Going-to-the-Sun Road: An RV Guide

National Parks

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a breathtaking mountain road through Glacier National Park. Driving the road, you’ll encounter mountain vistas, sparkling alpine lakes, and possibly some of the wildlife that roams the park.

Going-to-the-Sun Road, often called The Sun Road for short, is 50 miles long and connects St. Mary and West Glacier. It goes over the Continental Divide through Logan Pass and tops out at 6,646 feet above sea level at its highest spot.

But more than any statistics, you’ll remember the scenery from this drive long after you’ve finished it.

Tips for RVing Going To The Sun Road

While this is a beautiful road, and seeing it is definitely an amazing thing to do at Glacier National Park, it can also be a challenge. Between park crowds, winding turns, and winter weather, you’ll want to do some research before you actually drive it. Here are a few tips for making the most of your trip.

1. See if you need a reservation

During more popular periods at the park, you’ll need a vehicle reservation to travel the road. In 2024, from May 24 – September 8, travelers need a reservation for the west side of The Sun Road and North Fork between 6 am and 3 pm. From July 1 through September 8, you’ll need a vehicle reservation for Many Glacier from 6 am – 3 pm. You do not need a reservation outside of those hours. 

If you have lodging, camping, a boat tour, or another activity already booked along the road, you are allowed to drive it to get to your activity. 

You can make a vehicle reservation at recreation.gov.

2. Make sure your vehicle can make the drive

Going to the Sun Road is a two-lane mountain road that has hairpin turns in some parts. On the highest parts of the road, vehicles can’t be longer than 21 feet, and can’t be wider than 8 feet. These restrictions are for the area between the Avalanche Creek and Rising Sun picnic areas. RVs that are more than 10 feet tall may not be able to clear the rock overhangs on the portion of the road west from Logan Pass to the hairpin turn known as the Loop.

The speed limit on the road is 45 mph in the lower sections and 25 mph on the steeper, winding sections. 

3. Know the weather

Going-to-the-Sun Road generally opens in early June and closes again in October. But openings and closings are dictated by the weather. It can take up to 10 weeks to plow out the road in the spring, and sometimes the plows only progress 500 feet in one day. If there was late, heavy snow the road may not open as early as usual. Conversely, if there’s an early snow in the fall, it may close sooner than usual.

Be sure to check that the road is open when you plan to drive it. You can check road closures on the Glacier NPS website

4. There are alternatives to driving yourself

If your RV won’t make it over the road, or if you want to be free to admire the views, there are several tours that drive Going-to-the-Sun Road as well. Red Jammer buses originally drove Glacier’s roads in the 1930s. In 2001, the buses were modernized and now guests can take guided tours on them. 

There are also some shuttle buses and Blackfeet tour buses that offer tours of various parts of the road as well. 

5. Fuel up

There are no gas stations inside Glacier National Park. You’ll want to gas up before entering the park, and keep an eye on the gas gauge so you have plenty of warning to get more if you need it. Towns just outside the park like West Glacier, St. Mary, East Glacier Park Village, and Waterton Lakes have gas stations where you can refill. 

6. Plan for road construction

The best time to drive The Sun Road is, for the same reason, the best time to work on The Sun Road. Nice weather allows crews to get work done. During the summer of 2024, there are several road construction projects going on that could affect your drive. 

The west side of the road is in the last phase of a yearlong construction project. It’s expected to be done in June. 

The upper McDonald Creek Bridge is also being replaced, and construction on Glacier Drive in Polebridge is ongoing. 

There are several other construction projects underway around the park. You can check the road construction page on the Glacier NPS website for updates. 

7. Plan to stop at many points of interest

Although Going-to-the-Sun Road is 50 miles long, it takes about two hours to drive without stopping because of the steep grades and winding turns. But you’ll want to plan much more time than that. There are lots of places to stop along the drive including Lake McDonald, Trail of the Cedars, Saint Mary Lake, and other overlooks and scenic spots. You can see some of these sites ahead of time by checking out the multimedia page on the Glacier website. There, you’ll find videos of some of the most picturesque spots along the drive. 

8. Try the audio tour

If you don’t want to take a shuttle tour of the road, you can take a self-guided audio tour. Glacier National Park staff have recorded a series of podcasts that guide you along the road. Learn more about many of the places where you can stop on the drive while you listen along. However, cell service can be sketchy on this trip, so you’ll want to download these podcasts before you start…and probably before you even enter the park. 

RV Rentals Nearby

There are plenty of options for RV rentals near Glacier National Park. You’ll find many trailers and Class C campers available to rent for a trip to the park. There are also some options for Class A motorhomes and Class B campervans if you want something smaller. 

If you plan to set up camp and then go on a sightseeing drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road, you may want to consider a trailer if you have a vehicle big enough to tow it. That way, you can set up your trailer and use your vehicle to explore the park. A campervan is another option that allows you to travel lightly and not worry as much about size restrictions as you would with a Class A motorhome. 

Camping Near Going To The Sun Road

There are lots of options for camping near Going to the Sun Road, with campgrounds both inside and just outside Glacier National Park. Keep in mind that Glacier is one of the biggest national parks. This means you’ll want to factor in drive time to and from your campsite each day. You can also spend a few days camping on the east side of the park, and then spend more time on the western side (or vice versa). 

Saint Mary Campground

Saint Mary Campground is along Going-to-the Sun Road. It doesn’t have much shade, but there are beautiful aspen trees. You’ll also get views of several nearby mountains including Singleshot and the Red Eagle Mountains. St. Mary Lake is nearby – it’s too cold for swimming but is an amazing sight. The campground is on the east side of the park. The sites do not have electric hookups. 

Apgar Campground

Apgar Campground is one of the largest and most popular campgrounds in the park. There are 194 campsites, and they are spread out with some shade as well. Some of the sites also have views of Lake McDonald. The campground has no hookups, but there are flush toilets and showers available. There is also a dump station. Apgar is on the west side of the park. 

Beargrass Lodging & RV Resort

Beargrass Lodging & RV Resort offers a lot more amenities than campgrounds inside the national park. It’s in West Glacier and is a 10-minute drive from the park. The resort has full hookups, WiFi, a pool, and a laundry room. There are RV sites that can accommodate up to a 45-foot rig.

Important Info

If you’re headed to Glacier National Park to drive Going-to-the-Sun Road, here is some important information on the park. 

Park Address: PO Box 128, West Glacier, MT 59936
Park Phone Number: (406) 888-7800
Park Amenities:
Glacier has several lodging and restaurant options throughout the park. There are also stores where you can buy park merchandise and camping essentials you may have forgotten to pack. There are boat tours, horseback riding, bus tours, and guided hikes available for guests. 

Going-to-the-Sun Road is a jaw-dropping drive past some of Glacier’s most well-known sights. You’ll want to check the National Park Service updates on road closures and construction plans. But you’re sure to see some amazing views and make lasting memories! 

If you want to experience the road yourself and stay inside or near Glacier, you can book an RV with RVshare! Spend your days exploring the park, and retire to your own space and a comfortable bed each night. In fact, RV camping is a wonderful way to see many of the country’s national parks and scenic spots.