Posts Tagged ‘glacier national park’

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

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