Going To The Sun Road – The Best Way to See Glacier National Park

Will Beck
Last Updated: March 4th, 2023

The jewel of the Crown of the Continent, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is the most famous way to see Glacier National Park. It took nearly 20 years to construct and is still lauded as a feat of engineering nearly 100 years later.

It’s the only road open to motor vehicles that completely crosses the park from east to west, and is traveled by as many as several thousand people a day.

The Best Hotels For Going To The Sun Road

Going to the Sun Road – What You Need to Know

FAQs About Going to the Sun Road

go to the sun road

What is the Going to the Sun Road?

Built to connect West Glacier with St. Mary over Logan Pass, the Going-to-the-Sun Road formally opened in a special ceremony on July 15, 1933, after nearly two decades of ideation, surveying, and construction.

Often called a marvel of engineering, it passes through the Garden Wall that cuts across the park and climbs to a height of 6,646 feet where it crosses the Continental Divide.

It helps to create easier access to many of the park’s most famous and unique natural attractions including Lake McDonald, St. Mary Lake, and the trailhead for the famous Highline Trail.

What is the Going to the Sun Road called?

When Congress first allocated the funds for the first surveys of the road, it was noted in the records as the “Transmountain Highway,” though this name isn’t used today. The most common diminutive used is Sun Road, as it is sometimes called in National Park Service documents.

Parts of the Going-to-the-Sun Road were once trails and paths used by the indigenous people from the region. These trails were later appropriated by settlers, particularly fur trappers and hunters who flooded the region beginning in the mid-1800s.

How long does it take to drive the Going to the Sun Road?

Without stopping, it takes about two hours to complete the drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. However, most folks choose to make at least a stop or two along the way, if only for pictures.

When is the Going to the Sun Road open?

While portions of the road at either end are open year-round, the pass usually opens to thru traffic by early July and closes near the end of October.

The exact dates are dependent on many factors, but chief among them is the sometimes unpredictable weather. For more precise information, you can check the Glacier National Park website.

Is it safe to drive Going to the Sun Road?

Each year, Going to the Sun Road sees more than 3 million visitors, though whether it is engineered or designed to handle the amount of traffic is open for debate.

The inherent nature of the road – that it traverses a portion of the Rocky Mountains – almost requires that there is a certain amount of danger involved, though the vast majority of visitors traverse it without incident.

The best thing you can do to stay safe is to ensure that your vehicle is in proper working condition and that you’re following all posted signs and guidance laid out by the National Parks Service.

Has anyone died on Going to the Sun Road?

Put simply, yes. The most common reason for car crashes along the Going-to-the-Sun Road is excessive speed, so the best way to mitigate the risk of driving along it is to make sure you’re following all marked speed signs.

A Brief History of Going to the Sun Road

history of going-to-the-sun road

After more than two decades of planning and construction, the Going-to-the-Sun Road finally opened on July 15th, 1933. It was originally called the “Transmountain Highway” when it was still in the planning stages, describing how it was to connect either side of Glacier National Park by crossing the mountainous continental divide.

It was built as a collaboration between the Bureau of Public Roads and the National Parks Service and is managed by the latter to this day.

Because it was being constructed within a national park, a lot of care was taken to ensure that it would both blend in with the landscape as much as possible and offer the best access to the lands it traverses.

Though the road may seem precarious in places, these choices were made intentionally to do as little harm as possible to the surrounding lands.

Things To See Along The Going To The Sun Road

things to see along going-to-the-sun road

There are many trails, viewpoints, and attractions to see along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Below you’ll find a guide to some of the most popular places to see, do, and stay, arranged from west to east. If you’re traveling along the road in the other direction, simply follow it in reverse.

West Glacier

west glacier

Just outside of the West Entrance of the Park is the small town of West Glacier, where you can find plenty of accommodations, dining, and tourist information.

Attractions in West Glacier

Belton Chalet • $$

Found just outside the west entrance to Glacier National Park, the Benton Chalet is a deeply historic hotel originally built by the Great Northern Railway. Of the Alpine Lodges in the region, the Belton is renowned for being the most luxurious without sacrificing the classic, rustic charm that Montana is known for.

