Highline Trail, Glacier NP

Sunday, Sept. 7th, we got up early and left at 8 am with Harry to hike the Highline Trail. We drove to the Apgar Transit Center in Glacier NP and took the shuttle bus up to Logan Pass arriving around 9:30 am. The Highline Trail leaves from across the road at Logan Pass and follows the Continental Divide also known as the Garden Wall ridge for most of the way to Granite Park Chalet, 7.6 miles. We walked along the famous ledge of the granite cliff, hanging like a shelf on the Garden Wall only 4-6 feet wide and a drop of 100 feet or more down to the Going-to-the-Sun-Road way below. There are hand cables along this stretch of the trail incase you have a fear of heights. From here the Trail continues to hug the cliffs and slopes of the Garden Wall and with every turn there are spectacular panoramic views of the mountains, such as Mount Cannon, Mount Oberlin and Heavens Peak to the west. We rested in the beautiful glaciated-carved valley between Haystack Butte and the Garden Wall before beginning the climb up to Haystack Pass at 7,024 feet. What amazing scenery to sit and pause for awhile and enjoy the panoramic scenic beauty surrounding us. Bob saw a berry bush by the side of the trail and ate one of the berries thinking it was a Huckleberry, it tasted very bitter. Harry and I tried one as well, it was definitely bitter and unpalatable. I took a photo and showed it to the Park Ranger later, to find out that it is called Twinberry (Bracted Honeysuckle) and can be mildly toxic or poisonous to humans!  Beyond Haystack Pass the Trail continues a gradual climb along the Garden Wall reaching the highest point on the hike at 7,280 feet. Continue reading