Going-to-the-Sun Road (Part 2)
The main developed part of Glacier is traversed by the Going-to-the-Sun Road, widely considered one of the best scenic drives in North America. We cover this amazing road in three sections. Part 2 runs from Lake McDonald Lodge to Logan Pass. It is covered below. Part 1, the section before this one, runs from the West Entrance to Lake McDonald Lodge, as Going-to-the-Sun Road Part 1. For the last part, running from Logan Pass to the East Entrance, see Going-to-the-Sun Road Part 3.
Mile 12.5 – McDonald Falls
There is a small parking area on the left, and a stairway heading down towards the creek. This is the first of three such stairways down to the creek. From this one is a good view of McDonald Falls.
Mile 12.9 – Sacred Dancing Cascade
The second stairway heads down to McDonald Creek. This one goes all the way down to the creek bed. Just upstream is a nice set of cascades known as Sacred Dancing Cascade.
Mile 14.3 – McDonald Creek
The last of three stairways drops down to McDonald Creek. Large expanses of stone along the creek allow walking alongside the crystalline waters.
Mile 16.3 – Avalanche Area
The road passes through the Avalanche area. To the right is Avalanche Campground and to the left is the Avalanche Picnic Area. Also in this area is the Trail of the Cedars, and the trail to Avalanche Lake, which first passes by the amazing Avalanche Creek Gorge, shown at the left.
Mile 17.4 – McDonald Creek
On the left is a parking area along McDonald Creek. Large areas of rock along the creek make this a very popular swimming and sunning area in the summer.
Mile 22.4 – Packers Roost Road
An unpaved road to the left leads to the Packers Roost Trail.
Mile 24.2 – The Loop
The road does a 180 back to the right at an area known as The Loop.
Mile 27.1 – Bird Woman Falls view
A sign indicates a distant view of Bird Woman Falls across the gorge from the road. Limited parking is available to stop and take a longer look.
Mile 29.1 – Weeping Wall
The road runs alongside a rock wall that waters streams down. This area is known as the Weeping Wall. The picture to the left is taken from further up the road looking back down. There is nowhere safe to stop along the wall.
Mile 31.7 – Parking Area
A parking area is on the right. A small boardwalk area allows a walking area around this fragile area.
Mile 32.1 – Highline Trail
The Highline Trail leads off to the left of the road. Parking for this amazing trail is at the Logan Pass Visitor Center just ahead.
Mile 32.2 – Logan Pass parking area
The road arrives at its high point at Logan Pass. This is probably the most popular spot in the park, and the parking lot is typically full from mid-morning to mid-afternoon. This is the point at which the shuttles from Apgar transfer to the shuttles going down to Saint Mary. There is a visitor center here, as well as the trail to Hidden Lake. Sightings of mountain goats and bighorn sheep are very common here.
The Going-to-the-Sun Road Continues On
For the last part, running from Logan Pass to the East Entrance, see Going-to-the-Sun Road Part 3.