Glacier Park scenic trip

 

Take beautiful photos on the Glacier Park Scenic drive

On

The Going to the Sun Highway
156 to 240 miles

On this tour you will brave the hairpin turns and dizzying vistas of historic “Going to the Sun Road” to cross the Continental Divide and reach Glacier’s wild, alpine highlands. This highway, completed in 1932, is a National Historic Landmark and an awe-inspiring feat of engineering. As you climb you will truly feel like you are “going to the sun.” You will be inspired by the beauty around you, the clear, sparkling quality of the air, and the clean, icy waterfalls splashing down the rocky mountainsides above you.

Bring your camera and binoculars. Keep an eye out for mountain goats and other wildlife. Be sure to stop at the Logan Pass Visitor Center to learn more about the rugged, alpine world surrounding you.

Photo of Mountain Goat in Glacier park
Mountain Goat

You will get the most out of this tour if you plan to stop frequently and stretch your legs . Visit historic Lake McDonald Lodge and spend some time at McDonald Creek Falls. Bring some good walking shoes and hike the nature trails you find along the way, like the “Trail of the Cedars” at Avalanche Creek. Many of the trails are quick to accomplish and not too strenuous. Walking them will give you an intimate, interactive awareness of Glacier Park and its incredible, beautiful diversity. Each of the trails has uniquely inspiring qualities from the ancient cedar forest at Avalanche Creek, to the polished, sinuous curves of the rock walls at Avalanche Gorge, and the high mountain drama of Logan Pass’s “Hidden Lakes Trail.” Be sure to talk to our Whitefish KOA staff for personalized tour recommendations based on your specific needs and interests.

Photo of McDonald creek Falls, Glacier National  Park
McDonald Creek falls

ln 1932, Glacier National Park was linked with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park to form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the first of its kind in the world. This status of shared stewardship between nations manifests the ideal that peoples of the world can set aside their differences to work cooperatively for the well being of all life. Glacier Park is important to science, protecting one of the largest, most intact, and biodiverse ecosystems in the lower 48 states. Because of this, in 1979, the United Nations designated Waterton-Glacier the world’s first International Biosphere Reserve. In 1995, UNESCO further recognized the park’s international importance by designating it a World Heritage Site.

The beautiful and diverse lands that comprise Glacier National Park have always been sacred to the Blackfeet Tribe and other indigenous nations. They are no less sacred today.

 

Glacier park photo
At Logan Pass

Note : Because of the steep winding roads, motorhomes, trailers and other vehicles over 21 feet long (Including bumpers) or 8 feet wide (including mirrors) are prohibited.

The largest vehicles on the road will be part of Glacier’s historic fleet of canvas-topped, convertible tour buses. These bright red “jammer” buses provide commercial tours of “Going to the Sun” and other highways and attractions throughout Glacier Park.

Your Route for the Trip: 

26 miles

  • From the Whitefish KOA Kampground go north 2 miles on US Highway 93. At the flashing light turn east on Montana Highway 40, which merges into US Highway 2. Travel through Columbia Falls and on to West Glacier. Turn West off US Highway 2 at West Glacier to enter Glacier National Park. You will have to pay a small entrance fee if you don’t have a park pass.

50 miles

  • Drive the Going to the Sun Highway to St. Mary, Montana. Stay on the lookout for those special stopping places where you have the opportunity to get out of your car and meet Glacier face to face.

 

Photo of Many Glacier Hotel
Many Glacier Hotel

 

If You Want to See More Before You Return

39 miles

  • At St. Mary turn north on US Highway 89 to Babb, Montana and turn off to the west to visit Many Glacier Hotel in its panoramic setting. Built on the shores of Swiftcurrent Lake in 1914-15, this hotel was modeled after the chalets of Switzerland. Take the time to go in and marvel at its historic log construction.
  • Return to St. Mary

Return Route Option 1

76 miles

  • Return to the Whitefish KOA Kampground the same way you came over the Going to the Sun Highway.

Return Route Option 2

112 miles

  • From St. Mary, take US Highway 89 south to Kiowa Junction. From there take Montana Highway 49 to East Glacier and then go west on US Highway 2. This route will provide you with more spine tingling views of austere, crazy peaks from narrow winding roads (in case you still have not had enough.) Actually, this is one of the prettiest highways in Montana.
  • Alternatively, stay on 89 to Browning and go west on Highway 2 from there. This is an additional 13 miles but is less mountainous. It also provides an opportunity for a fascinating visit to The Museum of the Plains Indians in Browning, operated by the Blackfeet Tribe.
  • Once on Highway 2 : Travel back to Montana Highway 40. Take that road for 5 miles to US Highway 93 and go South 2 more miles to your home base at the KOA Kampground.

 

 

 

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