West Glacier RV Park • $$

Located just outside of the busiest part of West Glacier Village lies the West Glacier RV Park which features fully-equipped RV sites and cabins. The facility is brand new, built just in 2019, and features amenities to make your stay comfortable.

Belton Grill Dining & Tap Room 

The fine-dining arm of the Belton Chalet, the Belton Grill Dining & Tap Room is open to the public as well as overnight guests. With both an outdoor deck and the original fireplace from 1910, this is the perfect place for all that Montana summers have to offer.

Every evening, our staff lines the balconies to welcome the evening train, just like they did in 1910. Serving an array of local beer, spirits, and craft cocktails and all brought to you by our friendly staff, the Belton Tap Room is a favorite of locals and guests from around the world.

Glacier National Park Conservancy Store

The showcase of the official non-profit partner of the National Park Service, the Glacier National Park Conservancy, this simple but well-curated mercantile, and gift shop are popular with visitors to West Glacier. Inside you’ll find books and guides specific to the region, and plenty of goods created by local artists.

Crown of the Continent Discovery Center

A trading post turned visitors center through the help of the National Geographic Society, the Crown of the Continent Discovery Center has a myriad of interactive displays and interpretative content that relate to the area. There are also specific activities for kids, a small cafe, and a retail space.

West Glacier Cafe

One of Montana’s most beloved diners, the West Glacier Cafe features many local favorites like bison burgers and huckleberry pancakes.

Freda’s Bar

An unassuming but historic bar, Freda’s serves up craft beers and classic cocktails finely tuned with local spirits.



Just inside the park is the little village of Apgar, home to a visitor center and a permitting office.

Attractions in Apgar

The Village Inn at Apgar • $$

Simple but comfortable, the selection of rooms at The Village Inn at Apgar includes one and two-bedroom apartments, all with lake views. Some include kitchens that are stocked with basic utensils.

Glacier Bear Retreat • $$$$

Perched on an acre of land abutting Fish and Apgar Creeks, the Glacier Bear Retreat is a four-bedroom luxury vacation villa inside Glacier National Park. The property includes an outdoor fire pit, hot tub, hammocks, and even bicycles for guests to use.

Apgar Visitor Center

About two miles inside the park from the West Entrance you’ll find the Apgar Visitor Center, the first stop for many tourists to Glacier National Park. Open daily from May until October, you’ll find plenty of information to help plan your trip, as well as a bookstore, free wifi, and a shuttle service.

Eddie’s Cafe and Gifts

A restaurant, gift shop, camp supply and ice-cream parlor in one, Eddie’s Cafe and Gifts is a family-owned & operated facility. It is the only grocery store in the park and has a full selection of beer and wine. It’s a regular stop for visitors to stock up on snacks, ice, and firewood before traveling further into the park.

Apgar Backcountry Permit Center

Camping in or even accessing certain portions of Glacier National Park requires a permit, and the Apgar Backcountry Permit Center is where you can obtain it. In some cases, only a certain amount of permits are issued per day, so it’s best to arrive early.

Montana House

Part Gallery, part gift shop, the Montana House is dedicated to showcasing the work of local artists and artisans, as well as books and souvenirs that relate to the region. Curiously, the shop is literally built around two old-growth cedar trees that are hundreds of years old.

Lake McDonald

lake mcdonald

One of the most popular attractions in the entire park, Lake McDonald is famous for being lined with millions of smooth, multi-colored stones.

Attractions in Lake McDonald

Lake McDonald Lodge

Possibly the most famous resort in Glacier National Park, the Lake McDonald Lodge was originally built in 1937 but was fully reconstructed and renovated in 1972. to become one of the most popular resorts in the park. Offering comfortable accommodations for families, couples, or singles on almost any budget, they have a 24-hour front desk replete with a knowledgeable concierge.

Motel Lake McDonald

Right on the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park, Motel Lake McDonald has 56 modest rooms and 5 suites. It has been around for over half a century but used to be called the Granite Inn Motel. It’s one of the most affordable accommodations in the park, so it’s very popular with budget travelers.

