Logan Pass

Located on the scenic mountain road in the Rocky Mountains of the western United States, Logan Pass sits between the towering Reynolds Mountains and Clements Mountain. This area within Glacier National Park was historically used as a "pass" for travelers and hikers to get through the mountains. Hiking these trails provides unbeatable views along the Continental Divide within the National Park, with treks available for both experienced hikers and families with kids. 

Geography Of Logan Pass

Glacier National Park's Logan Pass
The Logan Pass in the Glacier National Park.

Situated in the state known as Big Sky Country, referencing the state's vast, open spaces, open fields surround Logan Pass. Elevated at an impressive 6,646 feet above sea level, Logan Pass is the highest point in the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park in Montana, one of the largest states in the US. Completed in 1932 and opened in 1933, the famous road connects the park's east entrance, namely St. Mary, 18 miles away from the Pass, and Lake McDonald, which sits on the west entrance. This area is sought after by many people because of the many hiking trails, nearby glaciers, hidden lakes, and diverse wildlife such as Lake McDonald, Avalanche Lake, Saint Mark Lake, Hidden Lake, Iceberg Lake, Grinnell Glacier and Lake, Cracker Lake, Swift Current Lake, Lake Josephine, and Fishercap Lake. The area is also home to some spectacular falls, notably McDonald Falls, Virginia Falls, Saint Mary Bird Woman Falls, Baring Falls, Apikuni Falls, and Redrock falls.

Climate Of Logan Pass

Surprisingly, Logan Pass gets more precipitation than any other area in Montana. This is due, in part, to the moist air that is forced upward from the Pacific towards the mountains, thereby causing cooling by expansion. In addition, Arctic air contributes to the lifting and cooling from the east side of the divide to reach the Pacific air coming from the west. 

The nearby area called The Big Drift usually records over 80 feet of snow annually, with gusts of wind reaching around 139 miles per hour. Only then can vehicles drive across the Continental Divide at Logan Pass. With extreme cold and rough conditions, it is not surprising that people would instead visit the area in late June or early July to be able to access the Pass safely. 

Wildlife In The Area

Logan pass mountain goat
A mountain goat in the Glacier National Park area.

With its high elevation and harsh conditionsthe area has some interesting and not too well-known inhabitants, such as the adorable Pika mammal. The occasional grizzly and black bears might suddenly appear as they like the cold weather. If you cannot spot them, you can usually hear their distinctive high calls or whistles that echo through the peaks.

Who can forget the iconic mountain goat, clinging to the edge of rocks and prancing from hill to hill? Also, traveling in flocks within the area are the bighorn sheep, known for their remarkable agility despite horns weighing up to 30 pounds. From cute to wild and dangerous, Logan Pass's furry inhabitants are a delight to watch as they search for food and water. The lesser-seen coyote can sometimes be spotted lurking within the grasslands and prairies, particularly at dawn. It is advisable to admire the creature from afar.  

Tourism In Logan Pass 

Logan Pass
Tourists clicking photos of a mountain goat near Logan Pass.

It comes as no surprise that Logan Pass is extremely popular with visitors. The area provides its visitors with excellent views of glaciers, falls, and lakes. Home to the famous Highline Trail that starts at Logan Pass and continues to an area known as The Garden Wall, many hikers flock to get this trail off their bucket list. Some visitors opt for the famous Red Bus Tours to discover the area. Featuring a canvas roof that rolls back to give an open-air view of the surrounding peaks, these vintage buses take visitors on a two-and-a-half-hour ride guaranteed to cover the best areas. Visitors can even access the Pass using their vehicles if the conditions allow them to do so.  

 Whether you want to take the perfect picture near one of the hidden lakes or get some blood pumping on its hiking trails, Logan Pass is a true must-see. Suitable for both individuals and families alike, the natural formation with its picturesque backdrop is highly recommended for anyone who wants to hit pause on their daily grind. It is best to visit the area during warmer weather and arrive in the early morning to spot its fantastic fauna and admire its beautiful flora.