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Formerly Glacier Treks Outdoor Adventures

Biking Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park

Updated: May 2

Spring is a magical time in Glacier National Park and no better time for biking Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. As the snow starts to melt and the park awakens from its winter slumber, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, a breathtaking 50-mile stretch that traverses the heart of the park, becomes an adventure waiting to happen. While the road is closed to vehicles until late June due to snow and maintenance, spring offers a unique opportunity to experience the park in solitude and serenity. It’s important to time it just right, so you avoid snow and also avoid tourist cars.


In 2023, the road opened to the top (Logan’s Pass) on June 13. It usually opens in late June each year. The road has become more and more accessible to all individuals with the increased access to e-bikes. Everyone can come and have a wonderful time.




 

Solitude and Peace

One of the biggest draws to cycling Going-to-the-Sun Road in spring is the smaller crowds.. With the road still closed to vehicle traffic, you'll have this stunning natural wonderland without road noise or exhaust. The only sounds you'll hear are the gentle flow of mountain streams, the chirping of birds, and the wind in your ears as you ride. This unique experience is a stark contrast to the road's summer days when it's bustling with cars and tourists.


Biking Going-to-the-Sun Road initial mileage by McDonald Creek
McDonald Creek, biking Going-to-the-Sun Road

The beginning of the ride is a gentle climb along MacDonald Creek for a few miles.



 

Wildflower Spectacle

Wildflowers in Glacier National Park, Trillium grandiflorum, Indian Paintbrush
Wildflowers bloom by Logan Pass

Spring is the season when Glacier National Park's wildflowers bloom, painting the landscape with vibrant colors. As you pedal along the road, you'll be treated to a spectacular show of nature's beauty. The meadows come alive with blossoms of Indian paintbrush, glacier lilies, and countless other wildflowers.



These blooms against the still snowy peaks is a sight to behold and a photographer's dream.


 

Wildlife Encounters

Glacier National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and spring is an excellent time for spotting them. Grizzly bears, black bears, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep are all known to frequent the area. With fewer people around, your chances of observing these guys in their natural habitat are significantly higher during the spring. DON’T forget your bear spray!


 

Epic Snowy Landscapes

While the lower elevations may start to show signs of spring, the higher sections of Going-to-the-Sun Road remain blanketed in snow. These snowy landscapes make for unforgettable photo opportunities, but for a cold descent. Bring gloves for your ride down!


Tunnel on the West Side of Going-to-the-Sun road, view of Heavens Peak
West Side Tunnel View of Heavens Peak

Ideal Weather

Spring in Glacier National Park offers moderate weather conditions for cycling. The temperature is generally comfortable, with cool mornings and warmer afternoons. The risk of extreme heat is minimal, and you won't have to contend with summer's notorious crowds and traffic jams.


Road Safety

In spring, the road is closed to vehicular traffic not only because of snow but also for maintenance and repairs. This means the road is in excellent condition for cycling, and you won't have to worry about navigating around cars but you should be aware of avalanche danger! Park authorities work diligently to clear the road for cyclists, making your ride as smooth as possible.


 

TIPS for Planning Your Ride

Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road in spring requires a bit of preparation, adding an element of

adventure to the experience. You'll need to be equipped with the right clothing and gear.


Here are some important tips to remember for properly planning your trip:

1. ALWAYS PACK BEAR SPRAY. I have seen grizzly bears off to the side of the road most times I have biked the road in the spring.

2. Be ready for rain, snow or heat. I have gotten to the top dripping with sweat only to freeze

in a rainstorm on the way down. Be aware of the weather forecast, but you can pretty much

count on needing gloves for your cold hands on the way down. You will be biking through

puddles, so remember to dress accordingly.

3. Bring plenty of water and food. The elevation climb is about 3,200 ft. That’s almost ¾ mile

straight up.

4. Plan where to put your car. You can park at the Avalanche Creek parking lot or take a shuttle

from the Apgar Visitor Center to the Avalanche Creek parking lot.

5. Plan your time. If you park at the Avalanche Creek parking lot and bike to Logan Pass, it’s

about 16 miles in one direction and then 16 miles back. I will tell you that one of the directions

of your ride will be significantly faster than the other!

6. Check the road status here. The last thing you want to do is plan your trip before the road is

open to the top and you have to turn around at the Loop-although it is a great stop for a picnic.

However, it’s just past half way up. When you hit the Loop, you have 7.7 miles left to go.

7. Make sure you have a permit to enter Glacier National Park on the day you wish to bike.

Permits can be reserved here.

8. Remember to have FUN!


Biking Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park


Having a Blast on Going-to-the-Sun Road, Heaven's Peak
Having a Blast on Going-to-the-Sun Road


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