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Glacier National Park Biking

The first sign of spring in Glacier Country is the announcement that the snow plows are out! The plows stay busy for 10 weeks, scraping a winter’s worth of snow off the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. So, as soon as the plows advance a few miles, we get out our bikes, strap on our helmets, and go Glacier National Park biking! The plowed portions of the road are open only to biker and hiker traffic until mid to late June. Pedaling a bike up the nearly empty, quiet, Going-to-the-Sun Road is nothing short of spectacular. As you breathe in the fresh alpine air and watch waterfalls cascade off the mountains, you might catch a glimpse of a new moose or elk calf crossing a greening meadow. You might see harlequin ducks, mergansers, eagles, mountain goats, and even bears.

Glacier National Park biking is an experience you will not soon—or ever—forget. Our interpretive, guided bike tours on the gorgeous, closed sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road — and other paved roads within the park — are exclusive to Glacier Guides and Montana Raft. Nearly all ages (8 and up!) and abilities can enjoy at least part of this Glacier National Park shoulder-season experience.

Glacier National Park biking Going to the Sun Road Montana in the spring

Photo by Pete Thomas

Itinerary

After you arrive at our West Glacier campus at 9:45am, we depart around 10:30am and return around 4:30pm. We offer this trip once per day from early May through mid-late June, when the Going-to-the-Sun Road opens. If the Going-to-the-Sun Road is unavailable, we will bike on the lovely Camas Road, a hidden gem in Glacier National Park.

How far will we go? That answer will change as the snowplows advance to Logan Pass and as the park service opens up interior roads to public access. Therefore, we can only go as far as hiker/biker access allows us to go. The turnaround point will vary depending upon a number of factors. The first 6 miles are fairly level. The Going-to-the-Sun Road begins to climb after that point. It is about 7 miles to the West Side Tunnel — as measured from the Avalanche Lake Trailhead — and another 8 miles to Logan Pass from the Tunnel. Glacier National Park biking all the way to the Pass will incur a total elevation gain of just over 3,000 feet.

What To Expect

Bike tours include:

  • Our highly trained, friendly, and entertaining guides.
  • Transportation to the Going-to-the-Sun Road and to and from Glacier Guides and Montana Raft’s main office.
  • Men’s Raleigh Cadent 3 / Women’s Raleigh Alysa 3 bicycle with front fender and rear rack — small, medium, large, and extra-large frame choices.
  • Children’s Raleigh Alysa 24 or Rowdy bicycle — 20″ and 24″ frame choices.
  • Adults – Diamondback Helmet. Kids – Ultralight Pryme Helmet.
  • Homemade, locally sourced, largely organic sack lunch.

What to Bring

We suggest preparing for our interpretive Glacier National Park biking tours as though we were going hiking. On a nice day, shorts will work just fine! However, keep in mind that rain and snow are always possible in the mountains. Even if you think the day is nice enough for shorts, bring synthetic layers, such as long underwear or high tech exercise leggings. Definitely bring rain pants and rain jacket, as conditions are likely to change. After you gain elevation and begin the fun downhill ride, you’ll be glad you packed a puffy coat or fuzzy fleece jacket to put on. Gloves and a warm hat are a must in the high country this time of year. Hiking shoes are advised. Bring a water bottle or purchase one at our retail store for $3.

Cost

Cost: $110 per person. We do require a 2 person minimum for this trip to depart. What does that mean? If you are the only person signed up for a particular day, and would still like to go, the cost will be $220 for your private tour.

Self-Guided Glacier National Park Biking

Tired of the Glacier National Park traffic? You can rent a bike from our office and ride the easy, downhill 1.5 miles to the West Glacier entrance! Glacier Guides and Montana Raft is located on the Gateway to Glacier Bike Path, which connects to Glacier National Park’s bike trails. We rent men’s, women’s, and children’s Raleigh Cadent 3 bikes, which are a hybrid between a mountain bike and a road bike.  In other words, perfect for biking around many miles of Northwest Montana! Self guided Glacier National Park Bike rentals include Raleigh bicycle and helmet. $40/day