Day 34 – 10/3 Glacier National Park, Trails and a Grand Finale

Today is our last full day at Glacier, and this is definitely the most amazing National Park so far from a natural beauty perspective.  The views from the top of the mountain are just unreal. Our plan is to do as much of the hike by Logan Pass as we can, and leave camp around 9am, let’s see how it goes. 

Oh, and I slept in Bia’s top bunk overnight since she wanted to sleep with Carol.  Not bad at all.  It is a bit tight, but there’s a really thick memory foam topper there which is super comfortable.  The temperate was nice all night (may be a bit warm in hot days), very little to no noise.  Getting in and out is a little tricky but not too bad.  Dad approved!

Today was an awesome day.  I let everyone sleep until they wanted, so we left a little later than I was hoping for, but as everyone woke up, they had breakfast, Carol started making the pasta we were taking, and we started packing.  We ended up leaving around 10:30am, which got me a little anxious as I knew we’d have a hard time finding parking by the Logan Pass visitor center.  We left and my plan was to drive straight to Logan Pass, without stopping at all so we did that.  I got it in my head that it is Saturday, we don’t have to rush, and if it took me 10-20 minutes to find parking, so be it, and that I’d just be patient and we’d enjoy our day. 

The drive was full compared to our prior days.  All parking spots were completely full as we drove up the mountain, and some were even closed.  The drive was awesome as usual, a little earlier than we are used to, so the sky was super blue. 

When we got to Logan Pass visitor center, it was packed, so I told Carol and the girls to go use the restrooms while I circled around to find a spot.  They got out quick and I stopped at a spot near the visitor center entrance, watching people come back from trails.  I spotted a could coming back, and they seemed to be going to the row next to where I was, so I started driving there, hoping I’d time it just right and that I was guessing the right place, and… I got lucky!  They walked in right in front of my car, so I started following them slowly.  Within a few seconds, the lady realized it and turned around, looked at me and with her hand made a “shhh quiet, follow me” sign.  Ahhhhhh, what a relief and how lucky I got.  I followed them, they got in their car and I started blinking already.  I had blocked the street behind me so I knew no-one was coming, and the lady blocked the other side so her husband could get their truck out.  They moved in such a way that no-one else could get in but me and as I drove into the spot and they left, they even said “enjoy your day”.  That was so nice and great way to start our day.  Carol and the girls have just finished and we got our gear, water, snacks and left to do our first trail. 

Carol had scoped the trails, and decided we’d do the Highline Trail first, and go as far as we felt the girls could handle.  So, we headed to the trail, crossed the street from the visitor center towards the mountain that was right there in front of us, and…..  wow! 

The trail sits right on the side of the mountain and the first mile almost is intense, there is even a cable bolted to the rocks so you can hold on to.  The view is amazing, and every so many steps there’s a new angle and light and you feel like you need to take another picture.  It’s unbelievable! 

It is not a trail for people who are afraid of heights, as you are right at the edge of the mountain, and some areas are basically a cliff. 

Bella was a little intimidated and tense, she was a little scared.  I stayed with her and held her hand on the way out, to make sure she was comfortable with the walk.  Carol and Bia were behind. 

We decided we’d stop at every mile for a “cookie mile celebration”, as Bella named it, so we’d have some cookies and water and rest a bit. The views are amazing from this trail, and the trail itself is very cool.  We walked 2 miles ahead and 2 back. 

There were parts of the terrain that were rocky, others gravel, some were big stones from the mountain, and we even crossed a few water streams/mini waterfalls.  It was very cool.  Bella started complaining when we were near mile 2, so we made our stop and returned. 

Our return was much faster, and Bella did not need much attention, she was on a mission to get back.  I think she was a little scared and just wanted to get out of there. 

We decided we’d get back, and get our lunch from the car, and go find a spot to eat at the next trail.  I took the girls to the restroom while Carol went to the car.  Oh, did I mention we had forgotten plates and silverware for our lunch? Hahahahaha. We brought the pasta, but nothing to eat it with.  Carol took a while to come back as she was asking some people around the car to see if they had at disposable silverware, but no luck.  She got back with the pasta, and we decided to keep going and we’d find a way on our way :).

