Glacier National Park

We arrived at Glacier National Park on Wednesday, June 29th and set up camp at Apgar campground. There were no other campers on our loop… but we knew that would change soon with the holiday weekend approaching. Sure enough the campground is full (every spot) as we write this on Saturday.

Avalanche Chute

Avalanche Chute on Mount Cannon

The extreme snowfall amounts this past winter have resulted in thunderous crashing streams and overfilled stream beds throughout the area.  It must have been a hard winter for the critters. The deer still look rather thin; and there is other evidence that remains on the ground…

Jawbone in Glacier NP

Aftermath of a Hard Winter - Jawbone in Glacier NP

Young buck in Glacier NP

Martha, where's my dinner? (The deer are still looking lean after a hard winter.)

The epic snowfall has also resulted in the latest opening ever of the famous “Going to the Sun Highway” that snakes through the mountains in Glacier. The road is still not open all the way through… work crews are still removing snow and repairing road. (According to the Flathead News, the previous latest opening was July 2nd.)

Although the road is not open all the way through, it is open at both ends for several miles, so on Thursday we drove as far as we could at this end (west side) – up to Avalanche Creek.

Avalanche Creek

Water Crashes Down the Stream Bed at Avalanche Creek

The creek itself was crashingly dramatic and we were looking forward to an awe inspiring four mile round trip hike, but about half a mile in we were confronted with this sign (read the fine print).

Danger Bears!

Danger Bears! No hiking allowed.

But wait… there’s more…

Griz Country

Yes. We know we are in griz country. (We have also purchased a big ol' can o bear spray as depicted here.)

OK, we get it. We’re going to get killed by a vicious wild animal at any moment…

Lion Alert Sign

Oh good grief.

We were hopeful to see a mountain lion after we saw this sign – but no luck. There are too many people out and about here this time of year.

In spite of all the warnings we still wanted to hike, so we walked up “Going to the Sun Highway” as far as they would let us, a couple miles beyond where they stopped vehicular traffic (well,  except for the dual bed construction haulers bringing materials up the mountain to repair the road). It was worth it to see the Roaring waters that feed McDonald Lake…

Linda Thinks About Swimming

Linda Thinks About Swimming... but Only for a Moment.

and to see how the water was carving under the snowfields…

Ric Peers into Ice Cave

Ric Peers into Ice Cave along "Going to the Sun Highway"

We also had the opportunity to meet up with some critters…

Moose Mom in Glacier

Moose Mom in Glacier

On Friday we set out to put our canoe in the water in Lake McDonald, but kept it to a brief paddle as the winds began to pick up. They funneled through the mountains and across the lake like a wind tunnel.

Paddling McDonald Glacial Lake

Paddling on McDonald Glacial Lake, which is about 450 feet deep and ice cold.

After our paddle, and since it was Canada Day we stopped by the Alberta Visitors center right in West Glacier. (We had been there just yesterday but they were providing a free lunch of hot dogs and cake.) They had also decked out their exhibits inside the center… just love the Canadians…

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

After lunch we set out to find a few geo-caches which took us out to the North Fork Road along the Flathead River. It was a dramatically different landscape – a recovering burn area – but there was beauty to be found…

Hell Roaring Creek Falls

Hell Roaring Creek Falls

Summer Blooms along the Flathead River in Montana

Summer Blooms along the Flathead River in Montana

Tomorrow we will move on for our last day stateside before passing into Canada. We are pretty unsure what kind of communications we will have there. The Canadian Postal Service is on strike – so we can’t even rely on snail mail. We’ll just have to see if we can find an occasional WiFi spot, eh?

1 Comment

Filed under Alaska Journal, Been There Done That, Geology on the Rocks, Uncategorized

One response to “Glacier National Park

  1. Anonymous

    Hey Mom and Dad 🙂

    Wow!
    I finally got a chance to stop by and read about your adventures.
    Thank you so much for making this blog. It was a joy to read.

    I love you ❤

    -Lyric

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