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The 51-Mile scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is one of the best ways to experience the beauty of the park.

Here are 18 of my favorite viewpoints, scenic short hikes, and best stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road that you can’t miss!

If you are planning a trip to Glacier National Park, then I have a few posts that you should check out to help you with your planning process:

Perfect First Visit to Glacier National Park (8 Things to Know)

Here are my favorite easy hikes in Glacier National Park 8 Fun and Easy Hikes in Glacier National Park (with Stunning Views)

If you are looking for more challenging hikes that will take you to the most stunning places in Glacier then do not miss 9 Most Scenic Hikes in Glacier National Park You Need to Explore 

And, I am sure you are looking for some cool places to stay while visiting Glacier. Make sure to take a look at 10 Best Places to Stay in Glacier National Park (West vs East Side) 

Finally, check out 9 Best Photography Locations in Glacier National Park (+Useful Photo Tips)

And now let’s dive into the best stops on the Going-to-the-Sun Road!

Table of Contents

What Is the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a scenic mountain drive in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park is located in the northern Rocky Mountains in northwestern Montana on the border with Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park. These two parks form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, dedicated in 1932.

Glacier and Waterton Lakes are called the “Crown of the Continent”. They sit on the Continental Divide, the great ridge of the Rocky Mountains, which marks the boundary between the westward headwaters of streams that flow into the Pacific Ocean and the eastward that flow into Hudson Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Going-to-the-Sun Road crosses the Continental Divide through Logan Pass at an elevation of 6,646 feet, which is the highest point on the road.

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

What to See on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is one of the most breathtaking drives in the United States.

Be prepared to be awed!

You will see glacial peaks, lakes, rivers, roadside waterfalls, and gorgeous valleys. The spectacular views are endless and you will be snapping hundreds of photos at every stop and viewpoint.

How Going-to-the-Sun Road Got Its Name

Going-to-the-Sun Road is named after Going-to-the-Sun Mountain which dominates that eastbound view beyond Logan Pass.

Construction on the road started in 1921 and was completed in 1932.

As you are driving along Going-to-the-Sun Road, you really have to marvel at the engineering design and appreciate the efforts that went into building the road.

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

How Long Does It Take to Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is 51 miles long. It takes about 2 hours to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road without any traffic or stops.

However, reserve at least 4-5 hours, if you plan on stopping and exploring along the way.

Keep in mind, that Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the most spectacular scenic drives in the United States, and without any doubt, I would plan on spending the entire day making the stops, enjoying the breathtaking views, and taking the short hikes along the way.

Which Way Should You Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road

The Going-to-the-Sun Road spans the width of Glacier National Park between the west entrance (West Glacier) and east entrance (St.Mary) of the park.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is not a loop. It runs west to east or vice versa. It is the only road that traverses Glacier National Park.

You can start the drive from either the west entrance to the park (West Glacier) or the east entrance (St.Mary). From my personal experience, most visitors stay on the west side of Glacier National Park and start the drive from the west side of the park.

In this post, I will cover all the best stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road starting at the western entrance.

When Is the Best Time to Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road

The Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is one of the most difficult roads in North America to snowplow in the spring! Up to 80 feet of snow can accumulate on top of Logan Pass and even more just east of Logan Pass where the deepest snowfield has been referred to as the Big Drift. It takes weeks to remove all the snow and make the road passable.

With this being the case, the best time to visit Glacier National Park and drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road is between late June and early October. This is usually when the road is open to visitors to Glacier National Park.

You can check the year-by-year openings and closing of the Going-to-the-Sun Road here. Interestingly, the latest opening of the Going-to-the-Sun Road was on July 13, 2011, due to the exceptional snowpack year and continued winter weather through June.

So my recommendation is to plan your visit to Glacier National Park and the best time to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road between July and September. However, be prepared for a lot of company anywhere you go.

