Glacier National Park (Part 3)

Early evening…taken inside a car, but just stunning nevertheless.

Welcome to part 3 of my photoessay on my national parks trip. We’ve already covered Yellowstone and sights of Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and now on to the third and final leg: Glacier National Park. This park is objectively gorgeous through and through. Snowcapped mountain peaks and breathtaking valleys, glacial lakes and waterfalls, and lots of wildlife. In June, the climate is warming up and so the snow melt was serious, with water trickling (or in many cases, pouring) down mountainsides at every turn.

It’s bittersweet. Glacier is on contested land – the Blackfeet Nation ceded the land to the US government in 1895, but they claim that it was a lease and not a sale (I read this at the park visitors center but was unable to find a credible citation online). They also wanted to maintain their rights to hunt and gather on the land, but they were forbidden once it became a national park. And aside from all that, the glaciers are receding due to climate change. Pretty much every glacier in the park has shrank significantly in size from 1966 to 2015. Which makes me concerned that in my lifetime, there’s won’t be anymore glaciers in Glacier.

😦


But onwards to happier thoughts – how to spend three days in Glacier National Park.


Day 8

Welcome!


Stunning views await at Avalanche Lake, the end of the aptly named Avalanche Lake Trail (4.5 miles round trip and worth it!)


All things huckleberry – basically anything you can imagine.


Driving The Going-to-the-Sun Road. This 50-mile road is the only road that crosses the park and has a series of stunning vistas like this one. It took approximately 30 years to build the road, an engineering marvel.


There’s lots of glacial melt running down the mountainsides in late June. Luckily, the engineers thought of this!


The Going-to-the-Sun Road blends seamlessly into the mountainside


Logan Pass, the highest elevation on the road at 6,646 feet above sea level. Unfortunately, we skipped the popular Hidden Lake Trail because good portions of the trail were still covered in snow.


Glacier National Park and Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park combine to form the world’s first International Peace Park under UNESCO. These parks combine to protect the entire biosphere that spans past the US-Canada border. Pictured here are the flags of the three nations that comprise the park.


Huckleberry pie


Day 9

Swiftcurrent Lake in the Many Glacier part of the park. Embarking on the Grinnell Glacier Trail (7.6 miles round trip).


Grinnell Lake on the Grinnell Glacier Trail


Celebrating a successful hike with a local brew – Moose Drool to be exact. Highly recommended! At Rising Sun Pizza, one of the few restaurants outside the east park entrance.


Making the most of the long light hours (the sun didn’t set until 9:30pm!) with a late evening hike to Sunrift Gorge.


Day 10

Our last hike: St. Mary’s & Virginia Falls trail. A mule deer grazing.


St. Mary’s Falls


So much of Glacier looks like this – lush forest with running water.


Virginia Falls


Spotted: grizzly bear! We were probably too close 😮


See a bear, eat a Bear Claw pastry filled with almond paste. Mmmm.


The tail of Running Eagle in local language (I’m not sure which one). She was a female warrior of the Blackfeet Nation and the falls is named for her.


Running Eagle Falls (also known as Trick Falls since it’s two falls in one!) This is in the Two Medicine area of the park.


Female mountain goats (ewes) by Two Medicine Lake


Two Medicine Lake

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Charlie Strniste says:

    Beautiful pics! When you get tired of food, apply to National Geographic! You have a nice touch with the camera!

    Like

    1. Thank you! All taken with an iPhone XS 😉

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    What a beautiful part of the country! Must add to my bucket list!!

    Like

    1. You should! It’s really special.

      Like

  3. Such a fantastic post! Thank you for sharing!

    Like

    1. Thank you! I’m happy you liked it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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