Scenes Along Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park

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During our Glacier National Park entrance reservation time frame for last week of July and first week of August, we had disappointing smoky skies from the distant wildfires.  Here’s two of the days’ conditions.

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Thankfully, our first day into the park on July 27th was the best day, and the day we drove the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road to Logan Pass and back.  One way distance was 31 miles.

Here’s my series of photos of scenes in the order as shot as we road the side of the mountains and gained elevation into some clearer skies at Logan Pass.  Sorry for so many, it was hard to cut down to these!  😏

Enjoy the ride!

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Here we go, we’ve already climbed some elevetion!

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Heavens Peak (elevation 8,986 ft / 2,739 m)

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Heavens Peak close-up

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Haystack Creek Falls that we are getting ready to drive pass
(a close-up further down)

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Mount Oberlin and Mount Cannon surrounding a glacier remnant that feeds Bird Woman Falls faintly visible falling between them
(bottom right is a river, not the waterfall)

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Looking back at the on-the-edge road we just traveled

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Towards the top of the Bird Woman Falls (shot with my telephoto lens)

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Zoomed in further a small section of the Bird Woman Falls
(I sure do like that name! 😉)

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Cruising along, approaching the Triple Arches Bridge

(This three-span, sixty-five foot long bridge was designed in 1927 as an alternative to a large retaining wall.  It is constructed of reinforced concrete and was built to span deep rifts in the mountainside where the Going-to-the-Sun Road traverses the continental divide, known locally as the Garden Wall.)

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Going-to-the-Sun Road behind us, crossing on right

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We’ve reached Logan Pass!  Elevation 6,646 ft (2,025 m).

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Logan Pass Visitor Center

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Clements Mountain (8,760 ft / 2,670 m)

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Clements Mountain (8,760 ft / 2,670 m)

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Reynolds Mountain (9,124 ft / 2,781 m)

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Garden Wall (and part of the Continental Divide through Glacier National Park)

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Time to follow back the roads we just cruised, shown here along the Garden Wall.
(Note that white pile of snow; we passed it already but it wasn’t on my side of the car…)

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One-third up this photo, note the faint line of a trail across left to right.
Now see next photo…..

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There’s eleven people walking along that trail in this photo!  Yikes!

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Here comes that piece of glacier I mentioned above that broke off and slid down to the road

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Still melting end of July

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Cruising back to the west entrance

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Some of the road was twisting and tight!

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Haystack Creek Falls close-up
(on my side of the road this time!)

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Back down the elevation and into the smoke

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The Going-to-the-Sun Road was a beautiful drive, even a little white-knuckling at times!

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More Glacier National Park posts to come……wildflowers and some small wildlife!

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54 thoughts on “Scenes Along Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park

  1. Just gorgeous, Donna! You got some great images, despite the smoke. “Bird Woman Falls” is a great name, and quite pretty although the Haystack Falls is more intriguing to my eye.

    • Thank you, Ellen! I could still see beauty to capture and that was special to me. It was hard to find open spots at the pullouts, which was frustrating, especially at Haystack Falls, which I loved too! It was quite unique and then ‘riding’ over it, wow! I shot from the car window on the return back, got Rick to slow down to almost stop for me to get a couple shots looking up at it.

  2. If there’s one thing that gives me sweaty palms it’s the thought of driving up mountain roads, coming down no problem.
    Very scenic Donna but rather you than me!

    • Looking at some of these photos tells me that for some, it would be a gut-clenching ride at times. Talk about living life on the edge! Like the abstraction of Heaven’s peak as it gets closer and more detailed. My friend’s car broke down while descending some steep switchbacks this summer, they were able to pull off onto the runaway lane. Very scary.

      • Going down is scary, you’re braking, braking, and then you start hoping your brakes are in excellent shape. I can’t imagine having to use one of those runaway lanes. What’s even an added scare is that many of these scenic roads were built 50+ years ago, and we all know the earth keeps moving ever so slowly for various reasons, including with wildfire aftermath. Re Heavens Peak, I wish I could have captured the moment along the road when the glacier ice on it lit up bright from the sun trying to shine through the smoke, it was so beautiful.

