Marias Pass

Marias Pass traverses the Continental Divide just south of Glacier National Park. At 5,213 feet, it’s the lowest pass over the Rockies in the Continental U.S. north of New Mexico. Oddly enough, the pass was not fully chartered or even “discovered” until 1889. I say oddly enough, because even at a distance, once can see, when viewing the area from the east, what looks like a gap in the mountain range which suggests: look here!—easier way to get over the mountain range!

The road through the pass, Route 2, skirts the edge of Glacier National Park and, in one section, actual enters the park. On the plus side, you don’t have to pay the normal $35 fee to enter this section of the park, but there’s not much to see or do in this section of the park. There’s one major parking area, for a place called “Goat Lick,” which is essentially a cliff rich in minerals where animals, particularly mountain goals, come to “lick” up some vitamins. For what it’s worth, I’ve stopped at Goat Lick four times and have never see any darn goats. This is what the place looks like:

Marias Pass is perhaps most famous for being the place where the Great Northern railroad chose to get through the Rockies. Trains still run through the area quite frequently:

At Marias Pass itself one finds a parking lot, an obelisk, and a statue of John F. Stevens (who “discovered” and chartered the pass):

Here’s some more images taken from the general Marias Pass area: