After a bunch of spring rain, we decided to haul our bikes up to Glacier National Park and bike Going-to-the-Sun Road on a sunny Sunday. We were not disappointed! The weather was gorgeous and we were able to bike up past the Loop.
On the west side of Glacier, the Going-to-the-Sun Road is closed to vehicles at Lake McDonald Lodge. On the weekends and evenings, when the plow crews aren’t working, you can bike up to where they’ve stopped plowing.
We unloaded the bikes at the lodge and began pedaling up. More birds are arriving from their wintering grounds and they were singing like crazy in the trees. McDonald Creek is getting bigger by the day as the snow from up high melts. Its gorgeous clear waters turned green in deep pools and white as it clamored over the red, blue, and gray rock.
The further up we pedaled, the more of the mountains we saw. Snow still clings to them en masse which is great for the creeks and the rivers. A friend was looking for Harlequin Ducks and found one. I happened upon her and she pointed it out feeding on the opposite side of McDonald Creek!
We continued on up and began the steeper climb. Birdwoman Falls, normally a tall, delicate cascade, was a tower of blue ice.
We found the perfect rock to sit on for lunch near the West Side Tunnel. The sound of splashing water and chirping/singing birds echoed throughout the valleys. The sun warmed our face and we had only the slightest of breezes.
After lunch, we continued up to the Loop with Heavens Peak towering high above. The rock on its face was hidden with only a slight outline tracing its edges.
We were delighted to find that we could ride pretty far past the Loop. As we headed up, we spied a Mountain Goat feeding on the new growth popping up from rocks as the snow recedes. Sections of the road had snow that had fallen down after the plows had been through. Fallen rocks were scattered throughout as well. They make many passes to get everything cleared.
Speaking of the plowing equipment, we finally found them on the section of road right before the vantage of Haystack Creek. We changed into our downhill gear. It gets really chilly with the cold air and the bike tires spraying up icy water from the road.
On our way back down, we were fortunate enough to see another male Harlequin Duck at Redrocks and watched it feed for a little before continuing on back from the car with muscles tired from biking and from smiling.