Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Is Officially Open for the Summer

This picturesque route is a must-see for anyone passing through Big Sky Country

Morning sunbeam over alpine valley seen from Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana, summer morning

Anna Gorin / Getty Images

After delays due to a late winter season, the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park officially opened up for the summer on July 13. Tourists will now have the opportunity to see the impressive glaciers, valleys, and waterfalls along the 50-mile road.

According to the National Park Service, this isn't the first time the road has suffered from late starts. In both 2011 and 2020, the road opened on July 13 due to snowpack and the pandemic, respectively. 

Those interested in taking the road, specifically at the West Glacier Entrance, Camas Entrance, and Rising Sun checkpoint, will be required to make a vehicle reservation from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Reservations for the North Fork area are needed from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

While reservations for other areas of the park are not required, tourists can still expect to pay the park entrance fee. Because of the road's opening, the number of vehicle reservations will be increased, so visitors should also account for traffic restrictions between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. due to heavy congestion.

Despite the road opening up, there will be some times when the road is inaccessible to tourists. From 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. from Lake McDonald to the Sprague Creek Campground, the road will close nightly to allow for construction. Construction will also be happening during the day near Big Bend. "Visitors need to be on the lookout for work zones, slow down, and give the construction workers a wide berth," the National Park Service said in a press release

Visitors who opt to take on the road via bike should be aware of the park's bicycle regulations. Bicycle safety restrictions are currently in effect until Sept. 5, and all bikes are prohibited in certain areas between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. A free shuttle service also stops all along the road, operating on a first-come, first-served basis.

While a part of the road is open year-round near the West Entrance, the entire route (specifically the alpine sections) is set to close on Sept. 30 by 10 p.m. MDT. For information about road closures and directions, visit the National Park Service website.

Article Sources
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  1. National Park Service. "Going-to-the-Sun Road Opens for the 2022 Season." July 13, 2022.

  2. National Parks Service. "Directions, Transportation, & Road Conditions." Accessed July 19, 2022.