Glacier: Going to the Sun Road: Car vs. 4WD

May 19th, 2011, 07:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 14
Glacier: Going to the Sun Road: Car vs. 4WD

We are going to Glacier National Park in mid-September. We plan to spend time up in Waterton as well.

Do we need to rent a 4WD for the Going to the Sun Road or is a car actually better since it is smaller and the road is only 2 lanes?

Thanks much for the advice.
moog is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,838
We had no problems driving it in our sedan. Beautiful drive!
HappyTrvlr is online now  
May 19th, 2011, 08:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 18,633
I had no trouble in a small compact car.

But you should make sure the GTSR will be open when you go. I have heard that it sometimes closes by mid September due to snow. I guess it depends on the weather but you might want to check.
panecott is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 08:35 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 70,487
If the road is open, you don't need 4WD to drive it.
starrs is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,168
Your biggest problem will be finding a place to park at the top, or maybe that is a summer phenomenon.

The only danger on a road like this is overheating your brakes if you are not used to mountain driving. I know from experience that you can pretty well put the car in second gear at the top and never have to touch the brakes until you get to the bottom -- assuming traffic doesn't bunch up in front of you.
Ackislander is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 02:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,960
I don't know when you are going but it usually doesn't open until late June/late July. That's as early as they can usually get all the snow cleared off. Glacier has a wonderful website with road conditions, pictures, etc.

Drive the road both ways--the scenery is worth it and will look different from each view. The road around the southern edge is unremarkable.
Connie is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 05:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 14
Thanks everyone. We are going mid Sept-the road closes Sept 18 and we are going the week before. I tend to get car sick if someone else does the driving ( I am fine when I drive) so will be doing most of the driving. And even the smallest 4wd is bigger than what I am used to. So after researching some more, I thought we could do it with a car. I live near San Francisco so am used to driving hills. I was more concerned about a larger 4wd on a 2 lane winding road. Your posts are all very helpful-we will rent a car instead.

moog is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 07:23 PM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 10,217
Have you looked into the airfare to Kalispell vs. the Amtrak fare to Whitefish? Mid-September Amtrak fare is $184pp (coach) from Oakland to Whitefish with a 1 hour layover in Portland (guaranteed connection) Kids ride for $92.
tomfuller is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 07:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
If you take the red bus for GTSR you can enjoy the scenery. I doubt you would get carsick on the bus.
Elainee is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 08:12 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 14
We are actually using frequent flyer miles to fly for free but thanks for the suggestion. AS for the red bus, I am not sure if it is still running then but there is still a good chance I would get car sick-even at slow speeds since it is a narrow twisty road. YOu should have seen how much fun I was when we crossed the Drake Passage to Antarctica with 25 foot swells!

Thanks again
moog is offline  
May 20th, 2011, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,023
GTTSR will close mid September WEATHER permitting. Could close earlier.
Parking at Logan pass should NOT be a problem that time of year.
Delays on the road should be expected as ongoing construction is in full progress.
You WILL enjoy the road and the Park.
Have a great trip.
John is offline  
May 22nd, 2011, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
It isn't as g-force road. The bus goes very slow and the suspension on the bus is excellent. Trying to drive and see anything isn't easy. Of course, lots of people drive themselves, we were just pleased we didn't. The information from the driver is very good, plus there are stops when he sees wildlife as well as a nice lunch stop at the lodge and lake beyond GTST which is not physically connected to Glacier.
Elainee is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
United States
Feb 9th, 2012 03:49 AM
Mexico & Central America
Feb 21st, 2007 01:23 PM
United States
Mar 2nd, 2006 03:10 PM
Australia & the Pacific
Jan 26th, 2003 11:45 AM

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 On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:45 AM.