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

What Are the Options for Driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road

  • Drive Your Vehicle or Rent a Car

Driving your car or renting a car is the best option to get around Glacier National Park and, for that matter, traveling on Going-to-the-Sun Road. This option is the most convenient and gives you the most flexibility.

Unfortunately, if you are visiting during the summer months, finding a parking spot can be very challenging. My recommendation is to start your day early and have a lot of patience while waiting for a spot to open.

  • Use Going-to-the-Sun Shuttle Service

Glacier National Park offers West and East Shuttle Service that operates on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There are some pros and cons to using the shuttle. Here is what you need to know:

1. West and East Shuttle Service are free (cost included in your entrance pass). You can hop on/hop off at any of the shuttle stops. The shuttle operates on a first-come, first-serve basis. Shuttles are wheelchair accessible and some have bike racks.

2. Going-to-the-Sun Shuttle Service usually operates from July 1st through Labor Day (weather permitting).

3. West Shuttle runs from Apgar Visitor Center to Logan Pass and has 5 stops along the way. It operates 7 days a week from 7 am till 7 pm.

4. East Shuttle runs from St. Mary Visitor Center to Logan Pass and makes 8 stops along the way. It operates 7 days a week from 8 am till 7 pm.

5. To traverse the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road using the shuttle system, you will need to make four transfers along the way at Avalanche Creek, Logan Pass, and Sun Point.

6. Shuttles that run from Apgar Visitor Center and Avalanche Creek and Sun Point and St. Mary Visitor Center have a 28-passenger capacity and run approximately every 30-40 minutes.

7. Shuttles operating between Avalanche Creek and Logan Pass and, then from Logan Pass and Sun Point are small and can only take 12-15 passengers. They run approximately every 15-20 minutes.

8. From my personal experience, the shuttle system is not very reliable. If you have to use it, then be prepared to wait in line for a long time (1-2 hours) until there is an open seat.

Glacier National Park Shuttle System Map

Glacier National Park Shuttle Service Map / Image Credit: NPS / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Shuttle in Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

  • Go with a Tour Company

Sun Tours offers interpretive tours, on air-conditioned 25-passenger window coaches, highlighting Blackfeet culture. Daily service from West Glacier, East Glacier, St. Mary, and Browning during the peak season.

Xanterra Parks & Resorts offers tours in their signature Red Jammers – classic open-air shuttles.

There are some pluses and minuses with going on a tour. Personally, it is not my favorite way of exploring any place. Needless to say, you are stuck with a group of people for several hours (half-day or full-day tours) and limited to pre-designated stops and limited time at each stop. However, going on a tour is convenient, since you do not have to drive yourself and you can just sit and relax and enjoy the scenery.

How Difficult Is It to Drive Going-to-the-Sun Road

In my opinion, it is not difficult to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The road has two lanes. And, yes, it is a narrow, winding mountain road with sharp dropoffs. Here are a few tips for driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road:

  • It is important that you stay alert and cautious while driving. Especially, pay attention around blind curves, as animals and pedestrians often cross the road unexpectedly.
  • Adhere to the posted speed limit which is 40 miles per hour in lower elevations and 25 miles per hour in higher elevations.
  • If you are sharing your car with another driver, then make sure to switch driving a few times to enjoy the spectacular views.
  • My recommendation is to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road from west to east. You will be driving on the outer edge of the road through the portions that are carved into the side of the mountains, making the views even more spectacular and with easier access to pull-offs.
  • If you do not tolerate high elevations well, or just driving on the outer edge of the road is not your thing, then my suggestion is to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road from east to west and you might feel more secure driving by the mountainside.
Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Can You Take RV on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Vehicle Size Limits on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Image Credit: NPS / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Between Lake McDonald and Avalanche Lake, any size or height vehicles can drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Vehicles and vehicle combinations longer than 21 feet (including bumpers) or wider than 8 feet (including mirrors) are prohibited between Avalanche Creek and Rising Sun.

