Glacier National Park 9: Going-to-the-Sun-Road

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Toward the end of my stay at Glacier National Park last September, I had to travel from St. Mary, on the east side of the park, to Apgar, on the west side, in order to make the two day trip back to the northcoast of California over the narrow timespan of a solitary weekend. This meant driving the whole length of Going-to-the-Sun-Road, which happens to be both a National Historic Landmark and a Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, all 52 miles of it. I began in St. Mary, driving through the east entrance into Glacier National Park. Shortly thereafter the road swings by the St. Mary River:

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Then the road courses along immense St. Mary Lake, shadowed by towering heaps of mountains:

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This year a large section of Going-to-the-Sun-Road had been ripped up for construction purposes, so it was essentially a dirt road heading up into the teeth of the mountains:

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Also splashes of fall color could be seen along road and up the steep, forested mountains:

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Past St. Mary Lake you come to Jackson Glacier. Not much to look at, but this is Glacier National Park. Got to see a bonafide glacier before you leave:

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The road goes another five miles or so to Logan’s pass, where we found ourselves even closer to the over hanging clouds and rapidly moving mists that choked the peaks along the Continental Divide:

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Then it was time to come down on the western side, which is longer, steeper, with more curves:

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Past miniature waterfalls:

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And towering peaks touching the overhanging clouds:

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Once road has descended all the way to the valley floor below, it follows McDonald Creek:

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And then on to Lake McDonald and Apgar!