Jammer Joe’s Grill & Pizzeria

An unassuming joint inside Glacier National Park, Jammer Joe’s Grill & Pizzeria serves family-style meals in a take-all-kinds atmosphere.

The Sperry Chalet

Accessible from Lake McDonald via the Gunsight Pass Trail, the Sperry Chalet is a historic, rustic lodge that has been welcoming overnight guests to Glacier National Park since 1914. Even if you don’t have reservations to join them overnight, you are welcome to swing by for lunch any day during the season.

John’s Lake

john's lake

The north end of Lake McDonald has several trailheads and a ranger station.

Attractions in John’s Lake

Burton and Lulu Wheeler Cabin

A historic cabin on the east shore of Lake McDonald, it was purchased by Montana Senator Burton Wheeler and his wife Lulu in 1916, and only recently given to Glacier National Park. It is still a part of an ongoing restoration that will eventually see it become one of the cornerstones of the international conservation efforts in place between the United States and Canada.

Lake McDonald Ranger Station

A popular day-use area, the Lake McDonald Ranger station is home to several connections to local trails as well as a picnic area and lake access. Also called Kelly’s Camp, it can be reached either by North Lake McDonald Road or by the Lake McDonald West Shore Trail from the Fish Creek Campground.

John’s Lake Loop Trailhead

A popular two-mile hike, the John’s Lake Loop passes both Sacred Dancing Cascade and McDonald Falls on its way to the lake, two of the most popular waterfalls in Glacier National Park.

The trail is mostly flat, suits most visitors, and is very popular with families because of its lack of technical difficulty. The parking lot for the trailhead has room for less than 10 cars, so if you plan on parking there it’s best to arrive early in the morning.

West Lakes Trailhead

Though the entire trail is over 20 miles long, you don’t have to complete the entire route to visit some of the park’s best Alpine lakes. The trailhead is situated on the northwest shores of Lake McDonald, from which you can pass around Stanton Mountain and past Trout, Arrow, and Camas Lakes.

Avalanche Creek

avalanche creek

Named for the eponymous lake that has been the site of several avalanches, the Avalanche Creek region is known for its plethora of waterfalls.

Attractions in Avalanche Creek

Avalanche Creek Picnic Area

A modest but popular picnic area along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the Avalanche Creek Picnic Area is in a pretty spot right by the river.

Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail

A relatively easy, family-friendly route, the Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail passes through one of the oldest Cedar forests in the nation. Less than a mile long in total, it is well marked and easy to follow, with portions of it crossing raised boardwalks.

Avalanche Trail

Beginning from the Trail of the Cedars Nature Trail, you can continue another two miles to Avalanche Lake. The trail follows the creek for some time, before turning into a moderately steep climb to this Alpine lake.

Red Rock Point

A popular pull-out along the westbound lane of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, Red Rock Point is an ideal place to take photos. The short walk along a well-worn trail from the ample parking area brings visitors one of the most famous sections of whitewater in McDonald Creek.

The Loop

the loop

Named for where the Going-to-the-Sun Road makes a dramatic switchback, The Loop region is where some of the park’s most popular trails begin and end.

Attractions in The Loop

Granite Park Trail

At just over eight miles, the Granite Park Trail may be difficult, but it connects The Loop with the Granite Park Chalet and Granite Park Campground to provide an alternative route to the Highline Trail.

The climb is quite steep, and the trail doesn’t offer much by way of resting places or shade, so be sure to come prepared. Appropriate footwear, sunscreen, raingear, and bear spray are a must.

Granite Park Chalet

One of the seminal historic hiking lodges in Glacier National Park, the Granite Park Chalet may be low on amenities, but offers a ton of charm. This truly rustic lodge near Granite Peak has been around since the early 20th century and is still offering comfortable lodging and hearty meals, though they lack electricity and running water.

Swiftcurrent Pass

From the Granite Park region, you can easily connect to the west end of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, which in turn leads to the Highline Trail.

