or better known as glacier national park – is utterly beautiful, stoic, exhilarating. with it’s 700 miles of trails, thousands of plants, mountains over 10,000 ft high, and more than 70 species of mammals – let it be the only park you visit this year if you only the time for one (and do it by 2020 before all of the glaciers melt!)
an evening drive was all it took for us to make it to east glacier in time for dinner at our motel/mexican restaurant [super combo!]. east glacier is a small town straddling the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and the national park, and is a popular resting spot for tourists, hence our stay! after a short drive north, we were in the park a little after 10am. all was quiet, sun nowhere to be seen, but we grabbed a map and headed for a quick drive before heading to our campsite.
we drove through the thick of trees, across a small bridge and into the view came a large field – we stopped at the site of tourists crowding the shoulder of the road – hopped out of the car and pulled out the binoculars to get a glimpse of our very first grizzly bears! a sow and her cub were playing happily a few miles from the park entrance – what a gift!
we continued down the road, deeper into the park to see the a well known part of the park, St Mary….
isn’t it incredible?
we turned around shortly afterwards, drove back through the entrance and made our way north to Many Glacier campsite, our home for the next 24 hours. we were hasty – we wanted to get in a long hike up to Iceberg Lake before we had to set up camp for the night.
we started hiking the 5 miles up the mountain, spotting deer and grouse along the way. the hike was gradual, but long
and it took us a good two and a half – three hours to get there….
but who can complain with a gorgeous view like this one?!
and we did take our time to enjoy mother nature….
but when we got to iceberg lake, after our long voyage, we were blown away by the
sheer cliffside and one of the bluest lakes we had ever seen….
the icebergs were stunning! and those cliffs were huge!
we walked through the field and down the rocky beach to the shore, to feel how cold an iceberg lake really can be…
although this lake is absolutely amazing, it wasn’t the view we were hoping for. since we were too late in the season, all the icebergs had melted, but you can still see a picture of them here. we didn’t have a lot of time since we were trying to avoid hiking down in the dark, so off we went, back down the mountain, through the woods another 5 miles to our campsite…
…which was nestled cozily into the trees.
our next adventure took us across the park – to a teeny, tiny community and well kept secret known as polebridge. this small community runs almost entirely off the grid. polebridge is known for its beautiful mountain views and their excellent bakery, whipping up pastries and huckleberry bear claws to die for! and their rustic, homey cabins make for an excellent stay, even if it is a bit off the beaten path…
and the inside was just as cozy, especially with the wood stove burning…
on our third and last day in glacier, we had time for a quick trip up to
bowman lake, north of polebridge. not surprisingly, this was one of my favorite parts of the park….
this lake was so calm and serene so early in the morning… it was our private paradise…