TwHP Lessons

Going-to-the-Sun Road:
A Model of Landscape Engineering

[Photo] Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park.
(Historic American Engineering Record, Martin Stupich, photographer)


oaring mountain peaks, glaciers, deep-blue lakes, and lush forests of spruce, lodgepole pine, cedar, hemlock, and subalpine fir delight the senses of visitors who drive on Going-to-the-Sun Road through Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. Turnouts allow visitors to relish vistas of glacier-sculpted mountains and glimpse wildlife.

Before this east-west road was constructed, only a small number of people could enjoy this spectacular scenery. The construction of the Going-to-the-Sun Road, dedicated in 1933, made this splendid experience available to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to the park by car. Building this transmountain road, which was literally carved out of the precipitous mountainside for 12 of its 50-mile length, was a challenging and dangerous task. Its designers and builders learned valuable lessons that were applied to many such scenic roads to follow.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. Montana
 2. Glacier National Park

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Surveying Going-to-the-Sun Road
 2. Building Going-to-the-Sun Road
 3. Preserving the Landscape

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Going-to-the-Sun Road
 2. Area near Logan Pass
 3. Building the Granite Creek Retaining Wall
 4. Triple Arches
 5. Construction Equipment
 6. View of the Garden Wall
 7. Going-to-the-Sun Road

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Use a Park or Preserve It?
 2. Working in a Park
 3. Investigating the Local Community

Supplementary Resources

How to Use a TwHP Lesson

Lessons on Related Topics

TwHP Home

National Register Home

About the National Register

How the National Register
Helps Teachers

Contact TwHP

Glacier National Park

This lesson is based on Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Going-to-the-Sun Road has been designated a National Historic Landmark.



Comments or Questions
Privacy & Disclaimer
Site optimized for V4.0
& above browsers

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.