Glacier National Park Information

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Glacier National Park Cycling

A very popular place to ply this sport is in the Glacier National Park. They have certain trail hours and rules, as do most parks you may visit. Below is further information if you are planning to visit this particular park.

Bike Path Glacier Park
Located near Apgar, this bike path (more information here) is nicely paved.

Backcountry biking or trail biking in Glacier Park is prohibited.
Paved trails and the roads where cars are allowed, are the only places to bike in Glacier Park.
Bicycling in Glacier Park can be fun but some roads are narrow and winding with little or no shoulder. For this reason bicycling is restricted in the most hazardous sections of the Going-to-the-Sun Road from 11:00 to 4:00 from June 15 to Labor Day. However in the beginning of the summer, the road is open for hikers and cyclists but closed to vehicles while they get the road plowed and ready for traffic. Thanks to the massive snowfall Glacier receives over the winter, the opening of the road can be delayed all the way until mid-July.

Moonlight rides on Going-to-the-Sun Road are popular. On a clear night the scenery comes alive with the glow of a full moon. Start by heading up the hill a couple hours before sundown -- which can be late in the summer -- and coast down by the light of the silvery moon. Helmets, reflectors and a headlamp are required after nightfall.

On the way down from the Summit

Bicycles may be used only on established roads and parking areas or on designated routes. Bicycles are not allowed on the trails. It is best to bicycle Going-to- the-Sun Road from east to west. Helmets are required.
Two-mile long McDonald Creek Bike Path, near the Apgar Visitor Center, is suitable for a short, peaceful pedal. Children especially enjoy it, and is a good way to get them out in the woods in an active way that burns off energy for some quieter nature walks afterwards.

Running Eagle Falls in the Two Medicine Valley

Happy Cycling in Glacier Park………

General Biking Information

If you are a backcountry cyclist or a wanna be, there are a few simple rules you must follow to conduct this sport safely and with proper trail etiquette, (with wildlife, not people.)
First of all, make sure your bike and equipment are in perfect working order, and wear proper gear: helmet, cycling shorts or tights, windbreaker jacket, cycle gloves, etc. A spare tire and air pump should always be on your “Important supplies list.” Plus, take along in a backpack or bicycle saddlebags, ample water, food, matches, warm clothing, rain gear, tent and/or sleeping bag, gun, hunting knife, and other needed items for your comfort and well being. Even though you think you are only going on a day trip, many a hiker/biker have been stranded in the woods overnight or longer without proper gear.

Two cyclist in front of the Weeping Wall.

SO GO PREPARED!

Another thing you must be aware of is properly marked trails. The Forest Service usually has signposts every few hundred yards for cyclists to follow so they won’t get lost. REMAIN ON THE TRAIL.
Never go cycling in the mountains alone is a good rule to follow for several reasons. Just 2 important ones are: Two heads are better than one, and should one of you get hurt or lost, the other can go for help, is another.

The one, most important rule of all though is to remember you are in the ANIMAL KINGDOM! This is THEIR territory, not yours, so don’t forget to respect that fact. In the woods, animals are NOT tame and should not be treated as domestic pets. YOU are lunch or dinner in their eyes so veer away from their known habitat or areas where they feed and raise their young.

Bear can be found around water, particularly during salmon season in late summer and fall, and the females usually have a couple of cubs with, and are prepared to protect them to the death— YOUR DEATH PREFERABLY if you cross between she and her cubs. They also gorge themselves on berries at this time so where you see an abundance of this type of vegetation in late summer and autumn, steer clear for safety sake.

Westside tunnel across from Heaven's Peak.

Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Glacier National Park is a good place to bike.

Also, cougars may see you joyfully riding through their eating habitat and think you strongly resemble a fleeing deer, their number one choice of eatable prey. They will chase you down in a matter of seconds and won’t wait for dinner napkins and chilled wine to devour the whole of you. YOU are just a good meal to them so watch your back and carry a weapon at all times. And I don’t mean a pin-knife but a pistol large enough to stop a bull if necessary. This is one time when pretty words won’t make a difference in whether you survive or not. YOU WON’T. They are bigger, stronger, more cunning, and very much smarter than you in their private domain. That’s the reason they aren’t extinct. Get it? Lord knows, they’ve been hunted with hounds and rifles since both were invented.

So don’t be a fool in the woods if you care to add bicycling to your list of fun activities in the great outdoors. The creatures will most likely leave YOU alone if you leave THEM alone. But if you think you can go racing through their home ground innumerable times unprotected and ignorant of their existence or ferociousness, and unaware of the consequences, LOOK OUT! The search party will only find remnants of your clothing the animal couldn’t quite digest….

Cycling in National Parks, written by Granny Tam.