Questions About Glacier's Going to the Sun Road

When do you anticipate Going to the Sun road to be open?

Answer:

Portions of Going to the Sun Road remain open year-round. These are the lower elevation areas, of course, such as:

– Up to Lake McDonald Lodge

– A few miles past St. Mary Lodge and Resort

Generally, Going to the Sun Road opens completely around mid-June and remains open until mid-September.

Until then, plows are still hard at work clearing the snow away so that Logan Pass is fully accessible.

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When Does Going to the Sun Road Open?
Leland Haas

When does Going to the Sun Road open this season?

Answer:

Going to the Sun Road opens at different times every year.

It all depends on snowfall and how quickly the plows can get the road cleared.

Going to the Sun Road stays open year round (generally) up to Lake McDonald Lodge on the west side and Rising Sun near East Glacier Montana.

Typically, the plows finish and Logan Pass opens by mid-late June. However, sometimes Going to the Sun Road won’t open until July.

Be sure to keep up on the Glacier National Park Service Blogs so you know exactly when Going to the Sun Road opens.

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Camping with a 25 ft. motorhome in Glacier
Katy

During our Glacier National Park vacation, we are planning to camp 2 nights at Apgar Campground and 2 nights at Two Medicine.

We would like to drive Going to the Sun Road. But, how do we get to a place to catch the red hiker bus shuttle? How would we travel from Apgar to Two Medicine? Do we have to take the highway outside of Glacier National Park or can a 25 foot motorhome drive Going to the Sun Road?

Thank you

Answer:

The GTTS Road length limit is 25 feet, so you might squeak by.

The red busses and the hiker shuttles are two different things. The red busses are tour vehicles and their stops are not planned around hiking. Separately, the National Park Service operates a shuttle system that transports hikers to trailheads along the length of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The shuttle enables hikers to start a hike at one location and complete it at another. The cost to ride the shuttle is included in the park’s entrance fee. Official information can be found at: http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/shuttles.htm

In addition, Glacier Park, Inc. (which also operates the park’s lodges) offers a shuttle service from Many Glacier Hotel and Swiftcurrent Motor Inn that connects to the National Park Service shuttle at the St. Mary Visitor Center. This shuttle tentatively begins daily service on July 1 and ends Labor Day. Fees, schedules, and other information are posted at http://www.glacierparkinc.com/Transportation/Shuttles/.

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Driving Going to the Sun Road: How Long Does it Take?

Can I drive Going to the Sun Road in one afternoon? I will be at the Glacier Park Lodge.

Answer:

Yes, you can. However, there’s no set time on how long it will take to drive Going to the Sun Road.

There are many factors that could make the drive range from 1.5 hours to 4 hours:

  • Traffic
  • Construction
  • Wildlife
  • How many pulloffs you want to do

If you’re just driving through Glacier, plan on spending your entire afternoon driving Going to the Sun Road.

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Can I Drive My Car On Glacier National Park’s Going to the Sun Road?

Hello! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Glacier National Park and all we can afford to rent is a car.

We were wondering if the roads out there (West Glacier is our destination) are well enough for a car to make it, or if not, is there a shuttle that could take or pick us up?

Also, is it possible to drive it on Going to the Sun Road?

Thank you!

Answer:

Hi there!

First of all, let me say that it is such a great idea to take a trip to Glacier with your boyfriend. I went with my girlfriend (now wife!) two years back for her first time to Glacier–and wow, what a trip!

What a romantic, exciting, romantic, adventurous, romantic, and beautiful place to spend some time together.

And did I mention that it’s romantic?

You two are going to have an awesome time–I guarantee it!

Now, down to your question: are the roads in Glacier good enough for a car? You bet they are! Sure, there are many trails and smaller roads that won’t be able to take the burden of auto traffic, but most of them definitely can.

Glacier is an international tourist draw, and a giant one at that. With almost 1.5 million acres of wilderness, there had to be drivable roads put in place for visitors to see all there is to see.

So, don’t worry! Driving a rental car to West Glacier, Montana is no problem, especially in July. From there, driving in and through Glacier Naional Park is easy and convenient (But there’s also a shuttle service you can take).

There are some times during the winter months when snowfall is bad enough to close down many of the park’s roads, but summer is usually a-okay. You know, aside from August of ’92, when a foot of snow fell in one corner of the park… Yikes, talk about unseasonably cold!

I’m sure you’ve got the whole trip planned out already, but just in case you have a day or two still blank on the activities calendar, here are a couple of awesome things to do with your rental car:

  • Going to the Sun Road – This is an amazing drive. You’ll get to see Rising Sun, St. Mary Lake, Lake McDonald, and Logan Pass, which is the tallest place in the park you can drive. There may be some road construction during the summer, but the highway won’t be totally closed down.
  • Camas Road – Except for one little section in the middle, this entire road is nicely paved for your convenience. It runs right alongside Inside North Fork Road–which is also beautiful, but totally un-paved–and gives you some awesome wilderness views and great primitive campground options.

Now, I don’t want to make any assumptions, but it sounds like you guys are going to be on a bit of a budget. If that’s the case, you may want to consider some alternatives to car sightseeing.

  • Rent a Bicycle – Cyclists are allowed to ride on Going-to-the-Sun Road, and it’s an absolute beauty. Be aware though: the elevation gets a bit high and the ride gets a little difficult, but it’s totally worth it.
  • Hike! – This may sound like the most obvious statement in the world, but there’s really no need to drive around the park with so many hiking trails. Park the car at the chateau, pull on your hiking boots, and set off down the path. It’s an unbelievable experience.
  • Shuttles and Buses – There are indeed several shuttles and buses that operate within the park. Check out a schedule here and see if they’ll take you where you want to go (they just won’t take you to the Many Glacier Lodge area–but I suggest driving there anyway!)

I hope all that helped. You and your boyfriend are bound to have an amazing time. Take some great pictures and let me know how it all goes!

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Comments

  1. rosie pyles says:

    Hello, I am planning a road trip from Tx to Your beautiful park in a 26 foot Class C RV in the first two weeks in June.I saw the earlier post about the Rules on the size of the RV which now I know I dont qualify to drive my RV on the mountain, there for is there another way to get there or an alternate route? Also I like to know where does this Road start so I know Not to get on it… I must admit I am a little scared to drive a mountain with tight areas ….Thanks Rosie

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