Vehicles over 10 feet in height may have difficulty driving west from Logan Pass to the Loop, due to rock overhangs.

Are There Bathrooms on Going-to-the-Sun Road

There are bathrooms on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. They are located at the three visitor centers along the way at Apgar, Logan Pass, and St. Mary.

In addition, you will find drinking water stations, trip planning information, bookstores, and exhibits.

Can You Drive Going-to-the Sun Road Without a Reservation Ticket

  • Starting in 2022, between May 27th and September 11th, from hours 6 am till 4 pm MDT, you are required to have a reservation ticket to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
  • You can drive on the Going-to-the-Sun Road after 4 pm without a reservation ticket. So, all in all, if you are not able to get a reservation ticket, then make the drive after 4 pm. You will still be able to enjoy the views, do a couple of short hikes and catch a breathtaking sunset.
  • You will not be able to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road before 6 am. There is a nightly closure (10 pm to 6 am) on Going-to-the-Sun Road 1.5 miles north of the West Entrance to Sprague Creek Campground for construction work.

How to Reserve a Pass to Drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road

  • Starting in 2022, between May 27th and September 11th, from hours 6 am till 4 pm MDT, you are required to have a reservation ticket to access the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
  • You can reserve the pass to drive the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Recreation.gov. The pass is valid for 3 consecutive days and costs $2.00. The reservation pass and the park pass are required to enter the Going-to-the-Sun Road.
  • Visitors with service reservations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor do not need a vehicle reservation. If you have camping or lodging reservations, commercial tour, and horseback riding reservations along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, you do need a reservation pass to drive the road. For a complete list of service reservations, check here.
  • Reservations become available 120 days before the day you want to get a reservation and the day before at 8 am MDT.

What to Bring on Going-to-the-Sun Road

  • Appropriate footwear

Trail shoes are great; hiking boots are even better since they offer more support. You’ll want sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with solid traction. Don’t forget to break in your shoes before bringing them to Glacier National Park. Also, do not forget merino wool socks. They will keep your feet dry, and protect you from blisters.

  • Plenty of water

Without enough water, your body’s muscles and organs simply cannot perform as well. Consuming too little water will not only make you thirsty but susceptible to hypothermia and altitude sickness. I have been using Yeti Rumbler 26 oz insulated, stainless steel bottle, and I am highly recommending it!

  • Food

Food will help keep up energy and morale. I like RXBAR. It is a high-protein bar, gluten-free, and it is super yummy! Make sure to get a variety pack to keep it interesting.

  • Rain gear and extra clothing

The weatherman is not always right. Be prepared for unannounced rain or a cold spell. Dress in layers. It will allow you to adjust to changing weather and activity levels. Two rules: avoid cotton (it keeps moisture close to your skin) and always carry a hat. I have had my North Face Women’s Osito Triclimate Jacket for years, and I love it. Also, I am highly recommending these Patagonia moisture-wicking hiking shirts and Patagonia warm fleece pullovers.

  • First aid kit

Prepackaged first-aid kits for hikers are available at any outfitter.

  • Knife

A knife or even better, a multi-purpose tool is always good to have. These enable you to cut strips of cloth into bandages, remove splinters, etc.

  • Protect Yourself from the Sun

If you are hiking in the summer, keep in mind that many trails are unshaded, so it’s important to protect yourself from the sun. Sunscreen is essential, however, a lightweight long sleeve shirt is a must! My favorite are sun shirts by Columbia. Also, it is a good idea to wear lightweight long pants to protect yourself from the sun and bugs!

Wear sunglasses with UV protection. Sunglasses are an important part of your sun-protective wardrobe. When purchasing sunglasses, always look for lenses that offer UV protection.

A wide-brimmed hat is a simple and effective way to cover up your face and neck. When selecting a hat, choose one that has a wide brim, which will protect your ears, as well as your head and neck. Avoid baseball hats or straw hats with holes, as these are not as effective in protecting you outdoors.

