Florence Falls, Gunsight Lake and Piegan Pass Hikes

Two more wonderful day hikes that we had not done before while at Glacier National Park, the first was to Gunsight Lake from the Gunsight Pass Trailhead on the Going-to-the-Sun Road east of Logan Pass. The trail started in a  gradual descent for about a mile when we came to Deadwood Falls, a beautiful 10-foot waterfall with deep crystal clear pools of water above and below the falls. We continued on for about 2 miles to the St Mary River and the beautiful valley where we were hoping to spot a moose that some hikers had seen earlier. No luck this time. A little further along we came to an opening in the canopy that provided us with one of the most magnificent views in Glacier. In the foreground is an open grassy meadow alongside Mirror Pond  and framing the background is Mount Jackson, Gunsight Mountain and Fusillade Mountain, as well as Gunsight Pass. Continue reading

Gunsight Pass Trail Backpacking Trip

It was 3 am and dark, when I got up to go to the backcountry office in Glacier National Park to try and get permits for a 3 day backpacking trip to Gunsight Pass Trail. I arrived just before 4 am and I was 4th in line to wait until the office opened at 8 am. Then it started to rain while we were all huddled in our camp chairs trying to keep warm. It was a very long 4 hours but finally the Park Rangers arrived just before 8 am and we began the process of acquiring backcountry permits. I was assured that I was going to be able to get the 3 campsites I wanted, but when it came to my turn the Ranger said that they had sold the one campsite left at Gunsight Lake campground to an employee about 5 minutes before. Change of plans; I got the first night at Sperry Campground, second night at Lake Wilson Campground and the third night back at Sperry Campground. We started our hike early as it is a steep 6.2 mile climb to reach Sperry Chalet and Campground. Continue reading

Glacier NP, August and September

We came back to Glacier National Park for another 3 week stay at Columbia Falls RV Park in late August and September. We took another drive out to Polebridge for the day to hike along Bowman Lake. It is approximately one mile wide and eight miles in length. We stopped at Polebridge to buy the famous bear claws again to take on the hike to the backpacking campsite where we went down to the lake just before the campsite and set up our camping chairs. Bowman Lake is a very peaceful lake and a perfect place to chill out and swim in the lake while enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

St Regis MT and Couer d Alene Idaho

On July 15th it was time to leave Columbia Falls on our way to St Regis, MT and Coeur d’Alene, ID. First we stopped at the Polson Motorcoach RV Resort near Flathead Lake in Polson, MT, for a few days of rest and to enjoy this beautiful park, for Class A motorhomes only. Due to COVID-19 everything was closed in Polson so we went paddleboarding on Flathead Lake. Then we went to St Regis, MT, and stayed at The Nugget RV Park for a week. This is a great Park with the friendliest hosts, who even started our campfire for us. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

West Glacier and Polebridge

On July 3rd it was a beautiful sunny day to drive 35 miles northwest of Columbia Falls to Polebridge, MT, in the remote northwest corner of Glacier National Park. The community is named for the log bridge that formerly connected the “inner” North Fork Road in Glacier National Park to the “outer” North Fork Road, and is very close to the Canada-United States border. The Polebridge Mercantile Store is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been in operation since 1914. The “Merc”, originally established by William and Jessie Adair, is one of the anchors of the North Fork experiences, known as “The North Fork’s Last Best Outpost”. The Mercantile Bakery is worth the drive, huckleberry bear claws, cinnamon rolls, macaroons, coffee, fresh baked bread/hot pocket sandwiches, and signature pizzas are all delicious. We each had a huckleberry bear claw and the hot pocket sandwiches were amazing and great to take on your hike. After spending time at Bowman Lake taking photographs we drove back to Polebridge and stopped at the Northern Lights Saloon for a beer. It’s a one-of-a-kind rustic bar and restaurant, surrounded by good vibes, idyllic mountain views, incredible food and cold brews. Click on thumbnail to view images. Click on thumbnail to view image Continue reading

Glacier NP -July 2020

On June 29th, Monday, we arrived at Columbia Falls RV Resort in Columbia Falls, Montana. For three weeks we plan on exploring Glacier National Park as much as possible, due to COVID-19 East Glacier is closed. Our first adventure after the rain stopped was to hike to Avalanche Lake, a short 2 mile hike from the trailhead along the Trail of the Cedars that begins on the Going-to-Sun-road. It was a wet/cloudy day as we began hiking up the trail to the bridge over Avalanche Creek. The view of the lower Avalanche Gorge was very impressive and the highlight along this stretch of the trail. The trail was full of hikers, as it is one of the more popular easier hikes in the Park but well worth the view of Avalanche Lake. At 2.3 miles we finally reached the foot of Avalanche Lake with a large beach area to sit and soak-in the magnificent scenery. The Lake sits at the base of 8,694-foot Bearhat Mountain, which rises almost 4,800 feet above the lake. In the distance we saw several waterfalls plunging down the cliffs and mountains that surround the Lake, originating from Sperry Glacier that can’t be seen from the Lake. It was Dr. Lyman Sperry in June of 1895, exploring the basin, heard multiple avalanches roaring down the surrounding mountains, and thus the name Avalanche Basin became the name for the place. Avalanche Lake Trail was likely the first trail to be made for tourists in the Glacier Park area. Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading

