Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Marcy's hikes in Glacier, part 2

Last set of photos from Glacier!  I couldn't see everything there was to see, but I was excited to see as much as I did.

Obligatory selfie, on the trail heading up from McDonald Lodge:

On the trail going up to Mount Brown lookout tower, checking out Lake McDonald.  Still rather hazy today, but at least the lake and sky are blue again:

The mountains on the other side of the Going-to-the-Sun road:

Mountains to the south, still quite a lot of snow up there:

Mount Brown, perhaps an off-trail destination someday:

A glimpse of the lookout tower on the left:

The logbook at the lookout tower:

Tower on the top of the hill:

Another rare photo of huckleberries that I haven't eaten yet...

One last big hike - Gunsight Pass!  Another good one.  I took the shuttle over to the Jackson Glacier Lookout and started off down the Continental Divide Trail.  Yay for the CDT!  My path soon diverged from it, but it was fun to walk on it again for a short ways.

Now this deer was a bugger.  He just couldn't figure out whether he wanted to walk toward me (no deer, don't do that!) or eat grass (OK, I suppose I can wait) or just stand there and stare.  Finally I tried the "point the camera" trick and it worked - sort of.  Here is the deer immediately turning away from me at the sight of the camera:

Then he started walking slowly away, looking over his shoulder or stopping to eat occasionally.  Finally, he decided to step off the path.  Not a shy deer, let me tell you.  Thanks for letting me by eventually!

Although I never saw another bear, I started to wonder that if I found one on the trail, whether it would just sit there and look at me?  Animals in Glacier don't seem all that concerned about us human folk.  If this is what is happening - stop feeding the animals, people!

An excellent bridge across the creek:

Looking up the valley in the direction of Jackson Glacier:

I took the side trail over to Florence Falls, and while the falls are amazing, the trail was quite overgrown and hard to push through.  Folks had been telling me that morning on the shuttle that the trail up to Gunsight Pass was overgrown.  So far that trail had been great, but the 0.6 miles to Florence Falls was covered in vegetation.

At least the falls are really pretty:

Gawking at incredible scenery - every valley and glacier and waterfalls is unique and wonderful!

Another great footbridge, this one across the outlet of Gunsight Lake:

Looking up the lake over to Gunsight Pass and more super scenery:

Hey, someone has been cleaning up the vegetation!  In fact, there was a work crew out making the trail much better just that morning.  Thank you so much!

I took way too many photos, especially when the sun happened to briefly appear.  Wildflowers and waterfalls!

These waterfalls were loud even from the other side of the lake:

The most overgrown part, probably taken care of by now:

The upper end of the lake with stunning geological patterns:

Excellent trail above the lake:

More mountain goats, always cool:

I couldn't get over the water taking a slanted route down the mountain, along a crack in the rocks, before dropping out the bottom:

The trail up to the windy pass:

Lake Ellen Wilson and the Lincoln Creek valley.  Dark clouds hung around all morning but didn't do anything until it started raining on my last descent.

Never tired of waterfalls:

Or wildflowers:

My first pika sighting in Glacier!  I had just decided that they must live a lot higher up in the mountains when I heard one whistle.  A few minutes later a pika popped out on a rock right next to the trail!  We both stood very still and studied each other.  The appearance of the camera provoked it to move, but it ended up peering out from beneath the rock, so I got kind of a photo of it.  Thank you pika!  So cute!

Pika Town amid the talus:

Love the trails here:

Neat tree:

And more mountain goats, mascots of the park:

A quick glimpse of Lake McDonald from Lincoln Pass to finish it off:

I had such a great time exploring the park trails!  Thank you Glacier National Park!

Marcy's hikes in Glacier, part 1

Here's a photo-journey in 2 parts of my time on the trails of Glacier NP while John was away doing trail work.

A deer and 2 fawns on the trail up to Snyder Lake.  They weren't in a hurry to leave, but eventually the "point the camera at it" trick worked and they moseyed off.  Love the baby animals!

Snyder Lake on a rainy, cloudy day.

Lacking much else of interest to take a picture of...

OK, this next set is better.  I took the shuttle bus up to Logan Pass and jumped out to check out the Highline Trail.  It's a good one.

Nice scenery at Logan Pass (top of Going-to-the-Sun road):

Fun start to the trail, including cables for anyone not quite comfortable with the ledge (the garden hose covering the cable was something I hadn't seen before):

Looking back at Logan Pass, noticing how hazy it was.  Apparently forest fires from the west coast were affecting the air quality in Glacier.  Glad Kathy and Bob had clear blue skies while they were here.

Looking ahead at more of the trail across the side of the mountain:

A view across the field and down to the road:

Beautiful mountains in the distant, through the haze:

More pretty mountain scenery:

Mountain goat mama and baby!

The little one posed for us, just so cute!!

Down toward the valley where the road came from:

Another section of fun trail under a cliff band:

I took the short but steep side trail up toward a saddle and overlook:

The final approach toward the saddle...

What a view on the other side!  This is Grinnell Glacier (on the right) and Upper Grinnell Lake, accessible by trail from Many Glacier.  Also a feature to the upper left of the lake called "Angel Wing":

Mr. Marmot hanging out with the folks who were sitting and silently taking it all in.  He was probably hoping for a share of someone's lunch.  Please don't feed the animals.

Granite Park Chalet on the near horizon:

And the trail leading to the chalet:

John helped me figure out that this is probably a grouse (just off the left side of the path, next to the little tree).  It was just meandering down the trail until, again, I got out the camera.  Then - vamanos!

Pretty flowers on the way down the Loop Trail:

In the Apgar parking lot, check out the Caution sticker:

Next up - one last post from Glacier!