Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Glacier National Park

It was mid-morning on Monday (July 26th) when I arrived at Glacier National Park. Since I didn't have reservations, the first order of business was to find an open campsite! Rather than stay at Apgar on the west side I decided to take a chance on Avalanche Campground, which is just before where the Going to the Sun Highway starts its climb to Logan Pass. Luck was with me once again and I got one of the last five sites still available!

Lake McDonald on the west side of Glacier National Park. It was a hazy day with mist rising from the lake. This is from about half-way down the lake looking to the northeast, before you get to Avalanche Campground.

About four years ago Glacier National Park began running shuttle buses on the Going to the Sun Road. They aren't mandatory, but enough people use them to take some of the stress off of the parking areas, which are limited. In fact, the shuttles that I road were filled to capacity with people waiting for the next one. The do run frequently but with construction on the “Sun” road, the schedules are all out of whack.

As soon as I got settled into my campsite, I walked to the shuttle stop and took it to Logan Pass where there is a Visitor Center and trails. The trail I took that afternoon was to Hidden Lake. It is 1.5 miles to the overlook along boardwalk and snow...

Note to Steve: Our shoes are made for walking, but not for walking in icy snow! I was slip-sliding all the way...

The view to the northeast. Part of the Going to the Sun road is visible in the center of the picture.

This is looking to the southeast.

There were several small groups of Mountain Goats that frequented the trail area. They didn't seem to be afraid of people.

The destination: Hidden Lake, looking south.

Bearhat Mountain towers over Hidden Lake and environs.

A bit of Hidden Lake and Bearhat Mountain on the left. Lake McDonald in visible in the distance in the center of the photograph. The trail from the overlook continues another 1.5 miles to the lake shore. Due to time constraints (having to catch the last shuttle back to the campground) I didn't go all the way down.

The snow-covered trail on the way back to the Visitors Center.


Michelle Goodrum said...

Awesome, stunning pictures! I went to Glacier NP many years ago and have always wanted to return. Thanks for taking me back. It was on Lake McDonald that I had a momentous revelation - the stars in the night sky are different colors!

The mountain goats were pretty friendly back in the early 1980s too. I don't remember encountering that much snow however.

Brett Payne said...

Glacier National Park is a place that I've dreamed about visiting since I was a teenager. Thanks for sharing your evocative photos and experiences Becky. Regards, Brett

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky.
A couple of compass points: your view of Lake McD is looking toward the southwest, toward Apgar. Your view of the Garden Wall with a part of the GTTS Road is looking toward the northwest.
--polebridge at hotmail.