Logan Pass West Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

6.1
FIETS
10.8 mi
DISTANCE
3,163 ft
GAINED
5.4 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Bruce Hamilton, La Quinta, CA, USA; Stacy Topping, Tacoma, WA, USA.

INTRO

"One of the most difficult climbs in the state of Montana, the west side of Logan Pass is located within spectacular Glacier National Park in the far northern part of the state near the border with Canada. The route, also called the Going to the Sun Road, clings to the side of the rugged mountain range over much of its route as it heads up to the obvious summit. Never particularly steep, the grade is however fairly solid overall and a bit steeper over the 2nd half of the ascent. Near the very top the slope eases a bit as you approach the scenic pass. Spend some time in the high country here if at all possible. Going to the Sun Road receives multiple feet of snow each winder..." (This quote is presented with the approval of John Summerson, from his book, The Complete Guide to Climbing (by Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 188.)
This climb is about beauty, not grade. The average grade is 5.4% (6% with descent removed).  The bulk of the climb is in the 0-10% range: 38% (4.1 miles) is at 0-5%, 44% (4.8 miles) is at 5-10%, 9% (1 mile) is at 10-15%, and a fraction at ≥10%.  The steepest quarter-mile is 9.4%, and steepest continuous mile 7%.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via the “Profile Tool” button.
Roadway;  Excellent condition.  You can check roadway conditions at nps.gov - road conditions.

Traffic:  Lighter in the morning but can be heavy as early as 8 a.m. in the peak months. 

Traffic Restrictions:  Bicycles are prohibited on certain parts of the road from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 15 through Labor Day (See Full Summary for more details).

Fee:  There will be a fee to enter the park on a bike - $15 as of 2020.  Here is a link to up to date fee information.

Parking:  If you are staying at the Lake McDonald Lodge (Map; Street View) you can ride 10 miles to the start.  Otherwise, there are parking areas along the road before the start of the climb where you can park.  Here is one close to climb start - MapStreet View
Provisions:  None along the way.  There may be water at the Visitor Center at the finish but probably no food. 
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
Consider riding Logan Pass West as an out-and-back with Logan Pass East - this is a 35 mile 5,000' ride (map).  There are options to stay in West Glacier, MT which is close to this climb.  There are many wonderful cabin rentals near the park too!

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Logan Pass West, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park - cyclist Bruce Hamilton wears PJAMM Cycling Jersey and stands along low stone retaining wall on Logan Pass West, sharp mountains in background, fog covering much of center-ground

PJAMM’s Bruce Hamilton on Logan Pass West (Going-to-the-Sun Road).

Thanks for the LPW write up Bruce!!

A US Top 10 Most Scenic Cycling Climb

Haystack Creek near the climb start.

Cycling Logan Pass West, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park  - bike parked along side of road overlooking sharp and steep mountain peaks, fog in center-ground

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 National Park is the tenth most visited of the 62 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.

Cycling Logan Pass West, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park - roadside overlooking sharp, steep mountain peaks shrouded in fog

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 of the park, PJAMM Cycling has stayed in Whitefish and Kalispell.

Cycling Logan Pass West, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park -  bike parked next to road sign for 6% grade for the next 11 miles

Climb Summary by Bruce Hamilton of La Quinta, California:

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).

Cycling Going to the Sun Road - Logan Pass - bicycle leaning against guardrail, clouds mountains, forest

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 6:30am 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 in June 2019 with cloud formations changing constantly as we climbed. This is not a difficult climb by PJAMM Cycling standards, but it’s top notch on the scenery list.

Cycling Logan Pass West, Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park - wet portion of straight roadway, water runoff on wall alongside road, sharp, steep mountain peeks in distance shrouded in fog 

Cycling Going-to-the-Sun Road West

Ride 10.8 miles gaining 3,163’ at 5.4% average grade.

Bicycling Going to the Sun Road - Logan Pass - PJAMM Bruce Hamilton and Stacy Topping at the pass and continental divide

PJAMMers Stacy Topping and Bruce Hamilton at Logan Pass.

Thanks much for the photos and contribution team!

Visit our Glacier National Park page for more information.