Grinnell Glacier Overlook

Though the most popular way to reach the Grinnell Glacier Overlook is via the Highline Trail from Logan Pass, the shorter – but more strenuous – way to reach this viewpoint is from the Granite Park Trail.

Big Bend

big bend

Though parking can get tricky during the height of the season, turnouts in the Big Bend area are often filled with photographers looking to capture some of the most photogenic parts of Glacier National Park.

Attractions in Big Bend

Weeping Wall

A natural waterfall that spills right onto the Going-to-the-Sun Road from Haystack Butte, the Weeping Wall is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Glacier National Park. There is a small turnout here if you’d like to stop and take photos.

Paradise Meadow

Also, nearby the Big Bend Turnout is the glorious Paradise Meadow, which is particularly famous for its wildflowers. For this reason, springtime is the best for a visit, though there are spectacular views of the surrounding peaks throughout the season.

Triple Arches

Both an important bridge along the Going-to-the-Sun Road and a popular spot for photos, the Triple Arches Bridge was originally built in 1927 to replace a retaining wall where the road crosses the Continental Divide.

Logan Pass

logan pass

The most popular stop and the highest point along the whole road, Logan Pass is home to a visitor center and parking lot that is usually full by 9 am.

Attractions in Logan Pass

Logan Pass Visitor Center

Logan Pass is the most popular stop along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, so the National Parks Service has maintained the Logan Pass Visitor Center to accommodate tourists who pass through there since 1966. Here you’ll find resources to help plan your trip like trail guides and interpretive displays as well as restrooms, water bottle filling stations, and a shuttle stop.

Highline Trailhead

Easily the most popular trail in Glacier National Park, the Highline Trail attracts so many hikers daily that the trail can get crowded, despite it being a nearly 12-mile long loop (or 15 miles out and back to the granite Park that’s rated intermediate.

Despite the crowds, this well-worn trail is well worth the effort and offers some of the most spectacular views in the whole park. This is also the trailhead for the 15-mile trail that leads to Granite Park Chalet and connects to the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail.

Hidden Lake Trailhead

Right behind the Logan Pass Visitor Center is the Hidden Lake Trailhead; from here it’s just under 3 miles to the Hidden Lake Overlook. You can stop here for photos and head back, or you can make the steep scramble down to the lake itself.

This trail is sometimes closed during times of heavy bear activity, so be sure to check at the Logan Pass Visitor Center before you begin the journey.

St. Mary Falls

st. mary falls

Popular with families, the St. Mary Falls area along the Going-to-the-Sun Road has several easy-rated hikes.

Attractions in St. Mary Falls

Saint Mary Falls

While the trailhead is officially located around a quarter-mile from the St. Mary Falls shuttle stop, limited parking convinces most folks intent on completing the hike begins from the shuttle stop itself.

At less than two miles and little gain in elevation, the hike to the falls is easy enough for most visitors and it’s a popular outing for families with children. The falls themselves are one of the most photographed features in the park and descend over the cliff face for 35 feet in three distinct tiers.

Virginia Falls

Continuing along the trail past St. Mary Falls will bring you to the even grander Virginia Falls. This multi-tiered fall drops nearly 50 feet, and along the trail, you’ll even get to pass right by another, smaller but unnamed waterfall.

Jackson Glacier Overlook

Named for one of the highest peaks in Glacier National Park, the Jackson Glacier is challenging to hike to, but easy to spot from the Jackson Glacier Overlook. There’s a dedicated pull-off from Going-to-the-Sun Road with parking and resources for visitors like a picnic area and an interpretive site.

Sun Point Nature Trail

Also known as the Three Falls Trail, the Sun Point Nature Trail begins from a turn-off from the Going-to-the-Sun Road with parking. A moderate hike, the trail gains about 500 feet in elevation in just under five miles, but frequent visitors know that the rewards are well worth the effort.

The trail passes by three distinct waterfalls and offers some of the best views of St. Mary Lake in the whole park.

Rising Sun

rising sun

The most popular stop along St. Mary Lake, you’ll find plenty of lodging and photo ops in the Rising Sun region.

