There is no end to the majestic beauty that surrounds the mountains and landscapes in Glacier National Park. Montana is home to some of the most open and diverse land masses in the U.S. From golden prairie grasslands to the mountainous territory full of forests and meadows, you’ll find plenty of amazing nature everywhere you turn.
There are numerous incredible areas located throughout the entire park. One of the iconic spots to stop and enjoy in the park includes the infamous Going-to-the-Sun Road. This curvy, narrow, mostly paved road takes you into twists and turns through mountain tunnels. It is one of the most beautiful drives in the world. This renowned road has been entered into the National register of Historic Places in June 1983.
If you do plan to visit the park in the future and explore on this popular road, you will need a vehicle reservation. For this year, both Going to the Sun Road and the North Fork required vehicle reservations from May 27 – September 11, 2022. Tickets can be reserved in advance at Recreation.gov.
How far can you go on Going to the Sun Road?
This historic road is actually considered an engineering work of genius in design and function within the high altitude mountains. It is known to be the most difficult road to clear the snow during cold seasons. The distance of this windy road is approximately 50 miles from the West Glacier entrance to the entrance at St. Mary. It is a two way road where one way goes east, and the other goes west. Our road trip on Going to the Sun Road began from the St. Mary entrance from the east side of the park.
Get up close to giant glaciers and cascading waterfalls
There are several spots and pull outs along this amazing highway in the clouds. We stopped by an area where the first thing you see is an iron sculpture of a Native American sitting on a horse. It is beautiful. This area includes smooth paved walkways that lead you to a couple of iron Teepees. The life size teepees are iron art sculptures created by artist Duane After Buffalo. The overlook is located approximately two miles south of St. Mary on Hwy 89.
Wild Goose Island Lookout Glacier National Park
One of the favorite stops that offer striking views of St. Mary Lake is Wild Goose Island Lookout. This little island rises about 14 feet from the surface of the water. And enjoy this movie trivia the opening scene of the 1980 ‘The Shining’ movie was shot here at St. Mary Lake.
Sun Point Nature Trail and Lookout
This beautiful short hiking trail along St. Mary Lake offers incredible views from nearly every stretch along the path. It is nice to enjoy an area in Glacier National Park with only few people exploring it.
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Sunrift Gorge near St. Mary
Our journey begins at Sunrift Gorge which offers an impressive view of a water carved gorge. Then the trail takes you down to beautiful St. Mary Falls. From this point you proceed onto Sun Point Nature Trail which offers stunning views of Saint Mary Lake as you stroll along its outer perimeters.
Lunch Creek Cascading Waterfalls
Other points of interest along Going to the Sun Road include Lunch Creek its cascading waterfalls with views of Pollock Mountain in the backdrop. Weeping Wall can get you wet in the spring but calms to a trickle flow in late summer. You’ll also come across some vibrant wildflowers scattered throughout different areas of the park.
Logan Pass and Continental Divide
One of the busiest spots along this historic road is at Logan Pass. This is where the Continental Divide is and the highest point at 6,646 feet. Here, you can hike down to the popular Hidden Lake. It is suggested to arrive at this spot very early or later to find parking and be able to explore this area. We arrived to this stop around 8 a.m. and there were no parking spots open. People were driving in circles hoping to get a spot. FitLife Tip: Arriving before 7 a.m. is probably a better time frame to attempt to find open parking spots.
This particular area is where we saw our first grizzly bear. We stopped to enjoy the colorful rocks and the crystal clear waters of the creek. We suddenly heard a commotion in the bushes in the distance, and out comes the grizzly. The bear continues searching for berries and plants and thankfully he ignored us in the distance.
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Lake McDonald at Glacier National Park
The first sight you see is total calm and beauty! The water is so crisp and clear to see all the various colors of the rocks. There is a picnic area to enjoy lunch then take in a walk down to the shoreline and enjoy the peaceful quiet vibe of the lake.
McDonald Creek overlook can be quite impressive with its powerful water flow. During the spring season, you might see the rapid current carrying trees and boulders.
These and several other beautiful stops and pull outs are just a small part of the special experiences to enjoy in Glacier National Park. Road trips have never been so beautiful with this this notorious roadway carved high through the alpine and jagged peaks. The Crown of the Continent as what the Native Americans call it, is comprised of fascinating landscapes filled with prehistoric glaciers and amazing terrain for all of us to enjoy and preserve.
Take a tour along Going to the Sun Road here: The most beautiful drive in the world.
First of all, I wish to thank you all for being here. I realize how valuable your time is, so I am sincerely grateful for your support. We've had an amazing adventure trip recently and I thoroughly enjoyed taking you on this journey road trip from North Dakota into Montana. And I hope you have enjoyed this exploration into Glacier National Park and its precious landscapes and amazing history. Please stay tuned for incredible stories coming up.
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