  • Apply an effective insect repellent

Insect repellent is an important step against mosquitoes and ticks that can spread diseases like West Nile and Lyme.  When selecting an effective insect repellent, do not look at the brand names, but rather, look at the concentration of the active ingredients. Concentrations of DEET at 25 to 30% are the best to keep you protected.

  • Daypack/backpack

You need something you can carry comfortably and has features designed to keep you hiking smartly. Don’t forget the rain cover; some packs come with one built-in. I have Osprey Daylite Daypack and it is perfect for day hiking.

  • Camera!!!

Glacier National Park is a photographer’s dream! If you are like me, you will be taking hundreds, if not thousands, of photos. The scenery is just breathtaking and constantly changing. I have a Nikon COOLPIX P1000 Super Telephoto Camera that I bought a couple of years ago and I really like it.

  • A spare battery for the camera

Make sure to have a spare battery for your camera. I think there is nothing more frustrating than knowing that you still have half a day ahead of you, yet your camera’s battery is gone.

  • Tripod

If you are taking photos during the golden hour (shortly after sunrise or before sunset) when the light is softer, a tripod is essential for long exposure shots. Also, I like a tripod since it gives me more stability when taking close-ups of wildlife. I have Manfrotto Befree Live Carbon Fiber Tripod with Fluid Head. It is only 3.0 pounds and it fits nicely in my backpack.

  • Binoculars!

If your camera does not have a good zoom, then binoculars are a must. I know that luck will be on your side and you will see a moose, and hopefully a black bear, and what to treat to see them up close.

  • Trash Bag

This will make sure that the trail will stay beautiful for generations to come. A zip-lock bag is a great option as well for keeping the trash you pick up along the trail separate from the rest of your gear.

  • Bear spray

Bear Spray is an essential safety item for hiking in Glacier National Park. If you are flying into Glacier National Park, then keep in mind that you will not able to take it on the plane with you. However, there are plenty of places to buy it once you get to Glacier. If you are driving, then buy bear spray ahead of time to save money.

Where to Stay in Glacier National Park: West Side vs East Side

Finding where to stay in Glacier Nationa Park can be confusing, especially if this is your first visit.

Glacier National Park is a great place to visit and I definitely do not want you to be stressed out figuring out what are the best places to stay while visiting Glacier!

So, here are my favorite 10 best places to stay in Glacier National Park whether you are visiting the west or east side (or both) of this amazing national park.

What Is the Best Part of Going-to-the-Sun Road

Oh, boy! It is so hard to decide what is the best part of the Going-to-the-Sun Road! There are so many spectacular viewpoints along the way. If I had to choose one spot, then my vote would be the Big Bend.

The Big Bend is a curve in the road before you reach Logan Pass Visitors Center, and immediately after you pass the Weeping Wall (if you are going west to east).

It is a great spot to watch the sunset! So make sure to come back to this place and enjoy a golden hour in Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park Going-to-the-Sun Road Map

Going-to-the-Sun Road Map

Glacier National Park Going-to-the-Sun Road Map / Image Credit: NPS / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

16 Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

The Going-to-the-Sun Road starts at Apgar Visitor Center. It is located approximately 2 miles from the West Entrance.

First of all, when you get to the West Entrance, make sure to refuel your vehicle since there are no gas stations inside the park.

Next, visit Apgar Visitor Center and talk to the rangers to get updates regarding weather conditions, road or trail closures, as well as any recent wildlife sightseeing. Check out the bookstore and some exhibits as well.

Finally, stock up on any snacks and water, and use the restroom.

Now, with no further delay, let’s dive into the best stops on the Going-to-the-Sun Road:

Number 1

Lake McDonald Along Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 2

Lake McDonald is the largest lake in Glacier National Park. It is a classic glacial fjord-like lake filling the basin carved out by erosion and Ice Age Glaciers. It is 10 miles long, over a mile wide, and 472 feet deep.

