GOING TO THE SUN ROAD is a must do and see part of Glacier NP. It may be traveled from west to east or from east to west. From the west entrance the road moves east along Lake McDonald and its source McDonald Creek, above (and below) before climbing up nearly 3,000 vertical feet to the summit at Logan Pass.

The arresting color of this pooling spot on McDonald Creek was a peaceful place to stop and enjoy a little lunch before moving on along the GTSR. We have noticed that many visitors tend to race through the national park(s), stopping only for the ‘Kodak’ moments before jumping back into their cars and then onto the next one, rarely taking time to really see and hear what makes these parks so special and it’s a shame. There are so many places to pull out and take a short walk or a long hike and see what cannot be seen from the side of the road.

The views here are spectacular wherever you turn and none more so than the first glimpse of that road as it hugs the face of those peaks soaring above.  Note the tiny vehicles for comparison at the bottom of the photo!

By the time we started up the GTSR the rain and clouds that we left behind at Bowman Lake had caught up to us. As the clouds moved up and east they draped over the mountain tops and peaks to dramatic effect. A bit gloomy for photographing with my limited camera, but not too bad. The photo above looks back down into the valley that we had just come from. This road, completed in 1932 seems to require continued maintenance and reconstruction and it is a narrow (maximum vehicle width is 8 feet), winding. Luckily for us we got an early start and the weather for a Sunday was not optimal so there was little traffic in the eastbound direction.

A little to the left of center  in the distance is a waterfall dropping from a hanging valley. One of many along this road.

Still climbing to Logan Pass.

The east crest of the summit at Logan Pass, elevation 6,646 feet. You can see the road along the face of the mountains in the distance–just a slim little ribbon that we traveled.

At the east end of the road is St. Mary Lake, where we pulled out to look back into the mountains we had just crossed. It was a dark and stormy day…

But, just turning around to my right was East Flattop Mountain and the promise of breaking clouds, blue sky and sunshine to the east and south. And, to paraphrase Cormac McCarthy, we went on.

One more part to the saga and then it’s back to the garden and perhaps one last national park trip as summer comes to a close.

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