Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Glacier National Park
On June 11, we left our campground and started our exploration of Glacier National Park. I have heard about this park for years, but have always wanted to see if for myself. We found out that we could enter the park in an unmanned entrance just 3 miles north of our campground. There is an interesting sign at the intersection.
We are only 34 miles from the Canadian border. I guess that is why it does not get dark until after 10PM. We are also on the western edge of the Mountain time zone. We also heard about a bakery in Polebridge with Huckleberry Bear Claws, but I will get into that later. Today we took a right and headed into the park.
We drove the 11 miles to the Apgar Visitor Center. It is small with no theater, but the rangers, as always, were great and offered excellent advice. The famous “going to the Sun Road” was still partially closed, but it is open to Logan Pass. We decided to head up that way and see how far we got.
The views across Lake McDonald are stunning.
We then drove the 12 miles along the lake and stopped at a few of the beautiful waterfalls along the drive. The snow is melting and the waterfalls and rivers are running strong.
We made it to Glacier!
We then drove up a bit further to Avalanche Creek. I stepped out of the truck and BAM! I felt a pull in my back. I don’t know if I pulled a muscle or pinched a nerve, but it did not feel good. I limped around for a while and looked at the ancient grove of Western Cedar Trees.
The trees are very large and around 1000 years old. They have a nice boardwalk leading through the grove. We stopped a had a nice talk with a ranger. He had been a ranger in the park for over 20 years and was very interesting to talk to. He told us we needed to go see Avalanche Lake. We came to the sign and Kim asked if I could make it. I was hurting, but I really wanted to see the lake. So, off we went on a 5.5 mile round trip hike.
One of the many beautiful parts is in the first half mile. The Avalanche Creek is running strong due to the runoff.
Here is a short clip to get the feel of the sound and movement.
We hiked mostly uphill for a little over 2 miles. We rested a few times, but it wasn’t too bad. We were in dense forest most of the time. Every now and then you got a look at the surrounding mountains.
When we finally got to the lake you could see why the ranger suggested we take this hike. WOW!
Can you count the 5 major waterfalls on that far slope?
It was one of the most beautiful scenes of the entire trip. We stayed there for a hour or so, just taking it all in.
Here is a pano shot. It really captures the scene.
We headed back down. The walk was easier, but my back was tightening up and I was looking forward to getting back to the truck.
Kim had me take a picture inside one of the giant trees.
One of the monsters had fallen a while back and left this root structure. The water had cleaned the dirt and rocks out and left a cool sight.
When we got done with the hike, we decided to save the alpine section of the road for another day. I can promise the pictures are amazing. For today, we went back to camp and I was hoping that my back would loosen up. I probably should have not done the hike, but I was really glad I did. It was amazing.
I ended up spending the next day in my recliner resting my back and praying for a quick recovery. The good news is that my prayers were answered and I was ready to continue with the exploration of this amazing park. Come back to see what else we found to marvel at.
Have an awesome day.