Glacier NP 2004
Glacier National Park, July 2004
Friday, July 9
On Friday we arrived in Kalispell, rented a car, and drove to East Glacier. There we checked into the Glacier Park Lodge for two nights.
The lodge was noisy, housekeeping was minimal, and the guards were unresponsive to the inmates’ complaints, but it was a cool-looking building. We should have taken a picture.
Saturday, July 10
On Saturday we warmed up with a 12-mile round-trip hike to Cobalt Lake. Lots of mosquitoes that day.
Sunday, July 11
The temperature was down, the winds were up, the clouds were coming and going, and in general the weather seemed unpredictable. So, we took a break from hard hiking and drove up to Waterton Lakes National Park (Keith’s first visit to Canada).
Monday, July 12
We didn’t come to sightsee. We came to hike. So, Monday we got back to business with a pleasant little 10-mile hike from our cabin at the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn to Iceberg Lake. The trail had been closed because of a family of bears. Monday was the first day it was open, and it stayed open only a few days before the bears were sighted again.
We enjoyed watching mountain goats high on the cliffs above the lake through binoculars, but a photograph wouldn’t have captured it.
Tuesday, July 13
Our big hike of the week was the Highline Trail. We took a shuttle from Many Glacier to Logan Pass and hiked from there to Swiftcurrent Pass and then down to Many Glacier – about 15 miles in all.
Wednesday, July 14
On Wednesday we changed pace and took a boat-and-walking tour of Lake Josephine and Grinnell Lake. It was a touristy thing to do, but enjoyable. Our ranger guide taught us how to yell to warn the bears away when walking through the woods.
After Grinnell Lake we decided to hike as far as we could to Grinnell Glacier. We knew the trail was still closed near the end because of snow and ice, but crews were blasting the ice and the rumor was that the trail might open by the afternoon. We heard the sound of blasting while we were in the valley.
Finally a ranger came and told us the trail was open. We were the first two hikers to get through after the trail opened.
Thursday, July 15
The Van Cleef family visited Glacier National Park the same week we did. We arranged to meet them Thursday in Apgar Village for lunch followed by a hike to Avalanche Lake. Doug likes cycling more than hiking, I think, but he humored us.
Friday, July 16
Keith wanted to do one more strenuous hike to Sperry Chalet (13 miles). We can’t recommend the hike, but the chalet seemed like a good place to visit. The trail is used by horses, and the resulting smell and flies were unpleasant. The weather was also unpleasantly warm that day. Fortunately the chalet had plenty of cheap lemonade and free water.
Saturday, July 17
By Saturday we had hiked enough and were ready for another easy day. We visited some of the western parts of the park and played in Lake McDonald but did no hiking. Our most strenuous activity was to paddle a rented kayak on the lake for a couple of hours.