Since it was the 4th of July, we thought there may be lots of traffic on Going to the Sun Road, so we walked to the St. Mary Visitor’s Center and caught the shuttle. We also wanted to do a hike where we didn’t have to backtrack and this way we were able to do a longer hike and come out at a different shuttle stop. Unlike Zion, where the shuttles were mandatory, no cars allowed unless you were going to the lodge, in Glacier the shuttle is voluntary. In Zion they also ran every 10 minutes, whereas in Glacier it’s every 30 minutes. Unfortunately, there were too many people waiting for everyone to get a seat, so about a dozen people had to stand, including Jim. Our driver, who barely looked old enough to have a driver’s license, was not very friendly, drove quite fast, and closed the door while a group of people were trying to get off. It was quite a ride! We went to Siyeh Bend, the last stop before Logan Pass, and hiked a nice trail back to the SunPoint shuttle stop, about 7 miles sown the road. It was almost all downhill for a change, which was nice. We saw a deer within a few minutes, then some nice views of the mountains and Jackson Glacier.
The trail got a little overgrown as we got to the lower elevations, and unfortunately the mosquitoes were out. Our Cutter Bug Spray(without DEET) didn’t quite cut it, so next time it’s the Deep Woods Off.
We finally got away from the bugs, and back along St. Mary Lake. Saw another very tame deer, and some beautiful wildflowers near the lake.
Our return shuttle trip was similar to the ride up, a full bus, so we both had to stand. Luckily our driver was training a woman, and she drove like a little old lady, barely able to go over 30 and hitting the brakes every time a car was coming the other way or there was a slight curve in the road. The young guy kept pointing to the clock and telling her how far behind schedule they were.
Let’s just say we enjoyed riding the shuttle a lot more at Zion than Glacier, but at least they are making an effort to keep more vehicles off the park roads, and people seem to be taking advantage of the service.