Regional Discussion Area > Rocky Mountain

Going to the Sun


I have been planning a bike trip to ride Going to the Sun since the mid 1980's.  Marriage, kids etc etc has put the plans always a little out of reach.  What's better - an out and back or a circle around Glacier National Park after riding the Going to the Sun?  If the circle route is better which way would be best/easiest to ride Going to the Sun - west to east or east to west?  I'm from Florida so I know I'm going to suffer in any event but looking forward to the replies.  Thanks

Successor to the Professor:
If you're coming all the way out to Montana from Florida, you definitely don't want to do an out and back.  I vote starting in Whitefish, then riding into West Glacier, and then starting the loop in a clockwise fashion.  This is the steeper of the two directions, but it's the most spectacular side of the pass and worth taking slow. 

The reason I would start in Whitefish is that you get some sweet views of the mountains as you ride towards the park from the Flathead Valley. 

No matter what you end up doing, it's going to be a great ride.

Hi:  Thanks for the response.  My plan was indeed to start in Whitefish.  There is a bike shop with some decent touring bikes to rent there.  If I follow your advice when I get to St. Mary I will be going south on 89.  When I get to Kiowa there is a road numbered highway 49 to East Glacier.  Is highway 49 a road that you can ride your bike on or should I keep on 89 out to Browning and then head towards East Glacier?  Thanks for the help!   

Successor to the Professor:
Hwy 49 is a bit narrower and twists around quite a bit, but it has some spectacular views.  The trails off this road are tribal land, so you will need a permit to recreate off the road from here, but I would highly suggest it for the scenery.  Hwy 89 give you a little bit more breathing room on the road, but it still only gives you a couple feet on the shoulder.

I am biking from West Glacier NP to Waterton NP in Canada first part of September. Self contained tour and camping. I am trying to figure out what the best clothing is to take.
From So. California.... trying to figure out what I have to get to keep warm and be prepared.

Thanks for all and any help.....


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