June 21, 2006
Montana - the Park

More of our Montana Travel Stories & Galleries
On the Road :: Kootenai Falls :: the Bridge :: Big Mountain
West Glacier :: Drive Around the Park :: Saint Mary/Logan Pass

West Glacier, Apgar Village & Going to the Sun Road:
Today was our day to visit Glacier National Park. Our pre-trip research had us anticipating a beautiful ride along the "Going-to-the-Sun Road", a 50 mile bi-way that bisects the park, providing the traveler with stunning, panoramic views of the glaciers. Unfortunately, fate was not on our side. At the entrance of the park was a sign stating that Logan Road was closed due to a rock slide. We were quick to learn that Logan Road = Going-to-the-Sun Road. From this entrance we could only drive less than a quarter of the way along the road; if we wanted to see the rest of the park we would have to take the perimeter drive to the east side.

Not to be deterred, we stopped at the historic Apgar Village for a chance to sit by Lake McDonald while enjoying our morning coffee/tea and wonder at the serene sight before us. As always, Lily, draws lot of attention of many visitors; Lacey and her father were some of those. Lacey was a charming little 18 mo old girl that was simply facinated by dogs. Her father takes advantage of this facination to provide Lacey with learning opportunities on how to greet new dogs. On this morning, Lily was the magnet that drew Lacey's attention. Greeting Lily is nothing new, she welcomes the attention of the people we meet in our travels....she's very much the tourist. what is most interesting about this little greeting is that Lily has a very limited exposure to children -- any children....almost none in fact. As you can see by the pictures, Lacey & Lily became fast friends.

Time to get back in the truck and follow the road up as far as it will take us. Some wonderful river overlooks for Tyree to drool at kayaking opportunities. Lily is once again in the scrapbooks of other people's vacations...LOL...we met up with a couple from Austrailia and Lily just tugged at their memories of the long-gone shepherd of their past that held a special place in their heart. They asked to video her so they could show their friends and family back home.

Long before we were ready it was time for us to turn around to make the perimeter ride to the other side.

From Glacier.National-Park.com: "Going-to-the-Sun Road History- After the creation of the park, the growing staff of park rangers needed housing and offices to help protect the new park. The increasing number of park visitors made the need for roads, trails, and hotels urgent. The Great Northern Railway built a series of hotels and small backcountry lodges, called chalets, throughout the park. A typical visit to Glacier involved a train ride to the park, followed by a multi-day journey on horseback. Each day after a long ride in the mountains, guests would stay at a different hotel or chalet. The lack of roads meant that, to see the interior of the park, visitors had to hike or ride a horse. Eventually, the demand for a road across the mountains led to the building of the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

The construction of the Going-to-the-Sun Road was a huge undertaking. Even today, visitors to the park marvel at how such a road could have been built. The final section of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, over Logan Pass, was completed in 1932 after 11 years of work. The road is considered an engineering feat and is a National Historic Landmark. It is one of the most scenic roads in North America. The construction of the road forever changed the way visitors would experience Glacier National Park. Future visitors would drive over sections of the park that previously had taken days of horseback riding to see."

The Going-to-the-Sun road is the only route in the Park that leads to the Continental Divide. Although it is free of snow and open to vehicles just 3-4 months a year, it is the most popular route through the park.

Please contact the webmaster with questions about this site.
Copyright © 2002-2011, Creative Office Solutions ~wildeoffice, Jacki Wilde. All rights reserved.
All pictures affiliated with this site are products and are secured by copyright and may not be used without written permission of the owner of this site.

last updated: 9/3/11