The Logan Pass Visitor Center sits at the summit of Logan Pass, the highest point of the Going-to-the-Sun Road which straddles the Continental Divide in Glacier National Park.
Home to fascinating exhibits highlighting the local flora and fauna, the Visitor Center is a must for anyone trekking through the pass.
How Do You Get to the Logan Pass Visitor Center?
Logan Pass is centrally located in Glacier National Park. Guests can easily reach the Visitor Center by car by traveling via Going-to-the-Sun Road, which happens to be one of the park’s major highlights.
The summit is located around 32 miles (51.5 km) from the West Entrance of the park and 18 miles (28.9 km) from the St. Mary Entrance. It doesn’t matter which entrance you begin at, as both will give you access to the famous road, which is the only one that cuts across the park.
The Logan Pass Visitor Center is approximately an hour’s drive from the St. Mary Visitor Center and an hour and a half’s drive from the Apgar Visitor Center.
Is There Anything to Do at the Logan Pass Visitor Center?
Logan Pass itself is rich in wildlife and boasts some of the most outstanding natural beauty in the country. But the Visitor Center is worth a stop on any itinerary as it offers a range of educational exhibits and other things to do.
The displays, which are located both inside and outside the building, are the largest drawing point for the Visitor Center. They typically educate visitors about the plants and animals found in the subalpine region of the park—some of which visitors may witness for themselves as they explore the area.
There are also exhibits at the Visitor Center that chronicle the geology of the area, life in the alpine environment above the treeline, and the effect of climate change on the park.
Many of the exhibits are interactive, offering an ideal opportunity for park guests of all ages to learn about the local ecosystem. Some even contain animal remains and taxidermy.
Ranger-led activities are periodically held at the Visitor Center, and tickets to these activities are sold there too. Park guests can enjoy unique programs like the Logan Pass Star Party, where they’ll have the chance to gaze through telescopes at the infinite stars in the Big Sky.
The Visitor Center also hosts drop-in programs that include ranger talks, where rangers hold information sessions and discussions about important issues, such as the disappearing glaciers in the park and their effect on the park’s ecosystem.
The Logan Pass Visitor Center is a starting point for the Highline and Hidden Lake trailheads. Due to the abundant stunning scenery of Logan Pass, these are some of the most popular trails in the park.
The trail to Hidden Lake begins behind the Center, first appearing as a boardwalk so the native plants are protected from human footsteps.
Visitors often stop to admire the carefully designed architecture of the Visitor Center building, which is made of stone to withstand the severe weather that occurs in winter.
If nothing else, the Visitor Center offers a brilliant vantage point from which to admire the sublime scenery and wildlife roaming the area, including white mountain goats wandering near the Center and, sometimes, grizzly bears.
What Amenities Are at the Logan Pass Visitor Center?
Aside from offering a selection of entertaining activities, the Logan Pass Visitor Center is also a necessary stop for many park guests because of the amenities and facilities available there.
Visit the desk for help with planning your itinerary in the park, as the staff can provide information on everything from the best trails to explore to camping spots to how to deal with wildlife encounters.
The Visitor Center has a parking lot, however, this tends to fill up almost instantly in the morning. But guests can organize to use the shuttle service from the Visitor Center, as well as purchase tickets or book admission to a variety of events taking place in the park.
Of course, the Visitor Center provides restrooms, which can be difficult to come by in the park, as well as a water fountain and water-bottle-filling stations. There is also a bookstore on site where visitors can access a range of relevant books.
When Was the Logan Pass Visitor Center Built?
The Logan Pass Visitor Center was constructed during the Mission 66 Park Facilities Improvement Program. The construction documents were first drafted between 1960 and 1962, and the Center was finally built-in 1966.
The Mission 66 influences in the architecture of the Center are obvious today through elements such as the signature sloping roof, the glulam timber construction, and the native stone.
Tips for Visiting the Logan Pass Visitor Center
- The Logan Pass Visitor Center is free to enter after the park entrance has been paid.
- The Logan Pass Visitor Center is usually open from mid-late June through September and remains closed for the winter period.
- During peak season, the Logan Pass Visitor Center is open every day, operating from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The park itself remains open 24 hours a day.
- Logan Pass is one of the most crowded locations in Glacier National Park. It’s best to arrive early, before 7:30 a.m., or visit later in the afternoon, after 3:30 p.m., to beat the crowds. The parking lot often fills to capacity early in the morning and, unfortunately, reserving a spot online is not available.
- If you aren’t able to secure a park in the parking lot, parking is also available relatively close at the Sun Point Nature Trail or the St. Mary Visitor Center, from which you can take a shuttle to the Logan Pass Visitor Center.
The Logan Pass Visitor Center is one of the most popular destinations in Glacier National Park, and with good reason. Visitors can access a range of convenient amenities and also enjoy interactive exhibits and ranger-led programs at the Center. Plus, it’s free to enter.
Have you ever been to the Logan Pass Visitor Center? Let us know in the comments below!