Start: St. Mary, Montana
Finish Line: West Glacier, Montana
Length: Around 50 miles.
Not to Miss: The Wild Goose Island Overlook, the park’s most iconic vista.
Driver’s Note: It’s steep and twisty. Best to proceed with caution.
Cross The Great Divide
The Going-To-The-Sun Road is a 50-mile stretch of alpine pavement that traverses Glacier National Park in Montana. Named after the park’s Going-To-The-Sun Mountain, sections of the road are cut into the mountainsides, featuring tunnels and craggy overhangs. The road is both a feat of engineering and an enduring icon; opened in 1932, it has since earned the titles National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark, and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Logan Pass is the road’s highest point at 6,646 feet above sea-level, where the path directly crosses the Continental Divide.
The National Park Service has been continuously maintaining the road since the 1980s, and has a page devoted to its current conditions for those considering the trip. The road is generally open from May to October because, even with the most advanced machinery available, this relatively short path takes over 10 weeks to plow. Frequent winter avalanches have made it impossible to maintain guardrails in some areas, leaving nothing but a sheer cliff bordering the road.
The Sun Road is certainly dynamic, boasting hairpin turns and extreme changes in elevation that may encourage breaking the 25 mph speed limit. However, due to the aforementioned drops, it’s wise to opt for the binoculars over the racing shoes. While the speed constraints may seem disappointing, uninterrupted views of mountains, glaciers, and clear, valley-borne lakes more than make up for the ponderous pace. Grand, untouched wilderness and a plethora of local fauna – mountain goats in particular – fringe the snowcapped mountains to make the Going-to-the-Sun Road one of the most scenic in North America.
The aptly named Going To The Sun Rally and now the Ramshorn air-cooled Porsche rally make good use of this road and provide an opportunity to see the sights in the company of great friends and great cars. If you’re lacking the vintage roadster required to navigate these roads in the proper style, you have two options: take a tour in a Red Jammer – a modernized 1930s bus – or contact Premier Financial Services for a quote on that Porsche Speedster you’ve always wanted.