6 Top Travel Tips for the Going-to-the-Sun Road

Jun 21, 2017

Drawing visitors from far and wide, a drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is a must-do in Glacier National Park. It's a spectacular 50-mile road that winds over passes, crosses the Continental Divide and travels through incredibly varied terrain - from glacial lakes to jagged cliffs. Here are our tips for making the most of your trip down this most legendary of scenic roads. 

  1. Start Early
It's no surprise that the Going-to-the-Sun Road can be very busy. The parking lot at Logan Pass is usually full between 9:30am and 4:00pm - expect road delays and difficulty finding parking. If you get there before 9:30am, you'll not only beat traffic, but you'll increase your chances of seeing wildlife - they're often more active earlier in the day to avoid the mid-day heat.

Sunrise over St. Mary Lake

⇑ View of a morning sunrise over St. Mary Lake taken from the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Camera 

  1. Know Your Route
While the Going-to-the-Sun Road is very safe and has proper barriers, more timid drivers may want to drive the road from east (St. Mary) to west. The majority of the east-west route is on the inside next to rock walls, rather than closer to the road’s edge. To drive a loop, you can drive from St. Mary to West Glacier along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and then travel along Highway 2 to Highway 89 to return to St. Mary.


⇑ Traveling down the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Camera 

  1. Plan Ahead

There are no services along the 33-mile stretch of road between Lake McDonald and the Rising Sun Motor Inn. Make sure to bring enough water and snacks for your day's adventures. A picnic at Logan Pass or one of the scenic turnouts is a great way to enjoy a midday break!

Goat Grazing at Logans Pass


⇑ Mountain goat grazing at Logan Pass. Camera 

  1. Stock Up/Fuel Up

Travelling from the east you can grab your morning coffee at Glacier Perk or Curly Bear Café at St. Mary, fill up on gas and grab some snacks for the road at St. Mary Grocery Store and Gas station. On the west side of the park, stock up on supplies at the village of West Glacier and fuel up at West Glacier Gas Station. 


⇑ Time to stock up for supplies, treats for the road and fuel at West Glacier Village. Camera 

  1. Prepare for Changing Weather
Glacier’s weather is often highly variable. Temperatures at Logan Pass are usually at least ten degrees cooler than those at low elevations. We recommend dressing in layers, bringing a hat to shield yourself from sun and having a rain jacket handy in case the weather changes.

Hidden Lake View Point

⇑ Mountain goats enjoying the scenery at Hidden Lake Overlook. Camera 

  1. Allow Extra Time to Take in the Scenery
It's nearly impossible to traverse the road without stopping multiple times to take in the sights and snap a photo or two. There are plenty of pull-outs located along the route so you can stretch your legs and 'strike-a-pose' beneath some of the most iconic landmarks in the park. 
Don't miss these unforgettable sights along the way:
• Heaven's Peak
• The Loop
• Bird Woman Falls
• Weeping Wall
• Jackson Glacier
• Wild Goose Island
Wild Goose Island

⇑ Wild Goose Island in the middle of St. Mary Lake. Camera 

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