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
The next day we hiked the Highline Trail from Logan Pass. The Highline Trail is a popular hike, for good reason. At every turn there is spectacular scenery as the Highline follows along the Continental Divide, also known as the Garden Wall. At 1/4 mile from the trailhead we arrived at the famous ledge, hanging like a shelf along the Garden Wall, and has drop-offs of 100 feet down to the Going-to-the-Sun road below. Fortunately the Park has installed a hand cable along this 3/10 mile stretch of the trail. From the rimrock area the trail continues to hug the cliffs and slopes of the Garden Wall with views of Mt Cannon, Mt Oberlin and Heavens Peak toward the west. Today’s scenery was enhanced by a light snowfall last night covering the peaks with a soft, white blanket. At 3.6 miles, after climbing roughly 275 feet up one long switchback, we reach Haystack Pass (7,024ft) with its outstanding panoramic views. At this point we turned around to hike back to the car at Logan Pass. Click on thumbnail to view image
Two Medicine Lake Hike
The next day we drove to Two Medicine Lake located in East Glacier National Park. Medicine Lake is approximately 2 miles long and .33 miles wide, Sinopah Mountain dominates the western terminus of the lake, and Rising Wolf Mountain rises 4,450 feet to the north above the lake. We hiked the Twin Falls and Upper Two Medicine Lake Trail with stunning views of the peaks surrounding the Two Medicine Valley. We stopped to see the Twin Falls and continued to the end to a scenic lake ringed by rugged peaks, Upper Two Medicine Lake. On the way back we heard a bull moose in the woods chasing a female who was desperate to get away. We stayed and watched them cavorting together and finally she did escape the bull. We arrived back at the Jeep and discovered that it wouldn’t start, the battery was dead. A nice truck driver came by and with his help and our cables we were able to get it started again. On the way back to West Glacier we stopped at the Marias Pass Obelisk and John Stevens statue. In 1889, Stevens was hired as an engineer for the Great Northern Railway, he built over a thousand miles of railroad, including the original Cascade Tunnel. This statue stands next to the Marias Pass obelisk in the shadow of the pass.
Visiting Glacier National Park is not complete without a visit to Polebridge and the famous Mercantile Store for the bear claw pastries. The Polebridge Mercantile, originally established by William and Jessie Adair, has been serving the North Fork community for over 100 years. Then we continued on into Glacier National Park and drove the 6 miles unpaved road from Polebridge to Lake Bowman, the 3rd largest lake in the park. It was a beautiful sunny day, the lake was calm and the reflections were magnificent with the fall colors. On the way back we followed the North Fork Flathead River, it forms the western boundary of Glacier National Park and stopped on the bridge for amazing photos.