Saturday, August 20, 2016

Glacier National Park, Montana

On to Glacier National Park! I think this was Idaho somewhere... Speed limit was 80 mph, by the way!

Sunday morning we got up early and drove about 2+ hours to arrive at Apgar Campground at the West Glacier entrance by about 9:00.drivingAfter setting up our tent and making breakfast, we went to the visitors' center to get oriented. After buying a $50 can of bear insurance :) we figured out what hikes we should take. We started right away with Apgar Lookout.
running waterI thoroughly enjoyed the rivers and streams! I miss running water.lake mcdonaldLake MacDonald, looking east-ishcampsiteOur campsite at Apgar.lakeAfter dinner we went down to the lake.
lakecoldCOLDreflectionscatyshirtMonday we slept in a bit, took it easy getting breakfast and then drove around the lake to other end to hike to Mt. Brown lookout. Unlike the 6 mile hike 1/2 up hill the day before, this was 5 miles of gaining almost 1,000 elevation feet per mile.signtiredIt was tough. By far the most difficult hike we did. I was going SO slow! We were also a little apprehensive as we didn't see anyone for about 2 miles once we split off the main trail. We did lots of whistling, clapping, singing, and talking!viewIt was quite rewarding to come to this switch back and behold this view!flowerlookoutA little less rewarding to get to this switch back and see how far away the lookout tower still was!! But we did have fun chatting  with two gentlemen from the UK for a bit.mntLake McDonald
mcdonaldsnowusIt was probably 15 degree cooler at the lookout. Plus windy.lookoutviewviewNotice the waterfalls in this picture. This view was one of our favorites.

 We were DONE after that hike, or at least I was. Going down for 5 miles had its own challenges! We had an early dinner, then drove out to West Glacier KOA for showers and laundry. I squeezed every bit of pleasure I could out of that $7 shower! So nice to be clean again.going to the sun roadThe next morning we got up early, quietly packed up the tent, had a snack and drove "Going to the Sun Road" east. What a crazy road!
roadcarwashCarwash?passpassThis is looking up to Logan Pass from the east side. We drove up there and down the other side to Rising Sun campground. Set up camp, had breakfast, then drove back up to Logan Pass.roadSee how the road construction is? Yeah... And some places that rock wall on the right was missing and was a concrete block... Very reassuring.roadLooking back at the road we'd come up.tunnelcampsiteRising Sun campground is a little more exposed, not as many trees, windier. We were glad to find this campsite snug up against a steep hill/cliff with trees all around, and off the road a bit too.
passOn our way back up to Logan Pass to hike.passAs we looked out on this striking view, I noticed little black ants on the snow down from the peak on the right. I dug my binoculars out and sure enough, people were hiking across that snow field!flagStruck my patriotic chord! Had missed not doing anything for Canada Day a few days before.alpine meadowTo my surprise the hike we wanted to do to Hidden Lake lookout was the one across that snow field! The alpine meadows were beautiful. Tiny yellow flowers were blooming where the grass had turned green.snowFelt pretty epic with that towering rock peak stretching up next to us. Just kinda kept taking my break away.ridgeBasically the Continental Divide!
matthewMatthew the Explorer! Backpack, hydration pack, GoPro, and bear spray.hikingLike I said, with the snow, being right up in those rock crags - it felt exotic.
mntpicFirst glimpse of Hidden Lake
picI enjoyed observing things up here. I felt a bit more in my natural habitat with the snow and was noting which direction the wind makes it drift up on the peaks and things like that. In the picture below, those distant peaks in the middle are pretty rugged and had some dark clouds. There was a lot of snow on those.picpicsheepBaby Mountain Goat!traildivideI'm going to end this post here! It is kind of long. This way you can see more pictures and I can work on the next post next week! It will start with our waterfall hikes that we did that afternoon.

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