West Glacier, MT 59936, USA
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Bike Glacier National Park's Going to the Sun Road in MayEvery year Glacier National Park allows cyclists and hikers to access portions of Going to the Sun Road before it opens to vehicles.
We like to wait until vehicles are allowed to drive to the Avalanche Campground (typically the last week or two of May). This is a great place to park and begin your journey to the loop. It’s about an 8 mile ride with a steady incline that increases as you go. During the last third you will definitely stop more times than I care to admit. But, that’s ok because you will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen.
We like to pack a lunch and plenty of water. When you reach the tunnel you are almost to The Loop. This is where we typically stop and have lunch on the rock border with views over the river, forest, and mountains.
Once refreshed the real fun begins. The feeling of the wind whizzing by as you descend the mountain is unmatched. Your speed is limited only by your fear and/or wisdom. Whichever you prefer to call it. Either way, it’s impossible to bike down without a smile (unless of course you're afraid of heights).
The trek with stops and lunch typically takes us about 4 hours. That time includes ages ranging from 9-70. So, if you are younger or just super fit I’m sure your time could improve. But, our goal is not speed so much as a day of enjoyment.
Know Before You Go:
Remember to bring bear spray and plenty of water to hydrate. My friend saw black bears along the road two years in a row.
Road conditions can be viewed online. The opening time varies as it’s based on the plow schedule and winter conditions each year.
If you see a deer and approach slowly to 10-20 feet away it may come to you. They like the salty sweat on your body and will lick you if you let them. You can view our interaction with a deer in a short 5 minute video of these activities on YouTube linked below.
Stay to the right of the yellow line. When bikers come down they get going fast. You don't want to be in their way!
Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish or Glacier Outfitters in West Glacier Apgar Village will rent kids bikes, burley trailers, adult bikes, and bike racks for your car if needed. Glacier Outfitters will even rent you bear spray if you don’t have your own. (if you are flying home rent this, don’t buy it. You can’t take it on the plane in checked or carry on bags.)