Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun
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Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun

This is a discussion on Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun within the XSR900 Ride Report forums, part of the Yamaha XSR900 Cafe Racer Forum category; I've wanted to do the Going-to-the-Sun Road through Glacier National Park for a long time now, and finally got to it a couple weekends back. ...

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Thread: Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun

  1. #1
    Member moliver's Avatar
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    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun

    I've wanted to do the Going-to-the-Sun Road through Glacier National Park for a long time now, and finally got to it a couple weekends back. Went with 2 friends on a CB 919 and a V-Star 950. Here's the route we took:

    https://goo.gl/maps/TXvPcKQAPNr

    Day 1 started somewhat worryingly... my buddy on the 919 was having battery issues and we were considering waiting until the dealership opened to buy him a battery, but the bike started up fine and he figured it was just a fluke that it was acting strangely the night before so off we went. Great, off we go.

    In typical Alberta fashion it was really chilly early in the morning and we were pretty cold most of the way to Montana. It's pretty boring terrain until you get to Waterton Ntl. Park. The one exception being the highway from Nanton over to hwy 22 (Hwy 533). A fun little ride through otherwise flat, straight terrain. Before starting onto Hwy 6 we get gas in Pincher Creek and my buddy's bike will not start... We push start it, get to a shop that sells batteries and discover that they don't have the one we need. Long story short the battery itself was fine and 5 big rubber bands fixed the problem... It was all good after that.

    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-1-pincher.jpg

    Highway 6 through Waterton was a joy - perfect blacktop, no traffic and this is weird but the park smelled great. Like nature-y great. Crossing the border into America was easy but the road takes a real turn for the worse. In pretty bad shape and there are a lot of cows and cow crap on the road. It wasn't all bad and the views were nice. I'd still take that road over the boring straight highway alternative. After lunch at the Mexican place in St Mary we were on to Glacier National Park and the Going-to-the-Sun Road.

    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-1-hwy-6.jpg

    There's not much to say about Going-to-the-Sun that hasn't been said, but it's a stunning piece of road that if you have the chance to ride you should. It's not the fun, fast, technical twisties that I typically like, but the views were amazing. I would recommend doing it east to west as the climb is shorter and if you're nervous about heights you spend less time on the cliff side of the road so it's not quite so dizzying. It was slow and busy and construction stopped us for a few minutes, but none of that mattered. It was great, great, great.

    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-1-gtts-bike.jpg
    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-1-gtts-view.jpg
    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-1-gtts-view2.jpg

    The rest of the ride to Libby - through Kalispell and then hwy 2 - was pretty uneventful. Hwy 2 is a nice enough road, but nothing to write home about. We had a nice dinner at the Switchback in Libby and called it a night. Oh and it's crazy how few people wear helmets in Montana!
    ridetofish and Rinterstate like this.
    • 1990 Honda NT650GT Hawk (red)
    • 2016 Yamaha XSR900 (silver)

  2. #2
    Member moliver's Avatar
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    Day 2 started out great with 60+ miles of beautiful, fast, twisty goodness on Hwy 37. We stopped a the Libby Dam and Yaak Valley Bridge for some photos. My buddy on the cruiser absolutely loved this bit because it's nice big sweeping corners, not the really tight stuff that cruisers are not good at. Great stretch of road and I hear that the road on the opposite side of Lake Koocanusa is also very nice. I'll be back to this area. We stopped for lunch at Trapper's Saloon just north of Eureka - a bit of a tourist trap with really good food - and headed back to Canada.


    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-2-libby-dam-mike.jpg
    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-2-libby-dam.jpg
    Calgary, AB to Libby, MT via Going-to-the-Sun-day-2-libby-bridge.jpg

    We decided to take the long way through Invermere, Banff, etc. I found two little side roads that were a little slower than hwy 93 but a heck of a lot nicer to ride than just more busy highway. If anyone does take the Jaffray - Baynes Lake Rd make sure you slow down for the residential section. The Wardner - Ft Steele Rd was the other diversion which was a lot of fun. Again, just staying off the main highway as long as possible.

    Highway 95 is always busy and this was no exception. Things got kind of slow, kind of boring... and then it started to rain. We had rain for the last 250 km or so... it dropped from 29 C (84 F) to 14 C (57 F) in the space of 20 minutes. It was dreadful and I have since ordered warmer gloves and boot rain covers... Not much to say other than that this is always a beautiful bit of road, but I didn't get a lot of enjoyment out of it... Was glad to be home after a really stellar 2 days of riding.

    Thanks for reading!
    • 1990 Honda NT650GT Hawk (red)
    • 2016 Yamaha XSR900 (silver)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Racerman27410's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ride report. I've ridden the going to the sun road and it is definitely a must see.

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