PJAMM’s Bruce Hamilton on Logan Pass West (Going-to-the-Sun Road).
Thanks for the LPW write up Bruce!!
Cycling the best of the Rocky Mountains, Logan Pass -- Going-to-the-Sun Road, an epic and all-time US cycling climb. This extraordinary climb is located in the heart of Glacier National Park and just shy of Going-To-The-Sun-Mountain which is in the Central Montana subrange of the Rocky Mountains. Glacier NP is the 10th most visited of the 58 national parks with an average of 2,965,000 visitors per year. Cycling is permitted in Glacier National Park, with the following restrictions on Going-to-the-Sun Road per the National Park Service:
For safety and to ease congestion, restrictions are in effect on sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, from June 15 through Labor Day:
From Apgar Campground to Sprague Creek Campground bicycles are prohibited, both directions, between 11 am and 4 pm.
From Logan Creek to Logan Pass east-bound (uphill) bicycle traffic is prohibited between 11 am and 4 pm. Start early! It takes about 45 minutes to ride from Sprague Creek to Logan Creek and about three hours from Logan Creek to Logan Pass.
Lodging: Inside the park, Lake McDonald Lodge has excellent accommodations, or the less upscale option is always camping -- it is a national park afterall. Outside, PJAMM has stayed in Whitefish and Kalispell.
LOGAN PASS WEST
by Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA
The Going-to-the-Sun climb from the west is one of the most scenic in the USA. The “real” climb starts about seven miles past the end of Lake McDonald, but starting lower just leaves more time for warming up and enjoying some stunning scenery. Alternate starting locations are at the east end of Lake McDonald (adds about 400 feet of elevation gain over eight miles) or at the west end of Lake McDonald (adds about 10 more miles along the lake).
Eight mile mark and elevation 5,800’.
The road often does not open until late June and is crowded during summer months. Start early – we started at 6:30 a.m. when the traffic was light and the road was quiet. Traffic will be heavy by the time you are coming back down and bikes are not allowed after 11AM. The grade is a pretty consistent 5-6% and the road condition is generally good. There is often morning fog and the burnoff that occurs later in the morning can make a spectacular climb even more dramatic. We were treated to quite a show on our ride (June 2019) with cloud formations changing constantly as we climbed. This is not a difficult climb by PJAMM standards but it’s top notch on the scenery list.
Cycling Going to the Sun Road West
Ride 10.8 miles gaining 3,163’ at 5.4% average grade.
LOGAN PASS EAST
Logan Pass East
Ride 6.8 miles gaining 1,877’ at 5.2% average grade.
Going-to-the-Sun Road, Saint Mary Lake.
This climb is equally as scenic as the west side, but half the distance. Begin at beautiful Saint Mary Lake (the second largest lake in Glacier National Park, behind Lake McDonald) and ride to the Continental Divide along Logan Pass.
PJAMMers Stacy Topping and Bruce Hamilton at Logan Pass.
Thanks much for the photos and contribution Team!
Visit our Glacier National Park page.