    • My husband has had enough of my scenic drives for a while, lol. He said most of the time, he was watching the road, he couldn’t even see the scenery. Thank goodness I took photos for him to see it too. 🙂

    • Thank you, Hien! My husband was driving, and he was doing the white-knuckling, hehe. To take a quick look, he had to hold on! 😉 Other drivers not paying attention, don’t get me started….. lol

    • Thank you, Deborah, it is a wild ride, as you know! I’m glad I wasn’t driving so I could ooh and aah a million times. I was constantly saying, “oh look!” and my husband would say, “I can’t!” 😉 He tried when he could or if we could find a pullout with a space.

  3. I love to see the mountains, valleys, also falls and open vast areas. You have captured the spirit of the mountains in your pictures. Thanks, Donna.. 🙂

    • Thank you very much, HJ, so happy to share these with you. I think I have oohed and aahed a million times this summer seeing our country’s gorgeous beauty. And there is so much more to see. Picking where to go can be hard! 🙂

    • Yes, it does! lol I had looked up the elevation of the mountains I knew I photographed and these here I shared are all hiked to the top. I read some diary accounts and thought of you, Mike. I liking hearing all about them from my armchair. I’d be so afraid of slipping!

    • Thank you, Tanja! Me too, so glad I could capture some of how it was with the ongoing devastating fires further west. It will be a memory for sure. Sad, but I’m happy I could find the beauty the park famously bestows. 😊

    • Thank you, Patty Anne! It was a long time dream of ours to visit and we finally made it. We’d like to return again, but next time go in late May/early June, before the wildfire season gets going, to avoid the chance of smoke. 🙂

  4. Great series, Donna. Amazing scenery! Too bad about the smoke and it is kind of sad that GNP is losing its perennial glaciers. CC, and esp. this summer, the heat is formidable.

  5. Beautiful captures!! Glacier National park is one of our favorites national parks. Thanks for sharing, it brings back wonderful memories of our visit!!

    • Thank you, Jyothi! It was gorgeous, even with the smoky skies. Glad to bring back memories for you! We hope to return another year, going to be end of May/early June next time before heat and wildfires begin.

  6. I’ll just call you Bird Woman from now on!
    I think I recognize that pullout in your 1st ‘clear’ shot! 😏
    Such great memories! You brought back the time (1975?) I drove that road in my little VW bug! I don’t think I’d want to be doing it in an RV. 😏 You DO get used to those hairpin roads eventually… if it weren’t for them, you’d be climbing that mountain vertically. It did make my heart ache to see the haze and knowing that the glaciers are disappearing. 😔 But at least you did get to see it! 😊
    Wishing you happy trails and you continue your journey! 👍

    • Sounds good! 😉 I can just see you baja’ing along this road, Gunta! The limit says no longer than 21′ and I think it was 8′ wide. No RV’s but there were a couple big vans that seemed to push the limitation, esp. when you had to pass one. We have my Audi sportscar with us, that made it fun. 😉 We’re almost home now, just a couple more days. We’ve hung back to let the remnants of TS Fred push up through the east coast before us. I am excited to get home, lots to do and grandboys to see! Grandson #3 has been asking Pop Pop for several weeks now to please bring Grammy home. He has really missed me. 🥰

  7. These are spectacular photos! I agree, Bird Woman fits you well 🙂 I love the striations on your cliffs. Looks really cool. I can just imagine you telling your husband to stop the car once in while so you can take these photos hehe 🙂

    • Thank you, Simon! Oh, there were so many amazing views, I just couldn’t stop my ooh’s and aah’s! Oh yes, I got frustrated when we had to pass by several pullouts that had no open parking spots, lol. So I will admit some photos were while he was going slow as he could with no one behind us and I was shooting out my window! 🙂

  8. Breathtaking scenery! I love the Haystack Creek Falls close-up and those eleven people on that trail certainly gives some perspective. I also thought the meadow full of wildflowers was very inviting.

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