This past weekend, I set out to do something I’ve wanted to do for years. For years I’ve wanted to make it to Logan’s Pass while biking the Going-to-the-Sun-Road in Glacier National Park.
Completed in 1932, the Going-to-the-Sun Road, is a 50 mile road through the heart of Glacier National Park. It is one of the hardest roads to plow come Spring, with the elevation at Logan’s pass being 6,646 feet. And while this can sometimes mean the road doesn’t open until early July, it’s a definite bonus for anyone looking to bike or walk the road before any cars are on it.
My friend Jay and I set off early in the morning, trying to get to the top before the peak of the day’s heat was beating down on us. We knew it was going to be a busy day on the road, with the perfect weather, and we wanted to have as much time as we needed to get to the top – all three hours of it. I’ve biked the road a few times, but generally I get a bit past the loop and give up. And while this certainly wasn’t easy, I was determined to get as far as we could. I have not been an avid biker for the past few years, so this definitely proved to be quite challenging. There was plenty of walking (#noshame), and a lot of little breaks.
So you can imagine how bummed out I was that the road wasn’t open to Logan’s Pass yet. I knew there was a good chance it wouldn’t be, so instead of dwelling on it, we enjoyed being surrounded by several feet of snow, eating our lunches on the side of the road, and having some of the most beautiful visibility you can imagine. Sure, I may not have checked that off my bucket list, but that doesn’t mean I can’t try again next year!
If you haven’t biked the Going-to-the-Sun road, here’s what to expect:
- Oh does that area up ahead look flat? It isn’t. This entire road is on a gradual incline.
- Expect to get wet on the way down. By the end of it, I was covered in mud splatters, my entire backside was soaked, and my white rain jacket wasn’t exactly white…..it was awesome.
- Bring gloves – I didn’t, and riding my breaks on the way down (you’re gonna go fast and I am definitely NOT a speed demon), my hands were sore.
- Wear bike shorts, even if you feel stupid or look like a dork, trust me.
- Get there early – parking can be tough at Avalanche Lake, so the earlier, the better.
- Bring water (ahem, Jay).
- Take breaks and enjoy the scenery. Even if you’re in great shape and don’t need to stop a bunch (unlike myself), it’s such a beautiful ride.