Go Back  Bike Forums > Community Connections > Regional Discussions > Mountain - Plains
Reload this Page >

Another Going to the Sun Road Question

Notices
Mountain - Plains Colorado | Kansas | Missouri | Montana | North Dakota | Nebraska | South Dakota | Utah | Wyoming

Another Going to the Sun Road Question

Old 04-28-23, 05:01 AM
  #1  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Another Going to the Sun Road Question

I'm planning a trip to Glacier National Park in early July. Would like to ride the Going to the Sun Road but I know there are restrictions on cycling sections of the road during peak season.

Most references to cycling the GTSR during peak season (when open to cars) recommend going out as early as possible - around 6:00 AM - in order to get through before the 11:00 AM cut-off. I've not picked up on any ride reports/suggestions where people have started their ride at 4:00 PM. Since it looks like sunset is after 9:00 in early July, it seems like there's plenty of sunlight to complete the ride. Wondering if there's any practical reason why doing the GTSR late afternoon into the evening doesn't seem to be as common as early AM. Is it because of more traffic? Something else?

Thanks in advance for any tips.
dennis336 is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 11:43 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,089
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17727 Post(s)
Liked 14,037 Times in 6,667 Posts
Having ridden up and back down the west slope 3 times and up and over to St. Mary once, traffic is definitely the issue. Also, you have a much better chance of seeing wildlife early. Finally, if avalanches are still a concern, they are more likely after the sun has had all day to soften the snow.


I always started from Sprague Creek Campground before 6:00 in either mid or late June. The car crowd doesn’t like to hit the road so early. Depending on where you start from, you may have several miles of relatively flat, straight road. People tend to speed there. Saw a guy get pulled over by park police last time I was there. He pulled into the campground and got a ticket or warning.

Last edited by indyfabz; 05-01-23 at 11:53 AM.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 03:49 PM
  #3  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Thanks, I had a feeling it had more to do with traffic. And, I do recall hearing avalanche risk could be greater later in the day. Looks like early morning is the preferred way to go. Thanks again for the input!
dennis336 is offline  
Old 05-01-23, 05:04 PM
  #4  
amateur
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 97

Bikes: 1982 Mercian Vincitore, 2014 Fitwell DeGroot, 1999 Raleigh M80, 1968 Schwinn Stingray, 2002 Ibex Classic 3300, 1978 Kabuki Track

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 11 Posts
I only rode it once, starting at dawn to avoid traffic restrictions, but I rented my bike locally and the employees there told me they often rode it in the evening or night after the restrictions were lifted. I saw no wildlife.
__________________
Previous bikes: 1985 Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, 1988 C'dale ST1000, 1987 C'dale ST400, 1978 Raleigh Super Grand Prix, 1984 Trek 400, 1984 Centurion LeMans 12, 1979 Peugeot Super Sport
sixer is offline  
Likes For sixer:
Old 05-02-23, 03:49 AM
  #5  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Thanks ... another responder to my question (I ended up posting on General Discussion, too) said he does full moon rides on GTSR. Sounds quite cool although I expect I'll just try to get out early in the morning with a worst case being later in the day but still under sunlight. Thanks for responding.
dennis336 is offline  
Old 05-02-23, 04:59 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,089
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17727 Post(s)
Liked 14,037 Times in 6,667 Posts
In 2000 a black bear ambled across the road as I was descending from Logan. It was later in the morning, but it was a really crappy day, and the pass was not open from the east, so traffic was very minimal.

in 2017, the road was closed to cars east of Avalanche Campground. Saw a fresh pile of bear scat, It was one of several I saw. Without vehicles, the bears were having a good time. Unfortunately, the road opened to vehicles during my ascent.

I hope the NPS posts lots of plowing photos on its Flikr page. It has not the last few years. Several years ago they posted maybe five or six bear photos taken during plowing operations, including one of a mother grizzly and her cub.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 05-02-23, 10:25 AM
  #7  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Probably - selfishly speaking - the ideal situation is that GTSR is closed the first day or two of our visit to Glacier so I can ride without traffic, then opens up all the way through so my wife gets to experience the whole road in our car
dennis336 is offline  
Old 05-02-23, 04:05 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,089
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17727 Post(s)
Liked 14,037 Times in 6,667 Posts
It depends. If plow crews are working, there is usually a bike closure point. Crews donít work weekends. If itís safe enough, they will allow hikers and bikers all the way up, but even then there can be a closure point.

The best thing to do is monitor the official NPS website and ask at the gate when you arrive, although employees donít like to give out that sort of information because conditions can change rapidly.
indyfabz is offline  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 05-02-23, 05:30 PM
  #9  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 103

Bikes: 1986 Scwinn Prelude 20?? Motobecane Ti 'Le Champion"

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 57 Post(s)
Liked 61 Times in 38 Posts
Might be of interest:
Tusk is offline  
Likes For Tusk:
Old 05-03-23, 05:16 AM
  #10  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Nice video ... extraordinary effort to clear the road!
dennis336 is offline  
Old 05-12-23, 06:31 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,089
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17727 Post(s)
Liked 14,037 Times in 6,667 Posts
Originally Posted by dennis336
Nice video ... extraordinary effort to clear the road!
They have added some 2023 plowing photos. No bears, but a cool mountain goat:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/glacie...h/52843217482/
indyfabz is offline  
Old 05-12-23, 06:42 AM
  #12  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
They have added some 2023 plowing photos. No bears, but a cool mountain goat:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/glacie...h/52843217482/
Very cool ... reminds my of the documentary 'Free Solo' shere Alex Honnald free soloed up El Capitan . If you haven't seen it, it's quite an amazing story!

I actually signed up for text updates for GTSR snow removal.
dennis336 is offline  
Old 06-14-23, 04:55 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,089
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17727 Post(s)
Liked 14,037 Times in 6,667 Posts
Originally Posted by dennis336
Very cool ... reminds my of the documentary 'Free Solo' shere Alex Honnald free soloed up El Capitan . If you haven't seen it, it's quite an amazing story!

I actually signed up for text updates for GTSR snow removal.
So you probably have seen that the road is fully open. That was fast.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 06-16-23, 07:39 AM
  #14  
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 493

Bikes: Trek Domane, Surly Disc Trucker, Canondale Synapse (winter bike)

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 157 Post(s)
Liked 88 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
So you probably have seen that the road is fully open. That was fast.
QUOTe
yes, I did hear that. I saw a news clip a couple of weeks ago saying it wouldn't be open until at least end of June so this was a nice surprise. We're actually on the road now and in Colorado. Got my first ride in this . morning at higher elevation! Typing on phone so apologies if there's spelling or syntax error!
dennis336 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.