Take Me to the Sun

Story by Anna Frazer// Photos by Anna Frazer & Robert Frazer
March 19 2024

Stunning scenery and outstanding roads, Glacier National Park always has something to offer.

The month of August is the prime vacation month for many and a traditional motorcycle touring month in the Pacific Northwest. The days are still long, the weather is stable and predictable; and mountain passes are open. August is also known for the roads plugged by campers, boaters and holiday-makers, construction, as well as overpriced accommodations and crowded food venues. For these reasons, over the last few years, my husband, Robert, and I have chosen to travel earlier in the riding season. However, in 2023 we decided to take our chance once again in August, mostly due to our destination being Going-to-the-Sun Road in Montana.

The road usually opens in July after winter hibernation and has a very short-lived season with frequent closures due to snow, even in the month of July. Montana’s Glacier National Park and its jewel Going-to-the-Sun-Road have become so popular since the Covid pandemic that now visitors have to pre-book a vehicle reservation to travel this road and a few other roads in the park.

It felt like winning the lottery when I was successful in booking August reservations for our two motorcycles in April, when the system opened for pre-booking. “We’re going to Montana in August,” I proudly announced to Robert, who promptly reminded me of August crowds, heat, wildfires, and other potential disasters.

Ideal Motorcycle Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a narrow and winding 80-kilometre route traversing the Continental Divide and Logan Pass at an elevation of over 2,000 metres. It is extremely scenic and has everything you want to experience on a motorcycle — towering glaciers, deep green valleys, cascading waterfalls, expansive views around every corner, wildflowers, and wildlife sightings.

The seasonal road was built for automobile tourists between 1921 and 1932 at a cost of $2.5 million and is registered as a National Historic Landmark, as well as Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Going-to-the-Sun Mountain dominates the eastbound view beyond Logan Pass and is believed to have an image of the deity Sour Spirit placed on it as inspiration, after Sour Spirit taught hunting to the Blackfeet Native Americans.

Going to Montana

Having travelled in Montana and the Glacier National Park previously, we have chosen some of our favourite roads with a sprinkle of new routes. As Cascades Highway 20 south of the British Columbia-Washington border was closed due to wildfires, we opted to head east along scenic Hwy 3 through E.C. Manning Park toward the Osoyoos border crossing. The current scenic Hope-Princeton highway, connecting wet coastal rain forest on the west with the Similkameen Valley…


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