Archive for the ‘Glacier National Park’ Category

Hike to Hidden Lake – A Pictorial

September 4th, 2013 by kimtaylor

This blog post consists of more pictures than words, and once you see those pictures you’ll understand why.

On Labor Day weekend a few of us took a popular hike in Glacier Park to Hidden Lake.  While the crowds were plenty, they thinned out after the halfway point when most visitors take a few pictures at the Hidden Lake overlook and turn back to their cars.

To get to the trail head, drive up to Logan Pass Visitor’s Center. You may have a challenge finding a parking space during peak times as lot fills up quickly.  [Local’s tip: if you can’t find a parking space, drive out of the parking lot and turn right, less than a 1/4 mile below are some additional parking spaces, parallel to the road.) The trailhead starts behind the Visitor’s Center and the first 1.5 miles to the overlook can be crowded.  But resist the urge to cross this off your hiking list because of this, the views of Hidden Lake from the overlook and up-close are spectacular and the dipping your toes in the crystal clear water will make you forget about crowds.

Hidden Lake Trailhead

Hidden Lake Trailhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Views on the Way to Hidden Lake

Views on the Way to Hidden Lake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boardwalk Trail to HIdden Lake Overlook

Boardwalk Trail to HIdden Lake Overlook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hidden Lake View from Above.

Hidden Lake View from Above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crystal Clear Water Greets Intrepid Hikers.

Crystal Clear Water Greets Intrepid Hikers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mountain Goats are commonly seen along the Hidden Lake Trail

Mountain Goats are commonly seen along the Hidden Lake Trail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Sarah Stewart

Share your favorite #montanamoment and win

June 26th, 2013 by kimtaylor

The Montana Office of Tourism is sponsoring a contest where you can win a trip back to Montana, by sharing a picture of your favorite “Montana Moment”.  The contest runs through August 26th, 2013.

Here are the basic entry requirements:

  • The photo must be taken in Montana.
  • If a person is depicted, the person must be the Entrant; no other person(s) may be depicted.
  • The Entry must not have been submitted previously in a contest or promotion.
  • The Entry must not contain content that is false, inaccurate or misleading.
  • If you have more than one picture, each submission must be substantially different.

What's your favorite #montanamoment ?

What’s your favorite #montanamoment ?

There are three ways to enter the contest: via Twitter, Instagram or direct upload via visitmt.com website.

All eligible Contest Entries received during the Promotion Period will be judged on the basis of creativity (50%), and photographic quality (50%)

One Grand Prize Winner will receive the following: Winner’s choice of a five (5) day, four (4) night Montana National Park vacation package; winner can choose either a Winter or Summer Glacier National Park or Yellowstone National Park vacation package. Includes the following for 2 people: hotel accommodations, airfare, rental car, a $500 credit toward two (2) trip experiences (sightseeing, outdoor activity, or cultural/learning) per person totaling four (4) trip experiences and a park pass to the chosen National Park. The Grand Prize Winner will be determined on or about September 15, 2013.

Plus, there are Weekly Prize Winners too, that are selected randomly from all eligible entries for that week, of Montana Coffee Packages from FireTower Coffee in Helena and Huckleberry taffy from Sweet Palace in Philipsburg.

So… if you have a great shot from your last visit to Montana enter this contest. We’d love to see you again!

For full contest details go to: http://visitmt.com/step-out-of-bounds/montana-moments.htm

Author: Sarah Stewart

Glacier National Park – plan your visit.

June 10th, 2013 by kimtaylor

This friendly goat was spotted at Logan Pass last year.

This friendly goat was spotted at Logan Pass last year.

So you’re coming to Montana with plans to visit Glacier National Park and you want to get the most out of your trip. This blog post is all about links and tips to help you do just that. [Look for highlighted links to take you to the pages mentioned.]

OK the question on everyone’s mind at this time of year is when will the whole Going to the Sun Road be open for car traffic?  Currently it’s scheduled for June 21, 2013 – with the caveat that the spring plowing is completed.  To see the status of the plowing situation you can visit the Park’s Plowing Status page.  So much of what goes on in the park is weather dependent, so it’s always best to check out their website before heading out.  Which brings me to…

Trail conditions:  Especially in the early and late seasons it’s important to check out trail conditions before heading out on a hike in the Park.  Even in the peak times, trails can suddenly be closed due to bear activity in the area.  One year on a hike to Snyder Lake we were turned around by a Park Ranger about ½ mile from our destination by a bear that was hanging around the Lake.  Go to the Trail Status Report page on the Parks Website for up to date info… then take heed!

Road conditions: As trail conditions can change so can the road conditions, due to weather, construction, etc.  Don’t have your plans scuppered because the road you want to travel on is closed.  Check before hand on the Parks Road Status Page

Weather: This is a biggie.  Things can be calm & beautiful in Whitefish, but turbulent in the Park (or visa versa)… you just never know.  While you should always be prepared for just about any weather situation that Mother Nature can throw at you, check out detailed forecasts on the Park’s weather page.  To see for yourself what the weather is like you can view live web-cams. [There’s even an Osprey Cam.]

What’s Open: The various visitor centers in Glacier National Park have different opening dates and hours of operations, for details go to their Operating Hours and Seasons page.

