Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Glacier National Park

Now that my series on Portland's 40 Mile Loop is over, I can finally talk a little about my trip to Montana!

By far, my favorite part of the trip was the day and a half we spent in Glacier National Park.  Before I dive right in, let me admit something...  Even though I lived in Montana for four and a half years, I've only ever been to Glacier one other time.

My first visit was in 2009, when I was back in Montana visiting!  Sad, I know.  On that trip, there was an avalanche near Going to the Sun road.  The whole road was closed just past Avalanche (a campsite) which meant we couldn't go to the top and take in the view.

Despite the fact that we couldn't get to the top of the park, we got to explore the west side of Glacier-- which was beautiful.  We took in Lake McDonald and then drove up to Bowman Lake where we spent the afternoon enjoying the view.  It wasn't a perfect trip, but it was still pretty spectacular.

This time, I went with a "Glacier Expert."  My friend Justine has an annual pass to the park, and has spent much more time up there than I have.  We actually got to drive all of "Going to the Sun Road."  And stopped at Logan pass to hike with the Mountain Goats.

I wasn't incredibly impressed with the East side of the park, where Saint Mary Lake is.  It was pretty, but I still think the west side is prettier.

That was, until we left the park and headed north a bit to "Many Glacier."  It's a short drive into a little piece of the park where you get a gorgeous view of the glaciers with a beautiful blue lake in the foreground.  I could build a house and live there with a view like that.   Although, I don't think the cows who were grazing near the lake liked us in their space very much.  I guess they'll have to get over it :)

We camped at Avalanche campground for the night, and woke up early the next morning to take in Lake McDonald before anyone else was there.  It was so incredibly serene that I felt like we had the entire park to ourselves.

My visit to Glacier National Park only made me want to come back for more.  There is still so much of the park I haven't seen.  I don't have my passport yet (hello December, when I apply)... but when I get it, I would love to grab Jason and take a week to hike, drive and explore all parts of Glacier.  I feel like taking it in for just one afternoon doesn't do it much justice!

Have you ever been to Glacier National Park?  Did you spend a lot of time exploring, or was it a short trip?  What was your favorite part of the park?  Leave your feedback in the comment section below, I'd love to hear from you!!

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