Attractions in Rising Sun

Rising Sun Motor Inn • $$

Though they were originally built in 1940, The Rising Sun Motor Inn and affiliated cabins were fully remodeled in 2015. The accommodations are simple – units are not equipped with televisions, air conditioning, or telephones – but each room has a private bath and electricity. Units do not have kitchens, but there is a general store, gift shop, and restaurant on-site.

Wild Goose Island Lookout

It’s likely that many of the photos you’ve seen of Glacier National Park included St. Mary Lake, and of them, most of them were likely taken at the Wild Goose Island Lookout.

Photographers flock here to capture the mountains flanking the lake on all sides, with the seemingly tiny but dramatic Wild Goose Island right in the middle of the scene.

Rising Sun Picnic Area

Right on the banks of St. Mary Lake is the Rising Sun Picnic Area, a day-use site just across from the Rising Sun Motor Inn.

St. Mary

st. mary

Home to the east entrance to the Going-to-the-Sun Road, the small town of St. Mary has a wide variety of hotels and lodges and a handful of excellent bars and eateries.

Attractions in St. Mary

St. Mary Village • $$$

With many different styles of accommodation including budget rooms, stand-alone tiny homes, and luxury suites, St. Mary Village has a variety of choices for those who want to stick around for a night or more.

Far more than just a hotel, the property includes several guest lodges, an on-site restaurant, an outdoor gear store, and a coffee and gift shop.

Red Eagle Motel & RV Park • $$

A family-owned and operated business, the Red Eagle Motel and RV park offer well-appointed rooms, cabins, and RV sites with full hook-ups. There are a few tent camping sites on the property for backpackers as well.

The Cottages At Glacier • $$$$

There are several different cottages and cabins for rent at the Cottages at Glacier, all of them filled with loads of rustic character and original details, but refurbished with every modern amenity.

Saint Mary Visitor Center

Managed and operated by the National Parks Service, the St. Mary Visitor Center is the official spot for tourist information on the east side of the park. Here you’ll find both indoor and outdoor exhibits, a bookstore, and a permitting center.

There are also basics like restrooms and a water bottle filling station. Outside is the main shuttle stop for the east end of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Beaver Pond Trail Head

Right behind the St. Mary Visitor Center, you’ll find the Beaver Pond Trail Head, which leads to a couple of the park’s best hikes. The Beaver Pond Trail Loop is the easiest of the two, and at just over three miles it’s quick to complete. If you have more time, you can consider making the eight-mile trek to Red Eagle Lake. The latter continues on to connect to Triple Divide Pass.

Johnson’s of St. Mary

Offering accommodations for almost every traveler, Johnson’s of St. Mary has cabins, RV, and tent camping plots with an onsite restaurant.

Rising Sun Pizza

East Glacier’s most popular come-as-you-are dining is Rising Sun Pizza, which cranks out the region’s best hand-tossed pizza and wings. They’re closed on Wednesdays, so plan accordingly.

Overnight lodging along the Going to the Sun Road



Apgar Village

  • Campsites: 5
  • Season: Late May to Early September
  • Facilities: Fire grates, picnic tables, garbage pick-up, potable water
  • Fees: $65/night
  • Reservations Required

The largest campground in Glacier National Park, Apgar Village is exclusively for groups of 9-24.

Fish Creek

  • Campsites: 178
  • Season: Late May to Early September
  • Facilities: Picnic tables, garbage pick-up, restrooms with running water
  • Fees: $23/night
  • Reservations Required

Sites are designed for both tent campers, RVs, and trailers, and the property features an amphitheater for nightly ranger-led presentations.

Sprague Creek

  • Campsites: 25
  • Season: Early May to Mid-September
  • Facilities: Fire grates, picnic tables, garbage pick-up, potable water
  • Fees: $20/night
  • Reservations Required

Long a campground only for walk-ins, 2022 will be the first year that reservations are required at Sprague Creek. This campground is only suitable for tent camping, but parking is available for passenger cars.

Arrow Lake Campground

  • Campsites: 6
  • Season: Late June to Labor Day
  • Facilities: Pit toilets, food prep area
  • Fees: $7/person/night
  • No reservations, first come, first serve only.

