Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Glacier National Park - Part 2

As we made the left turn in St. Mary onto the Going-to-the-Sun Road that takes you into Glacier National Park, we were greeted by the historic Red Buses. This guided tour and shuttle service is especially nice if you are in an RV because you will not be able to go very far into the park before oversize vehicles are prohibited. Luckily we were in our car so bus transport was not required. I think they would be fun to take a ride on though.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road is almost 50 miles long between the east and west entrances. The road officially received its name, "The Going-to-the-Sun Road," during the 1933 dedication at Logan Pass. The road borrowed its name from nearby Going-to-the-Sun Mountain. Local legend, and a 1933 press release issued by the Department of the Interior, told the story of the deity, Sour Spirit, who came down from the sun to teach Blackfeet braves the rudiments of the hunt. On his way back to the sun, Sour Spirit had his image reproduced on the top of the mountain for inspiration to the Blackfeet. An alternate story suggests a white explorer in the 1880s concocted the name and the legend. No matter which version is accurate, the road named Going-to-the-Sun still inspires all who travel it. (from the National Park Service website.)

Red Buses

We paid our entrance fee - $25 for a seven day pass. Not bad when you think about it. Next time I will make sure to be there for multiple days. Shortly after entering the park, we passed a bear close to the side of the road. On my side of the road, no less. Dang! I didn't have my camera ready. Another missed photo op.

More of the Geologic Layering

A few miles into the park, we found a pull-off and stopped to get an up-close view of Saint Mary Lake. The lake is almost ten miles long and this is just a glimpse of it.

So Serene and Beautiful

There goes a red tour bus - canvas top rolled back!

Our Orange Tour Car ;-)

After 75 years of use, the east side of the Going-to-the-Sun Road is being rebuilt. There were several places where the road surface was bumpy and gravel-covered. Once they get the re-paving completed, it will be a more enjoyable drive. There were also repairs going on to the retaining walls at this and other pull-outs as evidenced by the pallets of rocks.


  1. no joke - can you zoom in on that #4 shot? (oh pooh, i clicked it but i think the hat is a bit too round to be mine. oh well, i was hoping.) that looks like my hat. the hubby thought it was wild that you were there too. so funny! ( :

    we work with the National Park season pass - since we go to so many VA Parks. can't wait to get my Golden Age pass when i get to that age - wonder if they will have it when i get there? fingers crossed. my parents have them & rock them out well. ha. ha!!

  2. The buses are cool, but I think I like your ride better. Plus you could stop where you want for these breathtaking views.

  3. Amazing photos.... I am glad they have those buses, but I'm sure you got better photos from your own transportation.

    Beth in the comment above is right about that Golden Age Pass...the best thing about getting old(er). How I wish I could take advantage of it at Glacier again!!

  4. The bus is awesome, but I think I'd opt for your transportation also.
    What a great looking place. I hate admitting I'm "oldish" but the Federal Senior Pass is awesome. It gets you into any type of Federally owned land or park.


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