July 6, 2007

Driving a National Historic Landmark.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road:
[E]ven without avalanches, and with numerous stout guardrails, the trip can be nerve-wracking. The drop-off is steep, and it can cause palm sweat or a slightly pounding pulse.
I've done drives like that. And I'm thinking of doing this one too.

14 comments:

MadisonMan said...

I recall, on a camping visit to Glacier in 1983, waking to an iron grey cloud cover, but deciding to drive up Going-to-the-Sun road anyway. Halfway up we broke through the clouds to see clear blue skies above and fog-filled valleys below. What a view! Literally Going-to-the-Sun road that day.

MadisonMan said...

I should add that if you do go to Glacier, but you don't hike or ride to Sperry Chalet for Cherry Pie, well then you've missed a great piece of pie.

vet66 said...

Always trust Silvio and a good set of tires! Wear driving gloves to take care of the sweat.

Also, never drive to the light on the Going-to-the-sun highway!

Mike said...

You'll love it.

Karl said...

I second MM on the Cherry Pie; you'll never taste another like Flathead Lake cherries. They were like heaven in the early 80's before most of the trees were killed by a sudden frost...from what I'm told the remaining trees have been well tended and are returning to form.

-kd

Bruce Hayden said...

I must admit, growing up driving mountain highways, that I was somewhat unimpressed by the danger of that highway. Besides, in the summer, you are unlikely to be able to fast enough due to the rest of the traffic, esp. RVs and gawking tourists to get in trouble.

My clearest memory of the highway was meeting a group of mountain goats on top most every time we went over. The goats seemed to not understand cars, and would just wander out in the middle of the highway at random. Of course, everyone stopped and took their pictures, which is probably why they didn't seem to feel threatened by all the cars.

It is very pretty, just not anywhere near the scariest mountain road that I have ever driven.

lee david said...

I did the Going to the Sun road on my motorcycle a few years ago on my way up to Banff and Lake Louise in Canada. Because of the spectacular views, this road is the most memorable of all that I have traveled, and I have traveled a few. To do it up right, you need to plan it so that you can go over and then turn around and go back the other way to see it all. I can't recommend it enough.

Sigivald said...

A twisty, two-lane road with cliffs on both sides?

So, like every US Highway through the mountains in the West?

I take it the Times writers don't get west of the Mississippi very often, except maybe to fly to LA.

(When there's no guardrail and it's a dirt road, you can talk to me, okay? Been there, done that.)

Karl said...

Scariest road I've driven is Independence Pass, just SE of Aspen, CO. It was snowing, and it didn't help that occasionally the white line denoting the edge of the road was missing because that part had tumbled down the cliff.

-kd

amy said...

you should definitely go, Glacier rocks. like others have said, the road is not that scary, esp. in summer. try a bus careening around mountain roads in costa rica that don't have a guardrail. now THAT is scary.:)

Brad V said...

Be sure to make the short hike over the continental divide from the visitor's center at Logan Pass. The alpine vistas are stunning. There's generally a bit of snow on the trek even in summer clinging to the old St. Clement icefield.

Mountain goats wandered around us amidst the stunted conifers, glacier lilies, and mountain tarns.

One of the most beautiful, transcendent places in America.

Eli Blake said...

I loved Glacier when I was there in 1987.

But go sooner rather than later. The Glaciers that gave the park its name have been receding rapidly, and by now many of them are gone.

Paco Wové said...

Guardrails? We don't need no stinkin' guardrails.

RHodnett said...

Scary driving? Not so much, but road and weather were good when I was there in August 1997. Breathtaking scenery? Absolutely.