Monday, August 1, 2016

Redrock Lake & Falls GNP Montana August 1 2016

Considering I had the drive back home today on a Canadian holiday Monday which included a border crossing, I did not want to hike a great distance.  I picked Bullhead Lake as my destination.  The trail head was at my doorstep and the scenery included three lakes, waterfalls, creeks, red rocks and mountain vistas.   It would be a 10 kilometer round trip with minimal elevation gain.  It would also be an introduction of the route to Swiftcurrent Pass from the Many Glacier side which I want to hike another time.  

The view this time around from my room at Swift Current Motor Inn is this.  Each evening between 5:30 and 6:30 the red cars arrive back after their day of touring. One evening I watched the routine performed by the drivers.  They guided each other as they backed the car into place.  They checked to make sure the cars were all precisely lined up.  There was lots of backing up and moving forward until there was perfection with the line up.  They polished the vehicle from top to bottom and from front to back until they glistened.  When all was said and done, they paced back and forth in front of all vehicles completing an inspection.  This is how they sit when their day is done and ready to begin again the next morning.      
And my morning begins.  I checked out and moved my car two minutes to the trail head for Bullhead Lake.  The official trail head is called Swiftcurrent Trailhead. There were already many vehicles here as this is the hub for many different day hikes and backpack trips.  At 7:30am it was already hot. 
This trail is part of the Continential Divide Trail.
This is a common sign seen in  Glacier National Park.  
I did not take it lightly, I was noisy.
near the beginning
In no time at all, I arrived at Fishercap Lake.  
There was a little distance between Fishercap Lake and Redrock Lake.  I could see brown movement at the end of the lake and when I zoomed in I saw it was a moose. They are known to frequent this Lake in the early morning.  I hurried to the far end of the Lake to get closer.
She was eating and drinking while her baby sat in the grass and watched.
I spent a little time admiring the moose family then went on with my day.  
All the red rock was now in view.  
I spent a little bit of time climbing the rocks getting views of Redrock Falls.  A few other folks were in the vicinity.  I hear this place gets very, very busy so I was happy to be here early.  I was still noisy though not letting my guard down.
It was time to move on up the trail.  I was glad to see the trail open up after a little time of dense brush and a narrow windng trail.  The grand vistas were coming into view.  I wanted to have a look to see where the trail veered to head up to Swiftcurrent Pass.  I carried on aiming for Bullhead Lake....
...but I never made it to Bullhead Lake.  When I reached the opening along the trail and had a wide open view, I spied movement on the grassy slope to my right.  I saw a grizzly bear chowing down.  Then I saw another one doing the same thing.
Then I saw three grizzly bears all having what I figured was breakfast.  It was Mom and her kids and the kids looked a good size, so they were not brand new this year. I watched them for a little while, it was an amazing sight to see and I felt safe.  They began to slowly work their way down slope and I decided at that point I had reached my turn around point.  There was no hiking on to Bullhead Lake today for me.  I did not want to have to come face to face to this family on my return portion of the hike.  
I was disappointed not to make it to Bullhead Lake but it was not worth it for me to go there so upon my return I took a little more time around all the red rocks.  I did warn others who were coming along.  Some took the chance others did not.
I opted for my destination shot to be up on some red rocks.
On the way back, I admired the lakes again and then aimed for my car.  Instead of the ten kilometers planned distance, I completed eight kilometres.  I was completely content with how this somewhat spur of the moment plan for the long weekend turned out and was now ready to hit the highway home.  


  1. Glorious day and what an amazing, safe encounter. Such a stunning area.

  2. Wow how cool to see both moose and bear on your hike! And very smart decision to turn around when you spotted the bear. I would've done the same.


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