We started the trail to Hidden Lake, which is right off of the Logan Pass Visitor Center.  We walked for about half a mile and found a spot on a nice flat area with some stones and rocks where we could sit, relax, eat and enjoy the view.  As the kids started playing with some of the rocks, we realized some of them could be used as spoons ahahahaha, and that was it.  Carol cleaned up a few rocks that were flat and circular, and we all ate pasta from the container using rocks! hahahaha… it was interesting, funny, cool, ingenious, all of it… and best, it was a great memory created.  I had brought some beer, so Carol and I had one each as well.  It was a very nice and relaxing lunch, and good fuel to get us through the end of this hike. 

The trail was not open all the way, due to bear activity, so we could only ho 1.5 miles to a lookout.  The hike was all uphill on the way there though, so it was quite intense.  We had a really nice walk there, the girls were feeling happy, were enjoying the views, and loving the fact that there was snow/ice in some areas, and they’d grab some when it was close.  They were enjoying playing with snow balls. 

The views on this hike are also amazing, as is everything in this park.  Once we go over the last “hump” by the hidden lake, and we get to see the lake, it is an amazing view. 

The sun was setting right behind it, and it was awesome. 

We decided to sit there, take a break, relax and enjoy the view and the moment… and the other 2 beer I had too hahahaha.  The girls were still exploring and checking out the area.  I saw a lady fall and hurt her ankle, and since Bella still had some ice in her hands I told her to check if the lady was ok and to offer her the ice, and Carol and the girls went there.  The lady was ok, but took the ice as she had hurt her ankle, and was very thankful they checked on her and offered her the ice.  She was with a group of people and said she was ok and didn’t need help.  The girls felt really good about helping.  They are very kind kids, very caring too. 

Our way back was much easier as it was all downhill basically.  Views were amazing, different angles, other side of mountains, just so beautiful to be so high up. 

Girls continued exploring, getting ice, looking for cool rocks.  Oh, and talking about cool rocks… When we stopped for lunch, Bella had found a rock that looked like a paddle, and was using it as a tennis racket to hit other smaller rocks.  She had hidden it before we left, and as we walked back, she wanted to grab it.  She went to the spot we were in, and there was a pile or rocks there, like piled up neatly, maybe 8-10 of them, stacked on top of each other.  Bella said “this is it”, and kicked the pile, which all fell and exposed the bottom one, which was her paddle hahahahahaha… she’s too funny, and creative!  She picked up her paddle and took it back to the car.  Let’s see how far this is going to make it on the trip. 

We started our drive back out of the park, and the plan was to stop at Lake McDonald for sunset pictures.  When we drove by the Weeping Wall, which is an area where the side of the road (rocks) has lots of water running down them, almost as a water fall, I told the girls I’d let them touch the water, so they were both on the right side of the car, with their bodies out the window, and I slowed down and got close to the wall… they loved it!  They were touching the wall and water, they were touching the weeping wall!  I was watching the car behind me as I was really slow, almost stopping, and very close to the wall so I wanted to make sure the person was not mad or anything… and actually, the lady was clapping… she was laughing and clapping and sending me thumbs up.  That was quite a cool moment. 

Our next stop was Lake McDonald, we found a spot Carol wanted to stop, and we were there for about an hour.  Such a beautiful view of the lake with the sunset. 

The area was all small rounded rocks, so we spent a lot of time skipping rocks on the lake, playing around, recording us skipping rocks hahahaha… and Carol had the GoPro doing a time lapse of the sun setting behind the lake. 

It is an amazing view.  It was a really fun time there too, girls enjoyed it a lot and played non stop.  When the sun was all hidden behind the mountain we left. 

Bye Bye Glacier National Park, you were astonishing and grandiously beautiful. 

Carol wanted to get some groceries and the girls had colored a drawing that would get them an ice cream scoop at the store, so they left me near the campground so I could start dinner, and they went to the store and to fill up the truck.  I got the grill out, make corn, steak, and grilled some Asparagus.  Carol got back with the girls, they were super excited about their ice cream.  We stayed outside for a while, had a fire and used all the wood we had.  Girls played more.  Then they showered and started watching a movie.  Carol and I stayed outside until the fire was gone.  We chatted, watched the stars, enjoyed it. 

It was an awesome long day, full of views, walks, memories.

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