July 25, 2017

Riding the Going-to-the-Sun Road and Hiking to Avalanche Lake

Jumping at Avalanche Lake for the Glacier Park Instameet, April 2016, Montana Vacation Blog

As the roads in Glacier National Park slowly begin to open in the spring and early summer, more of the park is accessible to us. As soon as we found out that Going to the Sun Road had opened to bicycles beyond the Lake McDonald Lodge, we took our kids for a ride along McDonald Creek a few weeks ago. We made the mistake of letting them out too quickly to play in the creek, and they wanted to return to Lake McDonald to throw rocks in instead of continuing on our bike ride.

So at the Glacier Park Instameet on April 23, we once again set out to ride Going to the Sun Road. A group of us parked at the Lake McDonald Lodge and set off on our bikes. The road follows along McDonald Creek, and we rode to the Avalanche Lake trailhead (6 or 7 miles each way). We left our bikes at the trailhead and hiked up to the lake (4 miles hiking round-trip).

Alex Neill bicycling along the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park, Montana Vacation Blog 2016

Although the weather was calling for rain all day, we never got rained on. It was fairly warm and sunny all day. The trail to Avalanche Lake is mostly clear of snow. My friend, ranger Jake, took a dip in Avalanche Lake, which is freezing in April.

We then rode our bikes back to the lodge and set off for Apgar to meet up for the Instameet at the Apgar dock.

I am often asked what an Instameet is. An Instameet to me is a group of people who use Instagram and love to take photos that meet up at a certain location to take photos and meet other people who enjoy doing what they do. I love to attend these just to meet people, as I have made many new friends who love the outdoors by using Instagram. Thanks to everyone who attended the Instameet, it was great to meet people who follow my website! After the Instameet, everyone set off for the Apgar Campground where we had a good time chatting more by the fire.

I highly recommend taking the opportunity to bike in Glacier Park on roads that are closed to vehicles. Having the entire road to yourself, the peace of the wilderness that surrounds you, and having the wind blow in your hair is certainly special.

I hope to see more of you out there soon!

 

How to ride your bikes in the spring and fall in Glacier National Park:

  1. Check the current road status for Glacier National Park roads. (Make sure the road is open to bikes and fairly clear of snow.)
  2. If the road is open to bicycles, find out at what point the road closes to vehicles.
  3. Wherever the road closes to vehicles is where you will want to park. (If it closes to vehicles at Lake McDonald Lodge, you will want to park your car at the lodge and ride your bike from there. If it closes at the dam at the entrance to Many Glacier, park your vehicle there and ride your bike in.)
  4. Ride your bike in to your destination. Some people choose to ride as close as they can to Logan Pass depending on snow – beware of avalanche danger beyond the Loop, and be sure that the road is not closed to bicycles at a certain point.

 

 

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