NOTE: I have another post today, a review of Cindy Grisdela’s brand new book, Adventures in Improv Quilts.
I’d never been to Glacier Nat’l Park before and I was thrilled to have some time to visit between teaching gigs. Glacier is “the Crown of the Continent”, established as a National Park in 1910. It is located in northwestern Montana on the US-Canadian border, about 375 miles northwest of Yellowstone.
I can’t say it better than their website:
“… it is a land of mountain ranges carved by prehistoric ice rivers. It features alpine meadows, deep forests, waterfalls, about 25 glistening glaciers and 200 sparkling lakes. The vistas seen from Going-To-The-Sun Road are breathtaking, a photographer’s paradise. Relatively few miles of road exist in the park’s 1,600 square miles of picturesque landscape, thus preserving its primitive and unspoiled beauty.” We explored all the various features including glaciers, meadows, waterfalls, lakes and deep forest. It only takes a short drive to experience them all.
I joined up with my good friend Lynn and I’m guessing that we accidentally hit it at peak color. It was stunning. There will be lots of superlatives in this post!
Our first day was really a half day, as we had to drive up from Deer Lodge. We drove the southern part of the park and stopped to get suggestions from a helpful park ranger. It was overcast or lightly raining most of our visit. Temps were low 50’s, high 40’s.
And then there was the wind. Lots of it, from 30 – 50 mph much of the time we were there. My lips were severely chapped for a week! Both of us had excellent gear so light rain and heavy winds did not phase us. We stayed at a wonderful VRBO in Kalispell and drove to the park each day.
There were lots of views like this where the clouds obliterated part of our view:
The sun would come out and tease us before disappearing; then the rain would come in.
If you’ve got mountains, rocks and water, you will get some good waterfalls!
I enjoyed the micro view too – so much color!
When you’re in the valley you really get a feel for the majesty of the land.
We had to get the obligatory selfie at the gate:
And, a feeble, inept attempt to do a silly glamour shot…with 3 layers of clothing:
I do “Barbie toe” better than Lynn, dontyathink?
Our second day the winds were more like 50 mph much of the time. But it was pretty:
There are 734 miles of hiking trails in Glacier; we hit the high spots. One of my favs was definitely the Beaver Pond Loop, in the valley:
The photo doesn’t do the tree root justice. I spanned a good 16 feet:
The Road to the Sun was delightfully uncrowded:
Oh yes it did snow while we were there!
The Trail of the Cedars was an entirely different terrain – dense, moist forest:
Once again, looking down yielded beauty also:
A few other random pics that show the majesty, grandeur and beauty of Glacier:
So, gotta brag. My friend Lynn lives at 8800′ in Colorado and ice climbs. Every single part of her body is strong. I’m what I call “urban fit”. And I am, I work at it and I am strong and fit.
But I am not accustomed to high elevations! We hiked hard and long (delightfully so) and much of it 6,000′ higher than I live. We started out doing Logan Pass (6,600′) and hiking the Hidden Lake Overlook, which brought us 608′ higher. Lynn did the research for our hikes and kept track of what we did. You are lucky that this was not done in my writing:
Look at that – day 2 had around 1100′ in elevation! I did 30,000 steps each day, at elevation. Yes, I did need to stop regularly for short rests. I was so pleased that I was able to do all of this with vigor and that my hiking shoes and gear were well suited to the task. Huahhhh! It was pretty much a cake walk for Lynn I think.
Lynn and I realized we had twin shoes, both Merrell’s with a Vibram sole:
It was a great visit! I missed the adventure of travel and this trip satiated my desire for just a bit. I had the best students, hosts, classrooms and hikes! It doesn’t get better than that.
I’ll link up with: