Going to the Sun in a Red Bus

Day two in Glacier and these flatland geezers were bushed and sore from day one’s hike. So we booked a tour on a Glacier Park open-topped Red Bus. It was an especially grand ride because our tour was on the first day this season that the pass over the Continental Divide was open. The Going-to-the-Sun Road, named for a majestic mountain in the Park of the same name, is the road that traverses the Park east to west – climbing to 6647 feet above sea level at Logan’s Pass on the Continental Divide. The entire 50-mile road over Logan’s Pass was opened in 1933, but the Red Buses have been used in the park since as early as 1914. In about the 1990s, the Ford Company reconditioned the buses, which were originally built by the White Bus Company. The red color of the buses, which has remained the same throughout its use in Glacier, is patterned after the Ripe Mountain Ash Berry found in the Park. Our six-hour Red Bus tour along the Going-to-the-Sun Road – with a historically clad driver – began on the west side of the Park and ended at the Rising Sun area, where we had dinner before driving back. It was very pleasant to let someone else do the driving as we viewed Lake McDonald, Jackson Glacier, Bird Woman Falls, Saint Mary’s Lake, Logan Pass, and Going-to-the-Sun Mountain – not to mention the many water cascades and falls and the exquisite, yet somewhat frightening, views of the drop-off from the mountain road into the valley far below.

Going-to-the-Sun Mountain
Going-to-the-Sun Mountain
Jackson Glacier
Jackson Glacier
Bird Woman Falls
Bird Woman Falls

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