The views of the turquoise waters surrounded by towering mountains in the distance are picture perfect!

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

However, one of the striking features that I am sure you will notice right away is a variety of beautifully colored rocks, stones, and pebbles just below the surface of the crystal-clear water and on the shores of the lake. The colors are amazing and range from yellowish and red to dark red, and from green to blue.

A Quick Read: 

The color of the rocks is determined by the presence or absence of iron. The bright red rocks found along the Grinnel Glacier trail were deposited in a shallow ocean environment where the iron was oxidized by the tidal exposure to the air. Rocks with this coloration often have old ripple marks or ancient mud crack lines.

The rich green-colored rocks were formed in deeper water than the red rocks. Although these rocks contain the same quantities of iron-bearing minerals, they did not have the same exposure to oxygen and the amount of oxidization was limited.

Source: Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park Vicky Spring and Tom Kirkendall:

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park

Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road 

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

There are many access points to the lake on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. And, besides enjoying the views, you can swim in the lake, kayak, or paddleboard.

Glacier Outfitters is a place to get all your rentals. They have single, tandem, child, fishing kayaks, and paddle boards. Also, they rent bikes!

If you like fishing, then Lake McDonald is a good spot. My daughter, who is an avid fisherwoman, likes to fish here. You will find numerous native trout species at Lake McDonald: westslope cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, and bull trout.

While driving along Lake McDonald, you will pass by Sprague Creek Campsite and historic Lake McDonald Lodge.

Lake McDonald Lodge is a 3-story Swiss chalet-style lodge built in 1913 and it is worth a quick stop. It has 82 guest rooms, a rustic dining room, a reading area, and a lounge. It was based on a design by famed architect Kirtland Cutter, whose other works include the Davenport Hotel in Spokane and the Conrad Mansion in Kalispell.

Number 2

Lake McDonald Falls and Johns Lake Loop Trail - Mile Marker 12

Once you reach the end of Lake McDonald, you will get to McDonald Falls.

You can view the falls from the road, however, my recommendation is to take a short and easy loop trail called Johns Lake Loop (the trail is 1.9 miles round trip with an elevation change of about 183 feet) that will not only get you closer to McDonald Falls for better views, but you will also get to visit the Johns Lake and see the beautiful Sacred Dancing Cascade.

Intrepid’s Tip:

The parking area is very small at this stopping point. It can fit no more than 7-8 cars. So, if all the spots are full, then, do not despair and proceed to the next stop, which is Sacred Dancing Cascade Viewpoint. You will be able to see Sacred Dancing Cascade as well as hike Johns Lake Loop Trail from this next location as well.

Johns Lake Loop Trail

Johns Lake Loop Trail / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Looking for more easy hikes in Glacier National Park that are perfect for beginners? Check out:

8 Fun and Easy Hikes in Glacier National Park (with Stunning Views)

Number 3

Sacred Dancing Cascade Viewpoint - Mile Marker 13.5

A short path, right off the Going-to-the-Sun Road, will take you directly to the footbridge where you will be able to catch a pretty good view of the Sacred Dancing Cascade.

The cascade gets its name from the Kootenai phrase which means “a good place to dance” or “where people dance”.

If you were not able to find parking at the last stop and as a result not able to hike Johns Lake Loop, then this is a perfect starting point as well. You can do the loop in either direction. This short and easy trail will take you to Lake McDonalds Falls and Johns Lake.

Johns Lake Loop Trail

Johns Lake Loop Trail / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 4

Avalanche Creek and Trail of the Cedars - Mile Marker 16

Avalanche Creek is one of the most popular stopping points on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There is a campground here, lots of picnic areas, and a trailhead to the Trail of the Cedars and Avalanche Lake.

