7 Slot Nomads

Get Out

Glacier NP

Wednesday 9/5

Met Jordan and Stef in Kalispell, Montana to start this new adventure. From there we rolled out into the secluded country to a rented log cabin just outside the National Park off highway 2 near Essex not too far from the Goat Lick Overlook and close to the foot of Scalplock Mountain. The cabin was great. Owner was helpful. Life was good. Fire pit, good food, quiet area out in the woods, and a million acres of Glacier National Park to check out.

Thursday 9/6

We Jeeped out to the Polebridge Mercantile (famous for Huckleberry Bear Claws and an interesting fuel tank) in the rainy weather and the trail was pretty sloppy. This isn't like going to the local store. This place is pretty remote compared to what you might think. It is pretty rustic and services a backcountry crowd for the most part. From there we headed south to Lake McDonald for some hiking. The weather was wet and overcast all day, but the temps weren't too bad and the rain was more misting than seriously raining (most of the time). After that, back to the cabin via West Glacier.

Friday 9/7

Lots more hiking. Mostly common trails, but the views were pretty awesome. It's hard to find the right words to describe the mountain, streams, and wildness of the park. Glacier feels different than any other National Park I've been in. With over a million acres, accessibility is limited to a small percentage of it because of the terrain and the extreme weather patterns that exist in the park that far north and at the altitude of those great peaks. We hiked several trails that day and saw a lot of different ecosystems at differing altitudes and in different areas. The weather cleared in the afternoon and it warmed up enough to lose the sweaters and flannels while the sun was out while we hiked out to Avalanche Lake.
  • Stacks Image 26003
  • Stacks Image 26009
  • Stacks Image 25862
  • Stacks Image 25856
  • Stacks Image 25865
  • Stacks Image 26652
  • Stacks Image 25997
  • Stacks Image 25871
  • Stacks Image 25874
  • Stacks Image 25877
  • Stacks Image 25880
  • Stacks Image 26559
  • Stacks Image 26000
  • Stacks Image 26646
  • Stacks Image 26644
  • Stacks Image 26648
  • Stacks Image 26650

Saturday 9/8

When you go to a place like Glacier National Park, plan to do a lot of hiking. That's where you see the hidden beauty of the park. There are a lot of jaw-dropping scenes as you drive down through the park, but for us the real appreciation came from the quiet places further out away from parking areas. Only on one or two days did we really have any crowds where we were. It was late in the season so the crowds were thinning and it was getting onto the time of year where snowfall could happen at any time. Matter of fact, if we had been 9-10 days later, we would have been snowed in at our cabin with a few feet of snow covering the road.

We did see a moose while we were out hiking around the lake (on the opposite side) but it paid no attention to us. The moose was standing, wading, swimming, and enjoying the lake while we were across on the other side watching.

Sunday 9/9

It was a chilly rainy day so instead of hiking, we went to town. Whitefish is a nifty little place with restaurants, microbreweries, and local mom and pop shops all over. Spent a relaxing day looking around and having some good eats. Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives would have been proud of this little town. I believe this is the day we discovered Huckleberry pies on our way back to the cabin that were made at a little place a few miles down highway 2 from where we were staying. She told us they were "made with love" and even had a heart shape cut into the top crust. We didn't know about all that, but we loved eating them. Matter of fact, we made three trips down there to get those pies while we were at Glacier.

Monday 9/10

Today was the day we decided to make the run across the Going-To-The-Sun Road and hike Hidden Lake from Logan's Pass. The road try eases the park basically east-west and the pass is about 6600' up. Not like Colorado passes, but the convolutions of the road to get up there was pretty wild. Very steep in places, curves, and switchbacks took you to some amazing vistas with waterfalls in every direction. It was overcast and the fog was thick at Logan's Pass, there was a pretty good sized crowd vying for coffee and souvenirs. The most popular item besides coffee was beanies. It was cold, windy, and damp. We thought the chances of seeing the hidden lake were pretty small, but we took the trail out anyway. We were fortunate that it was windy. The winds were blowing the low hanging clouds and fog across the valley where the lake was and we could see it in between banks of mist and fog as they blew by. During the breaks in the clouds, we could see glaciers clinging to the sides of the mountains behind the lake. The time-lapse below doesn't do it justice. It was a very neat experience.
  • Stacks Image 26600
  • Stacks Image 26602
  • Stacks Image 26604
  • Stacks Image 26606
  • Stacks Image 26608
  • Stacks Image 26610
  • Stacks Image 26612
  • Stacks Image 26614
  • Stacks Image 26706
  • Stacks Image 26707
  • Stacks Image 26708

Tuesday 9/11

We drove out to Two Medicine and hiked Running Eagle Falls which is a short easy trail, but had an awesome waterfall coming out of a hole in the rock wall. After that, we took the advice of a park ranger and hiked Paradise Point. One of my favorite trails of this whole trip. The cover photo on this page came from that trail. This is also the trail where Stephanie fell in the water. We jumped across a stream from one rock to another for a better look around, and a good place to have a snack. She only made it back across with one foot on dry land, and the other ankle deep in the fast-moving melted Glacier water. She let her socks and shoes dry out at the top of Paradise Point before we came back down. One of the best days in the park.

Wednesday 9/12

Our last day in the area, we thought we would ride up into Canada and check out Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada. After we arrived, we found out most of the roads are closed due to a fire that occurred a few years ago, which leaves most of the trails inaccessible. We did get to see Cameron Falls, and hike part of the lakeshore trail. A mile or so into the lakeshore trail, we had to step over a large pile of fresh bear scat in the middle of the trail. From the looks of it, berries were a popular part of the diet.

After coming back down to Waterton Townsite, we went to the lake, and went to some of the shops downtown. We ate some poutine for the first time (french fries with gravy and cheese curds). It made me feel like a native Canadian. We also found an ancient phone booth that still worked. Before leaving the area, we visited the historic Prince of Wales hotel that was built in 1927. They also have really odd signs. Something about dangerous triangles and falling off cliffs.

Hindsight being what it is, our time would have been better spent with another day in Glacier instead of going to Waterton.
  • Stacks Image 26677
  • Stacks Image 26697
  • Stacks Image 26675
  • Stacks Image 26689
  • Stacks Image 26681
  • Stacks Image 26691
  • Stacks Image 26699
  • Stacks Image 26695
  • Stacks Image 26679
  • Stacks Image 26687
  • Stacks Image 26683
  • Stacks Image 26685
  • Stacks Image 26693
  • Stacks Image 26710

Thursday 9/13

Headed home. Bah, humbug. Back to reality. The trip was a good one. I plan to return to Glacier and spend a couple more weeks up here. There is so much to do and the park is so big, I feel like we barely scratched the surface of what's there.
  • Stacks Image 25967
  • Stacks Image 25970
  • Stacks Image 25973
  • Stacks Image 26495
  • Stacks Image 26526
  • Stacks Image 26540
  • Stacks Image 26542
  • Stacks Image 26544
  • Stacks Image 26546