Exploring Glacier National Park's West Side

Glacier National Park is split by the Continental divide, creating two distinct sides, east and west. The west side of the park has a number of unique attractions that you should definitely try to visit when you're out this way. We've listed a few of our favorites below.

If you have any questions, give us a call. We'll be glad to help.

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a 50-mile stretch of highway that spans Glacier National Park. The road starts at the park's west entrance, winds through the park, crossing the Continental Divide at Logan Pass, and ends at the park's east entrance. It was built in 1932 and is listed as a National Historic Place, a National Historic Landmark, and an Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.

The entire route is typically open from early June until the middle of October. Along the route, you have the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including bighorn sheep, mountain goats, and an occasional grizzly bear. You'll also get fantastic views of waterfalls, hanging gardens, alpine lakes, and much more. However, you really have to pay attention when driving Going-to-the-Sun Road: it's narrow, has many tight switchbacks, and is prone to rock slides. Vehicles must be 21-feet long or less and 8-feet wide or less. Certain sections of the road require vehicles to be 10-feet or less in height.

Hiking Glacier National Park

Going-to-the-sun Road is an amazing way to explore Glacier National Park, but the best way to explore is to hike.  Thanks to over 700 miles of trails from strenuous with sweeping views, to relaxed boardwalk trails past waterfalls, there are plenty to choose from to match your skill level and what experience you are looking for. 

Summer and fall are the best seasons to hike in Glacier National Park and the roads are fully open to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road from early to mid-July until mid-October.  You can also take advantage of free shuttle services from July 1 (or whenever Going-to-the-Sun opens; whichever comes first) through Labor Day. The shuttle is wheelchair-accessible, can be caught from the visitor center, and drops passengers off at several trailheads and viewpoints.  Click below to check out the best hikes in GNP.