The Trail of the Cedars is a short and easy hike, on top of that, it is wheelchair accessible. The trail is a loop and you can do it either way. Most people start on the east side and continue along a raised boardwalk. The trail will take you through a forest of ancient western cedars.

Trail of the Cedars in Glacier National Park

The Trail of the Cedars / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

At about halfway point, you will reach a footbridge over Avalanche Creek and get to enjoy awesome views of the lower Avalanche Gorge.

Just past this section is a junction to the Avalanche Lake Trail. If you are up to it, then hike for no more than 600 feet and you will reach a narrow gorge with cascading water. It is a strenuous section, entirely up the hill at a steep incline. However, it is so worth the effort!

Trail of the Cedars in Glacier

The Trail of the Cedars / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Trail of the Cedars in Glacier

The Trail of the Cedars / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

The trail continues to Avalanche Lake. If you are up to it, then I want to encourage you to hike to Avalanche Lake. It will be 2.3 miles from the trailhead before you reach the lake and ahead of you will be a moderate climb to reach the lake.

However, you will not be disappointed, because the views of this gorgeous lake are simply off the charts. It sits in a bowl-shaped canyon surrounded by Bearhat Mountain, Little Matterhorn, and Mount Brown with numerous waterfalls cascading down into the lake.

Avalanche Lake in Glacier

Avalanche Lake Trail / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 5

West Side Tunnel on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 23

Next, the Going-to-the-Sun Road passes through the West Tunnel. It is the first of the two tunnels that you will be going through.

The tunnel was constructed between 1926-1927. This iconic spot features window ports that overlook Heavens Peak and the Upper McDonald Creek Valley.

Immediately past the tunnel, there is a small pullout. It is a perfect spot to take a short break and appreciate the views. Or, you can walk back through the tunnel to peer out of the window ports.

Number 6

The Loop on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 24

The Loop is a giant switchback on the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The view of Heavens Peak standing 8,991 feet high is outstanding from this stopping point.

You will see a lot of hikers at this place. Some going to and some coming back from the Granite Park Trail and Highline Trail, which are, hands down, one of the most popular trails in Glacier National Park. By the way, these trails need to be on your Glacier National Park bucket list.

If you can hike just one trail in Glacier National Park, then make sure it is the Highline Trail. The Loop is a good spot to end this trail, and then catch a shuttle back to Logan Pass. Logan Pass is definitely where you want to start hiking this trail.

We will cover the Highline Trail in more detail, once we get to Logan Pass.

Heavens Peak in Glacier National Park

Heavens Peak on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 7

Bird Woman Falls and Haystack Creek Falls - Mile 27 and 28

Bird Woman Falls and Haystack Creek Falls are two of the tallest waterfalls in Glacier National Park.

You will be able to see majestic Bird Woman Falls from different angles as you are driving on the Going-to-the-Sun as they drop 560 feet from the north face of Clements Mountain.

Once you reach Haystack Creek Falls, you will be able to drive under them as there is an arch built over the road to allow the water to continue cascading down the mountain.

If you need to take more pictures, there is a small pullout right after you pass the falls.

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Bird Woman Falls and Haystack Falls on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Bird Woman Falls and Haystack Falls on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Bird Woman Falls and Haystack Falls on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 8

The Weeping Wall on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 29

The Weeping Rock is not a stop, but it is worth mentioning since you will be passing by it.

The Weeping Wall is a huge rock adjacent to the Going-to-the-Sun Road that is covered with water that makes it look like it’s weeping.

Depending on when you are visiting Glacier National Park, you might not only see the water soaking the rock but also pretty substantial waterfalls cascading down the wall and flooding the road.

The Weeping Wall in Glacier

The Weeping Wall on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 9

The Big Bend And the View of the Triple Arches - Mile Marker 30

Right after you pass the Weeping Wall, you will reach the Big Bend. It is basically a huge u-shaped turn on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. There is plenty of parking at this place, so you should not have any issues finding a spot.

