The Going-to-the-Sun Road should be on anyone’s to-do list that is driving anywhere near Montana. Even if you don’t intend on sticking around Glacier to do some hikes, the 50 mile drive is still 100% worth the national park entrance fee. Out of the 3 days I stayed at the park, I did the entire drive 3 times. The views are just insane, and there are hundreds of pullout areas to take pictures, or to go on short hikes to lakes, waterfalls, or to enjoy views of the mountains and glaciers.
Towards the beginning of the road you’ll be driving along Lake McDonald, which I would suggest pulling over and enjoying for a while. On a nice day that lake is so calm and clear that it reflects the mountains in the background. There area also areas where the river feeds into the lake where you can encounter some smaller waterfalls. If you get there early enough in the morning this is a pretty popular moose hangout. Although I didn’t get to see any, which pissed me off.
Another stopping point along the road is the Glacier Park Lodge, which has some taste food and a lot of historical/informational areas. I believe this is also one of the starting points for the Daily Jammer Tours around the park, in which you get to ride around in an old school red bus full of elderly people and annoying children. Although if you’re afraid of driving off a steep cliff, this might be your best bet in seeing the rest of the road, because going forward it gets pretty crazy.
My favorite area along the Going-to-the-Sun Road was definitely Logan’s Pass, which is located along the Continental Divide. Although it can take some time to find parking at the Logan’s Pass visitors center, I would strongly suggest you put in the time to do so. There are a lot of marmots in the area that you’ll be able to see up close, and while they are cute and adorable at first, they will quickly start to annoy you with their constant barking to get you the hell away from their home. While there, also take the boardwalk up towards Hidden Lake. The views were probably my favorite in the entire park. The also had a lot to do with the time of day I arrived the first time. The sun was going down at the time, and the way it lit up the valley was stunning.
After leaving Logan’s Pass, I quickly pulled over again to check out Lunch Creek. Oddly there was no one there at the time, so it was quite peaceful having the place to myself. It was quickly after that realization that I started notice that peace and quiet are pretty much the last thing you want in the middle of bear country, and decided I should probably leave before a grizzly bear or wolverine came charging out from the thick wooded area behind me. It’s not that I was scared, just that there’s no point in beating up a bear if no one is around to witness it.
While there are several other places you can pull over for exceptional views, it’s safe to say that you’ve already seen the best of the best on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. You can safely continue your drive out through the east entrance of the park, and head up towards Many Glacier, which is another must see in the area. Although the road is a little rugged getting out there, I enjoyed enjoy the drive. I ended up staying out that way for a night for one of my hikes, and thoroughly enjoyed the lodging and food.