Glacier National Park Facts & FAQ Glacier National Park & Western Montana

Glacier National Park Facts & FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome. Here you'll find answers to some of the most asked questions regarding Glacier National Park and the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The Yellowstone you haven’t seen yet.

The wild beauty of Yellowstone National Park spills over for miles. Snow seekers come to Yellowstone Country Montana for panoramic expanses of pure white against impossibly blue skies.

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

The Going-to-the-Sun is approximately 50 miles across from its west entrance at West Glacier and its east entrance at St. Mary.

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

That depends on you! There are various points of interest along the length of the road, as well as short hikes that can be taken. Without stopping, it takes about two hours.

How far is it to Logan Pass and the Logan Pass Visitor Center?

From the west entrance, Logan Pass is 32 miles. From the east entrance, it is 18 miles.

What are the opening and closing dates for the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

While portions of the road are open year-round, the entire road is typically open mid-June to mid-September, weather dependant. For current road status updates throughout the park, visit the National Park Service website.

Is there a way to travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road without driving my own car?

Glacier National Park offers a free shuttle service for much of the summer season, with shuttles operating from Apgar Transit Center on the west side and St. Mary Visitor Center on the east side. Buses run every 15 – 30 minutes, with transit stops clearly marked along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. For more on the park's shuttle system, visit the National Park Service website.

Glacier Park, Inc. also offers guided red bus tours with commentary from your driver, with tours leaving from the south side of the park, northeast side of the park and west side of the park. They also offer a hiker's shuttle between St. Mary Visitor Center and Many Glacier Hotel.

Sun Tours provides guided bus tours that take guests on a tour through Glacier National Park, while sharing the Blackfeet Tribe perspective and history in the park.

How did the Going-to-the-Sun Road get its name?

The road officially received its name, "The Going-to-the-Sun Road," during the 1933 dedication at Logan Pass. The road borrowed its name from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Local legend, and a 1933 press release issued by the Department of the Interior, told the story of the deity, Sour Spirit, who came down from the sun to teach Blackfeet braves the rudiments of the hunt. On his way back to the sun, Sour Spirit had his image reproduced on the top of the mountain for inspiration to the Blackfeet. An alternate story suggests a white explorer in the 1880s concocted the name and the legend. No matter which version is accurate, the road named Going-to-the-Sun still inspires all who travel it.

Are there vehicle size restrictions on the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Yes. To help reduce congestion on the road, vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet and wider than eight feet are prohibited between Avalanche Campground and the Sun Point parking area. Due to rock overhangs, vehicle and vehicle combinations more than 10 feet may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass to the Loop.

Can I ride my bicycle on the Going-to-the Sun Road?

You bet!

Is it scary to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

When you travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road, you'll pass through some of the most spectacular scenery in the park and in the lower 48 states. There are a few tight curves along the road with rock overhangs. Please remember to follow the speed limit, drive carefully and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and experience as you travel through the heart of Glacier National Park.

Can I see a glacier from the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Yes. Jackson Glacier Overlook affords the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road. Jackson Glacier Overlook is located on the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road between Logan Pass and St. Mary.

How much does it cost to drive the Going-to-the Sun Road?

Your entrance fee into the park allows you to experience the Going-to-the Sun Road and many other spectacular resources.

For entrance fees and park entry information, visit the National Park Service website.

Are there campgrounds located along the Going-to-the Sun Road?

Yes, five out of 13 campgrounds in Glacier are located along the road: Apgar, Sprague Creek, Avalanche, Rising Sun and St. Mary. Please see our camping page for more information.

Are services like gas, lodging, food and picnic areas available on the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Gas is not available anywhere in the park or on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Gas is available in East Glacier, West Glacier and St. Mary, as well as other surrounding communities. Food and lodging can be found along the road at Rising Sun, Lake McDonald Lodge and Apgar Village. Picnic areas may be found at Rising Sun, Sun Point, Avalanche, Sprague Creek and Apgar.

What is the speed limit on the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

For safety reasons, 40 miles per hour is the speed limit in the lower elevations of the road and 25 miles per hour in the alpine section.

What is the maximum elevation on the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Logan Pass is the highest point on the Going-to-the-Sun Road at 6,646 feet.

Where can I see wildlife along the Going-to-the-Sun Road?

Glacier National Park is wild country, and wildlife may be present anywhere along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Mountain goats and bighorn sheep are typically seen near Logan Pass. Wildlife can often be spotted in the Many Glacier Valley—north of the east entrance at St. Mary.

What kind of weather can I expect while driving?

Glacier's western valleys tend to receive the most rainfall. Summer daytime temperatures can get up to and beyond 90 degrees Fahrenheit, expect slightly cooler temperatures in the higher elevations. Overnight lows can drop to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit and snow can fall anytime. Be prepared for a variety of weather conditions and pack accordingly, dress in layers and always bring raingear. Drivers should always drive with caution during changing, inclement weather.


Facts & FAQ About Glacier National Park

Western Montana's Glacier Country

News from Glacier National Park: Currently 12.5 miles of the Going-to-the-Sun Road are open for travel.

Bird Woman Falls

An icon in Glacier National Park, Bird Woman Falls is a glistening 492-foot-high waterfall that cascades down the side of Mt. Oberlin. From West Glacier, travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road to Bird Woman Falls Overlook, located on the west side of the Continental Divide.

Trail of the Cedars

This short boardwalk trail (ADA accessible) takes visitors through an old growth cedar forest. It’s also the beginning of the Avalanche Lake Trail (just over two miles long) that leads to Avalanche Lake—one of the most popular day hikes in Glacier National Park. Trail of the Cedars is located about five and a half miles north of Lake McDonald Lodge.

Drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road

If your time in Glacier National Park is limited, one must-see attraction is the Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile long road takes travelers between St. Mary and West Glacier through the heart of the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. There are numerous pullouts along the road, ideal for taking photographs and enjoying the scenery.

See a Glacier

As you’re traveling the Going-to-the-Sun Road, pull over at Jackson Glacier Overlook (located east of Logan Pass). The overlook offers the best opportunity to see a glacier from the road.

Many Glacier Valley

Home to incredible mountains, active glaciers, abundant wildlife and miles of hiking trails, Many Glacier is located in the northeast section of Glacier National Park. Trails leave from this valley in numerous directions, with popular hiking destinations including Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Lake and Ptarmigan Tunnel.

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