Author Topic: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM  (Read 2257 times)

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Offline naterskine

Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« on: June 19, 2013, 08:30:32 pm »
Does anyone have experience going up after 4 PM ? I have read posts about it, but all were describing getting to the summit before 11 AM, when the restrictions on bicycles kick in. I am going to be there the 27th of July, which is during those restrictions. My route will be to the top, hang around a bit up there, then back down the way I came to Apgar or Sprague campground. Is there a big drawback to doing the late afternoon/evening ride when restrictions are lifted (after 4 PM) as opposed the the morning ride that I am not understanding? Thanks.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 09:24:41 pm »
Sorry, I have not ridden up after 4. I would suspect, however, that traffic will be more of an issue then. I did ride up at first light and was able to get almost all the way to the top before the cars started coming. It's a much, much better ride without cars.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2013, 08:04:44 am »
Depends somewhat on whether you are starting after 4PM, or whether you will be on the climb, finishing after 4PM. If the latter, no problem. If the former, if you see three or more motor vehicles piling up behind, get off the road and let them pass, same as you should do on any road.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 10:11:13 am »
Just to clarify, the restriction is only between Sprague and Logan Pass east bound.  You are allowed to ride west bound on any part of the road at anytime.  You can go east bound from Logan Pass at anytime.  If you wanted to depart east bound Sprague CG after 4:00pm, I would think it would not be too bad as the vast majority of the traffic will have lessened as everyone is back in camp, heading home, etc.  The NPS must think it is OK/safe/not impede traffic to ride east bound up the road after 4pm so I would say go for it.  The pros are warmer (it can get quite cold at the top, especially coming down), the sun will be lighting up a lot of the mountains behind you so not in your eyes, and you can sleep in.  Cons are probably more traffic and the warm may be a pain heading uphill.

Be sure to report back for future inquiries!

Happy Trails!
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 10:25:10 am by John Nettles »
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline naterskine

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2013, 12:03:57 pm »
Thanks...I misunderstood the rules. I thought I had to be up to Logan Pass and back down to Sprague again by 11 or else wait at the top till 4 to descend back to Sprague. You info makes it much easier to leave in the AM. Here is a link for future inquiries...I just misunderstood the info on the link when I posted my question.
http://www.nps.gov/glac/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm
I would still like to know if anyone actually rode up after 4. Thanks all.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2013, 12:05:11 pm »
Depends somewhat on whether you are starting after 4PM, or whether you will be on the climb, finishing after 4PM. If the latter, no problem. If the former, if you see three or more motor vehicles piling up behind, get off the road and let them pass, same as you should do on any road.
If eastbound, you are not allowed to be on the climb before 4PM. It's an expensive ticket and they do issue them. The NPS web site gives all the restrictions in detail.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2013, 12:40:09 pm »
What sucks is that you can not ride either direction between Apgar and Sprague between 11am & 4pm.  I will be there arrive around July 20th (westbound) and then planned to do the climb eastbound unloaded on the morning of the 21st then back to camp, load up and head out westbound.  Unfortunately, can't head out until 4pm as I seriously doubt I will be able to climb, return, load up, and arrive in Apgar before 11am.

I really wish they had a path or gravel road or something to get around the Apgar to Sprague CG restrictions.

Anyway, best wishes!
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2013, 01:04:39 pm »
I will be there arrive around July 20th (westbound)
Just curious, but if you're westbound, by what route will you come in? Won't you have already gone over GTTSR on your way there?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2013, 01:14:12 pm »
I am coming from the north via Many Glacier near Babb (but starting in Jasper) heading over toward Eureka via Polebridge.  This is a "scenery tour" that is part-off pavement, lots of National Parks/Forests, remote gravel roads along clear rivers, etc. ending up in Spokane after about 5 weeks.  I will have gone over Logan Pass (westbound) but from memory when I did it eastbound back in 1987, the west side of the pass is much more scenic.  On this trip, I have a strong feeling I will be coasting down the west side at 25mph, looking out for cars, rocks, etc. and forget to see the scenery. If I get my fill of scenery (doubtful) or the weather is to be nasty, I will just head out and not reclimb the pass in the morning.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline dkoloko

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 03:28:27 pm »
I would still like to know if anyone actually rode up after 4. Thanks all.
Yes.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 04:01:16 pm »
I have ridden up the west slope 3 times. Once up and over. Twice up to Logan Pass then back down to Sprague Creek. I have always started out from Sprague Creek very early in the a.m. 6 a.m. if not before. The first two times there was virtually no traffic for at least the first hour. The last time (in '09) we had some dump truck traffic some time after 7 a.m. As you may or may not know, there is an on-going road re-hab project. Don't know where they will be working when you are there. Check the park's web site.

When at the top, the relatively short haike/walk to the observation platform looking out at Hidden Lake is well worth the effort. It starts from behind the visitor center. You will likely see lots of people on the path. It's not technical. Lots of people do it in sneakers. I saw several mountain goats and a playful marmot when I did it. The last time I was up there, there was too much snow on the path to walk it in cycling shoes. July 27th shouldn't present that problem. Never felt worried about leaving my bike unattended.

Maybe a quarter mile or so before the pass there is a metal decked observation area you can walk up to. Some nice views from up there. I stopped there on the way back down. The McDonald Creek access area down on the "flat" part is also worth a stop on the way back. It's signed and there are some parking spaces.

Bring ample food and drink if you plan hang out up there. Sun block is also highly recommended. There is no shade, and the sun can be intense. I took the shuttle up one day prior to the start of a back country backpack trip. I have an olive complexion and still got a nasty neck burn in less than two hours.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2013, 04:02:39 pm »
Forgot to mention that there can be a greater risk of thunderstorms in the afternoon. You are very exposed once you get above the loop. And if the road project has left some sections unpaved like they were in '09, you might encounter some mud if it rains.

Offline naterskine

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2013, 07:53:00 am »
Great info...thanks all.

Offline yumadons

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2013, 11:02:47 am »
Also if you didn't know, you can always put your bike on the free park shuttle bus going up or down either side.

Offline MrBent

Re: Going To The Sun Road...after 4 PM
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2013, 10:37:38 am »
We were stopped at Sprague traveling west in the afternoon and required to stop until 4PM.  So there are some west-bound restrictions.    The host at the campground--we had to hang out for two hours!--told us the fine is $200.  Of course, riding conditions were NO better latter in the afternoon on a Sat.  Stoooopid rule.  That ride pretty much sucks on weekends in the summer.  Way too many people.  Do your best to avoid weekends, fer sure.