Amazing Auto Tour Glacier NPS – Going to the Sun Road
Going to the Sun road is easily the most scenic drive in the country. Starting from the West Glacier entrance, the road follows Lake McDonald’s length, affording views of the biggest lake in GNP and the mountains surrounding it. After Lake McDonald, the road follows a river upstream, where the water is so clean and pure that it sparkles a cool turquoise hue. Trees and mountains surround us on both sides, while far ahead snow capped mountains peek out from between and above the trees.
Soon, the road leaves the river behind and climbs steeply uphill. The views open up to the deep forested valley below with snowy or bare gray mountains surrounding us. The winding river we left behind is now a thin shiny necklace through the valley. A few more twists and turns, and an especially tight hairpin turn, and the views get more magnificent as our little car chugs along.
In July, the stockpile of snow melting in the heat feeds the majestic waterfalls all across the mountains. Our favorite waterfall is the Weeping Wall, so named for a curtain of water that covers a cliff front. The waterfall comes right down onto the road, splashing cold alpine water into cars if windows are down. If Weeping Wall does not impress you, no problem, there are still plenty of other waterfalls. All around the mountains, tall waterfalls can be seen from afar, tumbling into the valley below.
As we continue driving upwards, we arrive at Logan Pass, the highest point of the road, which sits right along the continental divide. Around Logan Pass, many tourists are milling around taking photos, line of cars are growing due to limited parking space at the visitor center, while mountain goats and big horn rams are idling around oblivious to all the human activity.
Leaving behind the hustle and bustle of Logan Pass, the road starts descending, but the views are no less impressive. The mountains transition from snowy, to bare rocks, to thick evergreen forest and some charred forest, before climaxing at Saint Mary Lake at the end. The lake is peaceful and beautifully surrounded by picturesque mountains and deep blue skies. If you visit the lake early in the day before the wind barrels through the valley, the lake is mirror smooth, reflecting the mountains in the water. We find ourselves coming back to this lake often, sitting on the cliff at Sun Point, silently basking in the sunlight, taking in the mountains, air, lake, sky and everything that makes this place magical.
Priscilla Schmidt : @pristye