The Going to The Sun Road is the only road that crosses Glacier National Park and provides the only motorized access to Logan Pass continental divide. The road opened in 1932 after 11 years of carving 50 miles of roadway into the sides of the surrounding peaks. The road cost $2.5 million dollars to complete and recently received $27.6 million in Federal Stimulus money to rebuild sections of the aging road.
Most years the road is open from Mid-June to about Mid-October, conditions permitting. Every winter the road is hammered by storms and avalanches that routinely bury sections of the road in upwards of 80 feet in places. Typically in early April crews begin the monumental task of plowing a year’s worth of snow off the road. Plowing crews face the constant danger of rock slides, avalanches and possibly slipping off the side of the road. All of this while some days only making 500 feet of forward progress.
The plowing crews start on each side of the park (East and West Glacier) and are comprised of a bulldozer, excavator and a rotary snow blower capable of removing 4000 tons of snow an hour. Many sections of the road also have to be plowed several times as further storms bury the road in new slides and spring wet slides and rock slides cascade from above.