When you are Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, you are driving a scenic 50 mile drive west to east or vice versa, through Glacier. I drove the route from the west side, and finishing on the east side.
I got to travel through glacier on a huge road trip over the summer of 2019. You can see everywhere I went on my epic road trip in another post.
Read the full post: THE EPIC US AND CANADIAN ROAD TRIP
Entering Glacier National Park
Driving into the park gives a glimpse immediately how gorgeous it is. I was mesmerized by how green the trees and shrubs were everywhere, and how the whole place is just teaming with life everywhere.
We stopped at the first visitor center in Apgar to get a little information on campgrounds, used the restrooms, and read little bit about the park.
It was getting a little later in the day and we had come from the Livingston KOA campground that morning.
You can read the post on it here: LIVINGSTON KOA CAMPGROUND
Camping in Glacier National Park seamed like it would be awesome and I really wanted to find a site there.
We were back on the road again, the Going to the Sun road, to find a campground.
The first thing we passed was lake McDonald. It was a sweet lake with the still water looking like a mirror at times, and the small raindrops dripping into it was pretty cool too.
The water is crystal clear and you can see the rocks in the bottom no matter if you’re on the shore, or in a boat.
After passing Lake McDonald, we found a campground called Avalanche Campground. We pulled in hoping for some camping luck, and we actually found a spot.
We drove back a short distance to get some firewood at the Lake McDonald Lodge area, went back to camp and cooked some tasty grub, and sat by the fire.
Read my post: AVALANCHE CAMPGROUND
Trail of the Cedars
While we stayed in the avalanche campground I knew of the short walk through the Trail of the Cedars, which I wrote a post about as well.
See the full post here: TRAIL OF THE CEDARS
BACK ON THE GOING TO THE SUN ROAD
After a nice campout, and a quick little hike through the Trail of the Cedars, we were back on the road.
I loved this drive through Glacier because it had so much to see along the way. In addition, the weather was just how I like it, cool and sprinkling.
Bridges and tunnels are everywhere along this road. It breaks up the monotony of driving on the same road.
There are waterfalls all along the road sides as well. Plenty of places to stop and take pictures as well.
Frozen Falls or Glacier?
The Big Bend
Here’s what we did at the top
Upon Reaching the top, I decided I wanted to make some coffee and a snack. I pulled over in front of this mountain and thats exactly what I did.
Here is where we pulled over. Notice the clouds in the background. A gnarly storm was coming in to get us.
As soon as I started boiling the water for my coffee, it started to rain on me. I figured, hey its gonna stop and I will enjoy the coffee on the back of my truck and smell the fresh clean air, but no. It started to hail big time!
Even though the hail came down hard, it was alright. I packed everything up quickly and jumped in to the truck, my coffee was made and just had to brew.
We drank our coffee and enjoyed some almond butter, banana and blueberry breakfast burritos and coffee in the cab of the truck.
As quickly as the storm came, it ended. The hail it reduced itself to a rain, and the hail melted off quickly.
We finished up our snack and coffee and headed back down the road with a truck cab filled with the aroma of fresh coffee!
Heading back out the east side of Glacier
With all the rain and hail that just dumped, we had roadside waterfalls that fell right on the road. They were beautiful and mesmerizing, I had to pull over or slow down a couple of times to soak it in more.
After the Big Bend area of the park, the road starts to head down hill toward the Logan Pass Visitor Center and then on to the St. Marys vistor center on the east side of the park.
These visitor centers are so cool, and contain so much information as well as fun souvenirs. On the way you get to pass through some more mountains and lakes.
nearing the end of the Going to the Sun road, you get to another lake called Saint Mary Lake, almost as big as Lake McDonald and just as spectacular.
There are several amazing lookout points to stop and look back onto what you have just driven through in Glacier National Park.
The Wild Goose Island Lookout
My girlfriend and I wanted to take a picture looking off back into Glacier National Park. I was sad to be leaving this place, and I wish I spent more time here, but the next stop was Canada.
Banff to be specific. This was the biggest thing we were wiating for on this entire road trip. You can read more about some of the stuff we did in Banff in my other Banff posts.
Read the post here: TOP LAKES TO SEE IN BANFF
Glacier National Park is a special place, and I really hope to go back again one day. I did not get my fill. If I was to go back I would camp in the exact same spot, but take time to kayak on Lake McDonald. That is my goal next time I visit.
It takes 2-3 hours to drive the going to the sun road, and thats a modest guess. It took us probably about 4 hours because we stopped a lot, and snacked and enjoyed a lot in the area.
It’s a beautiful Park and it deserves to slow down and enjoy the sights, and sounds. We saw some big horn sheep when we were hanging out at the big bend. They were hiking along the rocky cliff sides, near all the gushing waterfalls.
Check out these other posts from places I got to explore on this trip
- MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS IN YELLOWSTONE
- GRAND PRISMATIC SPRING IN YELLOWSTONE
- CALF CREEK FALLS IN UTAH
- JENNY LAKE AND THE HIDDEN FALLS TRAIL
- TRAIL OF THE CEDARS IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK
- SUNWAPTA FALLS IN JASPER NATIONAL PARK
- TOP LAKES TO SEE IN BANFF NATIONAL PARK
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Here is a list of some of the gear I used on this expedition
- Camera: iPhone and GoPro
- Protective iPhone Case: Insipio Case
- Go Pro Handle: GoPro Handler
- Power Bank: Anker Bank
- Backpack: Camelback
- Jacket: Columbia Waterproof Jacket
- Boots: Vasque Boots
- Bear Spray: Counter Assault
- Sunscreen: Sky Organics