Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road when the road is Closed in Glacier National Park
Biking the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park is a popular thing to do. While the road is open throughout the summer to mountain bikers and vehicle traffic, mountain bikes have limited time slots that you are allowed to ride over Logan Pass. Due to traffic and congestion, bikes are not allowed on the road in the middle of the day during the summer.
So when the road closes to vehicle traffic in the fall, and before it opens to vehicles in the spring, these months are a great time to get out on your bike and ride the road as far as you can. (Too much snow at the top may prevent you from getting over Logan Pass.)
The fall of 2015, my husband Matt was out of town, so I decided to take my girls out. It was about 30 degrees out that day, and I wanted to get them outside. I can’t carry them both on a hike, so I figured this would be a great time to take them in the bike trailer.
My friend Alex joined us (yes, two Alex’s) and we parked at Avalanche parking lot on the west side. This is where the road was closed. We got bundled up and I stuck them in the bike trailer, and off we went toward Logan Pass. I have to say — pulling two kids and all of their stuff (diapers, wipes, food, water), is probably one of the hardest things you can do. I consider myself to be in pretty good shape, and I was really struggling to pull this large load!
Also, riding a bike in 30 degrees is COLD! The wind blowing in your face is something else. So I highly recommend wearing really warm clothes if you go in the spring or fall, including bringing gloves to wear.
We stopped along the creek as we went along to give my kids a break from having to sit next to each other in the trailer, and also to take photos and enjoy how pretty the water is along McDonald Creek when it is calm and blue. Thanks to Alex for helping to take our photos and for joining us on this cold day! I am looking forward to doing this again, maybe without pulling the bike trailer next time!
Check the current road status before you go to find out where the road is closed and where you can park. As always, arrive early, especially if you are parking at Avalanche, because this is always crowded due to the people riding bikes and the people hiking to Avalanche Lake!
Also, always be careful while riding even when the road is closed. A park ranger came around a blind corner in his vehicle when we were riding — so be aware that there may still be vehicles on the road, and act accordingly.
For more information on biking the entire Going-to-the-Sun Road during the summer months when the road is open to vehicles, be sure to visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm.
Riding the Going-to-the-Sun Road on your bike is a really fun thing to do!
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog