How To Ride Going-to-theSun-Road ? - CycleBlaze

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How To Ride Going-to-theSun-Road ?

George Hall

Esteemed Group;

We were thinking of staying in West Glacier, leaving the panniers in a hotel and riding our unloaded bikes up Going-To-The-Sun Road.  But how do you do it when there are time restrictions on bikes on the road?  The ACA map indicates that sections of the road are closed to cyclists from 11:00 - 16:00 every day.  It appears to be about 34 miles from West Glacier to Logan Pass, and about 3,200 feet of climbing.  If I understand the restrictions correctly, I would have to ride the 34 miles/3,200 feet vertically AND descend before 11:00 am.  This is a bit draconian for us normal humans.

So then, how do folks do it?  I've never been there, so this is totally new to me.  Hoping to get input from those of you who have done it.

Buddy Hall

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1 month ago
Jonathan HechtTo George Hall

Funny you should ask…I was just thinking about my 2018 attempt. Spoiler alert…I failed!

I started at Avalanche Campground at about 7:30 am and it took me 1 3/4 hours to get to the hairpin. At that point I realized that I was never going to make Logan by the 11 am cutoff. So I tried to catch a shuttle to the top.

All the shuttles that stopped at the hairpin were already full so I went back down and was able to catch a shuttle back up to Logan - and the shuttle was able to take my bike. There wasn’t a restriction on riding back down to the CG, but I think there may be some afternoon restrictions between Avalanche and Lake MacDonald.

Here’s a link to my ride from Logan Pass. I know it’s the opposite direction, but it should give you an idea of what the ride from Avalanche looks like…just turn your computer upside down! 🤪🤪

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/2926917536.                                      

Anyway, FYI, I followed your 2015 ride after hearing about you from the 3 young 'uns you rode with for a while (an English kid, a Dutch fellow, and a Coloradoan). I met them at Lolo Lodge as they were headed west and I was headed to Glacier. Again, I failed to make Glacier after deciding that the ride from Missoula on a July 4 weekend was suicidal. And since I made it home to Portland before the three amigos got to the west coast, they wound up staying with me for a few days.

Enjoy your current trip and good luck with Logan Pass.

Jonathan 

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1 month ago
George HallTo Jonathan Hecht

Jonathan,

Thanks for the reply - wow, you brought back some memories!  I "know" who you are now cause I remember my pals staying with you in Portland as I followed their journey.  It's a small world for us cycle tourists.   Thanks for hosting my riding pals in 2015, I know they were very appreciative.

I think we have worked out another plan now to ride to Logan Pass- we are going to come up from the east side instead, staying the night at St. Mary the night before - then it's a shorter ride to the pass, and we will descend and camp at Sprague Creek campground, then continue on to West Glacier the next morning prior to the no-bikes time restriction.   Since we can't follow the ACA route into Canada, we are using a Google bike routing to get to St. Mary.  So at least we have a plan now that allows us to ride Going-To-The-Sun.

Best wishes,

Buddy Hall


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1 month ago
Ray SwartzTo George Hall

When I rode Going to the Sun Road, I started in St. Mary's, on the other side of the pass. There are no time restrictions on that side of the pass, though you can't go down the other side between 11:30 and 4pm, as you mentioned. When I got to the top, there was several bikers waiting around. I met a group of 3 and we walked off along the Highline Trail for a couple miles. By the time we returned, it was after 4pm and I coasted down.

Is it possible for you to arrange your trip to ride east to west? Here is the journal entry for the day I rode over Logan Pass. Don't miss doing the entire ride. Frankly, riding up the west side of the pass and then down again without seeing the east side would not be the full experience. Maybe you can ride over the pass, get a place to stay on the east side and then ride over it the other way the next day!

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1 month ago
Victa CalvoTo George Hall

Buddy, I've read that if you are there early in the season,  before the road is completely  plowed,  you can ride up to the "go no further" sign and maybe beyond if its a weekend. 

Might be worth checking out. 

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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo George Hall

Here’s how we did it in 1990.  We were biking east to west, finishing up a loop that began in Whitefish and went through Crows Nest Pass and Watertown Glacier up in Canada.  We camped at Saint Mary, got up at 5, and started biking as soon as there was enough light.  It was on June 22nd, on the first week the pass was open.  We were down the pass and pulling off the road for breakfast at Lake MacDonald by 9.  I couldn’t do this any more I don’t think (but maybe Rocky could) but I love to think back on it.  The snow drifts at the top must have been 40 feet high.

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1 month ago
John PescatoreTo George Hall

My wife and I did it in 2017 - timing was key. In June, they are still plowing GTS road and it is closed to all when they are plowing. But, they don't plow on weekends - and they open the section from Avalanche campgrounds up to Logan Pass to bikes and peds but not cars. Paradise!

If you are outside that window, if I remember correctly the trick for semi-normal humans is to park at the Avalanche Campground area. The bike restriction only applies to the uphill (eastbound) section between Logan Creek and Logan pass - as long as you are well up GTS road when 11am hits, you will be able to reach Logan Pass and then cycle down - with car traffic.

Doing it in June, with no cars and snow all around was awesome, if you had the option to time it right I highly recommend that.

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1 month ago