Saturday, May 4, 2013

Going to the Sun?


Glacier National Park in northern Montana in the US covers over 4000 square kilometers and is filled with over 130 lakes, 12 active glaciers, and hundreds of species of plants and animals. However, It is probably most well-known for one particular road that winds through through the park, Going-to-the-Sun Road.

Going-to-the-Sun Road is the only road that crosses the park, passing over the Continental Divide and Logan Pass at 1,965 meters (6,446 ft) elevation. The narrow and winding two-lane road is steep with few guardrails due to numerous avalanches in the winter months. It is considered one of the most difficult roads to plow in North America. The road is only open for 2 to 3 months in the summer, but the views of glaciers, waterfalls, and mountains along the scenic drive are well worth the wait.

Construction of the road began in 1921 as one of the first National Park Service road projects specifically for automobiles. It was not completed until late 1932, at a cost of $2.5 million. In 1985, Going-to-the-Sun Road was dedicated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. If you can't make the trip in person, you can check out the Glacier National Park photo page, which is filled with images taken throughout the park.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/glaciernps


References:
http://www.nps.gov/glac/index.htm

http://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/gttsroadplow/gttsroadplowstatus.cfm

http://www.nationalparkstraveler.com/2013/04/photography-national-parks-sun-and-beyond-glacier-national-park23154

For a past Earth Story post on Glacier National Park, see:
http://tinyurl.com/d79yylb

Image of St. Mary's Lake and Wild Goose Island from Going-to-the-Sun Road, credit Ken Thomas
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:St_Mary_Lake.jpg


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