Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Glacier National Park Montana Day 1

This trip to Glacier National Park was a last minute decision and I was so fortunate to be able to secure  accommodations for four nights.  I had a plan to visit here the end of July of last year but it got cancelled because a massive wildfire took over this part of the Park.  It seems like this place is worlds away, yet from my home it is three hours to the border and then just short of an hour to Logan Pass.  So, here I stand at 10:45 this morning.
The Going-To-The-Sun Road only opened for the season two weeks ago.  I have never been here this early in the year but it fit perfectly into my schedule.  The big major hiking trails will not be open for at least another couple of weeks but I did my homework and found just enough open trails and things to see to fill my time here.  

I stopped into the Visitor Center first to see if there was anything I should have and of course there was.  After that business was dealt with, I hit the trail to the Hidden Lake Viewpoint.  I knew that would be my destination and not the Lake itself due to the snow slopes on the way to it.   After a little elevation gain, I could see back to the Highline Trail, Garden Wall and the Going-To-The-Sun Road.  
one of those early summer tarns
baby goat at the Viewpoint
The glacier lilies were in abundance.  
glacier lilies
I enjoyed my lunch while admiring Hidden Lake down below. 
I made my way back pretty guickly.  I wanted to get across that snow slope, I could not relax until it was behind me.  On the way in a family from Alabama (Dad, Mom, two teen girls) stuck by me through that section and an elderly man and woman were my confidence upon the return.  They sounded southern too.  I don't know if any of them realized the consequences if they slipped.  I was embarrassed to say where I was from because the roles should be reversed, living in Calgary and being in the mountains every winter weekend, I should be helping them across the snow slope. Enough of that!

On the drive back from Logan Pass to St Mary, I took time to check out where that wildfire was.  You could not miss it. I let myself go to the minds of the visitors for a few minutes, trying to imagine how they must have felt to be driving here last summer with flames on either side of the road,  I was told to expect wide open vistas now, where before they were lacking due to full healthy forests obstructing views.
While the trees are black and look lifeless, the grass is vibrant green and the flowers bloom.
fire scene
 St Mary Lake
I stopped into the St Mary Visitor Center, not to shop, but to inquire about the three hikes I had in mind to complete.  The views from the parking lot are so pretty.
Before checking into my home away from home, I strolled along a trail across the road from my temporary dwelling which followed the shoreline.
her painting looked life-like
View of St Mary Lake
view from my porch
while I sipped Moose Drool
 and before I lay my head on the pillow for the night

I am so happy to be here and to see this beautiful part of Glacier National Park thriving again.  I wish the best for The Park and it's people. It has been a big long day and I am pleasantly depleted enough I can hardly keep my eyes open. On that note...


  1. I love Glacier NP! Can't wait to see all the places you hike.

  2. What a brilliant start to your stay.


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