Day 3, July 18, 2018
Today I was going to see Glacier National Park! I was so excited!
I got to the park about 9 am and went to the Visitor’s Center to get my passport stamp and postcards. Then I started driving up the Going-to-the-Sun Road. The views were spectacular! I ended up going all the way up to Logan Pass, stopping at some of the viewpoints along the way. Pack your patience for parking at the Logan Pass Visitor’s Center! Eventually, I got a space, and got out the things I needed. Backpack, picnic lunch, and my parks passport for another stamp!
I ate my lunch sitting behind the Visitor’s Center in the shade. I talked to a couple who were on a motorcycle day trip – they looked like they were having fun! After I ate, I started my Hidden Lake hike, which goes out from behind the Visitor’s Center. It is a 3 mile round trip, out and back hike. I made it about 50 feet when I came upon a Park Ranger who had the trail closed. There was a Grizzly Bear eating camas bulbs in the meadow right behind the Visitor’s Center! The bear didn’t seem bothered by the presence of about 50 tourists staring and him (or her), and was just peacefully rooting around in the meadow. I was able to see his hump and back as he moved further away across the meadow – what an amazing experience!
After the bear moved on, they reopened the trail and I set out. Pretty soon I started seeing Mountain Goats in the distance, sitting near the patches of snow. As I continued on, there were even more! Some of the trail was still covered in snow and ice, and I had to pick my way carefully over the ice at a few spots. This trail is very popular, so you do have to wait at times for people to get through an icy spot. Near the Hidden Lake viewpoint, the Mountain Goats were walking right on the trail – I had to move off of the trail to let one go by! Thankfully he wasn’t aggressive and didn’t seem bothered by the people, but I did my best to give him space.
The Hidden Lake viewpoint is spectacular! The lake is beautiful! There is a trail that continues on from there, but that part of the trail was closed due to bear activity the day I was there. Honestly, it was probably the bear I had seen earlier near the Visitor’s Center! I stood at the viewpoint for a while, taking in the scenery. As I left the viewpoint, I was greeted by the most impressive sight; this Mountain Goat posing perfectly with the mountain in the background! Incredible! I saw a mama and baby goat too! They were so cute!
On the way back, I saw a herd of Bighorn Sheep in the meadow where the Grizzly Bear had been earlier. There were about 25 of them; all males. Some people were getting a little too close and the sheep got spooked and ran across the trail. Luckily no one got hurt. It is a good reminder though – these are wild animals, they are big and unpredictable. Don’t get too close!
I headed back down the Going to the Sun Road and stopped at a few viewpoints, including a swimming hole where people were jumping off a big rock. It looked fun, but the water was probably freezing!
That evening I had leftover pasta and sausage for dinner. I had worked up such an appetite from hiking that I was too hungry to heat it up! This was such an amazing day; one of the best days hiking ever!