Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Montana, Glacier National Park



Map picture

Recently celebrating it's 100th year anniversary, Glacier National Park is one of the must visit National Parks. With the west entrance located just 25 miles from Kalispell Montana, access to the park can be quick and easy.






Leaving Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) in a rental car with unlimited mileage, I am headed to the east entrance of Glacier National Park. Although the west entrance is closer, my plan is to drive the loop along US Highway 2 from east to west. Exiting the airport I am careful as the speed limit on the crossing street, US93 is a warping 70MPH!

The road to Glacier US2 follows low mountainous terrain that offers nice scenery as you pass through small Montana towns.


Ebay 068 From US89 I approach the east entrance to the park at St. Mary but not before checking out “The World's Largest Purple Spoon”.






Ebay 070 A taste of what Glacier offers can be seen in the distance but first I must pass fields of pastures and flowers.







Ebay 075 Lake Mary nearby like other areas of the park offers great hiking trails along with affordable boat tours.







Armed with a noise making dry branch I set out on my first hike aware that I may not be alone. Lions and Tigers and Bears … Oh My!


Ebay 080 My shadow keeps my company and we enjoy the hike without having to use my dry branch defensively.






Ebay 081 Hiking Streams







Ebay 077 Snow Laced Mountains Majesty



Ebay 078 Hiking Trail Flowers








If a picture is worth a thousand words then being here must be worth even more. The fresh air, gentle breezes and the sounds of nature are left out no matter how many pictures you take.



Ebay 082 The full experience comes from being here.







Numerous “just take it in” stops along the way including Jackson Glacier Overlook before I arrive at Logan’s Pass Visitor Center for another hike. This time a slow gradual climb to Hidden Lake.


Ebay 083 

Hidden Lake



GNP_mountain_goat2_sm A popular hike, I am not alone on the two thousand plus feet climb even a few mountain goats join me but keep their distance.







Looking forward or behind you, the views are amazingly rewarding. Not knowing any better you would “pinkie swear” you where in the Swiss Alps. I resist the urge to start yodeling.


Weeping Wall Glacier Not knowing a wall could cry, I am made a believer as I visit the “Weeping Wall”. I am not sure why it is weeping but the wall does seem all cracked up.






Ebay 113  Unable to offer comfort, I move on.







With a few hours of daylight remaining, I take advantage of the situation to make a final short hike at Trail Of The Cedars Nature Trail.


Ebay 109 Going To The Sun Road is the route through Glacier National Park and at some points it requires nerves of steel especially in narrow areas during road construction.






Ebay 114 With numerous switch backs on two lane mountainous roads, its an E Ticket Ride.

Luckily, there are many scenic stops for you to return your heartbeat and blood pressure to normal.






Ebay 117 Mountain Waterfall








Ebay 118

As night falls, I catch a photo of a Doe heading out for the night.






It is almost 10pm as I make my way back to Kalispell with regrets that my time at Glacier was too short. I am jealous of those that had the wisdom to remain and promise myself that one day I will be wise about such things.

The peaceful sounds of rushing waters without Golden Arches accompanies me as I pass McDonald Falls and Lake McDonald leaving Glacier. However, I must wait until Kalispell to replace my spent calories with a strawberry sundae.


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