Five National Parks…Montana, Canada, Wyoming & Colorado 8.2011

Glacier has been on my “bucket” list for a long time ....why wait any longer?  I’m so excited to have my fav hiking partner with me & both of us going to someplace new…together

Danny & Me...on the road & on the trails...

We were going to begin this trip by first touring Badlands National Park, Mt. Rushmore & Devils Tower...however, a large chunk of the highway to get to those places is closed due to flooding…..

So....as an hardship alternative (vs. driving north on 75 through the middle of nowhere Kansas & Nebraska) we’re headed to Ft. Collins Co...to visit the new brewery & restaurant...some place that’s also been on my “must-visit” list

The brewery was the highlight of the first two days....since most of the time were driving!  It’s a haul to get to Glacier...but we arrived Sunday evening.  We’re going to start at the north-east entrance, called “Many Glacier”.  Right away...we’d barely gotten in the park...when a big brown bear was lumbering through the meadow.

After the bear, we drove to the campground, but it was full.  Our next stop was a trailhead...where we parked the for night, got all cozy in the car & said goodnight...tomorrow we get to start hiking!

Monday 8.1

We got up & scored one of the first vacant campsites in the park, set up our tent, loaded our packs & hit the trail.  Today’s hike was up to see the Grinnell Glacier; about an 11 mile hike.  We’d barely gotten on the trail & saw bear scat along the trail...um.....Danny (the bravest of the two of us) went first...armed for the first time ever with Bear Spray

The pic on the right is of Mt Gould...the glacier sits just behind it...below the mountain is Swiftcurrent Lake...a beautiful turquoise color

While not near as many wildflowers as in Colorado...the ones that had bloomed, were wonderful

Lots of breath taking waterfalls

the higher we hiked & closer we got, we found ourselves above Glacier Lake...such a brilliant color...it seemed like every time I looked at it over the next couple of hours, it just got better & better & the giant waterfall flowing into the lake was spectacular

So, we got to this “viewpoint” still about 2 miles away from the Glacier...there were tons of people there...it was a Ranger-led hike & a turn around point for the group....then we noticed a sign across the trail 

While the trail wasn’t closed, it was a “warning/danger” sign because of the snowfields you had to cross...we could see at least 4 & then couldn’t see the rest of the trail.  One was a “snowbridge”....very dangerous with water flowing under it....then came another Ranger hiking along...a “Bear Management” Ranger.  We’d heard as we were hiking up there was a Mother Grizzly & two cubs...& the Ranger confirmed that there had been a lot of bear activity in the area....that just until recently you couldn’t even hike to the point we were at because the bears were using the trails.  So, he asked us not to go further (like I wasn’t going over those nasty snowfields anyway).  So, Danny & I hiked back down the trail & ate lunch at a picnic area & decided what to do next 

It was 2:30 so we started another hike...this was is almost 10 miles long & goes to Iceberg Lake

more outstanding waterfalls along the trail & across the valley

I’m glad this “bridge” was already broken...it was a long way down if you fell

The trail was leading up to this tiny lake (it sits right below those big snowfields you see in the center of the cirque of rock)

I thought this was a fantastic lake!  I loved the color of the water & that it was filled with these bright white ice flows...that when the sun hit them, they looked blue.  And then we saw an amazing sight....about 10 or so big horn sheep climbing across the snowfields at the top of the mountain!

Those little spots you see in the snow are sheep...just making there way across like it was no big deal...so much fun to watch.  Here are some other pics from the hike:

These mountains are so unusual...not like mountains I usually hike in.  Maybe it’s the glaciers, but the tops are all these strange rock formations...more like you see in Utah...only huge...gray...amazing!

Its so much fun to hike with Danny again...although...after 16 miles today...we’re both hurting a little & ready for a good nights sleep.  The tents all set up, the evening has a slight chill....& tomorrow is another hike



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