends on plowing, avalanches and weather, but can happen as early as mid-May or as late at mid-July. Construction also limits access at times.
In shoulder seasons, bicyclists cycle the road when it is closed to cars. In winter, cross-country skiers and snowshoers tour the quiet snow-buried road.