In our latest adventure, Hali and I traveled to Montana's Glacier National Park. We put about 1000 miles on the rental car for the trip, but we also did some nice hikes (and of course, some photography).

We started out on the West side of GNP, in the small town of Whitefish. This is a great little toursit town that seems a bit like a scaled-down version of Banff. We stayed at "The Good Medicine Lodge" (a really wonderful B&B), and explored the West side of the park from there.

We traveled up the "Going To The Sun" road through the park on Sunday, because we had heard that they were going to close the pass for road construction on the following day. We later learned that they closed even more of the road on Tuesday, due to snow. On the ride up to Logan Pass we sighted a handful of Mountain Goats, but not much else. The pass had about 4" of snow from the previous day and it was pretty cold and windy, so we opted out of the hike we had planned.

On Monday we drove up to Kintla Lake, mostly via gravel fire roads. We hiked a beautiful and remote trail to Hidden Meadow Lake, off the inside fork road near Polebridge. The hike was only about 30 minutes or so of elevation gain through some trees, and then the trail opened out to a small lake surrounded by meadowed fields. We saw wolf scat everywhere, but no wolves. We did see a handful of deer, including a doe with 2 spotted fawns that pranced about the meadow. At times the deer were only about 25 or 30 feet from us. Next we drove the outside fork road to FR 115, and then down past the isolated Red Meadow Lake -- a spectacularly beautiful sight that was worth the extra hours on fire roads. I think we saw 2 other vehicles during our 4 hour trek that afternoon.

On Tuesday we drove around the outside of GNP, over to East Glacier and the Many Glacier "Resort". This was a bit of an adjustment after being pampered at The Good Medicine Lodge, but it was way better than camping! This lodge/hotel is located well inside of the park, and offers great wildlife viewing and hiking. Our closest bear sighting was just around the corner from the lodge.

On Wednesday we hiked the Iceberg Lake trail -- about 5 1/2 hours round trip. Along the trail we spotted a herd of Big Horn Sheep as well as a couple of Grizzly Bears. Luckily, the bears were pretty far away from the trail! Later that afternoon we drove down to the town of St Mary for dinner, and spotted a Bald Eagle flying around (as well as the more common hawks).

On Thursday we drove down to Flathead Lake, and a nice little B&B between Somers and Lakeside (The Outlook Inn). On Friday we drove South along the lake, and then down to the National Bison Range. Along the way we saw raptors of every size and shape (we were very surprised at the number and diversity of the raptors). We spent about 5 hours driving around the Bison Range. While there, we spotted Pronghorn Antelope, Mule Deer, White Tail Deer, Elk, numerous raptors, and (of course) Bison. The real treat was watching the bull Elks bugle and chase other bulls away from their cows.

All told, it was a great trip! We hit a fair amount of rainy weather, but it didn't slow us down too much. We tried to capture some of the awesome beauty that we saw, but I'm sure that the pictures will fall short of that goal. You should go there!

Happy trails!
Mike & Hali

PS: You can visit our main vacation page HERE.