14 July 2011


Going-To-The-Sun Road, the only highway which runs through the interior of Glacier National Park, finally opened for traffic along its entire 50 mile length for the first time this summer. Crews have been working steadily to clear the road of unprecendented deep accumulations of winter snow, often hampered by avalanches which clogged already-cleared roadway, as late spring sun and episodes of rain combined to soften upslope snowfields. It has been an epic year in Glacier ~ this was the latest Sun Road opening since the inaugural opening in 1933. Visitors driving from the west along Lake McDonald and upward, or from the east along St. Mary Lake and upward, can now reach the road's summit at Logan Pass (see image above) on the continental divide for the first time since the road was closed due to snowfall last autumn. Regarded by many as one of the most visually breathtaking drives in the world, Going-To-The-Sun lies in the backyard of my youth. I grew up along the northern Rocky Mountain Front, and spent many family outings and Boy Scout campouts in that stunning landscape, including a 50-mile, weeklong hike through the backcountry in the summer of 1962. The group was privileged to see everything from mountain sheep to moose and marmots, pileated woodpeckers to ptarmigan, mountain goats to grizzleys, even a very elusive Canada lynx (see image below, click to enlarge). High times indeed.

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