West side tunnel, NPS photo, D. RestivoSt. Mary bridge, NPS photo, E.J. MortonRed bus at Weeping Wall, NPS photo, D. Restivo

After more than two decades of planning, surveying, and construction, Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road formally opened on July 15, 1933. The Going-to-the-Sun Road crosses the Continental Divide at Logan Pass and is the only road that connects the east and the west sides of the park. Hampered by sheer cliffs, solid bedrock, short construction seasons, and huge snow drifts, building the 50-mile route was, needless to say, a difficult endeavor. Today, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is regarded as an engineering marvel.

Once completed, the road allowed more visitors to experience the deep-blue lakes, lush forests, and alpine peaks of Glacier National Park. Prior to the road, it took visitors several days on foot or horseback to access these areas. Annually, more than 475,000 vehicles travel the Going-to-the-Sun Road and approximately 80% of the visitors to Glacier spend time on the road.

The Going-to-the-Sun Road began rehabilitation in 2007 and is expected to be completed in 2017. Public scoping for a multi-year planning effort to address transportation, visitor use, and resource management within the Going-to-the-Sun Road corridor began in 2013. A record of decision for the Going-to-the-Sun Road Corridor Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement is anticipated by 2016.