Thursday, August 22, 2013

Montana - Glacier National Park - Day 1, 2 and 3

Day 1: Not much to say since this is our arrival day.  Left home at 6AM and arrived to final destination, Columbia Falls, Meadow Lake Resort around 4PM Mountain Time.  Thanks to TSA I had to find a suitcase to return home with.  They somehow broke the zipper to the point we could not unzip my suitcase, we had to cut it open.  Found one at a thrift store for $3.00.  Just need it long enough to get home.
Note: Pictures do not do justice to the beauty of this park.

Day 2:  Hiked to Avalanche Lake (5 miles round trip) with ¾ all up hill and uphill it was!  But it is worth it.  There is a large beach area providing plenty of space to soak-in the scenery and have lunch.  The scenery is magnificent – many waterfalls.  The lake sits at the base of 8694-foot Bearhat Mountain, which rises almost 4800 feet above the lake. The mountain dominating the view towards the south is 7886-foot Little Matterhorn. There are several long waterfalls cascading hundreds of feet.  The first part of the trail parallels  Avalanche Creek which rushes powerfully  down a narrow gorge.  On the way back to Columbia Falls we stopped at a "whiskey tasting" establishment.  Small scale and made on site.  Owner decided one drunken night two things were needed to survive in Montana, whiskey and bullets. I tried 6 whiskeys and 2 liqueurs and naturally I made a purchase. The day ends with soaking in the hot tub to soothe aching legs and feet.
                           Avalanche Creek
                         Avalanche Lake
                            Whiskey Tasting

Day 3:  The primary reason to come back to Glacier National Park was to hike to Hidden Lake from Logan Pass.  This is a 6 mile round trip, where the first 1 ½ miles isn’t too bad and takes you to Hidden Lake Overlook then the trail continues for another 1 ½ miles to Hidden lake.  We saved this hike for last when we were here 2 years ago.  We were unable to complete it and actually it was a waste of time due to snow, rain and fog.  Could not see the lake if you tried, much less see the trail.  Much different this time, sunny, blue sky, no clouds.  Saw mountain goats, up close and personal along the way and Big horn sheep, along with ground squirrels (much cuter than the ones in Maryland) and marmots. 
                           Big Horn Sheep
                            Mountain Goats

The trail begins at Logan Pass (need to get there early to find a parking spot).  The trail begins as a paved surface for a short distance and then turns into a raised boardwalk which is about ½ mile long.  Then the trail goes through meadows and passes several small ponds.   Roughly 1.2 miles from the trailhead we reached the Continental Divide.   At 1.35 miles we reached the Hidden Lake Overlook where there are outstanding panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
Along the way....

Hidden Lake from Overlook
The trail continues for another 1.5 miles down to the shores of Hidden Lake, which sits at an elevation of 6375 feet. Along the way the trail drops almost 770 feet on a rough and steep decline with many switchbacks.  The way back up is exhausting to say the least.  We took several rest stops along the way.  We were glad we did the trail, but would not do the last 1 ½ miles down to the lake.  Actually the view is much more beautiful from above.  Ended the day again with ice cream and hot tub.
We arrived...
The trek back up (1.5 miles).  My feet hurt so bad I had to take my shoes off at the lake and walk in the cold water.  Once we made it to the Overlook my hiking shoes came off and flip flops went on for the remainder 1 1/2 miles.

Stay tuned for day 4 and 5.


  1. What gorgeous views! Love the one of you and Brian and the last 4 together have to be my favorites, just beautiful! I applaud you for being able to do all that hiking! Too funny about the whiskey stand, how cool is that? Sorry about the suitcase, will you be bringing it to Artbliss? LOL Miss you, have fun, enjoy the rest of the trip, can't wait to follow along (no hiking involved!) Hugs!

  2. Magnificent trip and photos! So glad you are taking a bit of time to share! Steve and I have begun to paint our shelves at AOM.

    How are the pink PJ's working out? Enjoy the rest of your trip!