Mastery over nature or blend with the environment...two different philosophies represented by two different routes.
After the establishment of Glacier National Park efforts began on constructing a road to provide access to the interior of the park. One route, proposed by National Park Service Chief Engineer George Goodwin, climbed Logan Pass through a series of 15 switchbacks. It was considered easier to construct and would provide a statement of man's mastery over nature. The other route, proposed by National Park Service Landscape Architect Thomas Vint, consisted of one long switchback, "hanging" along the Garden Wall. It required more stone masonry retaining walls and would be more difficult to build, but would blend into the mountainside and provide sweeping vistas.
National Park Service Director Stephen T. Mather enlisted U. S. Bureau of Public Roads engineer Frank Kittredge to conduct a feasibility survey of the two routes. He found the wider curves, lower 6% grade, and aesthetic appeal of the Vint proposal more desirable. Even though it was more expensive, Mather selected the Vint route because it was a better design with fewer impacts and would truly make the interior of the park more accessible to the public.
Part of the appeal of driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road today is to step back in time and experience the same stone masonry features, original alignment, and the historic look and feel that the road had when it was completed in 1932.