Sunday, July 31, 2016

Highline Trail GNP Montana July 31 2016

Deja Vu but different this time!  This time The Highline Trail is open, being clear of all snow slopes, so it is open for business and I have lots of business to take care of here today.  Today's plan was to hike The Highline Trail to the intersection of the Grinnell Glacier Overlook, climb up to the Overlook,  hang out, and then return the way I came.  That plan did not pan out, follow along to see how my day did play out.
Arriving at the trail head early, I could already see loads of folks ahead.  I had no worries of soloing, even considering hikers were confronted by a grizzly a few days prior.  The morning was fresh and clear and I felt invigorated.
The trail starts at Logan Pass so you are high right from the get go. Here I am looking down onto the Going to the Sun Road. You can see the hiking trail in the left of the photo in the center.  It's that fine grey line with a cable along side to hold on to if you are so inclined to do so.
Part of the Highline Trail is called the Garden Wall.  The wild flowers were in abundance pretty much the entire stretch.  I tried to just admire as I hiked by, but could not help myself from stopping lots to get up close and capture the beauty.
By now I passed many people, both young and old, soloists, couples and families.  Haystack Butte came into sight.  It looked like an appealing place to be up on.  I pondered options as I approached it.
I hiked up to the lower level of Haystack Butte, beyond that was a scramble which was not in my cards for today.  This was a good spot for a snack break and a destination shot.  Hiking up to here added time on to my morning which I had not previously included as an option.                                                   
beargrass along the way
I could spy the trail going on forever and I could also see Granite Park Chalet sitting in the center of the ridge ahead. It looked so close but I knew it wasn't. I thoroughly enjoy these vast views.  I reached the intersection for the trail up to the Grinnell Glacier Overlook.  In a matter of a split second, I decided I did not want to go up there and I did not want to return the way I came.  I wanted to reach the Chalet.
view on my way to the Chalet 
zoomed in on Granite Park Chalet
flowers framing the mountain view
just another one of those beautiful vast views
I reached the final section of trail that winds up to the Chalet.
While no folks were directly in this vicinity, I secured another destination shot. Good thing it was airy and breezy up here. This was another hot day in Glacier.  I admired the area and then settled down at a picnic table to rest and savour my meal.
This was my lunch time view.  Three folks joined me to dine.  We agreed this view was priceless.  A funny conversation took place.  They asked if I had a trail name.  For a split second I thought I was on the Pacific Crest Trail where all hikers earn a trail name.  I chuckled and told them I was "Making Waves", I guess that could be my trail name.  I asked who were they and their response was "Phamplet", "Protip" and "McCoy" then they explained why those names.  I spent quite some time here then packed up and aimed for the 6.5 km descent to The Loop.
Thank goodness it was descending time, this even felt like work with the high temperature.  I would not want to be ascending this trail now and some folks were.  The views were big at times but I found myself  paying more attention to my foot placement.  I was tired and feeling lazy.  
As I exited the trail to The Loop, the Logan Pass shuttle bus pulled up, opened the door and myself and a fellow hopped on.  I was so very thankful for this.  One of the reasons I was considering returning the way I came was because of stories I heard and read that there were very long waits for the bus due to many hikers and full buses but this was not the case for my experience.  Then it was smooth sailing all along the Going to the Sun Road right back to my car at Logan Pass.

Call it star alignment, luck of the draw or someone watching over me, this day played out perfectly.  Before driving back to Swift Current at Many Glacier, I stopped at St Mary for an ice cream to energize my pleasantly depleted body.  It was a sweet treat to cap of a sweet day!


  1. Another wonderful hike in Glacier NP! Yes, I need to get back up there.

  2. I want to do that hike! My trail name is Monkey Bars.


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