Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks

After bidding farewell to the charming city of Missoula Montana, we embarked on a two-day journey south to our next destination, Victor iIdaho and the Teton Valley Resort,  Our primary reason for choosing Victor as our base was to explore two of the most stunning national parks in the country- Grand Teton and Yellowstone. Both of these parks are famous for their natural beauty and wildlife, and we were excited to explore them to the fullest.

We started our exploration the Grand Teton National Park, at the Craig Thomas Discovery Center, where we spoke to the rangers and got some valuable recommendations. One of the rangers suggested that we do the hike to Taggart and Bradley Lakes, which promised stunning views of the Teton Range.

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming and is renowned for its towering peaks, pristine lakes, and abundant wildlife. The park encompasses an area of over 300,000 acres and is part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, which is one of the largest remaining nearly intact ecosystems in the world. The history of Grand Teton National Park dates back to the late 19th century when explorers and settlers first began to explore the region. In 1897, the park was established as a forest reserve, and in 1929, it was designated as a national park. The park owes its name to the Grand Teton, which is the highest peak in the Teton Range and stands at an elevation of 13,775 feet. Continue reading

The National Bison Range, Missoula Montana

After our short stay in Glacier NP we headed south to Missoula Montana and Jim and Mary’s RV Park for a few days. The next morning we headed for The National Bison Range to see these magnificent beasts in their natural habitat. The National Bison Range is a beautiful and historic wildlife preserve located in Montana. It was established in 1908 and covers over 18,500 acres of diverse habitats, including grasslands, wetlands, and forests. The range is home to a herd of bison, one of the largest and most important herds in the country, and is also home to a variety of other wildlife species, including pronghorn antelope, elk, deer, and coyotes.

We stopping at the Visitor center to learn more about the Bison. The history of the bison and their relationship with humans is a fascinating one. Bison once roamed the Great Plains in vast numbers, with an estimated population of 60 million animals. However, as the frontier expanded westward, bison populations declined dramatically due to overhunting and habitat loss. By the late 1800s, only a few hundred bison remained. The National Bison Range was established in part to help protect and preserve these magnificent creatures and their habitat. Click on thumbnail to view image Continue reading

Glacier NP, Montana

After a great week in Fernie, BC we headed south again into Montana where we stayed in Columbia Falls for several days. The Columbia Falls RV Resort near Glacier National Park in Montana was a great place to stay days. The next morning, we headed out to Polebridge for one of their famous Bear Claws. Polebridge is a small, remote town located near the northwest entrance of Glacier National Park and is famous for its Bear Claws, a sweet and flaky pastry made with layers of croissant dough and filled with cinnamon and sugar.

Unfortunately, we were unable to get into Bowman Lake as the park was full, so we headed to Apgar at the south end of Lake McDonald. It was a beautiful day with clear blue skies, and the scenery was breathtaking. We took a stroll along the lake and admired the towering peaks and crystal-clear waters.  Click on thumbnail to view image

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Glacier National Park

On August 28th, we flew back to Bellingham from Anchorage and stayed with our friends for two nights. Then we drove down to Woodland, WA to pick up the RV at Dave and LJ’s after it had a major renovation with all new furniture in the front cabin. What a different it is so spacious now and we love sitting in our recliner chairs and watching TV. I flew down to San Diego to watch the grandkids for a week and Bob came down later. We celebrated Eric’s 40th birthday together on September 17th and then we flew back to Junction City, OR to the RV. Our next stop was Glacier National Park, staying at the West Glacier KOA. We arrived here on September 25th and are staying for two weeks, until October 4th.

Going-to-the-Sun Road and Hidden Lake Trail

The iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road completed in 1932, is 50 miles long and spans the width of the Park between the east and west entrances. The road is named after Going-to-the-Sun Mountain which dominates the eastbound view beyond Logan Pass. We love driving the road and stopping to get photos of the surrounding peaks. today we hiked to Hidden Lake from the Logan Pass parking lot. The trail is 5.4 miles R/T and is a very popular trail to hike as there is a boardwalk most of the way. The views are outstanding, the Alpine meadows offer different colors and flowers from spring to fall, and the lake view is worth the walk. Click on thumbnail to view image Continue reading

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