Whitefish Montana Ski Trip

On January 5th, 2019, we flew to Kalispell, Montana, where we were greeted by Marguerite and Don Shepherd, then taken to their condo in the Meadow Lake Resort in Montana’s majestic Flathead Valley. We were here for a week of skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort (formerly Big Mountain), with 3,000 acres of uncrowded terrain. It was going to be an epic week for me as I have seen the light and I am returning to skiing after 20 years of snowboarding. Don was a great help as he was a ski instructor at Mt Baker and knows all the new ski equipment and what would be the best for me. Our first day on the slopes was foggy so we stayed lower down on the mountain, following our fearless leader Don. The best part of the day was lunch at the Hellroaring Saloon & Eatery located in the historic Chalet on Whitefish Mountain Resort. The drink of choice was the Keoki Coffee, (kaluha, brandy, & coffee) that will keep you feeling warm and cozy for the rest of the day. After a tiring first day of skiing and snowboarding we enjoyed some apres ski drinks and snacks at The Montana Tap House. Continue reading

Yellowstone NP

On May 15th, 2019, we drove to the Yellowstone’s Edge RV Park, 35 miles north of the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It’s a beautiful RV park located on the Yellowstone River and our site was on the banks of the river. Every morning driving to Yellowstone we would stop at the Wild Flour Bakery & Cafe in Emigrant, in the heart of Paradise Valley, for a delicious breakfast of Prebird Scramble or Hipster Toasts. On our first day into the Park we stopped at the Roosevelt Arch, a “rusticated triumphal arch” at the north entrance; to take photos of this magnificent stone archway without crowds of people. Construction of the arch began on February 19, 1903, and was completed on August 15, 1903, as President Theodore Roosevelt laid down the cornerstone. The top of the arch is inscribed with a quote which reads:

“For the Benefit and Enjoyment of the People” Continue reading

Beartooth Scenic Highway

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The Beartooth Scenic Highway opened to automobile travel in 1937, and is a National Scenic Byway, 68 miles in length winding through southwest Montana and northeast Wyoming. We left West Yellowstone early to avoid the traffic in Yellowstone and drove through the Park to the northeast entrance at Silver Gate where we stopped at the Log Cabin Café for a fabulous lunch. Then on to Cooke City where we went through the Cooke City Montana Museum that opened in July, 2014. It presents permanent exhibits on the history of the three communities of Colter Pass, named after the famous mountain man John Colter, Cooke City, and Silver Gate as well as exhibits on the Beartooth Highway. Not much else to see in Cooke City so we drove on over Colter Pass where we happened upon a black bear by the side of the road. Then we came to the sign marking the beginning of Beartooth Highway, it has been called “the most beautiful drive in America”, and the pass is usually open each year only from mid May through mid October, because of heavy snowfall at the top. Continue reading

Missoula, Boseman and Big Sky, Montana

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Hanging out at Missoula’s best brewery…Kettle House

We left Columbia Falls RV Park today heading for Yellowstone NP. We stopped in Missoula and Bozeman for a few days and sampled some of the best breweries in the area. We went up to the Lolo Pass, (5,233 ft) in the Bitterroot Range of the Rocky Mountains, for a beautiful scenic drive and explored the Lolo Pass Visitor Center at the top. The Lewis and Clark party crossed this Pass, Sept. 13, 1805, westbound for the Pacific after a long detour to the south. We stopped at Big Sky, MT, sitting at the base of 11,188 ft. Lone Mountain, gateway to Yellowstone NP. The Big Sky Resort is both an alpine skiing and golf resort, and is marketed as the “Biggest Skiing in America”, it has over 3500 skiable acres and with 4100 feet of total vertical drop ranks as one of the most in the US. Many notable residents live in Big Sky including Warren Miller during the winter. We also hiked the Ousel Falls Trail, a 1.7 mile beautifully built, out and back trail. We crossed a footbridge at the bottom of the canyon over the South Fork of the West Fork of the Gallatin River on our way up to the falls. Finally, we arrived at the Grizzly Yellowstone RV Park in West Yellowstone, where we are staying for 3 weeks.Click on thumbnail to view images Continue reading