Shuttle Buses:  One of the great ways of getting around the Park that’s cheap (can’t get cheaper than FREE!) and convenient is the free shuttle busses that operate in the Park, (this year July 1-Sept 2nd, 2013).  These are great for hopping on and off and for shuttling hikers from where they left their car to where they plan to end their hike.  To get all the info and a list of Shuttle stops within the Park visit their Shuttle Info Page.

Red Bus Tours: These classic vehicles are a symbol of Glacier National Park and offer a great way to see the park where you don’t have to worry about traffic, the roll back tops offer you a unique view and the knowledgeable guides can tell you all about the Parks history and sites. The Red Busses (also known as “Jammers”) are run by Glacier Park Inc. and they have various schedules and length of trips to meet your needs.  A trip on a red bus should be on your bucket list!

Since the Hidden Moose Lodge has Wi-Fi you can check out all the info on your smart phone or tablet before heading out.  Then ask Kent or any staff member for their personal recommendations, you’re sure to get a different answer from each!

Author: Sarah Stewart

Spring Cycling the Going to the Sun Road

April 29th, 2013 by kimtaylor

A welcome sign of Spring cyclists in Montana.

A welcome sign of Spring cyclists in Montana.

High-tech cycling gear not needed.

High-tech cycling gear not needed.

 

Beautiful vistas await intrepid Spring bicyclists.

Beautiful vistas await intrepid Spring bicyclists.

 

When the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park is fully open from West to East, cyclists play second fiddle to cars and the Park’s famous red busses, called Jammers.  During the peak Summer months, this famous scenic road is closed to bicyclists between 11 am and 4 pm. That means you have to set you’re alarm clock pretty darn early to make it up to Logan Pass and back down before 11 am.  Others prefer to hit the “night shift” and start up in the evening after 4pm, others wait for a full moon and cycle up by moonlight.

But, as the locals know, in the Spring time Cyclists have the road to themselves, save for a mountain goat that may wander in front of you (if you’re lucky) or a mama bear and her cubs scurrying up the hillside.

Yesterday we cycled the Going-to-the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, and experienced just about every type of weather you can think of, rain, sleet, a bit of hail, wind and at times sunshine.  We passed about 3 dozen other cyclists on our way from Lake McDonald to the Loop and about 3 miles beyond.

Tips for Spring cycling:

  • Be prepared for any type of weather.  It may look nice and sunny when you leave, but the weather can change quickly.  A windbreaker type jacket is a must, even on a sunny day, as the high speeds you’ll hit on the way down will cool you down quickly.
  • Bring a basic bicycle repair kit.  If you get a flat tire and you’ve got no way to fix it, you’re out of luck.  You’ll be hoofing back to your car. We ran into a stretch of unpaved road from Avalanche campground for a couple of miles, so you never know. A puncture could really ruin your day if you’re not prepared.  That being said, make sure you check that your bike is in good working order, especially your brakes!  You’ll be glad you did as you speed down the road on your way back.
  • Bring water and snacks.  During the Spring don’t count on Park concessions being open, so if you want to not give into your growling stomach and turn around early, throw in a granola bar or two into your bag.
  • Don’t forget your camera and have fun!

    Author: Sarah Stewart

Whitefish Pottery “mugs” it up for the Hidden Moose Lodge

April 8th, 2013 by kimtaylor

Whitefish Pottery makes our custom Hidden Moose coffee mugs.

Whitefish Pottery makes our custom Hidden Moose coffee mugs.

Have you ever given any thought to where your coffee mug comes from?  Go ahead, turn over your mug and look, [but make sure it’s empty first – Doh!]  When we were deciding on where to get our coffee mugs for the Hidden Moose Lodge, (important in our line of business),  we decided to “go local”. For many years we’ve been serving our morning coffee to sleepy guests in locally made mugs from Whitefish Pottery.  Tom Gilfillan, [aka. “Tom the Potter”], owner of Whitefish Pottery, is one of the biggest Bruce Springsteen fans we know, [if not THE biggest], and a talented potter as well.   He and his wheel spinning crew hand throw each Hidden Moose logo’d mug and glaze them in a variety of beautiful colors.

Besides Hidden Moose coffee mugs, Whitefish Pottery, make a variety of handcrafted items from cookie jars to wine crocks to serving bowls that are sold in their downtown retail store, Stillwater Gallery.  In addition to their pottery, they also feature wonderful local artwork, crafts and other handmade pottery at their store.

Other “fun facts” about Tom’s business:

  • Whitefish Pottery was commissioned to make the “official” coffee mug for the Glacier National Park Centennial celebration.  How cool is that?
  • You can take a free tour of their pottery studio (about 5 miles from downtown Whitefish), to see how they actually make, fire & glaze their creations.
  • Stillwater Gallery is one of 13 galleries that participate in “Gallery Nights” – Held from May-October each year on the first Thursday of the month in Whitefish.  Local galleries & shops stay open late, lay out free refreshments and feature a variety of special artist exhibitions.
  • Each year Whitefish Pottery holds an anniversary party for the whole community out at the studio location.   This year’s 18th anniversary bash will be on Friday May 10th – with live music, food and libations – it’s always a blast.

Our guests often purchase a Hidden Moose Lodge mug handmade by Whitefish Pottery as a memento of their stay with us.  It’ll not only looks cool on their desk at work, but they swear their coffee tastes better!

For more on Whitefish Pottery visit their website at: www.whitefishpottery.com or find them on Facebook.

Author: Sarah Stewart