This is the perfect spot to soak in the views of the mountains surrounding the valley below. You will be able to see Cannon Mountain, Mount Oberlin, Heavens Peak, and Clements Mountain in the distance.

Also, the views of the Going-to-the-Sun Raod as it winds its way up and down the mountainsides are very good at this spot and you can really appreciate this engineering marvel.

The Big Bend on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Big Bend on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Finally, you will get a good view of the famous Triple Arches up ahead, a 60-foot section of road featuring impressive stone masonry supporting the Going-to-the-Sun Road,

Triple Arches on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Triple Arches on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 10

The Oberlin Bend Overlook on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 31

Just before you reach Logan Pass, there is a small pullout for the Oberlin Bend Overlook.

A short boardwalk will take you to the viewpoint. The views of the valley and a dominating Mount Oberlin in the distance are awesome.

Be on the lookout for mountain goats and marmots.

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Mt. Oberlin on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 11

Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 32

Logan Pass is the highest point reachable by a vehicle on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It sits at an elevation of 6,646 feet.

Just heads up, this is one of the busiest spots on the Going-to-the-Sun Road and it gets very crowded, and you might find a parking spot a bit challenging.

All in all, the views are awesome here. So, take a few minutes and enjoy the picturesque views of Reynolds Mountain and Clements Mountain in the distance, along with meadows of wildflowers. Also, the views of the Bearhat Mountian right behind the Logan Pass Visitor Center are stunning!

Next, before jumping back into your vehicle and continuing on the Going-to-the-Sun Road, make sure to take a peek into the Logan Pass Visitor Center, use the restroom, and refill your water bottles.

Logan Pass

Logan Pass / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

I need to mention that two of the most popular hikes originate from Logan Pass: Hidden Lake Overlook Trail and Highline Trail. Both are challenging trails, however, the views along the way are stunning and both of these trails should be on your bucket list of things to do in Glacier National Park.

Number 12

Lunch Creek on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 33

Lunch Creek is a delightful place to stop and take a short break or have a picnic lunch here.

Not only you will get to enjoy the awesome views, but you will have Lunch Creek flowing down the mountain and then right by your side.

Also, this is a perfect spot to see Big Horn Sheep. They like to cross the creek back and forth especially early in the morning and in the evening.

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Lunch Creek / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 13

East Tunnel on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 34

East Tunnel on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is the second tunnel that you will be going through.

It is 408 feet long and it is said that it was one of the more difficult features to accomplish while the Going-to-the-Sun was being constructed in 1932. This structure was entirely built by hand labor instead of powered equipment.

Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier

East Tunnel on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 14

Siyeh Bend and Siyeh Creek - Mile Marker 35

Siyeh Bend is another huge bend in the Going-to-the-Sun Road. It almost feels like you are making a U-turn on the road. This bend marks a transition between high-elevation alpine vegetation and the forests surrounding St. Mary Lake.

You will get to enjoy Siyeh Creek as it rushes down by the Going-to-the-Sun Road, plus the views of the surrounding peaks are stunning here.

Also, two challenging yet popular hikes start at Siyeh Bend: Piegan Pass Trail and Siyeh Pass Trail.

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Siyeh Creek on Going-to-the-Sun Road / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 15

Jackson Glacier Overlook - Mile Marker 38

Glacier National Park is home to 26 named glaciers. Jackson Glacier is the 7th largest glacier in the park.

Jackson Glacier is the only glacier that you will be able to see from the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

There is an interpretative sign at the overlook that talks about climate change and the impact it has on the glaciers. In 1850 Jackson Glacier, along with the Blackfoot Glacier covered 1,875 acres. Since 2005, Jackson Glacier has shrunk to 250 acres.

Jackson Glacier Overlook on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Jackson Glacier Overlook / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 16

St. Mary Falls Trail on Going-to-the-Sun Road - Mile Marker 39

St. Mary Falls Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Glacier National Park and this next stop is where the trailhead to this popular waterfall is located.

