Hiking Glacier National Park
Glacier National Park has wonderful hikes which allow both novice and experienced hikers to see some amazing scenery.
The reason for our trip was actually to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Bigfork Summer Playhouse. Fantastic show! But you can’t go to northwest Montana without a visit to Glacier National Park.
We stayed at The Village Inn at Apgar and the views of Lake McDonald from our door were stunning.
Sadly, lightning had hit the park a few days before we arrived and a number of trails and backcountry huts were closed due to wildfires. We watched a fire burning across the lake for a while before bed.
The free shuttles within the park are a great way to access hiking without the hassle of driving with the hordes. I mentioned in my post on Moraine Lake that I’m not a big fan of crowds, but this is another place where the scenery makes the throngs of people tolerable. And more people on the trails means fewer chances of a bear encounter.
The first day we picked up the shuttle in Apgar and went to Trail of the Cedars. The first part of the hike was so pretty that we decided to go all the way to Avalanche Lake. Well didn’t it start to rain (we didn’t all have rain gear), but it was worth it. The picture below is about five shots merged together in a panorama (with a few rain drops on my lens, oops).
On the way to the lake, Avalanche Creek tumbles through a pretty gorge, with red rocks offsetting the green moss.
On the shuttle back to the hotel were a number of freezing people who had hiked from Logan’s Pass, through freezing rain and wind. I was glad to be just wet, and thankful for the heat in the bus.
We were up early the next morning as the park warden at the gate recommended being on the Going to the Sun Road by 7 am to beat the traffic. I think it was more like 7:45 am and the traffic got increasingly heavy the closer we got to the pass. That is partly because the road gets incredibly narrow, with a rock face on one side, and a sharp drop on the other.
Waterfalls and Weeping Walls, until we went around the next corner and were in the clouds. Thankfully, the parking lot was not far. But it was full. A benefit of traveling with others is that someone can become the parking space stalker. She braved the wind and cold temperatures and finally found someone leaving so that we could take their spot.
I didn’t realize we were going to be mountain goats for the day on the Highline Trail. It was fantastic! I’ve never been on a trail which snakes along the side of the mountain, so narrow in parts there are chains to hold onto.
Thankfully the clouds cleared and the sun came out so that we could fully enjoy the view.
And the wildflowers, of course!
The only wildlife we saw were Columbian Ground Squirrels. They were prolific around the Visitor Information Centre, but we only had one for a lunch companion on the trail.
Thanks for visiting!
PS. Here is a pinnable image for Pinterest.