glacier national park – june 24th – july 2nd 2012

So after our trip to the Montana truck camper rally

at Lake Five Resort in West Glacier Montana, we ventured off to spend 8 glorious days in glacier. First we had to head a few miles west to Hungry Horse Montana to stock back up our food for the next few days. After that, it was off towards the east on highway 2 around the south end of the park. We thought about taking the “Looking Glass Highway” (hwy 49) but the clouds were low and the views were obstructed. So we decided just to head to Browning to connect to hwy 89 north. We drove that northbound to Many Glacier Road. The road dead ends at Many Glacier in Glacier National Park.

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We headed toward the many
glacier campground. There are no reservations that can be made for this
campground. Since it was a sunday afternoon we felt we would find a spot. First
stop though was at the dump / potable water station. There are no hook ups at
this campground so we filled up our water tank. We drove around briefly to find
a spot, our luck was with us and there were many to choose from. We settled on a spot that was
close to the bathrooms, showers and had a view to look at from camp.

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We had our dinner then went
over to the amphitheater to listen to a park ranger talk about bears. On this
trip we really wanted to do as many park ranger activities as we could. We
really looked forward to hearing the stories and information they have. We were
not disappointed. So when that finished we went back to camp to gaze at the
sunset and head off to bed. I needed my rest, there was hiking to do in the
morning!

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We woke up monday morning
and I got ready to take a hike to Iceberg Lake. Joanne and Cody were staying
behind to relax and get some clothes washed. Probably a good thing since all the
fresh laundry was about gone. The weather was magnificent! Iceberg Lake is 9 miles
round trip with 1194 feet in elevation gain. The first part of the trail is
pretty steep but it then goes to an easier climb grade. There were lots of
wildflowers growing along the trail.

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I got to with in a mile from the lake and could go no further. There were
avalanche chutes full of snow blocking the trail. It just was not safe to pass
at this time. In fear of being another hiker statistic my better judgment
prevailed and I stopped. Right below the “cirque” is Iceberg lake. I did hear
there was still snow covering the lake anyways.

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On the way back the views
never got tiring. I saw lots of sign for bears, scat and digging areas where
they were eating flower bulbs. The glacier lily was on their diet right now.
However no bear sightings on this trip. I did come across this guy though
walking up the trail towards me. I had to step up off the trail to let him pass
as he wanted to use the trail. Makes since, i wanted to use the trail
too.

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So I returned to camp to find my son and wife hanging out at the camper. Did I mention how lovely my wife was to let me go out hiking while she stayed and did laundry? Well, she is!

Overnight a thunder storm rolled through. In the morning the weather seemed to clear up a little bit so we went for a hike to Red Rock Falls. The falls are at the head waters of Red Rock Lake. Today’s hike was 4.4 miles round trip with out too much elevation gain.

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On the way back we came
across this moose. He was just a few feet off of the trail. We walked by slowly
and let him have his lunch.

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We were just about back to
camp when the weather changed….for the worse. The camp hosts warned us about
70 mph winds and large hail. Oh hail no! Oh well, what are you going to do? So
we settled in the camper and played games, read books and….huh….oh, we must
have napped, some of the time slipped by us. Through the night there were indeed
big gusts. I found out later there were 72 mph winds during the night. The
camper moved around even with it tied down to the truck and all 4 jacks down to
stabilize it. I thought to myself, man, there are people out in tents in this
weather!

Well wednesday morning came
around and the weather got better. Not Fantastically better but not what we just
went through. I looked up at the mountains to see some fresh snow deposited on
the higher points. Brrrr it was chilly out! We got out our warmer clothes and
hiked over to the Many Glacier Lodge where we would do a boat and hike day. We
rode a boat from the lodge up to the end of Swiftcurrent Lake. Then its a short
.2 mile hike to the lake above it, Josephine Lake. There at that lake we rode
another boat to the end. We then got out and hiked the .9 miles to Grinnell
Lake. On the way back the weather started getting a bit better.

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When we got back to the lodge we decided to have lunch there. The lodge is being
restored and revamped. Here is a picture of the newly restored dinning room.
They have great food there also!

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The next day we hiked down
to the lodge for a little bit. It was too nice to hang around the camper.

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Later that day we went on a
Red Bus Tour. We did the Eastern Alpine Tour. It picks you up right next to the
campground and takes you up to Logan Pass via the east side. The weather was
perfect! There were mountain goats and a bear that we saw on this trip.
Unfortunately between not getting a clear shot and my camera not having a good
enough zoom lens I didn’t get any pictures that were good.

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On friday we went on a big
hike to Bullhead Lake. We actually went all the way to the head wall at Bullhead
lake that day. The hike was 7.8 miles round trip, with not too bad elevation
gain. We also saw a bull and cow moose on this hike.

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On saturday we took it a
bit easy. We hiked around Swiftcurrent Lake and did a ranger lead tour that
talked about the Many Glacier Lodge.

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In the evening we went to the campground amphitheater and listened to the park
ranger talk about alpine animals and plants. Cody even helped out.

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A view of the Ptarmigan Wall from the campground that evening. Do you see the
hole in the wall?

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Sunday was pretty much a
relaxation day. The realization of having to head home the next day was
draining. We enjoyed our surroundings and did a short 1 mile hike
to
Fishercap
Lake.

Monday morning we left Many
Glacier campground and headed home. We had to make a stop at St. Mary visitor
center so Cody could turn in his completed Jr. Ranger booklet. He handed it in
to the park ranger and was sworn in as a Glacier Park Jr. Ranger.

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We went south on hwy 89 and
did take the “Looking Glass Highway” this time. the weather was good with great
views. The highway has some rough breaks in the slide areas but not a problem
for us. There is size restriction of 21 feet on that highway.
We wished we could have stayed
longer. There is so much to see in Glacier National Park that you need a lot of
time. This trip was mostly spent in just one small part of the
park.
We will be
back again and again to Glacier.

MANY GLACIER JUNE 24TH – JULY 2ND
2012

3 thoughts on “glacier national park – june 24th – july 2nd 2012

  1. Great pics, Rich! I was googling some stuff about GNP and saw the TC and said “Hey! I know those folks!” George and I got back a little over a week ago from GNP. Gosh, it is simply beautiful!

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