Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road Just Reopened for the Summer Season

The scenic road typically opens in June.

Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana
Photo: Cavan Images/Getty Images

Montana's Glacier National Park has now fully opened its Going-to-the-Sun Road for the summer, a few weeks later than usual.

The scenic drive, which typically fully opens around late June, was forced to delay its full opening this year due to late winter weather, which made it "difficult for road crews to clear the road during continued avalanche danger," according to the National Park Service.

The road is open year-round near the West Entrance, but visitors can now access it all the way through from both the West Glacier and St. Mary entrances. This year, the road will close on Sep. 30 at 10 p.m. MT, according to the NPS.

While access to the road usually happens earlier, it has had delayed openings in the past, including in 2011 due to snowpack and in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travelers who plan to visit the Montana road this year will have to make a vehicle reservation from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day to enter at the West Glacier Entrance, Camas Entrance and Rising Sun checkpoint, as well as make a reservation from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the North Fork area of the park.

The park also offers a free shuttle service along the Going-to-the-Sun Road on a first come-first served basis.

While the road is now open, ongoing construction along Lake McDonald will keep parts closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.

Visitors who don't want to drive can bike, but the NPS noted bicycles are prohibited in certain areas between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Summers are the most popular time to visit Glacier National Park, but it's in the winter when visitors can cross-country ski or snowshoe on the closed sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road. And the best time to see the park's wildlife — like moose, elk, and bighorn sheep — is in the fall.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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