Engineered by mountain goatsGoing-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When I’m planning a road trip, I try to avoid interstate highways whenever possible. When in doubt, state and U.S. highways are almost always a better choice—both for scenic drives and for interesting road vistas. But even better than that are the roads through most national parks—which are specifically designed to give visitors the most beautiful drive imaginable. And by that logic, Glacier National Park’s Going-to-the-Sun Road might just be the most spectacular ribbon of road in the whole country.

Glacier National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Going-to-the-Sun Road is both a feat of engineering and a marvel of determined highway maintenance. It’s only open for a few months every year, and takes weeks to clear of snow before it opens in the summer. It’s also not for the faint of heart—I love mountain driving, but I don’t love heights, and even at our crawling pace, all those hairpin curves made my stomach plummet to the floor every few minutes.

Glacier National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

But oh—oh. I’d gather my courage and brave any precarious goat track for this. I’d cross a continent for a view like that.

And since our day at Glacier fell at the very end of a five-week cross-country trip–that’s precisely what we did.

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Comments (2)

  1. Erika N

    I agree. This is one scary but gorgeous road, especially in the middle of a thunderstorm. Your drawings brought me back there and I loved reliving those moment. Glad you had the view with those clouds and that greyness. Enjoy reading, as I love a good road trip just as you do.

    1. Chandler O'Leary Post author

      Thanks, Erika. We were there during a thunderstorm, too! Super scary. The rain tapered off by the time we got to the part of the pass that I sketched, but the eastern slope, on the way up, was really stormy. Trees bending over in the wind and everything. What a day!

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