Going-to-the-Sun Road

Climbing to the Road Along the Wall

July 22, 2009

We made the long climb to the sharp turn that is called "the loop" and started on the road along the mountainside. The wildflowers on the wall added to the drama of the mountain scenery.

From the vantage point of this high road we could see the road below that we had followed along McDonald Creek. And leaning over the sidewall, you could see the road we had traveled almost directly below us. It certainly emphasized how much we had climbed in just a couple of miles of road!

Jeff and Darla are in the car just ahead of us as we travel along this road hewn out of the rock of the mountainside.

One of the most recognizable sights on the Going-to-the-Sun Road is Heavens Peak, viewed across the valley. In the perspective below, you can see it in relation to the road that we have just traveled, chiseled from the rock cliff. On the road is one of the bright red touring vans used for sightseeing on the road.

This view of the road ahead of us shows one of the big snow patches with this stream running from the bottom of it. Note that the stream goes under the road we are about to travel.

Just up the hill from the waterfall, we began getting views of the valley and McDonald Creek running through it.

We are now looking down from this great height upon the stream where we had been playing around lunch time. From this height it looks like sandy beaches along the stream, but we know from our experience that it is coarse, rounded gravel and rocks.

This view shows the perspective of the valley in relation to Heavens Peak.

Above left, Jeff and Darla head into another dramatic inside turn against the sunlit wall. Above right is the view across the valley into the sun, showing the remains of a high glacier on the shaded side.

At left you can see the road cut all the way along the sheer wall, and with a close look you can see the cut all the way into the saddle point at Logan Pass. In the upper left shot, you can see a patch of snow remaining below the road, and that was to be our next stop.

The girls were very excited about getting to go out on a snow bank. New Orleans girls don't get many chances to play in the snow! Jordan nails Ashleigh with a snowball.

Ashleigh is very much into the snowball fight and able to defend herself, but she appears to be made vulnerable by the fact that she seems to be distracted by the beauty and wonder of the mountains around her!

Here comes Elyse! Another target, albeit a smaller one.

Jeff joins in on the snowbank in this idyllic mountain setting.

They all really got into this snowball making. I was trying to stay out of range, since they appear to be looking for a target. The traffic was going by on the roadway just above us.

On the opposite side of the valley was the remains of a glacier with a stream below it.

This was a great time of family fun with the girls with a dramatic mountain background.

Below the snowbank on which the girls had so much fun was this extraordinary collection of beargrass. It was accompanied by some delicate blue flowers to make quite a spectacle against the mountain background.

OK, so I got a bit carried away by beargrass, but this is the most spectacular collection that I have seen.

This was a spot of great beauty to me, with the two streams coming down from the Logan Pass saddle and joining to flow down into the valley. And the white snow patches accentuated the lush green of the conifers.

This is the panorama in the opposite direction as we drove toward Logan Pass. Note that the stream in the valley is the result of the joining of the streams in the previous picture. The road that we have traveled can be seen up on the wall at right.

The brilliant red touring vehicles operated by the park were very popular on this beautiful day. This one is stopped at one of the deeper snowbanks, featuring a snow tunnel.

This green mountainside near Logan Pass was intriguing to me for its lush green skirt with the sharp-pointed conifers sprinkled on it.

I loved the idyllic wilderness feel of this long, tumbling cascade down into the valley below. It is one of the two streams that came together in an earlier image.

These cascades had a more energetic, almost violent feel to them as the roared down this steep slope. They contrast with the tranquil scene of a bighorn sheep headed across the meadow.

Logan Pass and Points Beyond

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