A backcountry campsite on the south shore of Trout Lake is accessible via the West Lakes Trail (also known as the Trout Lake Trail) from the north end of Lake McDonald. The hike is somewhat difficult with steep gains in elevation and a length of about five miles.

Avalanche Creek

  • Campsites: 87
  • Season: Mid-June to Mid-September
  • Facilities: Potable water, flush toilets, picnic tables
  • Fees: $20/night
  • No reservations, first come, first serve only

All of the campsites here can accommodate tent campers, but only about 2/3 of them are suitable for RVs and trailers, and only those up to 26 feet.

Granite Park Campground

  • Campsites: 4
  • Season: Late June to Labor Day
  • Facilities: Pit toilets, food prep area
  • Fees: $7/person/night
  • No reservations, first come, first serve only.

Accessible via the Granite Park Trail from The Loop or the Highline Trail from Logan Pass. A backcountry permit is required.

Rising Sun

  • Campsites: 84
  • Season: Late June to Labor Day
  • Facilities: Garbage pick-up, potable water, flush toilets, showers, camp store
  • Fees: $20/night
  • No reservations, first come, first serve only.

Located halfway along St. Mary Lake accessible by car from the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

St. Mary

  • Campsites: X
  • Season: Late May to Mid-August
  • Facilities: Firepit, picnic tables, garbage pick-up, potable water, flush toilets
  • Fees: $23/night
  • Reservations Required

Right near the east entrance to Glacier National Park, sites aren’t suitable for vehicles over 21 feet.

Divide Creek Campground

  • Campsites: 20+
  • Season: May to September
  • Facilities: Fire pits, picnic tables, garbage pick-up, flush toilets, showers
  • Fees: $20-$40/night
  • Reservations Recommended

A private campground on nearly 20 acres of riverside land that offers traditional per-night campsites and inclusive retreats.

Cabins, Mountain Lodges, and Hotels

cabins and mountain lodges

Under Canvas Glacier • Coram • $$$

About seven miles south of the West Entrance to Glacier National Park, Under Canvas Glacier offers luxury glamping experiences on lush property. Accommodations range from simple but luxe canvas tents to massive lofted treehouses, some of which have ensuite bathrooms.

Silverwolf Log Chalets • Coram • $$

A bed and breakfast consisting of 10 individual log cabins, the Silverwolf Log Chalets are only a few minutes from West Glacier. Each chalet has an ensuite bathroom and breakfast is included.

Lake 5 Cabin • West Glacier • $$$$

Located right on the shores of Lake Five, this is a perfect cabin for those who want to swim, fish, or take out the boat. The cabin is fully equipped, including both a full kitchen and an outdoor grill. It sleeps up to seven people across three bedrooms, including one with three single beds if you plan on bringing the kids.

Great Northern Resort • West Glacier • $$

With both cabins and lodge rooms available for guests, Great Northern Lodge is one of the best adventure resorts in Montana. You can book inclusive packages that feature excursions like fishing, hiking, and white water rafting.

Glacier Highland • West Glacier • $$

A cozy, mountain-view hotel, Glacier Highland has an onsite restaurant known for its huckleberry pancakes. Conveniently, there’s also a small shop and a gas station on the property making it super for those who just passing through.

Duck Lake Cabin • St. Mary • $$$

A two-bedroom rustic home on the south end of Lower St. Mary Lake, the Duck Lake Cabin is perfectly located for quick access to the east end of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Glacier Park Lodge • East Glacier Park Village • $$

Originally built by the Great Northern Railway, the Glacier Park Lodge is one of the most cherished, historic locations within Glacier National Park. It’s right across the street from the East Glacier Amtrak station, so it’s super convenient for those taking the Empire Builder to Glacier National Park.


The Garrison Inn • Kalispell • $$

A boutique lodge in Kalispell, the Garrison Inn has three comfortable rooms all with ensuite baths. Breakfast is included in your stay, and dinner with cooking lessons can be arranged in advance.

