Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating slightly. It was more “hiking Glacier National Park two days after getting over the flu and actually getting off my couch for the first time in a week.” Julio and I had planned on joining my parents for a few days during their ten day Glacier vacation, which was an awesome opportunity to see a new national park and check a new state off my list in the process!
We flew out early Monday morning and arrived in Montana around 11:30am. My parents picked us up and off we went! We entered the park through the south-west entrance and my Dad and Julio got their bear spray, a sort of high-powered pepper spray for warding off bears. We all also had bear bells attached to our clothing. It’s definitely a good idea to wear/have both; you can never be too careful and even though you may seem silly walking around jingling, it’s better than surprising a bear when hiking around a bend. Temperatures were mid 50s, they had a very nice first weekend (temps in the 70s) but it chilled a bit for our few days there. Not the best conditions for my still running nose and horrible cough, but I was going to do every hike if I had to have tissues stuffed up my nostrils the entire way!
We took the Road to the Sun up to Logan Pass to begin our hike. We started off on the Highline Trail, which in its entirety takes you just over 11 miles down to a lower parking lot vista. The beginning of the trail hugs the side of a steep cliff, which provides great views but was a little frightening for my mother. About a mile in it started to snow heavily. My dad made us turn around “lest we get stuck in the wilderness and die.” Back at Logan Pass, we headed in the other direction on the Hidden Lake trail. This was a 3 mile round trip hike to, you guessed it, the Hidden Lake. On the way we were lucky enough to spot some mountain goats, including one unlucky little guy who had gotten separated from his mother and was running rampant along the trail, bleating and crying until he found her again.
On our second day in Glacier, we set off on a 4.2 mile round trip hike to Avalanche Lake, so named for its location between several mountains and at the bottom of several clear avalanche trails. This hike was a little more strenuous than the first two, but still an easy walk. The lake was stunning. The clear blue/turquoise color of the water was out of this world and we lucked out with a few moments of sunshine to gather the full effect. We had lunch lakeside and explored around the shoreline a bit before heading back.
Our final day in Montana had us getting up early for our toughest hike yet, a 7.2 mile round trip trail to Apgar Lookout. This was by far the least populated trail we had taken, which heightened my Dad’s need to remind us to “talk around every corner” and “keep your bear bells on!” Luckily, or unluckily in my opinion because I would have liked to get a photo of one, we didn’t see any bears. The lookout over Lake MacDonald was beautiful. Again, we ate out lunches at our destination and enjoyed several deer walking around the summit, as well as several chipmunks who were eager to share our meals. After our hike down, we headed back to the airport for our flight home. A great few days spent in Montana convinced us that we will definitely be coming back.