This past weekend John and I headed to Montana to visit our good friend Scott. We originally planned to just stick around Missoula and visit a few local restaurants and spots we haven’t had a chance to check out yet.
About half way to Missoula John turned and told me he thought we should just head up to Glacier National Park a few hours north. I instantly said YES!!!
Visiting Glacier National Park and the Going to the Sun Road is one of my favorite things to do. There is just something so relaxing, breathtaking and awe inspiring of driving up the mountain road. We didn’t tell Scott what our plans were for the weekend. I called him up and told him to pack an overnight bag we were headed out on an adventure. Thankfully Scott is very used to our last minute trips and goes with the flow.
When we arrived in Missoula I had a couple of things I really wanted to do before we headed to the park. The first stop was Cracker Barrel for breakfast/lunch. You all know how much I love Cracker Barrel and have to get my fill each time we are in Montana. The second stop was CVS to load up on road trip essentials and a few more things we were running low on. We sadly do not have a CVS in Spokane so every time we travel I stock up on my favorite products. Later this week I am going to share a post showing off my favorite road trip essentials.
Can you tell I had a bit of fun at CVS. The store in Missoula was recently redone and is huge! Oh my gosh so many great deals and products that we love. I loaded up with everything that I was looking for and a few more fun treats I found while wandering the store.
Once we had the essentials we hit the road heading north to Glacier National Park. It is a couple hour drive from Missoula through truly amazing scenery. There is nothing quite like the views you get while driving to the park. From the Sawtooth Mountains to Flathead Lake the views are just breathtaking.
We headed to the hotel as soon as we reached Kalispell to drop off our bags and take the tops of the Jeep. We wanted to make sure we could enjoy the gorgeous weather and see the mountain peaks out the top.
It didn’t take us long to get ready to head to the park. This was Scott’s first time visiting the park since he was a little kid. He was so excited to see the park as an adult and that we had dropped this surprise trip on him.
From Kalispell it takes between 30-45 minutes to reach West Glacier depending on traffic. During the summer there can be heavy traffic heading to the park. Since it was already early evening we did not encounter any traffic on our way into the park. We were on a mission to see the Going to the Sun Road and capture some great pics of sunset over the mountains.
The Going to the Sun Road had just opened a week or so ago which was a nice bonus since I forgot to look it up ahead of time. There have been years that the road does not open until August due to the snow pack. If you ever want to see a crazy job check out some of the YouTube videos of the snow plow drivers clearing the snow from the road. EEK!
Thankfully we did not encounter any snow during our visit.
Driving the Going to the Sun Road is simply breathtaking. From the waterfalls to gorgeous vistas overlooking the mountains everywhere you look is awe inspiring.
I could easily spend days just driving up and down the road taking pictures. Even after multiple visits I feel like we see something new each time we drive in the park.
One of my favorite sections of the road is right before you get to the Logan Pass visitor center. There is a gorgeous waterfall right next to the road that is perfect for photos! Plus there is a parking lot so you don’t have to try and shoot out the window and get the perfect shot.
We were so excited to see a shaggy Mountain Goat right as we pulled into the parking lot. They didn’t stick around for long but we were so happy to get a few photos.
Our animal sightings continued in the Logan Pass visitor center parking lot. There were 3 really nice size Big Horn Sheep right in the parking lot. I was a bit worried about what they were licking off the parking lot and asked a ranger if they were OK. They told me that the sheep have cast iron stomachs and can eat almost anything. She said they most likely found the coffee that a visitor poured out and thought it was dessert for the night.
We stopped for a bit at the top of Logan Pass to enjoy some of the great snacks we picked up at CVS.
Have you tried these Sea Salt Caramel Cookies? OH MY GOSH YUM!!! Seriously so dang good!
After enjoying a few snacks and watching the Big Horn Sheep we decided to head back down the hill to find the perfect place for sunset. We really wanted to see if we could get photos of the sun going down behind the mountains.
We found the perfect spot part way down the Going to the Sun Road. After about 30 seconds outside of the Jeep I was so happy the car was stocked with road trip essentials. The mosquitoes were swarming me as soon as I hopped out to get photos. I thankfully picked up some CVS insect repellent during our shopping trip earlier in the day. I am one of those people that mosquitoes love and feast on. My dear Husband rarely gets bitten…..so not fair!
Here is just one of the amazing sunset pics we got during our visit.
It was such a peaceful moment standing together on the side of the road watching the sun go down. Truly a highlight of our visit!
After the sun went down we headed back to Kalispell for the evening. We were able to pick up pizza from our favorite local restaurant and all of us enjoyed a chill night at the hotel. It was so fun being able to catch up on life, talk about our trip, and plan what we were going to do the next day.
Sunday found us up bright and early and heading for the park. I originally planned for us to be up for sunrise in the park. Well the two guys on the trip had other ideas and decided that sleeping in was a better option. So I was outvoted which wasn’t so bad when I also got to sleep in for the first time in a while.
We decided to hit one of the trails at the start of the Going to the Sun Road to kick off the day. The Loop Trail is the perfect trail to explore a bit more of the park. Just after you start the trail there is this gorgeous waterfall. When you park in the parking lot you would never think this view is only a few minutes away.
I love this photo I quickly grabbed as a Jammer drove down the road. They are such icons of Glacier National Park. One of these trips we are going to book a Jammer ride so we can experience riding in one up and down the Going to the Sun Road.
We spent the rest of the day taking as many pictures as we possibly could and soaking up the sites. We stopped at every waterfall we could for photos and just enjoyed our time together.
After exploring the park for a few more hours we had to head home 🙁 We enjoyed a gorgeous drive back to Spokane and can’t wait to head to Montana again soon!
Disclosure: I’m proud to partner with CVS/pharmacy for the #FindYourHealthy campaign. I am being sponsored by CVS/pharmacy for my posts and activities, but all opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.