Wonderstone at Glacier • Columbia Falls • $$$

An ultra-modern, Alpine-inspired take on a Montana lodge, the Wonderstone at Glacier has taken particular care with the property’s design. Rooms range from basic doubles to suites, and the property features an onsite restaurant.

Grouse Mountain Lodge • Whitefish • $$

With guest rooms inspired by Montana’s many log cabins, the Grouse Mountain Lodge aims to make you feel right at home. They have a number of amenities that other nearby properties lack, like an outdoor fire pit, a hot tub, an indoor pool, and a sauna.

There is an onsite bar and grill as well as a coffee shop in the lobby that opens at 7:00 am. They also have free WiFi throughout the property.

Glacier Peaks Hotel • Browning • $$

While it may seem sparse compared to the more gimmicky lodges nearby, the Glacier Peaks Hotel is comfortable, modern, and affordable, especially considering the amenities they provide.

WiFi, satellite television, and air conditioning are available in every room, and the property features an indoor pool, a hot tub, a gym, and a launderette. Guests receive a free breakfast every morning.

Check out full listings of Hotels, Cabins and Lodges you can stay at in the Glacier National Park Region.

Going to the Sun Road Tours

going-to-the-sun road tours

Whitewater Rafting Trip

Embark on a whitewater rafting trip that combines calm floating with class II-III whitewater rapids. Enjoy views of Glacier National Park and a barbeque lunch along the riverbank.

Winter Snowshoe Rentals

If you’re coming in the winter, you’re not going to be able to take your car very far along the Going-to-the-Sun Road. If you want to venture deeper into the park when there’s snow on the ground, your best bet is on a pair of snowshoes. You can easily rent them instead of purchasing your own for a single-use.

Sun Tours

Owned and operated by life-long residents of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, Sun Tours aims to introduce visitors to the splendors of Glacier National Park through the lens of the original stewards of these lands. Your tour will be infused with important historical information about the region and some plant identification.

Red Bus Tours

A distinct part of the history of the park, Red Bus Tours’ fleet of 33 vintage busses has been introducing tourists to Glacier since the mid-30s.

These original vehicles hold 17 people at a time, and though quarters are tight they are fitted with roll-back tops so attendees can get the most of the experience.

Wild River Adventures

Based out of West Glacier, Wild River Adventures offers whitewater experiences on the Flathead River. They provide fully customizable rafting trips for groups of almost any size.

Glacier Raft Company

Montana’s longest-running rafting outfitter, the Glacier Raft Company offers rafting and fishing tours along the flathead river, as well as maintains a handful of well-appointed cabins.

Swan Mountain Outfitters

A family-owned adventure tourism company, Swan Mountain Outfitters offers guided horseback tours through Glacier National Park.

Things To Note Before Your Trip

going-to-the-sun road

  • The Going-to-the-Sun Road was created to connect the west and east sides of Glacier National Park by a single thoroughfare.
  • You will need a park pass to enter Glacier National Park. You can purchase a 7-day pass for a single visit, or invest in an annual pass. Your entry to Glacier National Park is also covered by an Inter-Agency National Parks Pass.
  • Glacier National Park – along with all national parks – are free five days a year: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the first day of National Park Week, the anniversary of the Great American Outdoors ActNational Public Lands Day, and Veterans Day.
  • If you plan on traveling along the Going-to-the-Sun Road between 9 am and 5 pm, you will need to have a ticket with a timed reservation. While the ticket is free, the reservation will cost $2 to make.
  • To avoid accidents and injuries, be sure to follow all posted speed limit signs as well as any additional instruction provided by the park’s service.
  • Parking, especially at Logan Pass, can fill up very quickly each morning. You may want to consider utilizing one of the park’s shuttle services to take you to and return you from your favorite trailhead.
  • Both black and Grizzly bears live in Glacier National Park. When you can, hike in groups, make plenty of noise, and always carry a can of bear spray just in case.
  • Most of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed in the winter and is only fully open between roughly the beginning of July and the third week of October.

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About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with travel a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than hitting the road in his self-build campervan and visiting off-the-beaten-path places, away from popular tourist destinations.

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