St. Mary Falls Trail is a short and easy hike (1.9 miles roundtrip and elevation change of 452 feet) and should be on your list of hikes to do in Glacier National Park.

St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park

St. Mary Falls in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Once you reach St. Mary Falls, you can continue for another 0.8 miles to Virginia Falls, another beautiful waterfall.

However, what I like to do is to park just past St.Mary Falls Trailhead, at Sun Point and start hiking from Sun Point. You will start off with the nature trail, then reach Baring Falls, next to St. Mary Falls, and finish off your hike at Virginia Falls. All in all, it is 6.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation change of 775 feet, however, it is worth the extra time and effort.

Virginia Falls in Glacier National Park

Virginia Falls in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 17

Wild Goose Island Lookout - Mile Marker 43

Wild Goose Island is a tiny, yet a very famous island, located right in the middle of St. Mary Lake. It was featured in the movie “The Shinning” and became an instant hit.

St. Mary Lake surrounded by mountains, with Red Eagle Mountain being one of the most prominent ones, and with Wild Goose Island in the middle of the lake, is an iconic view of Glacier National Park.

Sunsets are pretty spectacular at this viewpoint! So, if at all possible, make sure to come back here and catch a sunset.

Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park

Wild Goose Island in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Number 18

St. Mary Lake and St. Mary Visitor Center - Mile Marker 50

St. Mary Lake is a stunning lake. It is the second largest lake, after Lake McDonald, in Glacier National Park. It is a glacial finger lake at 9.9 miles long with a depth of 300 feet. It sits 1,500 feet higher than Lake McDonald at an elevation of 4,484 feet. In winter, St. Mary Lake is completely frozen up to 4 feet deep.

The views of the lake with Red Eagle Mountain in the distance are breathtaking!

Make sure to check out St. Mary Lake Visitor Center for some interesting exhibits, refuel your water bottles and use the restrooms.

St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park

St. Mary Lake in Glacier National Park / Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Best Stops on Going-to-the-Sun Road

Intrepid Scout's Tips for Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

  • Check for Road Conditions and Closures

Before heading out and venturing on the Going-to-the-Sun Road always check for road conditions and road closures. Check for updates here.

  • Start Your Day Early

If you are using your own vehicle to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, then make sure to get started as early as possible. There are limited parking spots at each stop, viewpoint, or trailhead, and by 9-10 am you will either have to patiently wait for a spot or give up and drive away.

  • Reserve at least 4-5 Hours

Make sure to set aside at least 4-5 hours to drive and make some stops on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. Be prepared for some traffic and lack of parking spots along the way.

  • Visit During the Week

If possible, plan on driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road during the week. Skip driving the road on the weekend.

  • Pack Food and Water 

There are no grocery or convenience stores, and there are no places to eat, so pack your own food and bring plenty of water.

  • Fill up on Gas

There is only one gas station located at West Glacier, so fill up your gas tank before you venture out.

  • There Is No Cellular Service

Do not count on having cell service while inside the park. Make sure to download Google Maps, and make screenshots of your reservation tickets.

  • Carry Bear Spray and Be Bear Aware

If you plan on hiking, then make sure to rent or buy and carry bear spray. While hiking, make noise, talk loud, and clap your hands to let the bears know you are in the vicinity. If possible, do not hike alone and stick with a group of hikers.

  • Above all, be safe!  

Always use the designated turnouts to pull over and take photos. Do not stop in the middle of the road. If you finish your drive late in the evening and end up driving in the darkness, be very cautious driving. Drive slow and be on the lookout for animals crossing the road or jumping on the road.

Looking for some cool mountain quotes for your Instagram pictures? Or, just need some inspiration? Then, check out my post: 371 Ultimate Mountain Captions and Quotes for Instagram (+Mountain Hashtags) 

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Glacier National Park?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process for your trip to Glacier National Park!

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